Entering the 2023-24 season, the Ohio State women's basketball team added two out-of-state freshmen. Point guard Diana Collins joined from Georgia, and the second is a top recruit head coach Kevin McGuff picked up from Michigan.
That other freshman is Faith Carson, a 6-foot-4 center who brings a heralded high school career to a Buckeyes team that has struggled defensively and grabbing rebounds in the paint. Carson might be the answer to that problem for years to come.
Name: Faith Carson
High School: Buchanan High School (Buchanan, Michigan)
2022-23 Stats: N/A
Carson played her final season of high school last year for Buchanan High School, in the southwest corner of Michigan 25 minutes north of South Bend, Indiana. With the Bucks (ironically), Carson averaged 20.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.8 blocks per game, Unfortunately for Buchanan High School, it didn’t end in a state title like Collins’ final game in Georgia.
The Bucks fell in the quarterfinals in a shock upset to Unheralded Hart. It wasn’t a poor game by Carson that did Buchanan in either. The center had an outstanding night, scoring 22 points and pulling in 15 rebounds, both above her season averages. Of those 22 points, 10 came in the fourth quarter, including hitting a shot with less than a minute remaining to tie the game.
An illustrious basketball career put Carson as the No. 1 ranked prospect in the state for the past four years. A four-star recruit, Carson didn’t only excel on the basketball court, as she was a two-sport athlete, leading Buchanan on the volleyball court too and lettering after a four-year career.
What to Expect
Put Carson in the paint and she’ll work like a center. The new Buckeye scores points in the paint, grabs a lot of rebounds and makes things difficult for opponents hoping to make their presence known underneath the basket. She can hit midrange shots too. Carson draws attention in the paint but doesn’t need to post up and force her will. Instead, the center can draw that attention away.
The center isn’t a top-100 prospect in the country, likely in part due to playing at a Division III school. However, the skills are there. Look at forward Taylor Thierry, another name from the Division III level of high school basketball. With that though, there’s going to be a time of adjustment for Carson, and the minutes might not come this year.
Ohio State is top heavy in upperclassmen at the No. 5 role, with four leaving NCAA basketball following this season. That means the position Carson plays has steep competition. In front of the freshman are three graduate seniors who are likeliest to receive all the minutes in Rebeka Mikulášiková, Eboni Walker and Taiyier Parks.
So, Carson has a year to learn the system and watch three different power forwards play what might be her eventual starting spot. That doesn’t mean Carson won’t make it onto the court this year. Like fellow freshman Collins needing some time this year to fill in once multiple starters leave the backcourt, the more time Carson has to adjust to NCAA play the better.
Those minutes are likely to come in non-conference home games against non-power five schools, which the Buckeyes have a few. Will Carson’s outstanding high school form transition quickly to the college game?
Here’s a compilation put together by Carson herself. It shows not only the range of shooting but the defensive work near the basket and mobility to go on fast breaks. Also, some impressive transition passing that goes with outstanding rebounding ability.
Miss a player preview? Here’s who you can read about so far: