Freshman Marscilla Packer joins the Ohio State women's basketball team with strong accolades.
She was a McDonald's All-American and the AP Division I Tri-Player of the Year as a senior at Pickerington High School. The 5-foot-10 guard averaged 22.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.3 steals as a senior with a 49 percent average from the field, a 46 percent mark from 3-point land and a 79 percent average from the free-throw line.
But Packer has the luxury of joining a very talented Buckeye squad. As talented as she is, she won't be asked to come in and do too much.
"Everyone on this level was good in high school," Packer said. "I just want to come in here and help this team win in any fashion I can. We have so much talent on this team."
"Oh, it's so much fun playing with them," Packer said. "They're so veteran. I mean, Jess is just a sophomore, but she played so much last year and can teach us a lot. Caity Matter? I mean, where do you begin? She's just done everything it seems. I've definitely been hanging around her to see what she does. I can learn a lot from her.
"With all the vets on this team, if you need help with anything, they're always here for you. So, having them by my side, I know I'll do well here."
Packer is all about the team doing well. She appears to have no ego. Ask her for her personal goals and how much playing time she wants to receive and she gives a mature response.
"We're going to work hard in practice, that's the first goal," she said. "We're going to have a great team this year, so we can go to anyone on the bench and they will give us something that will help on the floor. So, we're all going to work hard and we're all going to give something to the team and we'll all be successful.
"We all want to win. That's the goal. However we get there, we'll definitely be satisfied with that. Everyone works hard, so it's going to be very competitive in terms of playing time, but we just want to win games. I really haven't set any personal goals other than helping the team win. We want to go to the NCAA Tournament and go further than we did last year."
Third-year head coach Jim Foster is quickly making a name for himself as one of the top coaches in the Big Ten. Packer was asked to give the main reason she decided she wanted to play for Foster at OSU.
"There's too many to just name one," she said. "He's such a smart man. There are so many things that he's taught me already and we haven't even started practicing. That's how I know we are going to be such a great team this year. It will only get better when we start getting into the full swing."
Packer said the summer was a very competitive time for the Lady Buckeyes. Matter, Davenport and the rest of the returning lettermen led some very heated open gym sessions.
"We all need to get better, so therefore, if you're slacking off in open gym you know you're not going to get that way," Packer said. "So, we're all very competitive in open gym and that's how we're going to get better this season and how practices are going to be better because we've already been practicing real hard and making ourselves better."
Packer enjoyed dominating on the high school level, but she always dreamed of being a college player and is glad that day has finally arrived.
"I'm definitely excited," she said. "We're expected to do big things this year as a team. It's been an adjustment, but we're looking forward to it. I've always envisioned playing college basketball and I can't believe it's here."
Ohio State is getting a lot of respect around the Big Ten. It was picked to finish first in the conference by the coaches and second by the media.
"Yeah, it's definitely an honor that we were picked to win the Big Ten, but we have to take it one day at a time," Packer said. "Once we start playing games, hopefully we'll be successful, but right now we're just ready to start practicing and see how it goes from there."
Packer was asked which players from around the league she is looking forward to facing this year.
"Most of them graduated," she said. "But the Big Ten is such a
strong league and you can't take anyone for granted. There will be great players
on the floor every night."