How Ohio State women's basketball will try to replace Madison Greene this season

Jacob Myers
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State guard Madison Greene watches from the bench during the Buckeyes' season-opening win against Bucknell. Greene will miss the entire season due to a knee injury.

The No. 17 Ohio State women’s basketball team began the 2021-22 season knowing it could never be at full strength. 

The Buckeyes lost junior point guard Madison Greene for the season earlier this week due to a knee injury that will require surgery. 

The Buckeyes know they can’t immediately replace Greene, and it will take a by-committee approach from just about everyone on the floor for Ohio State to realize its potential. 

"I think it puts a little bit on everybody,” said senior guard Taylor Mikesell. “You can't fill Madison's role. She's awesome on the court. You need that leadership.” 

Adjusting to Greene's absence took some time for the Buckeyes in their 71-48 win against Bucknell Wednesday at Value City Arena. A stagnant second-quarter offense and Bucknell's ability to drive to the basket against the Buckeyes' defense were obvious areas where Ohio State missed the presence of the Pickerington Central graduate. 

Last season for Ohio State, point guard Madison Greene averaged 13.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. She had 65 assists to 28 turnovers and averaged 1.7 steals per game.

After a solid freshman year in 2019-20, Greene took off last season, before missing the final five games due to COVID-19. She jumped from 7.7 to 13.4 points per game and from 2.1 to 3.5 rebounds per game. Greene had 65 assists to 28 turnovers, and averaged 1.7 steals per game. 

Her ability to do a little bit of everything at an above-average level, plus her command of the pace of play have made her one of the best point guards in the Big Ten. 

"She understands the game,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “She's an incredible defender, which we wouldn't have gotten beat off the dribble if she was in the game. She's also just a feisty rebounder as well." 

When Greene went out last season, freshman Kateri Poole took her place. The same was true Wednesday, with Poole getting the majority of the minutes. She was 3-for-7 from the field and scored eight points with four assists and four rebounds. 

McGuff said the area Poole needs to improve most in is being under control and not forcing passes, but added that she has the vision and capability to run the point guard spot like Greene. 

“Definitely Kateri needs to step up,” McGuff said. “She's got a lot of talent. One of the things that makes Madison so special is she makes everyone around her better. Kateri has that type of skill as well.” 

Ohio State could also turn to junior Jacy Sheldon or senior Braxtin Miller, but Ohio State relies on those two running up court to speed up the offense. It’ll be a balancing act all season for the Buckeyes, and it won’t be just one player that has to fill the void. 

"We need people to step up there, myself included,” Sheldon said. “The more we get familiar with each other, the more we start playing with each other, the better it'll be.” 

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