New OSU athletic director Scott Barnes better budget for a bigger trophy case, because the women’s basketball team is gonna fill up the old one in short order. Sydney Wiese and crew have had an amazing few days, including a capacity crowd witnessing the Beavs clinch a share of the Pac-12 title in classic top 10 showdown with Stanford, followed by a victory over Cal on Sunday to claim the conference outright, yesterday’s new top 25 poll that featured Oregon State at #6, and today the Pac-12 handed out its awards featuring plenty of orange and black.
Scott Rueck takes home his second Pac-12 coach of the year honor after leading the team to its third straight conference title. Rueck, who graduated from Oregon State, took the helm of the program seven years ago following the Lavonda Wagner era. The Hillsboro native, and fellow Glencoe High School alum (Roll Tide) left a George Fox program that he led for 14 seasons, including a national title in 2009, to rebuild the program in Corvallis. When Rueck arrived in Corvallis the program had been decimated by Wagner, leaving very few scholarship players on the roster and little hope for success. The transformation from league doormat to national power in a few short years has put Rueck in the conversation for national coach of the year honors, finishing second last year to UConn's Geno Auriemma.
Sydney Wiese (also know simply as G.O.A.T) was named to the All Pac-12 first team for the fourth time in her career becoming only the second OSU player to ever accomplish such feat(Tonja Kostic was the first). Wiese became the all time Pac-12 leader in 3 pointers earlier this season and could bring home some more trophies soon as she is on the watch list for several national awards. The senior is joined on the All Pac-12 team by junior Marie Gulich, who receives the honor for the first time in her career after averaging 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds a game for the Beavs.
Gabriella Hanson was selected as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the year. Hanson led a Oregon State defense that was the best in the conference. The senior was often tabbed with shutting down the opposing teams best player, including Washington stud Kelsey Plum, who Hanson was able to slow down during the teams only meeting with the Huskies this year.
Breanna Brown joined Hanson in being recognized for her defense, being named to the Pac-12 all defensive team. The redshirt junior excelled this year in blocking shots and rebounding. The 6’3” Brown will be in the running to be Hanson’s successor as the Pac-12 defensive player of the year as a senior.
Mikalay Pivec was named to the All-Freshman team. Pivec, a 5-star recruit out of Washington, has lived up to the billing in Corvallis. The freshman started 21 games this year, while averaging 6.8 points per game. Pivec will be one to watch next season as Scott Rueck will look to replace the production of three departing seniors in Wiese, Hanson, and Kolbie Orum.
Oregon State will open the Pac-12 tournament on Friday against either USC or Washington.