Sports

Star recruit Kelsey Mitchell, top-scorer Ameryst Alston must propel injury-plagued Buckeyes

  • FILE - In this April 2, 2014, file photo, McDonald's East All American Kelsey Mitchell (3) drives the ball during the first half of the McDonald's All-American girls' basketball game in Chicago. Mitchell, the star recruit for Ohio State, must jump in and carry the load after the Buckeyes lost four players to injuries and dismissals before the start to the season. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

    FILE - In this April 2, 2014, file photo, McDonald's East All American Kelsey Mitchell (3) drives the ball during the first half of the McDonald's All-American girls' basketball game in Chicago. Mitchell, the star recruit for Ohio State, must jump in and carry the load after the Buckeyes lost four players to injuries and dismissals before the start to the season. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 7, 2014, file photo, Ohio State guard Ameryst Alston, left, drives on Penn State guard Dara Taylor in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten women's tournament in Indianapolis. Alston and star recruit Kelsey Mitchell must carry the load when Ohio State opens the 2014-15 season after losing four players to injuries and dismissals. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

    FILE - In this March 7, 2014, file photo, Ohio State guard Ameryst Alston, left, drives on Penn State guard Dara Taylor in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten women's tournament in Indianapolis. Alston and star recruit Kelsey Mitchell must carry the load when Ohio State opens the 2014-15 season after losing four players to injuries and dismissals. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 6, 2014, file photo, Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff questions a call in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. McGuff’s second Ohio State team may be thin for most of the season with only seven scholarship players, but will get another acclaimed transfer before the new year comes who should reinforce the roster. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

    FILE - In this March 6, 2014, file photo, Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff questions a call in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. McGuff’s second Ohio State team may be thin for most of the season with only seven scholarship players, but will get another acclaimed transfer before the new year comes who should reinforce the roster. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)  (The Associated Press)

Before the last leaves had fallen this autumn, Ohio State had four players fall by the wayside.

One starter was dismissed for a rules violation and prized freshmen Makayla Waterman, Chelsea Mitchell and Kianna Holland were lost for the year to knee injuries.

Coach Kevin McGuff's second team — which opens at Virginia on Friday night — may be thin with only seven scholarship players but still should be good.

Forward Shayla Cooper, a Georgetown transfer, will bolster the Buckeyes when she is eligible. Still, it'll be leading-scorer Ameryst Alston and Kelsey Mitchell who will carry the load.