The Ohio State women’s basketball team added three transfers in the offseason. Of the three, two are short-term adds to the roster, joining as graduate seniors. The third is sophomore guard Kennedy Cambridge.
A Nashville, Tennessee native, Cambridge left SEC country and the Kentucky Wildcats to the Big Ten. With limited minutes with Kentucky, will the 23-24 season see more opportunities for Cambridge or will her addition turn into long-term benefits for the Buckeyes?
Name: Kennedy Cambridge
High School: Ensworth High School (Nashville, Tennessee)
2022-23 Stats: 2.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.2 apg, .488 FG%, .250 3FG%, .350 FT%
Cambridge played her freshman season in SEC country, and when you look beyond total accumulative stats, there are performances that should excite Buckeye fans. While no games jump out in scoring — Cambridge’s high is nine points in her first college game against non-conference opponent UNC Greensboro — it's the rebounding and defensive performances throughout the year.
In two games against the Georgia Bulldogs, Cambridge grabbed eight rebounds apiece. When the two sides first met, the now-Buckeye guard did it in only 19 minutes on the court. Cambridge also had multiple games where she grabbed at least two steals, in six of her 19 appearances.
Following the season, when discussing her move to Ohio State, Cambridge mentioned how she felt cared for at Kentucky but nowhere close to how she feels in Columbus. Could a different environment lead to more of an opportunity to turn those individual standout performances into more consistent play?
What to Expect
Defense, defense, defense. Cambridge has a motor and uses it to stick to offensive opponents on the court. Last season, in limited minutes, Cambridge showed why she was pursued by head coach Kevin McGuff and the coaching staff.
The guard will fit well into the press of the scarlet and gray. When it’s on, Ohio State’s fullcourt presence requires quick feet and getting back into the half court, if the press doesn’t create a turnover. Cambridge can do that shift into half-court defense, meaning she won’t lose an offensive player who slips through the cracks.
Offensively, Cambridge hasn’t shown full capabilities from a limited bench role with Kentucky, but she can get to the basket. As Cambridge grows as an NCAA basketball player, she could make similar runs to teammate Jacy Sheldon, getting past defenders, hitting layups, and getting to the foul line.
Cambridge has a tough group of upperclassmen guards in front of her if she wants consistent minutes. It’s more likely that Cambridge uses this season as a learning opportunity behind players whom she shares characteristics with on the court. Watching graduate senior Celeste Taylor especially will be beneficial for the sophomore guard, with Cambridge potentially jumping into a similar role next season with all the exits at the end of the season.
However, coach McGuff values defense above all and Cambridge can come into games this season and make stops. Cambridge showed at Kentucky and at the high school level that her awareness makes her a valuable piece of the Buckeyes roster. It just won’t be from the starting five or one of the first off the bench.
This summer, Cambridge couldn’t participate with the team in its summer conditioning and practice. It wasn’t until mid-August that the guard was on the court running drills, only watching from the sidelines until that point.
Watch what Cambridge brings to the court now, but expect more in future seasons as she’s part of the next group of Buckeyes to run the team for the next two to three years.
Check out a video from Cambridge back in her high school years. While it focuses mainly on offense, Cambridge is a player Buckeyes fans can expect to be playing on both sides of the ball. Not highlighted specifically in the video is Cambridge’s high school teammate and younger sister Jaloni Cambridge, the No. 3 overall prospect in the 2024 class and No. 1 ranked point guard.
Could both don scarlet and gray together? Time will tell.
Coming Real DIFFERENT this year. pic.twitter.com/23J3VqK1Sj— kennedy cambridge (@kencambridge_) January 8, 2021
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