Ohio State women’s basketball was expected to be a contender for the 2017-18 Big Ten regular season title given its returning talent.
Monday’s release of the Big Ten women’s basketball preseason rankings underscored that expectation.
Ohio State (28-7, 15-1 last season) was selected first in the coaches and media preseason polls. Maryland was No. 2 in the coaches poll, followed by Michigan at No. 3. Maryland and Michigan tied for No. 2 in the media poll.
Kelsey Mitchell, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, was selected by coaches and media members as the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, her third consecutive year earning that honor from both groups. The Ohio State senior guard and redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga both appeared on the media and coaches preseason all-Big Ten teams.
Mitchell averaged 22.6 points last season, is a little more than 500 points shy of the conference’s career scoring record held by Minnesota’s Rachel Banham (3,093) and already has the conference record for career three-pointers with 368.
Mitchell and Mavunga were joined on the coaches preseason all-conference team by Indiana guard Tyra Buss and forward Amanda Cahill, Iowa Forward Megan Gustafson, Maryland guard Kaila Charles, Michigan guard Katelynn Flaherty and center Hallie Thome, Michigan State guard Branndais Agee, Minnesota guard Carlie Wagner, and Penn State guard Teniya Page.
The media preseason all-conference team is a duplicate of the coaches selections with the exception of Agee not making the list.
Ohio State will face Ashland in an exhibition Sunday at 2 p.m.
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