Oregon State guard Destiny Slocum enters NCAA transfer portal

Oregon State guard Destiny Slocum enters NCAA transfer portal

In somewhat shocking news from Corvallis, Oregon State guard Destiny Slocum has decided to enter her name into the NCAA transfer portal.

The redshirt junior has one year left of eligibility.

In just two seasons in Corvallis, Slocum helped lead the Beavers to a Sweet 16 appearance in 2018-2019 and was shaping up to have another NCAA Tournament run in 2019-2020 before the Coronavirus struck.

Slocum averaged 14.9 points, 4.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game during her senior season. She would finish her two-year career twice earning All-Pac-12 honors.

After spending her freshman year at the University of Maryland, Slocum transferred to Oregon State in 2017. She had to sit out her sophomore season due to NCAA transfer rules. 

Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck thanked his point guard:

I appreciate everything Destiny means to our program and our family. I support her decision to explore her options as she is assessing what is best long-term for her career. — Scott Rueck

Slocum was once a projected first-round draft pick in the upcoming 2020 WNBA Draft. She turns 22 in the 2019 calendar year making her eligible to declare for the WNBA Draft, however, in her statement above, it sounds like she’s looking to play one more season of college ball.

More on Slocum from our Beavers Insider Ron Callan soon.

Sydney Wiese on the mend after testing positive for COVID-19

Sydney Wiese on the mend after testing positive for COVID-19

A few weeks ago I had a chance to talk to Oregon State alum Sydney Wiese for the Talkin’ Beavers podcast. 

At that time she had just returned home from Spain where she had been playing pro basketball. The coronavirus crisis ended her season a little early and she had quite the odyssey getting back to her hometown of Phoenix. The flight home....Barcelona, Mexico City, Los Angeles and then Phoenix. She arrived back home on March 13th and even before she got back during the trip she said she wasn't herself.

Wiese made a return appearance on this week’s Talkin’ Beavers Podcast. 

It all happened really fast. I got home on March 13th, Friday the 13th. Even the night before I lost my sense of smell and taste. It wasn't a symptom of the virus at the time. I knew I was going to be in self-quarantine at home just to be safe and traveling from Europe. — Sydney Wiese

But after getting home to Phoenix she knew something was wrong:

I knew that my body was off, I know my body and it didn't feel right. I wasn’t showing any major symptoms of the virus. Then Ruth (Ruth Hamblin who is also part of the podcast) sent me an article that said loss of smell and taste were symptoms of the virus. — Sydney Wiese

She was tested and it came back positive. She got a ton of national attention because she was the first WNBA player who tested positive. So she remains in quarantine but feels good! 

I don't feel like a million bucks but a thousand bucks. Feeling much better but I will remain in quarantine and keep an eye on my parents (Troy and Patti) to make sure they are okay. — Sydney Wiese

So Syd will remain in her childhood bedroom, in the backyard and their driveway where there is a basket she has been shooting on since she was old enough to play hoops.

Wiese, like all professional athletes, will now wait to see what happens next in their world. She is slated to begin a fourth year in the WNBA but will the season happen? She will be aided by the fact her former Beaver teammate Marie Gulich was traded from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Sydney is thrilled to have an Oregon State reunion in Hollywood!!

Marie told me and to be honest it’s too good to be true and we didn't want to get too excited because it is a business and you never know. Once free-agency passed we were able to celebrate a little bit. — Sydney Wiese

Sydney is the all-time three pointer shooter in Oregon State history, hitting 373 during her four seasons with Oregon State. This game took place during the later stage of her senior season:

  

Sydney's professional career took quite a turn for the better after two years of basically riding the bench in Los Angeles. Derek Fisher took over as the head coach and Sydney had a chance to show her talent. She started sixteen of the teams 32 games and showed leadership on the floor and as usual was a great cheerleader when not on the court. I had a chance to cover the LA Sparks vs. Seattle Storm game last summer in Everett, Washington and Syd (in the purple uniform) knocks down a nice three-ball.

 

One thing that Sydney loves is any connection to Oregon State. Mikayla Pivec's little sister Malia (who runs cross country at Boise State) attended that same game in Everett which is right next to the Pivec's hometown of Lynwood, Washington and after she had time to pose for a few pics!

