While experience in Big Ten play might be limited for the Ohio State women’s basketball team this season, a few additions to the roster could use its overseas experience to help push the team further.
Freshman forward Dorka Juhasz, a first-year player from Hungary, and redshirt senior guard Carmen Grande, a graduate transfer from Ball State who is originally from Spain, look to use their international experience as a means to help their new team.
The team is returning only four players from last year — junior guard Jensen Caretti, redshirt senior forward Makayla Waterman, senior guard Karlie Cronin and sophomore forward Savitha Jayaraman.
But Juhasz and Grande look to bring something new to the table.
Juhasz is the No. 12 international player and No. 5 forward in the 2018 recruiting class, according to Prospects Nation. Juhasz also played for the Hungarian national team beginning in 2015 before coming to Ohio State. She averaged 11.7 points and 9.4 rebounds in seven games at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2017.
“I would like to be a leader here,” Juhasz said. “I feel like I got some professional experiences because I played at home [Hungary] in a professional team. I had a chance to play against WNBA players, so I think that can be an advantage.”
Head coach Kevin McGuff and the Ohio State coaching staff could certainly use a player to step up into a leadership role as the season begins. The roster features more questions than answers right now, and with a healthy level of competition for starting spots, someone with professional experience who is willing to take on a leadership role early could bode well for the Buckeyes.
Another player who could be bringing something new to the table is Grande, the graduate transfer point guard by way of Madrid.
Grande had the second-most assists in the country in the past three years with 697. She started in all 96 games in three seasons and was No. 2 in the nation in 2017 with 9.2 assists per game.
Grande was also a member of the U16 Spanish national team and played for two top professional clubs, Estudiantes and Rivas. Having had professional experience at such a young age, Grande is looking to use that experience to her advantage as a Buckeye.
“I was able to train and play with and against professional players, professional point guards,” Grande said. “That just gives you more toughness, more relentlessness. You just gotta keep going and you just have to figure it out regardless of the situation. I think being in those situations has helped me just grow as a player.”
While women’s basketball faces some questions, Duhasz and Grande hope to bring some added experience to this new roster. Bringing in players who pride themselves on leadership, toughness and relentlessness isn’t a bad way to start in Ohio State’s first season without former three-time Big Ten Player of the Year Kelsey Mitchell.