Kelsey Mitchell broadened her basketball horizons over the summer and into the fall, and the hope for Ohio State women’s basketball is Mitchell’s experience will allow the entire Ohio State roster to do the same.

Mitchell, a 5-feet-8 senior guard, spoke at Ohio State women’s basketball media day Tuesday a little more than a week after returning from the USA Women’s National Team training camp in Santa Barbara, California, where she spent three days training with more than two dozen of the WNBA’s best players, not including those who played in the WNBA finals.

The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year was one of five college players invited to participate in the camp, where she felt she grew her defensive game.

“It was a lot of veterans there. Your Sue Birds, your Breanna Stewarts, young vets, that taught you a lot about the game of basketball in general,” Mitchell said. “It’s about defense and when I was at USA, they put a big emphasis on that and how the USA is really big on defense and how everything starts on the D end and I think I brought it back to my team as far as the intensity and everything we need in order to be the best this year. The experience I had to be able to come back here and tell my team and give feedback, best experience yet.”

Mitchell, who led the Buckeyes with 22.6 points per game last season, said she also learned a lot about playing away from the ball, something she also focused on while playing pickup basketball in gyms around Columbus over the summer.

“I learned that a lot in USA, too, being able to play in different positions,” Mitchell said. “So when some of my teammates such as Linnae (Harper) or Sierra (Calhoun) or Asia (Doss) has the ball, I think I’m becoming comfortable with playing in a different position.”

It’s something Ohio State might do more of this season to give defenses a little more to think about and to take some of the burden off Mitchell.

“Asia’s very capable at the point and we want to put Kelsey off the ball and move her around a little bit on the offensive end of the floor,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “I think we need to do that just because people key on her so much when she’s bringing the ball up the floor. If she can give it up and move herself around a little bit, it can be really beneficial.”

Mitchell said she learned some from players at the camp, including veterans like Sue Bird, but spent a good portion of her time learning from national team coach Dawn Staley, the women’s basketball coach at defending national champion South Carolina.

“I really picked Dawn Staley’s brain. She had been through it, she knows what it’s like,” Mitchell said. “Her being around and being our coach throughout the course of the three days, she helped me a lot with regards to what guards need to see and even before it happens, how to play, how to pick things apart and how to be a good teammate.”

The USA national team camp came less than two months after Mitchell and fellow Ohio State senior guard Linnae Harper represented the United States at the U23 level at the Four Nations Tournament in Toyko.

“Just team chemistry and communication and hard work,” Harper said of what she learned from her experience in Tokyo. “Those little things that we need to do to win and that got us the win overseas, so now I’m just trying to do those things here so we can get the wins this season.”

Welcome, walk-ons

They have been with Ohio State women’s basketball for slightly longer, but last Wednesday marked the first official practice for walk-ons Karlie Cronin, a guard who joins the basketball team after brief stints with Ohio State women’s lacrosse and SMU women’s basketball, and Savitha Jayaraman, a forward and Olentangy Liberty graduate.

McGuff said the coaching staff was put in touch with Cronin through her AAU coach with the Fairfax (Va.) Stars and with Jayaraman through Scoonie Penn, director of player development for Ohio State’s men’s basketball team.

“They’ve both done a really good job,” McGuff said. “They’re really good kids and I’m happy that they’re out here helping us.”

Buzzer beaters

Ohio State begins its 2017 season with an Oct. 29 exhibition against Ashland. … McGuff did not have any injuries to report Tuesday. “Knock on wood, we’ve been fine. Soreness and and so forth and kind of normal stuff so far, so hopefully we can keep that there,” McGuff said. … McGuff called his opening night starting five a “work in progress” and something he’ll address at a later date. … A “variety of reasons,” many having to do with TV, led to Ohio State switching opponents for the Nov. 12 Countdown to Columbus showcase at Nationwide Arena. The Buckeyes originally were scheduled to face Connecticut, but instead will face Louisville, with Stanford playing UConn. “It ended up being OK,” McGuff said. “Louisville has a wonderful team and we’ll have our hands full with them, so it’ll be two great games here.”