Notre Dame No. 1, Ohio State ranked 7th in AP women’s basketball poll

CHARLESTON, SC - NOVEMBER 09: Head coach Muffet McGraw of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish coaches against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Walmart Carrier Classic on the deck of the USS Yorktown on November 9, 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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CHARLESTON, SC - NOVEMBER 09: Head coach Muffet McGraw of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish coaches against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Walmart Carrier Classic on the deck of the USS Yorktown on November 9, 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Ohio State is No. 7 in the preseason Associated Press women’s basketball poll.

Fairmont grad Makayla Waterman is among the seven returning letterwinners for the Buckeyes, who went 26-8 last season, finished second in the Big Ten and made the Sweet 16.

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Ohio State’s headliner is junior point guard Kelsey Mitchell, a Princeton High School product who has already scored 1,762 points in two seasons for the Scarlet and Gray.

The nation’s leading scorer as a freshman and an All-American last season, she is among the candidates for national player of the year this season.

Coach Kevin McGuff returns three starters, adds a highly rated recruiting class and potential impact transfers in former North Carolina forward Stephanie Mavunga and guards Sierra Calhoun (Duke) and Linnae Harper (Kentucky).

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Notre Dame is No. 1 in the AP poll. The Fighting Irish return three starters, including forward Kathryn Westbeld of Fairmont, from a team that went 33-2 last season.

Westbeld and Waterman combined to lead the Firebirds to three OHSAA Final Fours and one state championship.

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