Found November 08, 2012 on Fox Sports:
For each of the last eight years, Ohio State has had the Big Ten's best player. Now, it's up to Tayler Hill to extend the streak. Samantha Prahalis won the conference player of the year award a year ago, following a tradition starting with Jessica Davenport (2005-2007) and Jantel Lavender (2008-11). Hill, who led the Big Ten in scoring last year at 20.7 points a game, says she's never been on an Ohio State team that was closer heading into a season. ''It's not a fake thing,'' she said. ''We really get along, we really care about each other, on and off the floor. It's probably my first year I can say that about everybody on the team.'' Hill, defensive whiz Amber Stokes and post Ashley Adams provide a solid core for coach Jim Foster's Buckeyes, who open the season on Friday night on the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Charleston, S.C., against Notre Dame. Stokes, the conference's defensive player of the year, also has marveled at how the Buckeyes have come together. ''The ball's moving, people are getting a lot of good looks, their shots are looking good,'' she said. ''It's there. We've got it.'' Prahalis graduated to the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, taking with her a flamboyant but often erratic game. She could inspire the team with a sensational behind-the-back pass for a bucket in transition, then hurt the Buckeyes by getting into a funk after an early foul and squabbling with the officials. The Buckeyes also must do without forward Kalpana Beach, who started 30 times last year. She tore the ACL in her right knee in October and will miss the season. ''It'll be a little bit different team,'' said Foster, who has won at least 20 games in each of the last 10 seasons at Ohio State while lifting his career record to 765-294 (.722) heading into his 35th season as a college head coach. ''Defensively I think we're going to be much improved. I just think we got a got great foundation. Collectively, we're better defensively.'' It all starts with Hill, an athletic guard who can bring the ball up, lead the fast break, rebound, post low, shoot the 3 or force a turnover. ''I think Tayler's going to be a first-round (WNBA) pick,'' Foster said. She averaged 20.4 points a game last season - a remarkable 10-points a game improvement over her sophomore season. Hill is humbled to be a part of the opener. Her mother served in the Navy in the Philippines, but Hill has never seen a warship. ''It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a privilege,'' she said. ''Out of all the Division I schools, it's the first year for women's basketball to be a part of this, and they picked us to play.'' Foster, a Vietnam veteran, and his club will face an elite team in Notre Dame at the Carrier Classic. The Irish have lost in the national championship game each of the past two seasons. Irish coach Muffet McGraw is a former assistant under Foster at her alma mater, Saint Joseph's. Foster's team offers him a lot of options at nearly every position. Stokes and Hill might be the best defensive combination in the country, Adams blocked 96 shots - three per game - a year ago, and almost everybody else likes to run and play sticky defense. Darryce Moore, Raven Ferguson, Martina Ellerbe, Emilee Harmon and Maleeka Kynard were the top subs a year ago and likely to see substantial playing time. In addition, Foster brought in two-time Ohio Ms. Basketball Ameryst Alston, 6-foot-6 center Lisa Blair and Caite Craft in a glittering recruiting class. Craft is the younger sister of Buckeyes men's basketball standout Aaron Craft. The men are also playing in the Carrier Classic, taking on Marquette in the nightcap on the windy deck of the Yorktown. Expectations are high. ''It started with the coaches. They came in with a different mindset. If you weren't ready to play, they were kicking us out (of practice),'' Hill said. ''There was no leeway. And that set the table for us.'' Foster has been around a lot of promising teams, also at Vanderbilt, and now for 11 seasons with the Buckeyes. With one offensive star, several defensive standouts and a roster full of willing participants, he's happy with the hand he's been dealt. ''I always say, `Give me two weeks and I'll have a feel for where we are,''' he said. Then, after hesitating and carefully parsing his words, he added, ''I like this group.'' --- Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter:

Big Ten Basketball: Biggest games of the opening week

Image take by Sports Illustrated 1) Michigan State vs. Connecticut This Friday, Nov. 9, the college basketball season starts in a big way as the Michigan State Spartans travel across the Atlantic to take on the Connecticut Huskies at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.  This is the second year the Spartans are playing in the Armed Forces Classic.  The Spartans fell to the higher...

