Ohio State has a special basketball player that many are taking for granted. Sophomore Kelsey Mitchell is rewriting the Buckeye record books and somehow flying a bit under the radar on the greater OSU sports landscape.
It would be a lie to say Mitchell is doing it quietly, as she is quite well known by those who follow women's hoops. But, compared to the big revenue sports, Mitchell's media footprint isn't nearly what her talents merit.
As a freshman a year ago, Mitchell set school season records for points (873, breaking Jantel Lavender’s old school record by 99 points), field goal attempts (680), three-point attempts (336) and three-pointers made (127). She also set or tied four OSU single-game records — three-pointers made (9), three-point attempts (20), 3FG% (1.000, going 5-for-5 at Indiana), and FT% (1.000, going 14-for-14 vs. Clemson).
The 5-foot-8 guard from Cincinnati Princeton has scored another 824 points already this season, giving her 1,697 (and counting) entering today’s NCAA tournament game. Mitchell is on pace to easily eclipse Lavender’s school career record of 2,818 points. After averaging 24.9 points as a freshman and currently averaging 25.8 as a sophomore, she is also well on her way to destroying Katie Smith’s school mark of 20.8 points per game.
Smith and Lavender are considered among the best players ever to take the court for Ohio State. Mitchell is erasing their names all over the school’s media guide. In only two seasons, she’s already knocking on the door of the school’s top 10 all-time scorers. And she’s already second on the school’s all-time list for three-pointers made (246). She could pass Caity Matter’s 270 this year, with a deep tournament run.
Mitchell also has two of the school’s top 10 seasons in FT% in her two seasons at Ohio State. She made 83.5% of her charity stripe attempts as a freshman, and is currently shooting them at an 84.9% clip. Despite taking as many shots as she does, Mitchell has somehow found time to dish out 254 assists over her first two seasons. That puts her on pace to finish her four-year career in the top five for career dimes in school history.
You want defense? Mitchell has 113 steals so far over her first two seasons with the Buckeyes. That pace would drop her into the school’s top 10. She’s also on pace to finish in or near the top 25 for rebounds, despite her lack of height, with 248 in her first two years.
Buckeye fans who were unfamiliar with wrestling have had their eyes opened the last two seasons by grapplers such as Kyle Snyder, Myles Martin, Logan Stieber and Nathan Tomasello. One doesn’t necessarily have to be a fan of a sport to appreciate greatness. So, even if you’re not someone who follows women’s basketball, take the time to watch Mitchell do her thing while she’s at Ohio State. Athletes like her are special, and should be appreciated in the moment.