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Women’s basketball: Kelsey Mitchell named Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year

Ohio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) facilitates the offense against Purdue during the Boilermakers’ 71-60 win against the Buckeyes at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on March 4. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports Director

After being honored as Big Ten Player of the Year in 2015 and 2017, Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell was named the favorite to win the award Monday afternoon as she was selected as 2018 Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year by coaches and media.

If Mitchell was named unanimous 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year, she would join former Ohio State forward Jessica Davenport as the second Big Ten player to unanimously win the award three times.

The 5-foot-8 guard averaged 22.6 points per game in 2016-17 and led the Buckeyes with 137 assists. Mitchell also hit 115 3-pointers, the second-most in the Big Ten. She was named an Associated Press first-team All-American in 2016 and second-team All-American in 2015 and 2017.

Mitchell was also honored on the preseason All-Big Ten team. She was joined by redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga, who earned a spot on the second-team All-Big Ten last season. The 6-foot-3 Mavunga averaged 11.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game last year, becoming the third Ohio State player to ever average a double-double.

Mitchell and Mavunga’s season will begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 when the Buckeyes play host to Stanford at St. John Arena.

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