An Ohio State women’s basketball team that lost six rotation players and more than 93 percent of its scoring from last season won’t have much time to break in a new squad.

A little more than a month after the start of full practices this week, Ohio State’s new-look team, which features five graduate transfers and freshmen Janai Crooms, Dorka Juhasz and Aaliyah Patty, opens the season with a Nov. 6 home game against South Florida, which finished last season ranked No. 24. Perennial national championship contender Connecticut hosts the Buckeyes six days later, top 25 mainstay Stanford a week after that.

Before he can game plan for women’s college basketball’s giants, Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff will first have to learn the strengths and weaknesses of his new players. With that comes a need for patience, something the coaching staff didn’t necessarily have to have with three future WNBA players in Kelsey Mitchell, Stephanie Mavunga and Linnae Harper on its roster.

“We have to really commit to the process and I think it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that we probably have a chance to be better late than early,” McGuff said. “(Our schedule is) gonna test us early, but we can come out of that in a better place because of those early challenges.”

Ohio State under McGuff has been synonymous with fast-paced offense, a style that fit Mitchell’s skill set as a scorer. While the team’s personnel has changed dramatically, McGuff said the framework of that style will remain in place.

“It’s a fine line," McGuff said. I don’t want to get away from who we’ve been, but at the same time our team is different, so we will have to make some adjustments.”

It’s too early to project a starting five, McGuff said, but it’s fair to assume the Buckeyes’ rotation will grow from a group that was often as small as seven last season.

The stage will be new for the team’s three freshmen as well as graduate transfers Ashanti Abshaw, Carmen Grande, Carly Santoro, Adreana Miller and Najah Queenland, all of whom come to Ohio State from non-Power Five schools.

Jensen Caretti, now a junior, enters the season with more confidence and a chance to earn more minutes.

“The main thing is my confidence,” Caretti said. “Freshman and sophomore years were hard for me. I didn’t get a lot of playing time so I lost a lot of confidence. … It’s not all the way there but it’s definitely higher than what it was.”

McGuff will lean heavily on Makayla Waterman, who averaged 18.2 minutes and 3.5 points last season as a redshirt junior, to help lead a group McGuff knows will work hard but will likely face adversity, especially in the season’s opening months.

“I’m pretty vocal and naturally I talk a lot and I’ll say what’s on my mind, so it comes to me,” Waterman said. “I just think that this year I’ll start leading more on the court as well as off the court.”