Tony Gerdeman - Two-Minute Drill: Notes from OSU Women's Basketball Media Day

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Women's Basketball
Two-Minute Drill: Notes from OSU Women's Basketball Media Day
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Buckeye head coach Jim Foster and assorted players met with the media on Friday to talk about the upcoming season.

Ohio State returns four starters from last season, but the loss of Big Ten Player of the Year Samantha Prahalis will be tough to overcome. Prahalis ended her career with more assists than anybody else in Big Ten women's basketball history.

Replacing Sammy

* Foster doesn't expect one player to replace Prahalis, but rather it will be a team effort. Much like last season when everybody had to do a little more to replace four-time Big Ten Player of the  Year Jantel Lavender, each individual will need to step up her game and produce.

Senior Guard Taylor Hill
Photo by Jim Davidson
Taylor Hill

* The Buckeyes will continue to push the ball on offense with a three-guard offense, which could be a four-guard offense at times. Foster doesn't need one player to dominate the ball like Prahalis did last season, but noted that senior guard Tayler Hill had the ball in her hands quite a bit last year even with Prahalis around.

* Right now, the starting three-guard backcourt looks like it will be Hill and fellow senior Amber Stokes, along with sophomore Raven Ferguson. All three are able to get to the basket, as well as distribute.

* Foster also mentioned the passing ability of center Ashley Adams as another way they will be able to move on from Prahalis' passing game. Foster called Adams one of the best passing centers in college basketball.

Injury Updates

* Power forward Kalpana Beach, who started 30 games as a true freshman last season, is out for the season with a knee injury. She averaged 5.1 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game last season. She was the best athlete in the front court and will be difficult to replace. In her place, expect junior Darryce Moore to see more minutes this season.

* Foster likes his front court depth and feels that they will be able to make do without Beach. He did mention that they may not always have a true power forward in the game and sometimes it will be more of a "finesse forward".

* Adams is still recovering from a quadriceps injury and isn't yet full-go. Foster is looking for a complementary player to play alongside Adams, but can't really find that player until Adams is back healthy.

* Redshirt sophomore forward Amy Scullion has been injured most of her career, but Foster said her confidence is gradually coming back. Once her confidence is back, her game will come with it.

New Faces

* The Buckeyes will have three true freshmen on the roster this season. Guard Ameryst Alston is a two-time AP Ohio Player of the Year. Lisa Blair is a 6'6" center out of Brooklyn, NY. Cait Craft, is a first-team All-State selection from Liberty Benton.

* Foster said Craft, who is the sister of men's point guard Aaron Craft, is a good defender who can also shoot the three. Foster did not want to entertain any comparisons between the two siblings, citing the fact that they player two different games.

* Foster likes Alston's toughness and tenacity, and could certainly see her on the court this season.

* Foster termed Blair a "project", but he has seen enough flashes already to give him an idea of what she can become.

Miscellany

* Foster said that he has talked to Hill about her turnovers, and not necessarily the number of them, but rather when they happen. He said she needs to cut down on the inopportune mistakes.

* Amber Stokes said that without Prahalis this season, she knows that she will need to create for others more than she did last season, and she has been working on that. She has also worked on her jumper, which has been a weakness throughout her career.

* Foster said that he needs Ashley Adams to be more aggressive on offense this season, and she knows it. She's always been a tremendous passer, but this year the Buckeyes need her to increase her scoring from the 7.1 points per game that it was last season.

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