(Former Pinnacle High player Sydney Wiese set a school regular season record for threes this season at Oregon State. Photo courtesy of Oregon State athletics.)
Sydney Wiese connected with what Oregon State offered before committing to the school, but nobody, not even Wiese, envisioned having the season she and her team are having.
In the process of breaking three point records and leading her team in scoring, Weise, a freshman point guard, also helped her team snap its 18-year NCAA Division I tournament drought. It’s not a plausible script, but it happened.
Wiese, the head-band wearing sharpshooter from Pinnacle High, started to detect something special brewing at Oregon State during a recruiting trip.
“We all got along (during my visit),” said Wiese during a phone interview after her team’s Tuesday afternoon practice.
The goals for Oregon State changed this season as the somewhat young team got to know each other, kept working hard and experienced a couple of tough road trips.
Back-to-back losses to Los Angeles schools USC and UCLA and a two-point defeat at Arizona State were the turning point, Wiese said. Oregon State was 12-9 after the road loss to ASU.
“After losing to (ASU), we said, ‘OK. We are done with this losing thing,” Wiese said.
Oregon State then responded with a 11-game win streak, including an appearance in the Pac-12 Conference tournament final.
Oregon State takes on Middle Tennessee on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA women's Division I tournament. Wiese is still maturing as a player and person, but that didn’t keep her from dazzling on the court just as she did at Pinnacle, which Wiese led to three state finals.
In her first Civil War, the annual battles between Oregon State and Oregon, Wiese nailed seven 3s. The point guard didn’t stop there, converting a Pac-12 Conference freshman and Oregon State regular season record 104 threes while shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc.
Wiese is really close to her family and faith and said one of her highlights this season was when her parents, Troy and Patti, visited her at school. Troy coached Wiese during her senior high school season and every once in a while will call with more tips.
One of those calls came at an unexpected time — during halftime of a game. Wiese didn’t know that her dad called her until after that game. The call was more of a sign of how close the Wieses are than a parent hovering over a child.
“I struggled (emotionally) after they left,” Wiese.
But she is rapidly finding her way, leading her team in scoring (14.1 per game).
“I miss them (parents), but I’m beginning to realize that I’m here (Oregon State) for a purpose,” Wiese said.
(Sydney Wiese (right) is Oregon State's leading scorer, and she's only a freshman. Photo courtesy of Oregon State athletics.)