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Ohio State women’s basketball adds yet another top recruit

The already-third-ranked recruiting class just got better.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Ohio State at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Madison to the OSU family. She has a tremendous work ethic and great competitive character. Her ability to make those around her better is what makes her a terrific addition to our program.”

-Ohio State women’s basketball head coach Kevin McGuff, via The Ohio State University

The Ohio State women’s basketball team has one more reason to be optimistic as it prepares for the 2019-20 season. Guard Madison Greene, one of the nation’s top recruits, announced her commitment to Ohio State as part of the 2019 recruiting class. A Central Ohio native, Greene earned first-team All-State honors in her final two high school seasons at Pickerington Central. She also took her team to a state championship in 2018 and a runner-up finish last season. Though initially committing to play at Penn State, Green was able to resign with the Buckeyes after the departure of the Nittany Lions’ head coach earlier this year.

This past season marked something of a setback for the program. After losing Kelsey Mitchell (and the rest of the previous season’s starters), head coach Kevin McGuff was left with the tall task of rebuilding. The Buckeyes finished the season with a 14-15 overall record — the first losing record for McGuff since his first season in Columbus in 2013-14 — ending the year with losses in their final regular season game, the first round of the Big Ten Tournament and the first round of the NIT.

The addition of Greene was another boon for what was already a solid recruiting class for McGuff, who is entering his seventh season with the program. The Buckeyes had signed the third-ranked class in the country, which featured McDonald’s All-American Kierstan Bell, the sixth-ranked player in the 2019 class, No. 24 Rikki Harris, No. 39 Kaelynn Satterfield and No. 41 Jacy Sheldon. The program also benefited this offseason from two international prospects, as well as a transfer, Braxtin Miller, from Oklahoma State.

Ohio State fans might not have heard his name in a while (or at least since the quarterfinals of The Basketball Tournament last year), but former Buckeye point guard Aaron Craft is still cruising on the international basketball scene. And, as Buckeye fans would expect, he continues to make a name for himself on defense, most recently taking home the Lega Basket Serie A defensive player of the year award for his play with the Italian Aquila Basket Trento squad.

After coming off the bench as a freshman in the 2010-11 season, Craft started for his final three years at Ohio State, anchoring the Buckeyes on their way to a Final Four and Elite Eight appearance during that period. This most recent award is par for the course for Craft, who was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year during his time at Ohio State.

In other basketball news, John Beilein was named the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier today. Since Michigan is a basketball school now, the news that Beilein is headed to the Cavs comes as quite a blow to the Wolverines (though not as big as the one Aaron Rodgers took on GoT last night).

Combined with the fact Michigan is expected to lose a number of key players in the upcoming NBA Draft, including Jordan Poole, Ignas Brazdeikis and Charles Matthews, the balance of power may shift away from the Wolverines next season. For Ohio State, this loss represents a massive opportunity. Beilein’s teams have been in the finals of the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament for the last three seasons, winning in both 2017 and 2018. Ohio State, meanwhile, hasn’t made an appearance in the finals since Craft’s junior season in 2013. Next year could be the chance Chris Holtmann and company need to take back control of the conference.

As spring sports continue to wind down, the Ohio State Buckeyes once again had a strong showing over the weekend, taking home a conference championship in women’s outdoor track and field and moving on in the NCAA Tournament in men’s tennis. Adding to the postseason vibes, softball also earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Entering the championships in Iowa City over the weekend as the favorite, the women’s team did not disappoint, tallying 126 points to win the day. It was the first outdoor championship since 2012 for the women. Having previously won the indoor championship, this year marks just the second time in program history that the women have swept the conference. Individual championships in the 4x100, 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and the 5,000-meters set the championships in Ohio State’s favor. Even more impressive was Abby Nichols breaking her own school record in the 5,000-meters with a time of 15:56:52. The team looks to continue its run in the NCAA East Preliminary Round later this month.

Men’s tennis, meanwhile, hosted its own super regional as the top-ranked squad defeated No. 4 Columbia 4-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. After taking the doubles point, singles wins by No. 2 J.J. Wolf, No. 26 John McNally and Hunter Tubert sealed the win for Ohio State. With the win, the Buckeyes improve their home record to 327-6 since 2000. Next up, the Buckeyes are set to face ninth-ranked North Carolina in Orlando.

In the spirit of continuing streaks, softball earned its fourth-straight tournament bid Sunday. After falling to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament, the Buckeyes secured an at-large bid to the 64-team field. They are also scheduled to face off against North Carolina Friday in the Knoxville Regional. This year marks the 11th time the Buckeyes have made the tournament.

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