Sydney will always be a Beav and during the podcast with Ruth Hamblin and Marie Gulich, I asked her how Gill Coliseum rates after playing basketball in arenas all over the planet. Sydney has played pro ball in Australia, Israel and Spain during her off-season away from the WNBA.

Ron, its not even a question. I mean even going back to college there was no arena like our home court at Gill. To be there for the progress throughout the years. I remember the team making a big basket you were heading back on defense and you couldn't ever hear each other. You could really feel the energy out there. In a tight game and you were tired you could feel the crowd and they helped us win many of those games! — Sydney Wiese

Sydney will now wait and continue to work on her health and hoop game shooting in the driveway. Will there be a WNBA season? Like all of us she is waiting and wondering. 

Check out the full podcast with Syd, Ruth and Marie. It was a treat to get to chat with three Beaver legends thanks to NBC Sports Northwest and ZOOM!!

Catch up with Sydney Wiese, Marie Gulich and Ruth Hamblin!

Catch up with Sydney Wiese, Marie Gulich and Ruth Hamblin!

With the COVID-19 Pandemic putting the sports world on hold. What are professional athletes up to nowadays?  Like us, they are held up in their homes, their bedrooms, their workout rooms trying to stay ready and trying like the rest of us to avoid testing positive and getting sick.

I thought, ya know, would they have time to perhaps get on Zoom and chat? Well, as some of you know I have been broadcasting Oregon State Women's basketball for the past 13 seasons. The 2015-16 season will always be a special one because the Beavers made it to the Final Four by upsetting Baylor in Dallas.

Three members of that squad joined me this week on Zoom for a mini-reunion!!

Sydney Wiese was a junior on that team. She graduated the next season and has spent the past three years in the WNBA playing for the Los Angeles Sparks

She joined me on the podcast from her childhood bedroom at her parent's house in Phoenix.

Marie Gulich was a sophomore on that team and has spent the past two years in the WNBA playing for the Phoenix Mercury and the Atlanta Dream. During this past off-season, she was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks!! Reunion time with Syd. For the podcast, she was nine hours ahead of us in Germany and was in a college dorm in Leverkusen.

Ruth Hamblin was a senior on the Final Four team and was drafted by the Dallas Wings. She played a season there but then decided to focus on playing for Team Canada and hopefully being part of the 2020 Olympic team representing her country. I guess we all know how that turned out. Ruth is in self-quarantine in Whistler.B.C. waiting till next week when she can go home to her parents' house in Houston, B.C. after playing pro ball this winter in Russia.

All three joined me on a wide-ranging look at their careers on the Talkin' Beavers podcast. We chatted about the impact of Coronavirus on their lives and how they are coping. And they talked about their greatest Oregon State moments

Sydney Wiese was the first WNBA player to test positive for the virus. She talks openly on the impact of the virus on her body and her well-being. I have to say she sounds great and Sydney is gonna be fine.

Here is the Talkin' Beavers podcast!

Five-star guard Greta Kampschroeder commits to Oregon State women's hoops

Five-star guard Greta Kampschroeder commits to Oregon State women's hoops

Oregon State women’s basketball just got a lot stronger in 2021 with the commitment of five-star guard Greta Kampschroeder.

The 6-foot guard from Naperville, Illinois, is the No. 12 rated high school prospect according to ESPN in the 2021 class.

ESPNW had the following evaluation of Kampschroeder from Nike Nationals in July 2019:

Skilled guard with versatility, size in the back court; playmaker with unselfish persona, executes in half-court game; manufactures shots, delivers off the dribble and finishes plays in traffic; basketball IQ, knocks down shots to the arc; competes on both ends of the floor; an elite prospect in the class of 2021.

Kampschroeder led the Naperville North Huskies in every major statistical category, averaging 17.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.4 steals, and ended her junior season as the DuPage Valley conference champions and a regional title (the school’s first since 2005), according to an article in the Naperville Sun.

Kampschroeder also considered Stanford and Iowa at the next level.

The Beavs will have to wait one more season to see Kampschroeder in black and orange in Corvallis, but she will be a great fit alongside last season’s freshmen sensations Taylor Jones and Kennedy Brown.

