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 guard Madison Greene.
Madison Greene came into her freshman season with Ohio State the last commitment in the group, with the Pickerington (Ohio) Central guard decommitting from Penn State after a head coaching change and ultimately choosing the home-state Buckeyes.
Greene came to Columbus a four-star prospect, but one that was slightly overshadowed by a trio of five-star guards that also committed to Ohio State in the same class in Kierstan Bell, Rikki Harris and Jacy Sheldon.
But Greene didn’t let that stop her, and as the season progressed, her impressive maturity as a first-year player, which came from making consecutive state championship games, including winning one title, in her final two high school seasons, led to an eventual starting role alongside another freshman in Sheldon.
Greene started the final 21 games of the season and played at least 30 minutes in eight of the last 10 games to end the year. She ended the season averaging 7.7 points per game, sixth on the team, which was significantly up from the 5.3 points per game she averaged before Big Ten play began.
As the lone true point guard in the lineup, Greene finished third with 2.5 assists per game, and managed to do it playing rather mistake-free basketball, averaging just 1.5 turnovers per game and finishing her first year with a 1.64 assist-to-turnover ratio, second on the team to junior guard Braxtin Miller.
Along with her playmaking, Greene showed effectiveness from behind the arc, hitting 34.3 percent (24 of 63) of her three-point attempts, fourth-best on the team. On the whole, she shot 41.6 percent (77 of 185) from the field in her freshman campaign.
Where Greene stands out in the Ohio State roster is with her ability to get to the free-throw line, which she did to earn a team-high 96 attempts. She also hit the most free throws on the team with 76, ending the year with an impressive 79.2 percent clip from the charity stripe.
That strong free-throw shooting was the backbone to Greene’s potential to have explosive performances, which showed up in a trio of 20-point performances, the second-most 20-point games on the team to sophomore forward Dorka Juhasz.
The first of those came on Jan. 9 against Michigan, where Greene’s 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting and 5-of-5 shooting from the free-throw line led the charge in a big win over a ranked team.
A month later, Greene scored 20 points in back-to-back games, first scoring 25 points in a blowout win against Minnesota on Feb. 13, then scoring 22 on the road against Indiana, 14 of which came in the fourth quarter in an impressive comeback performance to beat another ranked opponent.
Against the Gophers, Greene shot 8 of 11 from the field, making all eight attempts from inside the arc while hitting 9 of 11 free throw attempts. She also added seven assists with no turnovers. In the battle against the Hoosiers, Greene relied even more on the charity stripe, making 10 of 14 from the free-throw line.
— Ohio State WBB (@OhioStateWBB) April 1, 2020
Even as a freshman, Greene was counted on to make some crucial shots in big moments, and she often delivered, as shown in the last two clips in the highlights above.
When she was on her game, she erupted for three of the most impressive and important performances from any Ohio State player this season, willing the Buckeyes to a pair of wins against ranked teams that would not have existed without Greene’s dominance.
Those were done because Greene, who stands at just 5-8, has a knack for getting to the rim, drawing contact and either making a tough layup or by getting to the foul line. Past that, she also was enough of a threat from deep that teams could not leave her alone on the outside.
Where Greene struggled in her first year was consistency, as she had stretches of games where she had little impact as a scorer on the offensive end. An example was the three-game stretch following her heroics against Indiana, during which Greene shot 0 of 17 from the field and had five total points.
This led to Greene finishing sixth on the team in points despite those three ridiculous showings, but with another year of experience under her belt, I would expect the same potential highs with less extreme lows.
Greene will very likely continue to run the point for the starting five, all of which return for another season. She is a smart passer who doesn’t force the action to get an assist, and always has the potential to make something out of nothing in what would have been a dead possession.
It was not expected that Greene would become a starter in her freshman year, but she certainly proved worthy of the job based on composure well over her freshman status, and for the way she could take over any game at a moment’s notice if the shots were falling. All of that should only get stronger in year two.
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