Taylor Agler, a transfer student from Indiana University, is a redshirt junior on the women’s basketball team. (Provided via Ohio Athletics)
Last season, Taylor Agler wanted to be the best Mid-American Conference practice player she could be.
Agler, a redshirt junior transfer student from Indiana University, wasn’t able to play in games for Ohio because of NCAA rules. But as Ohio prepares for its upcoming season, Agler is looking forward to being more than a practice player for Ohio.
She hasn’t played in a Division I college basketball game since the 2014-15 regular season, and with that, she expects an adjustment period in her first few games for Ohio.
“Games are always a lot faster no matter how hard you practice,” Agler said. “I’m going to have to just calm myself down a little bit.”
Though Agler is eager to finally play for Ohio, she isn’t sure what her role with the team will be. Agler’s primary position is point guard, but she is capable of playing the shooting guard as well.
Agler’s flexibility should benefit Ohio, especially with Kiyanna Black graduating last season. Black is the second-highest scorer in program history.
“Her ability to be multi-dimensional, and not just be a shooter (or) just be a driver, will be very, very valuable,” coach Bob Boldon said.
Ohio is built on versatility, as its players flow between positions throughout a game. Take senior Quiera Lampkins for example, who is capable of playing the shooting guard and the small forward.
Agler played with Lampkins as well as Yamonie Jenkins, a point guard, on AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) teams, and the chemistry Agler developed with the two will be beneficial.
“It was just easier to play with them just right off the bat when I first got here, just because I’ve been on the floor with them,” Agler said.
Agler is versatile, but a part of her game that will mold well with the team is shooting. Agler shot 36.6 percent on three-point attempts during her freshman year at Indiana, and she made 49 three-pointers during her first season — the most for a freshman in school history.
The Bobcats like to shoot from the outside, attempting a conference-leading 1,016 three-pointers last season. Ohio made 312 of those attempts, shooting 30.7 percent from beyond the arc.
“(Agler) shoots the ball well, which is a kind of staple of what we do,” Boldon said.
The team lost its best shooter in Black this season to graduation. Black shot 36.3 percent from three, leading the MAC in three-point attempts and ranking No. 9 in the conference for three-point field goal percentage.
Black’s talent will be hard to replace — even Agler acknowledges this. Black provided elite shooting, but she gave the team a competitive edge, too.
“I don’t think anyone is going to take the role of (Kiyanna Black),” Agler said. “I think all of us are just going to have to play our own type of basketball.”
Though Black’s unique role will be tough to fill, Agler is ready to step into any role the team asks of her.
“I see myself just trying to play whatever position they need me to play,” Agler said. “Just go to whatever position, whether that’s point guard if Monie (Yamonie) is out or be the two guard, and if we get hurt just step up and play whatever role I need to.”