Pac-12 Feature: Wiese Takes On Big Role
Sydney Wiese jokes about how “stressful” it is to play in the Pac-12 night after night, to run the gauntlet of postseason-level competition within the confines of the conference season every weekend.
“I was talking with my dad after Sunday’s game (the Beaver’ first-ever win over Stanford at Maples Pavilion), and he was saying that the week feels like the weekend because he can relax, and the weekend is like work because it’s so intense,” Wiese said. “It’s true. It feels like that.”
The Oregon State senior guard, who has gone from a promising freshman floor leader to an All-American-caliber player who now holds the Pac-12’s all-time 3-point shooting record, said she spends her week preparing for the weekend.
Eat. Practice. Schoolwork. Sleep.
“You have to get yourself ready,” Wiese said. “It’s a 24-7 thing to be ready for Friday and Sunday.”
Wiese, the Arizona native, and her Oregon State teammates have hit the toughest part of their schedule, successive games against Washington, Cal and Stanford – all wins – followed by Friday’s game at No. 13 UCLA.
At this point, it’s safe to say it is going pretty well, Oregon State sporting the Pac-12’s only unbeaten record at 4-0 after two weekends of conference play. The Beavers have won 12 straight games and rose to No. 10 in the Associated Press poll this week.
Wiese is the leader for Oregon State, the player with the most experience under her belt as a four-year starter and a three-time All-Pac-12 pick. She is averaging a team-leading 16.3 points a game, shooting 48 percent from the floor and gave her the first triple-double of her career last month.
Wiese broke the Pac-12 career 3-pointers record in December and is now up to 314 career 3-pointers, the active NCAA leader. She needs 24 more to break into the top 25 3-point shooters in NCAA Division 1 history.
“Yeah, I’d like to get more,” Wiese said. “As long as they come with wins.”
Wiese said her team has been motivated by an early-season home loss against Marquette in November, a game that drove home the point that when a team is coming off a NCAA Final Four season, opponents will come after them all the more.
“When you are a Final Four team, people want to beat you, they want to kill you,” Wiese said. “They come out with a different energy. And we want to show why we got there. It adds another level of edge to everything.”
A year ago, Wiese could lean on Jamie Weisner and Ruth Hamblin, two of the greatest players in program history. Now Wiese is the one that her teammates lean on. And she feels prepared for the responsibility.
“My job is to do whatever is necessary to help us win,” Wiese said. “We see every player on the floor as a scorer. If one person is struggling, the next person in line picks up the slack. But I am looking to be aggressive and I’m looking to give people confidence.”
Michelle Smith is a contributing writer for pac-12.com. She has covered pro and college sports for espnW, the San Francisco Chronicle and AOL Fanhouse.