On Wednesday, the Ohio State Buckeyes women’s basketball team started the 2022-23 season with their first team practice. That means its time to preview those players who hope to bring the Scarlet & Gray back-to-back conference championships.
Land-Grant Holy Land is diving into the season with previews of everyone on the team roster. Starting off is Taylor Mikesell, the 2021 transfer who helped transform the Buckeyes.
Name: Taylor Mikesell
Position: Shooting guard
Class: Graduate Senior
High School: Jackson High School (Massillon, Ohio)
2021-22 Stats: 18.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, .482 FG%, .475 3FG%, .902 FT%
The Buckeyes were reeling last year. They lost two starting caliber players to the transfer portal, and their first year back into postseason eligibility following NCAA recruiting sanctions didn’t look like it would end like it did.
A big part of a Sweet Sixteen run and regular season title was Mikesell. On Nov. 7, 2021, the NCAA ruled the guard eligible after transferring from the Oregon Ducks. Mikesell had the freedom to shoot and shoot often.
Mikesell was second in nation with 114 three-pointers made in 240 attempts. While assists were down slightly compared to Mikesell’s first two college years with Maryland, the Buckeyes didn’t need that part of her game. Instead, Mikesell brought scoring consistency and rose to the occasion multiple times throughout the year.
The Northeast Ohio native started every game of the year, including nine games where Mikesell never sat on the bench. That work landed Mikesell on the All-B1G First Team and in the group of five finalists for the Ann Meyers-Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year award.
Mikesell played alongside fellow guard Jacy Sheldon to the tune of 38.3 points per game throughout the season. Coined the “splash sisters,” the two gave opposing defenses issues all season, but especially as the calendar flipped to 2022 and Mikesell had two months playing with her new teammates under her belt.
Towards the end of the season though, as the playoffs approached, Mikesell did see the occasional dip in performance. While there were huge 33-point games against Maryland or 24 points in an away trip to the Iowa Hawkeyes, Mikesell was also shut down against ranked sides.
Against the Wolverines, who had the Buckeyes number twice last season, Mikesell had six points in 31 minutes — her lowest point total of the season. It wasn’t for lack of trying either, with Mikesell taking 16 shots on the day, hitting 20% from the field and 33% from deep. In the Big Ten Tournament semifinal, Mikesell hit for less than her season average against the Indiana Hoosiers. While 12 points isn’t a bad game for most, for Mikesell its not close to the guard’s ceiling.
Even with a few tough games, it didn’t stop Mikesell from shooting. After games where the touch wasn’t there, it never phased the star. For example, following that loss to Indiana, Mikesell hit 18 and 19 against LSU and the Texas Longhorns, respectively, in March Madness.
What to Expect
Mikesell’s name is written in permanent ink on the Buckeyes starting lineup. Minus an injury, Mikesell is expected to play 35 to 40 minutes per game and be a top scorer not only with Ohio State, but across the conference and NCAA.
Also, Mikesell is playing her final NCAA season, with the goal of playing professional basketball after graduation. Look for Mikesell to push the envelope to increase WNBA draft stock.
This season, Mikesell will be more dangerous than last year, especially dishing the ball to teammates. Ohio State lost point guard Madison Greene right before the start of the regular season, missing it entirely. A brunt of the offensive responsibility fell to Mikesell and Sheldon, with teammates taking turns filling in a third playmaker role from game to game.
Now, Mikesell has Greene back and freshman/USA Basketball youth player Cotie McMahon to play alongside. Not to mention teammates from last year like Sheldon and Rikki Harris, who came on strong with the injury of now transferred Kateri Poole.
The Buckeyes strength is their offense and Mikesell is key. Averaging 20 points per game wouldn’t shock anyone who’s watched Mikesell at her best, alongside an unanimous All-B1G First Team honor.
Also, with the Tennessee Volunteers and University of Louisville both in the first month of play for Ohio State, Mikesell can shine on the big stage. Watch for a competitor like Mikesell to take advantage of the opportunities.