Did Ohio State Women’s Basketball Improve In 2020-21?

By March 12, 2021 (10:00 am)Basketball
image_pdfClick for PDFimage_printClick to Print

Ohio State women’s basketball ended its 2020-21 season with a 13-7 record and 9-7 record in the Big Ten, which is a pretty comparable record to the season prior, where the Buckeyes finished 21-12 and 11-7 in the conference.

In that 2019-20 campaign, Ohio State impressed late in the season, making a run to the Big Ten tournament final, but struggled with consistency to finish with double-digit losses.

This year, the Buckeyes came out the gates hot before dropping five of their last six games, including their last four contests. One of those losses was to Wisconsin, who finished dead last in the Big Ten.

Still, there were major high notes for Ohio State in 2020-21, including a three-game stretch with ranked wins over Indiana, Maryland and Michigan, which led to the Buckeyes being ranked as high as No. 11 in the AP poll.

But, despite no postseason to play for, were they better than they were a season ago? According to the numbers, the answer is mostly yes.

The most glaring improvement from last year to this year is in offensive production. Ohio State scored 8.7 more points per game in 2020-21, ranking third in the Big Ten and 11th in the country with 80.2 points per contest.

The Buckeyes also shot marginally better, hitting on 0.3 percent more of their looks, both overall and from three.

Where the scoring really took a jump is most likely because of Ohio State’s ability to take care of the ball much more with a more experienced group. The Buckeyes were No. 22 nationally in turnovers committed, and had a positive assist-to-turnover margin after having a completely even one a year ago.

There were also some areas that Ohio State did not improve in, the main one being defense. The Buckeyes allowed 4.2 more points per game, and teams shot 1.2 percent better in 2020-21.

The entirety of the defense did not falter, though, with Ohio State allowing a ridiculous 24.9 percent of threes to be made by opponents this season, a rate that is tops in the Big Ten and sixth-best in the country.

Still, even with the defense being on a slight decline, Ohio State’s margin of victory improved to plus-10.1, showing sizable growth in this team after a promising year one that featured mostly freshmen in the rotation.

The Buckeyes have a chance to be on the rise once again, especially with the return of senior guard Braxtin Miller, who became a more efficient scorer in 2020-21, while also consistently being a leader for a team that still had a handful of underclassmen.

With no postseason ban in play for the upcoming season, there’s a chance Ohio State can hit new heights in 2021-22, and this past season was, mostly, a step in the right direction.

For four free issues of the print edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, no card required, sign up at the link here: http://www.buckeyesports.com/subscribe-4issue-trial/