The Beavs’ 2020 recruiting class consists of: five-star guard Sasha Goforth (Fayetteville High School, Arkansas); and three-star guard Savannah Samuel (St. Francis High School, Georgia).

Mikayla Pivec named Honorable Mention for USBWA All-American

Mikayla Pivec named Honorable Mention for USBWA All-American

Mikayla Pivec continues to rack up post season awards she has definitely earned.

On Monday, it was announced that Pivec has been named an Honorable Mention for the USBWA All-American team:

Along with Pivec, other Honorable Mentions include: Bella Alarie, Princeton; Brittany Brewer, Texas Tech; Te'a Cooper, Baylor; Crystal Dangerfield, UConn; Mia Davis, Temple; Rennia Davis, Tennessee; Kiah Gillespie, Florida State; Arella Guirantes, Rutgers; Ashley Joens, Iowa State; Stella Johnson, Rider; Lindsay Pulliam, Northwestern; Chante Stonewall, DePaul; Kianna Williams, Stanford.

The 5-foot-10 Oregon State senior guard's season ended too soon. Despite the NCAA Tournament cancellation, Pivec's four-year run at Oregon State will go down in the history books. She capped off her career in orange and black averaging 14.9 points and 9.3 rebounds. Her rebounding stats were second in the Pac-12 Conference.

In her final game with the Beavs, Pivec became Oregon State's all-time leader in rebounding (1,028+).

We are going to miss the Pac-12 All-Defense, All-Pac-12 and now U.S. Basketball Writers Association Honorable Mention player who has done so much for the Corvallis community both on an off the court.

Congratulations, Mikayla!

A message to Oregon State WBB & fans after NCAA tournament cancellation

A message to Oregon State WBB & fans after NCAA tournament cancellation

I have been dreading this weekend!

Normally, I would be heading to Corvallis to broadcast the Oregon State Women's basketball team in the First and Second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. You see, the Beavs are ranked No. 14 in the final Associated Press poll and that would pretty much guarantee them hosting the first two rounds. Gill Coliseum would once again play host to some intense basketball. Scott Rueck would have his team well-prepared for the style of play of their opponent. Would it be Boise State for a second straight year? Would Troy cross the country to play the likes of Mikalya Pivec and Kat Tudor? Both are seniors who would be getting bonus games at Gill where they entertained and impressed Beaver Nation for four years.

Instead, here we sit semi-quarantined. The women's hoops world is on hold. All sports have been relegated to reruns and a lot of COVID-19 chat on the local sports radio talk shows. NFL free-agency is getting a lot of play of course. You can find some talk about college hoops but it’s mainly about all of the spring sports that have been cancelled. The impact of no College World Series on the city of Omaha was the big headline earlier this week.

I have been relegated to taking long walks with Sagan my dog. 

He actually has his own twitter page (@Sagan34) and has kept me sane through this coronavirus mess. It is a mess that might be the weirdest thing I have dealt with in my life. I can't see my two incredible grandkids (ages 4 and 2 and a half) because my daughter wants to protect me from any potential contact with the virus since I am a little older than some. I have been helping a good friend at a local brewery involved in the canning process for some impressive IPA's. But what I miss most is broadcasting games on the Beaver Sports Network. That is over now for the foreseeable future. Yah, its depressing. Netflix and HBO now shows can only go so far.

Then my attitude was improved a bit by this video. If you love women's college basketball thank Katie Mavis and the Oregon State Athletics department for cheering up all of us:

Now, if you are really into some intense basketball and are willing to watch an entire game check out the Sweet 16 game between Oregon State and Baylor in Lexington, Kentucky in 2018.

The first time the Beavers ever played inside Rupp Arena. The Baylor Bears had revenge on their minds because the Beavs had beaten them in the 2016 Elite Eight game in Dallas to head to the Final Four. This is one great college basketball game that can take your mind off the latest shelter in place edict put out by your local politician.

Hopefully, this crisis will pass sooner than later. We can get back to the things we all love the best. A baseball game in Seattle or Hillsboro or Keizer. Yah, the In n Out lines will be back but so what. We can look forward to Jonathan Smith's third year as Oregon State head football coach and the possibility of a bowl game. We will wait to see what happens to the potential eligibility of the women's basketball players denied their swan song in the NCAA Tourney. 

