Janai Crooms transferring from Ohio State to Michigan State


(Photo: Janai Crooms, @baystatejags3 on Twitter

Charlotte Steinberg, Women's Basketball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING — Another one! Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant just today added her fourth transfer of the offseason in Janai Crooms out of Ohio State University. Crooms now joins former Penn State Nittany Lions Jayla James and Alisia Smith. Not to forget that Merchant has just added the highest-rated women’s basketball player in Rhode Island history.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Janai join the Spartan family,” Merchant said. “She will make an immediate impact with her ability to score the ball, push tempo, and create for others. She is an extremely talented and versatile guard that can take over games with her abilities, competitiveness, and passion. Her size and toughness make her a tremendous defender that can guard multiple positions and skillsets.”

The sophomore guard out of Cranston, Rhode Island played in 32 games with 10 starts throughout the 2019-20 season. Crooms was second on Ohio State with 107 assists. According to Ohio State, in the first two-thirds of the season, she provided a spark due to her high assists to low turnover ratio.  

One of the most highlighted games in her sophomore campaign was against the No. 19 Iowa Hawkeyes. The starter poured in 16 points with zero turnovers on Jan. 23 in the loss. 

The No. 36 recruit in the 2018 class by Prospect Nation was named the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Rhode Island Girls Basketball Team Player of the Year as a senior and a two-time honoree. She also was a four-time New England All-Star. 

The four-star recruit will be a driving force for some production for the Spartans. Next year, Merchant will have six new faces on the team, all contributing to different team needs. Crooms is a 5-foot-10 guard who has the potential to put up triple-doubles. 

When the Buckeyes came to East Lansing in the 2018-19 season, Crooms could not be stopped. On Feb. 21, she shot 7-of-8 while providing 20 points and collecting seven rebounds. This year on Nov. 13 against Cincinnati, she scored 10 points and a career-high 12 assists.   

Overall, Crooms is an incredible addition to Michigan State. She will make an impact as soon as she steps foot on campus due to her athleticism and craftiness on the floor. With the combination of adding both forwards and guards, Michigan State will likely be able to compete with the top talent of the Big Ten.

Charlotte Steinberg is a beat reporter for Impact 89FM WDBM who specializes in women’s basketball. Follow her on Twitter at @sportstalksbycs.