Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Kevin McGuff has a history of recruiting talent from Ohio. Last season, the Scarlet and Gray featured five players from the Buckeye State in their championship run, with two coming from transfers after leaving Ohio after high school.
This season, McGuff added another transfer who follows the path of Taylor Mikesell or Braxtin Miller in that department — guard Emma Shumate. The Newark, Ohio amateur star left for West Virginia but now calls Central Ohio home. Shumate is the next player up in the Land-Grant Holy Land series previewing everyone on the 2022-23 roster.
Name: Emma Shumate
High School: Newark High School
On March 31, 2021, Newark High School faced off against Cincinnati’s Mount Notre Dame in the Division I Ohio State Basketball Championship. Mount Notre Dame, led by now two-time Ms. Ohio KK Bransford, defeated Newark 57-55.
Part of the double overtime game was transfer guard Shumate, who although was on the wrong side of the result had two of her 13 blocks in overtime, helping Newark stay in the game.
Following Shumate’s high school career, she headed southwest to Morgantown, West Virginia after verbally committing to the West Virginia Mountaineers. Shumate didn’t dress or play and didn’t make the team’s official roster.
While the reason for her absence isn’t known, the Buckeyes welcomed the 6-foot-1 guard back to Columbus for the 22/23 season. In essence, joining Ohio State as a freshman.
What to Expect
Reading 13 blocks isn’t usually synonymous with a guard, but Shumate is a player who has the ability to play strong both inside and outside of the perimeter. Watching highlights of Shumate shows a player who isn’t afraid to not only block, she only had three personal fouls in the championship game, but shoot from anywhere on the court.
Shumate is a perfect type of player for McGuff’s preferred 5 Out offensive system.
“She can really add a lot to our team. She’s long, has a high basketball IQ, like I said, and she can really shoot the ball,” said McGuff. “We’re really excited about her but she’s just a freshman and not played last year. She’s got a really bright future in front of her.”
What does that mean for expectations from Shumate on the court? They should start low. That’s nothing against the player’s ability on the court, but adjusting to the team. Shumate likely hasn’t played high school or college-level basketball since that March 2021 title game.
Even so, receiving coaching and practice outside of an official program isn’t a problem for the new Buckeye. Shumate’s dad, J.R. Shumate coached her and her sister in high school. Shumate’s older sister Kate Shumate plays for the Kent State Golden Flashes and her brother J.T. Shumate also plays in the MAC, with the Toledo Rockets.
Safe to say that Shumate has more than pick-up games at a park or gym to keep her fresh.
It’s unknown though how long it will take for the guard to gel on a team that’s full of starting guards. With Shumate’s height though, there could be a spot for her in a four or five if McGuff opts for smaller sets on the court.
Shumate would have had a great chance to shine during last season’s non-conference schedule if the guard started at Ohio State. This year’s non-conference schedule though is far and away more difficult, meaning fewer chances for Shumate to get competitive minutes.
However, Shumate should still get some minutes off the bench during some of the non-Power Five conference opponents within the non-conference schedule.
With Mikesell playing her final collegiate season this year, Shumate will have a stronger chance to start next season.
Watch Shumate (5) shoot from deep, attack the basket, assist, and more in a high school regional semifinal against Pickerington Central in 2021.