Big Ten Basketball: Ranking the non-conference schedules

Photo taken from 12) Iowa Hawkeyes The Iowa Hawkeyes have the easiest non-conference schedule in the Big Ten, as they do not play one team in the top 25.  The hardest games the Hawkeyes play in the off-season are Virginia Tech, Iowa State, and Northern Iowa.  The rest of their non-conferences schedule includes easy games such as South Dakota and Coppin State. ...

Condensation cancels Ohio State-Marquette game

The game between No. 4 Ohio State and Marquette aboard the USS Yorktown at the Carrier Classic on Friday night has been canceled because of unsafe conditions on the court. Referee John Cahill said they waited about an hour, but the moisture on the court could not be dried. Cahill said it was in the best interest of the teams to cancel the game. The contest was part of the second...

Ohio State-Marquette Carrier Classic game cancelled

Ohio State and Marquette were set to tip off for the 2012 Carrier Classic game in Charleston, SC on the USS Yorktown, but the climate wasn’t up to par for the two teams to compete.Temperatures dropped and condensation formed on the court right before tip off. OSU and Marquette players, as well as Marquette’s head coach Buzz Williams, tried wiping off the court. After Williams...

Ohio State vs. Marquette Canceled

The 2012 Carrier Classic between Ohio State and Marquette has been cancled due to condensation on the court. The game was the headlining event of the 2012 Carrier Classic, being played on the U.S.S. Yorktown in Charleston, SC.  After the game, neither coach seemed optimistic on the idea of rescheduling, for now the game will be ruled a no contest. The Buckeyes will officially...

Hockey Buckeyes Finally Ready For Home Opener

The Ohio State men's hockey team plays its first home series of the year this weekend when it hosts Alaska on Friday and Saturday night in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes are off to a 2-2-2 start that includes some promising signs, but the young squad is looking for consistency as it makes its home debut.

Up-And-Down Buckeyes Still Want To Be No. 1

With two games left in the regular season but seemingly entrenched in fifth place in the AP poll behind four fellow unbeatens, Ohio State doesn't have an easy path to get to the top spot by season's end. But the Buckeyes still think it's possible. tries to make sense of OSU's ranking in this piece.

Manti Te’o or Ryan Shazier?

Approximately 2.5 years ago, an undersized linebacker from Plantation, Florida decided to make a commitment to stay in his hometown to play football for the University of Florida. In spite of being somewhat undersized at 205-pounds, he was still a 4-star recruit with an enormous upside because of the intangibles he possessed. Unquestionably, Ohio State was on the short list of possible...

My Day as an Ohio State Student

On a trip to Ohio State, Tom Schreier was reminded of the unifying power of sports.

Ohio State and Marquette Carrier Classic Uniforms

                      The Ohio State Buckeyes and Marquette Golden Eagles will be this year’s participants in the Carrier Classic game that will be played on the USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina. The Carrier Classic started last season with Michigan State and North Carolina, who played on the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego California.

Irish Outlast Buckeyes In Opener

Tayler Hill's 20-point performance was not enough for Ohio State to knock off defending national runnerup Notre Dame in the season opener for both teams on Friday night. The Fighting Irish prevailed 58-51 as three players scored in double figures.

Meyer Pleased With Open Week Work

Ohio State's coaching staff has no game planning to do, but it is busy balancing practice and recruiting this week. Urban Meyer updated reporters on the status of his team after a couple of days of practice in Columbus.

Snodgrass Enjoys Buckeye Visit

Wednesday found 2014 wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass visiting Ohio State and taking in practice. Snodgrass talked with following his visit with all the details and what Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer told him.
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