Monday night, eight days after the NCAA women’s basketball season ended, the excitement for the Ohio State women’s basketball team didn’t end. On a night where 36 college players are hearing their names called to various WNBA teams, former Scarlet & Gray guard Taylor Mikesell heard her name called. With the first pick in the second round, the sharpshooter landed with the Indiana Fever.
Mikesell becomes a professional following an impressive five years in the NCAA. However, in the last two specifically, donning the scarlet and gray of Ohio State, pushed the Buckeyes to accomplishments it hasn’t seen in 30 years.
Starting all 68 games on the Scarlet & Gray’s over the past two seasons, Mikesell transferred to Ohio State at a time of flux for the program. With two starters transferring before the 21-22 season, the Massillon, Ohio guard transferred back to her home state following a tough season off the court in the Oregon Ducks program.
In Mikesell’s two seasons in Columbus, Ohio, the guard led all Buckeyes in scoring, averaging 17.9 points per game and shot 44.2% from beyond the arc. The 22-23 season especially showed the force of Mikesell.
After the first seven games of the season, including wins against ranked Tennessee Volunteer and Louisville Cardinal sides, fellow guard Jacy Sheldon went down with a lower leg injury that made Mikesell the lone consistent target from deep for Ohio State. That led Mikesell to receive more attention on defense; even more than normal.
Even so, Mikesell led Power Five conference players in three-point shooting for players taking at least 250 attempts. Mikesell sent up 280, going 41.4% from beyond the arc. Mikesell capped her career off in the Elite Eight, going 7-for-11 from three-point range, tying a program record for most in an NCAA Tournament game.
The Fever added Mikesell along with the No. 1 overall pick in South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston and the No. 7 pick with Grace Berger from the Indiana Hoosiers. That also puts Mikesell alongside fellow Buckeye Kelsey Mitchell, on a team full of young talent and a side that gives her a stronger chance of making it to the final roster.
Mikesell is the 16th player from Ohio State to hear their name called in the WNBA Draft since 2001, and the first since 2018. Although, the former Buckeye who transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University, guard Kierstan Bell, went to the Las Vegas Aces in the 2022 WNBA Draft.
In that 2018 draft, Buckeye legends Mitchell and Stephanie Mavunga each went to the Indiana Fever, with Mitchell still playing for the Indianapolis-based side.
Joining Mikesell at the draft were 14 other draftees. Included in that group were two Big Ten guards. The first, Maryland Terrapins’ Diamond Miller, went to the Minnesota Lynx with the second overall pick.