Yes, this is a tough weekend for what could have been. I guess you can't wallow in it and be positive. The crisis will pass. The long-term impact is unknown so... walk the dog… enjoy cooking and that great Coasters IPA and hope that things will return to normal sooner than later.

Oregon State's Mikayla Pivec earns AP All-America Honorable Mention

Oregon State's Mikayla Pivec earns AP All-America Honorable Mention

The Associated Press announced the annual All-American teams on Thursday, and for fans of Oregon State hoops, there was a very familiar name on the list.

Senior guard Mikayla Pivec, who helped lead the Beavers to a Top 15 finish this season, earned All-America Honorable Mention. 

It's just another special honor for Pivec, who also was one of 15 players to be named to the All-Pac-12 Team, and one of five players to earn Pac-12 All-Defense honors. 

Pivec is also a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The Beavers star averaged 14.8 points and 9.3 rebounds this season. She ended the season eighth in career scoring and fourth in career assists at Oregon State, while setting the school record for career rebounds. 

Pivec is one of the best to ever wear the Orange and Black, and the honors that keep pouring in prove it. 

Sydney Wiese was in Spain when COVID-19 shut the sports world down

Sydney Wiese was in Spain when COVID-19 shut the sports world down

Sydney Wiese will forever be remembered as one of the greats to pass through Corvallis, Oregon. 

Throughout Wiese’s four-year run with the Beavers, the Oregon State women’s basketball team reached the Pac-12 tournament championship four times, won it all once (2015-2016 over UCLA); reached the NCAA Tournament all four years, with two second round appearances, a trip to the Final Four and a Sweet 16 appearance. 

In her senior season, Wises averaged 15.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

Here are just some of her accolades throughout her collegiate career:

- Senior CLASS Award winner

- AP Second-Team All-American

- Wooden Award All-American

- USWBA All-American

- WBCA All-America Honorable Mention

- ESPNW Second Team All-American

- One of 14 players all-time to make the All-Pac-12 team all four years of her career

- Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year

- Academic All-America Third Team

- Wooden Award Finalist

- Naismith Trophy Semifinalist

- Pac-12 All-Tournament Team

Wiese was selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks. 

This WNBA offseason, Wiese was overseas playing in Spain when the coronavirus shut down the sports world. 

"It was a lot to take in, to say the least," Wiese said. "I woke up randomly in the middle of the night to text messages and updates because that's when President Trump placed the travel ban that was going to go into affect in 48 hours. This came a couple of hours after our league decided to postponed."

Wiese said she didn't want to get stuck overseas, but understood the decision.

"It hurt my heart because I loved the team I was with, I loved my coaches, I loved Spain."

Listen to the full Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with Wiese where she describes what it was like to be in Spain during this time and much more:

Oregon State WBB reacts to NCAA Tournament cancellation

Oregon State WBB reacts to NCAA Tournament cancellation

If you are like me you feel empty. I was getting geared up for March Madness featuring the No. 14 Oregon State women's basketball team. Would they host the first and second rounds? Would they be a four-seed? If they won their first two games would they head to Greenville, Dallas or Fort Wayne? Could the Beavers have made a fifth straight trip to the Sweet 16 and a second trip to the Final Four in five years?

All of that was abruptly taken away from all of Beaver Nation, and beyond, thanks the implications of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. The Beavers held a media availability to speak about this unprecedented situation featuring Coach Scott Rueck, senior Mikayla Pivec and junior Aleah Goodman.

For Coach Rueck the realization that the NCAA Tournament was cancelled filled him with disbelief, sadness, anger and also just feeling numb:

It is so strange. It is something that you can't even fathom. You can't even create something like this in your mind until it happens. The word I used was numb, I just felt numb, I didn't know how to feel. I am sad, angry because you want your best for the students and for them not to get the opportunity to compete and find closure just brought out a lot of frustrating emotions. — Scott Rueck

Mikayla Pivec wears her heart on her sleeve and was emotional talking about what she is going to miss because she is a senior.

