Pro Prospects Shine In OSU-Notre Dame Matchup

Pro Prospects Shine In OSU-Notre Dame Matchup
Kelsey Mitchell

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The ACC versus Big Ten Challenge has become a must watch slate on the first Wednesday and Thursday of December each year. We took a trip to the Joyce Center on Notre Dame’s campus as the Irish hosted Ohio State. In a contest loaded with potential pro prospects, the game was close even through the final seconds with a final score of 75-72. Here’s a look at our WNBA Draft Board takeaways from the matchup of top ten programs:


Notre Dame

Madison Cable led the home team in both points and rebounds finishing with 25 and 11, respectively. Cable hit 8-of-14 shot attempts from the field including five 3-pointers. The redshirt senior wing might not be a first rounder next spring but inspired play like this will help both her WNBA Draft Board stock and overseas earning potential.

Michaela Mabrey is known for making shots. Though the senior guard isn’t currently on our 2016 WNBA Draft Board, her penchant for taking long range jumpers will keep her on our radar all season long. She struggled on Wednesday going 0-for-4 from the field but we like that she’s accustomed to playing elite competition and winning at a high percentage.

Naismith Trophy Player of the Year candidate Lindsay Allen was big on a crucial night for Muffet McGraw’s team. The junior point guard finished 9-for-16 from the field showing the range on her jump shot to keep opposing defenses honest. She is in great shape, playing 39 of the available 40 minutes. From a ball handling perspective, Allen will have to tighten her assist-to-turnover ratio as she finished with a 5:8 output on Wednesday night. She’s already sitting at No. 9 on our 2017 WNBA Draft Board.

Freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale was not scared of the light the big stage presented, attempting 14 shots on the night. Though she made just two of those, Ogunbowale did go 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the win.

Another freshman, Marina Mabrey, played 21 minutes in this win. Like Ogunbowale, Mabrey struggled from the field going just 2-for-8. In the process, she showed that she has the size and moxie to contribute in big games. Look for her shooting percentage to rebound as she’s shooting 56-percent on the young season.

Sophomore guard Mychal Johnson showcased herself as a lockdown defender and was charged with the task of face guarding Ohio State’s leading scorer in spurts. Johnson will have to assert herself more as a scoring threat going forward, one capable of making the open ball reversal jump shot.


Ohio State

Shayla Cooper’s game has progressed nicely since her time as a freshman at Georgetown in 2013. The junior power forward showcased a much improved touch from the outside facing the basket. Cooper had a double-double before halftime and finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds on the night.

Like Cooper, Ameryst Alston has shown and proved that the skill development in Columbus is worth noting. Alston, a senior guard, is a major contributor for the Buckeyes and finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 38 minutes. She’s currently No. 19 on the 2016 WNBA Draft Board.

A viable candidate for Naismith Player of the Year, sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell is a tough matchup for any team. The Irish used a combination of guards to try and contain her. Mitchell still finished with 27 points on 9-for-19. Mitchell’s success comes on a high volume of shots from the lead guard position but she converts at a quality percentage. Less than a week ago managing editor Chris Hansen was in attendance in Las Vegas to see Mitchell score 42 points on 12 of 20 shooting in OSU’s 95-80 win over No. 10 Texas A&M. The nation’s No. 1 prospect coming out of Princeton High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 2014, we project her to be an early lottery selection in the 2018 WNBA Draft.

Mitchell’s classmate, Alexa Hart, will need to be an impact if the Buckeyes has plans on playing in the 2016 NCAA Final Four. Hart has the length to be a major presence on the interior going 3-for-3 from the field while logging 14 minutes of playing time.



Notre Dame’s Brianna Turner is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. No official word has been issued on whether the power forward will need surgery or how long she’ll be sideline. She’s on our 2018 WNBA Draft Board Watch List.

Taya Reimer, who started in last season’s national championship game, also did not suit up for the Fighting Irish. She is day-to-day and sat out as a precautionary measure after an MRI on her Achilles heel came back negative Tuesday. Keep an eye on the versatile post player as we expand our 2017 WNBA Draft Board.

Ali Patberg was a McDonald’s All-American this past spring as a high school senior. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a year to evaluate her play in a Notre Dame uniform. The freshman tore her ACL in the preseason and will miss the entire 2015-16 season.

Ohio State red shirt freshman guard Kianna Holland was out after suffering a minor knee injury two weeks ago. The Duke transfer has had some knee issues in the past but managed to crack the Buckeyes starting lineup before this setback.

Brandon Clay serves as the WNBA Director of Scouting for and owns The International Report, which is picked up by more than 150 colleges and universities nationwide. He serves as the Executive Camp Director for the Elite Basketball Academy Camps. He serves on the Naismith Trophy Men’s / Women’s College Player of the Year Academy and is chairman of the HS Boys / Girls Board of Selectors.



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