Every week, the Big Ten conference names a player of the week for both men’s and women’s basketball — an honor that has yet to be bestowed upon an Ohio State player so far this season. Many people are saying Justice Sueing should have won Player of the Week after his 33-point performance against Texas Tech on Nov. 23, but that’s neither here nor there.
The other award that is given out each week is the Freshman of the Week award, given to the freshman player that’s had the most outstanding week in both men’s and women’s basketball. And folks, at this point they may just need to rename it the Ohio State Freshman of the Week award, because two Buckeyes have locked down the award for each of the last three and four weeks, respectively.
On the men’s side, 6-foot-6 freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh has now earned the award each of the past three weeks. Over the last three weeks, 24th-ranked Ohio State has gone 3-1, and Sensabaugh has averaged 20 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He currently leads the Buckeyes in scoring at 15.9 PPG on the season, is shooting 52.4% overall, and 46.6% from three-point land — fourth best in the conference and tops among B1G freshmen.
Back-to-back-to-back‼️— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) January 3, 2023
For the third straight week, @bricepsensa has been named @BigTen Freshman of the week! pic.twitter.com/RORfEeCx3d
Sensabaugh is the only player to win the award three times this season so far, and only the second (along with Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer) to win it more than once this season. He is also the third Ohio State player ever to win the award in three consecutive weeks, joining Jared Sullinger (2010-2011) and D’Angelo Russell (2014-2015).
On the women’s side, 6-foot freshman forward and Centerville-native Cotie McMahon has now won the award four consecutive weeks, making it her award for a month straight. Over the last four weeks, McMahon has averaged 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.3 steals per game for the No. 3 Buckeyes, who at 15-0 are still undefeated.
Four-in-a-row for @cotiemcmahon23 ‼️— Ohio State WBB (@OhioStateWBB) January 2, 2023
: https://t.co/TIXzmuAaKp#GoBucks x @B1Gwbball pic.twitter.com/PV8foZj8EK
During her four-week reign as Freshman of the Week, the Buckeyes are 7-0, including wins over No. 14 Michigan and No. 16 Oregon. On Dec. 20, McMahon scored a career-high 30 points during an 88-86 overtime win vs a feisty South Florida squad at the San Diego Invitational that helped Ohio State preserve their unblemished record.
McMahon’s progression over the past several weeks has helped cover the lost production from injured guards Jacy Sheldon (lower leg, out indefinitely) and Madison Greene (knee, out for season). Her increased production also takes attention away from leading scorers Taylor Mikesell and Rebeka Mikulasikova. That well-rounded scoring attack is what makes the Buckeyes so dangerous, as opponents cannot afford to commit too much to any individual Buckeye on the defensive end.
With both freshmen playing prominent roles and major minutes on their respective teams, expect both Sensabaugh and McMahon to rack up a few more FOTW awards before the season concludes.