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Big Day for Oregon St. Women's Basketball

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5-star guard Katie McWilliams, from near by South Salem, has committed to Oregon St.
5-star guard Katie McWilliams, from near by South Salem, has committed to Oregon St.

Monday was a big day, and a great one, for Oregon St. women's basketball head coach Scott Rueck, who got a piece of great news, and another than may help validate the first one.

Athletic Director Bob DeCarolis announced a 2 year contract extension for Rueck, who will make just shy of $300,000 this year, and will keep him on his alma mater's payroll through the 2020 season.

It was in recognition of the nearly total rebuild of a program in his 4 years that had had a mutiny, and returned only 1 regular from the LaVonda Wagner years. Rueck had to have on-campus tryouts to fill out a roster, and proceeded to exceed expectations and pre-season predictions each season, and despite some mis-steps, still steered a team not expected to win a single game when he took over to 3rd place in the Pac-12, the Conference Championship game, and to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, in his 4th campaign last season.

It does create the scenario of a coach with a long term contract, which is becoming a concern for some with football coach Mike Riley, and was an issue with former men's basketball coach Craig Robinson.

And while what Rueck has accomplished was probably all that anyone Oregon St. could have gotten could have done, that was the case with Riley, and to a substantial degree with Robinson, at least early on, as well. A lot can happen in 6 years.

But the other thing that happened yesterday has the potential to cause a lot of good things to happen in years 2-5 of those 6 years.

South Salem guard Katie McWilliams announced her commitment to Oregon St. yesterday, for the 2015 recruiting class.

The 6'1" guard is a 5-star recruit according to ESPN Women's hoops, and is the #40 player in the country according to HoopGurlz.

McWilliams led the Saxons to 4th place in the Oregon 6A state tournament last spring as a junior, and is the first known 5-star recruit in the history of the program.

McWilliams picked Oregon St. over offers from UCLA, Washington, and Oregon.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com