The NCAA Tournament is a once in a lifetime opportunity you dream about when you are a little kid growing up playing basketball at recess. Now I have the realization that I won't get the opportunity to enjoy that with this group of girls. 

The NCAA Tournament is the culmination of the season that you remember. My sophomore year we helped Marie (Gulich) finish out her senior year strong. We helped her get to the WNBA and helped her have a great finish and that is what we cherished. — Mikayla Pivec

Aleah Goodman says the entire team is still trying to process the loss of the tournament:

I don't think it has really hit us yet. We are still thinking about Monday and finding out which team we would face in the tournament so it is really still shocking. As Coach Rueck said we are a little numb to it. We really don't know what to do or say about it because it is still a mystery to what's next. — Aleah Goodman

There has been talk of senior players being given another year of eligibility because of the cancellation. Rueck says he favors the idea. He says the idea that they will miss more games in Gill and that they won't have a senior banquet (it has been cancelled) are essential moments that are being taken away from them so why not give the seniors another chance:

They’re getting short-changed so what can we do to get it right. I think more importantly, as an athlete you prepare your entire career for your senior year and the end of it. You prepare your entire time for your senior season and lead your team into the NCAA Tournament. That is your thesis.

Now your gonna tell Mik, Maddie, Kat and Janessa they won't get to do that? To me, I think there definitely should be open ears to that thought process and I would be in favor of it. — Scott Rueck

Pivec says she would be willing to put off an attempt at an WNBA career to finish out her college career in the way she envisioned at the start of this season.

I am a person who has a plan, but right now I don't have much of a plan. I will take a week off and then begin training. If I do get another year of eligibility, I would take it in a heartbeat. — Mikayla Pivec

The team won't be allowed to practice and Coach Rueck says they are all being encouraged to stay home. For the entire program this is a sad week with the realization that the entire situation is out of their control. It will be interesting to see what the NCAA will do regarding the seniors who lost so much.

Oregon State WBB doesn't fall, remains in top 16 in AP Poll

Oregon State WBB doesn't fall, remains in top 16 in AP Poll

The Pac-12 Tournament didn't go as the Beavers had hoped, but it didn't go poorly.

Entering the week, No. 14 Oregon State (23-9, 10-8 Pac-12) needed to perform well enough to stay inside the top 16 and get potentially two more games at Gill Coliseum for the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament.  

I would love to play two more games in Gill. We know nothing is guaranteed and we have to take care of business in the Pac-12 tournament if we want the opportunity to do that. - Mikayla Pivec

It appears they did as their No. 14 ranking remains the same this week. They'll know for sure next Monday, March 16th at 4:00 p.m. PT when the NCAA Tournament bracket gets unveiled. 

Here's how the top-10 shook out.

  1. South Carolina (32-1)
  2. Oregon (31-2)
  3. Baylor (28-2)
  4. Maryland (28-4)
  5. UCONN (28-3)
  6. Louisville (28-4)
  7. Stanford (27-6)
  8. NC State (28-4)
  9. Mississippi State (27-6)
  10. UCLA (26-5)

Other ranked Pac-12 teams include No. 2 Oregon, No. 7 Stanford, No. 10 UCLA, No. 13 Arizona, and No. 25 Arizona State.

Let's recap the week.

Washington State WIN 82-55

The Beavers broke the trend of losing the first game of the Pac-12 Tournament, which they had done the past two seasons, by defeating the Cougars 82-55. Senior Kat Tudor led the way with six three-pointers. 

No. 7 Stanford LOSS 68-57

The Beavers' tournament run ended in the quarterfinals against the No. 7 Stanford Cardinal. In their two regular-season games, the Cardinal escaped both with three-point victories. This one wasn't as close as the Cardinal held a double-digit lead for most of the fourth quarter.

[RELATED: Pac-12 Tournament: Oregon State WBB eliminated by Stanford in quarterfinals]

However, it wasn't all bad as Mikayla Pivec set the Oregon State records for rebounds in a college career surpassing "The Canadian Hammer" Ruth Hamblin (1,027 career rebounds).

Despite the accomplishment, Pivec was in tears after the game because she felt she didn't do enough to help her team win.

UP NEXT: The Beavers await their seed in the NCAA Tournament that will start in two weeks.