With the end of the conference regular season schedule comes conference awards season. On Tuesday, the Ohio State Buckeyes had two players included in the coaches and media All-Big Ten First Team. Joining the list of 10 conference players are guards Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Mikesell.
The 2021-22 @B1Gwbball first team is L-O-A-D-E-D. pic.twitter.com/U5cPKTUr7L— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 1, 2022
The pair ran amok in the B1G this season. Sheldon started every game of the season for the Buckeyes, leading the Scarlet & Gray with 19.4 points per game. From the field, Sheldon shot 50.7% in her largest point total season in three years as a Buckeye, scoring 525 points overall. In the Dublin, Ohio native’s sophomore season, Sheldon scored her second highest total of 333.
It isn’t just scoring for Sheldon, but an all-around game that won her the award. Sheldon is dangerous from deep and inside the paint, frequently charging the basket when defenses make the mistake of leaving a lane open. When those lanes close, Sheldon doesn’t stop, leading to 134 free throw attempts on the season.
Sheldon was a unanimous selection on the coaches’ vote, but not from the media. Half of the coaches’ first team were unanimous. Joining Sheldon are Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, Michigan State’s Nia Clouden, Michigan Wolverine’s Naz Hillmon and Northwestern’s Veronica Burton.
Not only was Sheldon named to the All-B1G first team, but also the All-B1G Defensive Team, as voted by the coaches. Sheldon’s honor sits alongside a player of the week award from Jan. 17 and two additions to the season-long B1G Honor Roll.
Mikesell wasn’t unanimously selected, but still showed a year deserving of the recognition. Like Sheldon, Mikesell started all 27 games of the Buckeyes regular season, hitting career highs in points (515), field goal percentage (49.1%) and three-point shooting percentage (47.1%).
The University of Oregon transfer, by way of the University of Maryland, received eligibility to play for the Buckeyes in the 2021-22 season just days before the opening tip against Bucknell University. Mikesell brought lights out shooting that saw her atop all the NCAA (men or women) in shooting from beyond the arc. In the last few weeks, it’s dipped some with a colder end to her season, but still sits second in all of college basketball.
Also, like Sheldon, this isn’t the first accolade she’s receiving this season. The B1G honored Mikesell on the Honor Roll three times this season, most recently on Feb. 14. Mikesell’s also on the short list for the Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award, given to the best shooting guard in women’s NCAA basketball.
Elsewhere on the Buckeyes squad, senior guard Braxtin Miller received an honorable mention on the All-B1G team. Miller’s senior presence, especially in team leadership and defense, was consistent throughout the year for Ohio State. In addition, sophomore guard Rikki Harris was honored as a nominee for the B1G Sportsmanship Award.
A notable, non-Buckeye, award winner today is the B1G Player of the Year: Iowa’s Clark. Clark amazed not only the conference or NCAA, but the basketball history books in 2021-22. The Hawkeye star became the first NCAA man or woman to have two straight 30-point triple-doubles. Only NBA stars LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the late Kobe Bryant have achieved this landmark stat line.
Ohio State’s season isn’t over, as they focus on two more team awards: the B1G Conference and NCAA tournaments. The Buckeyes start their conference tournament on Friday, playing the winner of No. 8 seeded Michigan State Spartans or No. 9 seeded Purdue Boilermakers at 11:30 a.m. ET.