Fresh off the heels of the first Final Four appearance in program history, it's no surprise that women's head basketball coach Scott Rueck is beginning to make some serious strides on the recruiting front. On Friday, the influx of talent to Corvallis continued with the commitment of 2017 Milwaukie, Oregon native, Aleah Goodman.
A top player in the Beaver State, Goodman chose Oregon State over the likes of Arizona, Clemson, Iowa State, Louisville, Nebraska and Washington. Goodman took visits to both Arizona and Washington in addition to Oregon State but eventually, the location and comfortable feel in Corvallis was too much for the rising senior to pass up. In an interview with the Portland Tribune's John Denny, Goodman explained her reasoning behind her decision.
"I just had a great relationship with the coaches and players when I made the visit. It felt like I was already part of the team. It didn't even feel like a visit...The location's great. My friends and family will be able to watch me. I even have a lot of friends who will be going to Oregon State, which will be really cool...And I know [OSU coach] Scott Rueck. He'd coached at George Fox before he came to Oregon State. My parents went to college there. I'd got to watch him coach and gone to his camps, which made it easier."
The reigning two-time Oregon Class 5A Player of the Year, Goodman averaged 15.8 points, 7.2 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game as a junior last season and is on path to turning her LaSalle Prep team into potential state title challengers for her senior campaign. Goodman won a state title to cap off the 2014-2015 season but LaSalle Prep fell short in 2015-2016, finishing 5th in the state. Goodman now headlines a 2017 recruiting group for the Beavers that will hope to live up to the expectations set by Rueck's 2016 class.
The 2016 group is the highest-rated recruiting class in Beavers' history, headlined by 5' 9" guard Mikayla Pivec. Pivec, a five-star recruit and the #24 overall ranked player by ESPN, was recently named the 2015-2016 MaxPreps Female High School Athlete of the Year, after a stellar senior campaign both on the hardwood and on the track as a multi-sport athlete. She is expected to be a major impact freshman this winter, along with fellow guard Kat Tudor (Saint Mary's HS / Stockton, CA), wing Madison Washington (Bishop Gorman HS / Las Vegas, NV) and forward Janessa Thropay (Chino Hills HS / Chino, CA).
Oregon State is coming off the best season in school history that culminated with a 32-5 record and a trip to the Final Four, where the Beavers ultimately fell to eventual champions, UCONN. However, Rueck will have his hands full for the 2016-2017 season, as he must replace five seniors from that team, including Ruth Hamblin and Jamie Weisner, who both are currently under contract in the WNBA.