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Senior guard Taylor Mikesell to return to Ohio State for 2022-23 season

After being on the fence between returning and declaring WNBA draft eligibility, Mikesell chose another year in Scarlet & Gray

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Monday afternoon, with just hours until the cutoff to declare for the WNBA Draft, Ohio State guard Taylor Mikesell made it official. The Ohio native has decided to exercise her extra year of eligibility and will return to the Scarlet and Gray for the 2022-23 season.

There was speculation that the senior might make the jump to the professional ranks following the best season of her collegiate career. After all, the shooting guard is a finalist for the Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award for the best shooting guard in the nation and was at, or near, the top of the best three-point shooters in the NCAA throughout the season.

In 32 games, Mikesell averaged 18.625 points per game totaling 596 points on the year. Both are career highs after playing two seasons with the Maryland Terrapins and a third with the Oregon Ducks before joining the Buckeyes.

Mikesell also had her highest percentage shooting season in four years, hitting 48.2% on field goals and 47.5% from beyond the arc. The Ohio-native received word of her eligibility to play in Columbus just three days before the season began last fall. Mikesell’s eligibility was crucial, averaging the second-highest points per game total on the Ohio State roster.

With her addition for the 2021-22 season, an Ohio State side that lost two forwards to the transfer portal and their starting point guard to a season-ending injury added a much-needed, prolific scoring threat. Mikesell’s 2021-22 campaign turned into individual and team accolades.

Throughout the season, Mikesell received three Big Ten Honor Roll recognitions for her outstanding play. At the end of the campaign, the B1G coaches and media named Mikesell to the All-B1G First Team. The biggest hardware though was Ohio State’s regular-season B1G Co-Championship; an unexpected achievement with the Buckeyes behind Maryland, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Michigan Wolverines in the AP Poll for the entire season.

The threat that Mikesell presented opposing defenses opened things up for her teammates, especially her backcourt mate Jacy Sheldon. The guard led Ohio State in scoring on the season with 19.7 points per game. Also, it relieved pressure from other OSU starters like Rebeka Mikulasikova who started all 32 games after starting just one during her first two seasons with Ohio State.

With Mikesell’s announcement, the Buckeyes have gotten a shot of adrenaline going into the offseason. Mikesell’s return makes Ohio State a destination for potential transfer targets too. The Scarlet and Gray were three points away from reaching their first Elite Eight since 1993, on a team that head coach Kevin McGuff heralded as the most fun he’s had coaching in 20 seasons.

Ohio State will lose senior forwards Braxtin Miller and Tanaya Beacham, but outside of their graduation-induced exits, the Buckeyes bring back much of the core that helped them hoist the championship trophy this season.

If that chemistry and sense of fun continues into the 2022-23 season, it should be an interesting year of competition in the B1G.