2015 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day: Oregon State is ready for the bullseye
SAN FRANCISCO — There’s no hiding behind the curtain anymore for Oregon State. Just five years ago, head coach Scott Rueck needed to have open tryouts just to fill his roster for a team that would eventually somehow win two conference games. Now, fresh off their first Pac-12 regular-season championship, the target is squarely on the Beavers’ backs. Oregon State is picked to win the Pac-12 this year, breaking a 15-year streak Stanford being slotted to top the conference.
While the rest of the conference will be gunning after the Beavers, Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck says last year’s experiences will help his team to be able to deal with the pressure. Despite the banner year, things soured a tad at the end of the season. The Beavs got upset in their first Pac-12 Tournament game, a 68-65 loss to Colorado and lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament as a No. 3 seed.
He returns four starters from that squad that won 27 games and went 16-2 in conference play before the early postseason exit, an experience that he thinks will be invaluable going forward.
“I think this team has matured mentally and physically,” Rueck said at 2015 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day. “The way the year ended, we’re still hungry… There’s still a bit of a chip on the shoulder after winning 27 games.”
Really going through the level of success they had for the first time, the Beavers didn’t necessarily know how to play and practice with the expectations that come with getting out to a 25-2 start.
But for Rueck, the 2015-16 season isn’t about getting more than 27 wins this year. Putting a number on what the Beavers need to do this season isn’t how the Beavers are going to improve, according to the sixth-year coach.
“You work hard to achieve, you work hard to reach your potential. That’s all I personally care about,” Rueck said. “My goal as the coach is just to see constant improvement. The thing we have in our favor this year is that we have been there now.”