Basketball nerds, rejoice! The long offseason of rumors, transfers, scandals, and exhibition matches against cardboard competition is finally over! The regular season kicks off this Friday, November 13th, and it's going to be a doozy.
With the offseason winding down, it's time for one last round of preseason awards, and Ohio State's own Kelsey Mitchell has been named an Associated Press Preseason All-American.
Mitchell is going to need a bigger mantlepiece as the awards continue to pile up. The Associated Press and ESPNW Freshman of the Year last year was a no brainer after her record-shattering freshman campaign.
- She led all college players, male or female, in scoring last season.
- First freshman woman to lead the country in scoring.
- Set an NCAA record for most made three-pointers in a season.
- Set an NCAA record for a three-point field goal in 35 consecutive games.
And that's all in addition to 26 other Ohio State and NCAA single-game or season records.
Mitchell is probably the best shooter in the country, and she's the main reason Ohio State was ranked #6 in the preseason Associated Press polls.
As a Preseason All-American, Kelsey Mitchell is joined by...
Breanna Stewart, of the Connecticut Huskies, who besides Kelsey Mitchelll is the other no-brainer inclusion on the list. Stewart is the best player on Connecticut, which means she might be the best player in the country. She averaged 17.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.7 blocks per game last year. This year, the 6'4" forward/center will be going for her fourth consecutive national title.
5'9" Guard Tiffany Mitchell of the South Carolina Gamecocks, also entering her senior year. A Wooden Award finalist, Naismith Award finalist, and SEC Player of the Year last year, Tiffany Mitchell has great shooting touch. Coach Dawn Staley aside, she might be the one person most responsible for transforming South Carolina from a doormat to a powerhouse. South Carolina is 2nd in the AP Preseason 25.
Point guard Moriah Jefferson, of Connecticut. Jefferson led the team in assists last season while shooing an absurd 50% from three-point range. She was insanely efficient; Jefferson's True Shooting percentage was third in the nation, behind only Kelsey Harris of UC-Davis and Jefferson's Connecticut teammate, the recently graduated Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. Entering her senior year, she will also be going for her fourth consecutive national title.
Junior Nina Davis of the Baylor Lady Bears. Davis is small for the forward position, at only 5'11", and she has an old-school throwback game (in modern basketball, the words "old-school" and "throwback" are synonyms for "good player who cannot shoot the three.") Having said all that, you can't argue with the results: 21 points and 8 rebounds a game last season. Baylor is 5th in the AP Preseason 25.
As we are used to seeing, Kelsey Mitchell is the youngest player on this list. Ohio State and Kelsey Mitchell open their season this Friday, November 13th, against Tiffany Mitchell and South Carolina. As long as we're giving out preseason awards, I'm naming Mitchell versus Mitchell the Preseason "Regular Season Game of the Year."