As part of end-of-the-season women’s basketball coverage, Buckeye Sports Bulletin will be looking at the previous year of every returning player for Ohio State heading into the 2020-21 campaign, and their importance to the future of the Buckeyes. Next in the series is forward Aaliyah Patty.
There were three players on Ohio State’s roster who managed to start at least 30 games this past season throughout a lineup that often changed: guard Braxtin Miller, forward Dorka Juhasz and forward Aaliyah Patty.
Patty, who was one of three sophomores on the team, started the final 31 games of the season and became one of the more consistent pieces of the Buckeyes game plan.
She came into the 2019-20 season following a solid freshman campaign where she started nine games and averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field. She was also second on the team with 25 blocks.
Heading into her sophomore season, there was a clear opportunity for Patty to earn a larger role after averaging 19.4 minutes in her first year with the Buckeyes. And, while Patty did find more minutes and significantly more starts, her role increased only slightly.
In the 2019-20 season, Patty averaged 20.8 minutes per game and finished with 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest. She again finished second with 33 blocks, exactly one per game.
But Patty was also more efficient from the field upping her field goal percentage to 48.6 percent (106 of 2018) and bringing her three point percentage up 10 points from 18.8 percent (6 of 32) to 28.8 percent (17 of 59).
Some of Patty’s strongest showings in her sophomore season came during some pivotal games for Ohio State. In a massively important season finale against Purdue, Patty was tied for the team lead with 16 points, hitting 7 of her 10 shots and adding eight rebounds, two steals and three blocks in the 21-point victory.
She carried that momentum into a 15-point, eight-rebound showing against Minnesota to open the Big Ten tournament. On the year, Patty had three double-doubles – Dec. 17 against Sacramento State, Dec. 31 against Minnesota and Feb. 2 against Nebraska – each of which came in victories for the Buckeyes.
In the double-double effort against the Gophers, Patty had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and was a perfect 6 for 6 from the field.
— Ohio State WBB (@OhioStateWBB) March 31, 2020
Patty continued to prove herself as an important member of this Ohio State roster, and is the second-best rebounder and shot blocker on the team to Juhasz. She plays the four better than anyone else on the team, and is the perfect complement to what Juhasz brings.
Even though it was dramatically improved, Patty still has a ways to go with her three-point shooting, some of which could be because of her unorthodox shooting form. Still, getting her rate from deep to nearly 30 percent shows that she has the potential to continue to make strides from behind the arc.
Where Patty most has to improve is in avoiding fouls. Her 93 personal fouls led the team in by nearly 30, and often took her out of games earlier than Kevin McGuff would have liked.
Patty is a strong inside scorer, an important rebounder and is now heading into her junior year with 40 career starts to her name. She will almost certainly add to that number in her final two years with the program, and can continue to help on both sides of the ball.
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