Ohio State has been picked as the Big Ten women’s basketball preseason favorite and the Buckeyes’ senior guard Kelsey Mitchell was chosen preseason Player of the Year in voting by the conference head coaches and a media panel, the conference announced Monday.
The Buckeyes were voted to end Maryland’s three-year reign as conference champion, with the Terrapins picked to finish second in each poll. The coaches picked Michigan to finish third while the Wolverines tied Maryland for second in the media voting.
Mitchell, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, was picked to win that honor for the third consecutive season. She already holds the conference record for 3-pointers (368) and ranks fifth in career scoring with 2,553 points.
Mitchell is one of four players to be unanimous selections by the coaches for the All-Big Ten team, joining Indiana senior guard Tyra Buss and senior guard Katelynn Flaherty and junior center Hallie Thome of Michigan. Others selected were Indiana senior forward Amanda Cahill, Iowa junior forward Megan Gustafson, Maryland sophomore guard Kaila Charles, Michigan State senior guard Branndais Agee, Minnesota senior guard Carlie Wagner, Ohio State senior forward Stephanie Mavunga and Penn State junior guard Teniya Page. The coaches’ team had 11 players because of a tie in the voting.
The 10-player media team included the same players as the coaches’ except for Agee. Mitchell and Flaherty were unanimous selections by the media.