Oct. 13, 2011

Photo Gallery | VIDEO: Go Behind the Scenes

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State women’s basketball team held its annual photo and media day Thursday in the practice gym of Value City Arena, meaning hoops season is just around the corner!

The Buckeyes will feature a new look this season with a more guard-oriented team after losing three-time All-American Jantel Lavender to graduation and the WNBA along with Brittany Johnson, Sarah Schulze and Alison Jackson.

Back are three starters from last year’s team that went 24-10 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second time in three years. Starters back include all-Big Ten point guard Samantha Prahalis, Big Ten all-defensive teamer Tayler Hill and Ashley Adams, a member of last year’s Big Ten all-freshman team. Other notables include redshirt junior Amber Stokes, sophomore Martina Ellerbe, junior Emilee Harmon and a talented freshman class, to name a few.

The Buckeyes tip off the season Nov. 13 at home against Tennessee State. Be sure and check back in the coming days for more photos and video highlights.

Media Day Quotes

Jim Foster, Ohio State head coach
On adapting after the loss of Jantel Lavender
“We just play different. Our strength is in our guards, so we will play a lot more through them. That requires good guards and that’s what we have.”

On the growth of Samantha Prahalis
“I think you have already seen (her growth in) her decisions this summer and the latter part of last year. You’ve seen her as a much more mature player and person.”

On replacing players after graduation
“A four-year point guard who has started four years is more of a loss; it’s the year after, replacing that type of player. When the ball has been in someone’s hands for four years there’s a comfort in that.”

Samantha Prahalis, senior guard
On the team’s chemistry
“It’s fun and we get along really, really well. We like each other a lot. I’m really looking forward to this season.”

On changing the style of play
“I think adapting will be more on the post players because we’re not looking for the low block as much as in the past. We just have to keep reminding them to stay a little up in the elbow area so they can get the jump shot. It’s more of an adjustment for them, but for guards it won’t be much different. For guards it’s what we’re looking for to create.”

On guard play this season
“It will be easier with more of a flow. We’re going to be open and the post will be higher. I think it will be great and I’ll fit right into the system.”

Amber Stokes, redshirt junior guard
On if the team will be more guard oriented this season
“I really don’t think it’s going to be different. It will be guard and post oriented. I think there’s a lot we can bring to the table this year.”

On what she is looking forward to on the team this season
“The main thing is starting off together. Last year we had a little slump where it was just like things weren’t coming around, but I feel like this year everybody is really close and has been working hard. We’re just really looking forward to this season.”

On the slump last season
“I think it hit us pretty hard. I guess we didn’t have the right things going on. We weren’t focused like we should have been. For us to come back and figure out things, then have the 11-0 run that is saying something. As long as we keep that chemistry and have each other’s back, we should be fine.”

Tayler Hill, junior guard
On what she sees her role being this year
“I feel like it will be an expansion off of last season. I will do a lot of different things but I see myself as a combo guard. I’ve been working on my pull-up jumpers and three-point percentage over the summer to better myself. My shot feels more natural and well-developed now.”

On if she thinks moving the three-point line back will affect her
“I think it will have an effect on some three-point shooters, more so the average shooters. Because now people are taking two steps back so they aren’t jumping over the line, but I think we will be ok as a team.”