The Oregon State women’s basketball team has been going through some changes this offseason as they head into the 2022 season with some new faces on the court and on the sidelines.
The Beavers ended their season with a second-round loss in the NCAA tournament to No. 1 seed South Carolina and soon after that a handful of players decided to leave the program.
Junior guard Jasmine Simmons announced that she would be returning home to Australia and will forgo her senior year. Simmons has been a key bench contributor the last two years for Oregon State. She averaged about 11 minutes per game, shot close to 44 percent from the field and 30 percent from three-point range.
Senior guard Aleah Goodman was the next player to announce she would leave the team and declare for the WNBA draft. She ended up getting drafted by the Connecticut Sun in the third round No. 30 overall, making the initial roster but being cut after the first game of the regular season. For the Beavers, though, Goodman averaged 16 points and about five assists per game last season while also earning PAC-12 all-conference First-Team in addition to being the vocal leader of the team.
Then, a couple of freshman guards decided to enter the transfer protocol and play for different teams; starter Sasha Goforth, a Fayetteville, Arkansas native, announced she will go play for the Arkansas Razorbacks (where former Beaver starting guard Destiny Slocum had also transferred to before last season) and Savannah Samuel, her roommate last year, transferred to Morgantown, West Virginia to play for the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Goforth averaged 12 points and around four rebounds while shooting close to 42 percent from the court her freshman season for the Beavers. Goforth, a five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American, was a PAC-12 All-Freshman Selection. Samuel, meanwhile, averaged 11 minutes a game coming off the bench.
In addition to the departure of players, a couple of coaches left the team to take other job offers. Assistant Coach Katie Faulkner took the same position for Oregon State's division rivals Washington Huskies and Associate Head Coach Brian Holsinger left to become the new Head Coach for the Montana Grizzlies. Faulkner and Holsinger came to Oregon State in 2016. Prior to joining the staff, Faulkner served as a graduate assistant for the Wisconsin Badgers and Holsinger was the Associate Head Coach for the Washington State Cougars.
With all the sudden changes made to the roster there is some uncertainty going into the 2021-22 season, however head coach Scott Rueck bolstered the team by bringing in some top recruits and transfers. Oregon State welcomed five-star guard Greta Kampschroeder from Naperville, Illinois. She was ranked the eighth overall prospect in the nation according to the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. Five-star guard Talia Von Oelhoffen from Pasco, Washington was ranked the 14 overall prospect in the nation according to the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. Von Oelhoffen was granted the ability to join and play for the Beavers in January last season, where she averaged 11 points and around four rebounds per game to help revitalize the Beavers in their late season post season push.
Four-star guard AJ Marotte from Cedar Park, Texas was a four-time Texas Girls Coaches Association 6A All-State honoree and has also commuted to the Beavers.
Some more experienced veterans were also added, though. Graduate transfer Téa Adams, guard, comes over from the San Diego State Aztecs where she was a three-year starter and averaged about 11 points, three rebounds, and three assists a game her senior year. Her assist average ranked ninth in the Mountain West Conference.
Along with Adams, graduate transfer Emily Codding, guard, joins the program after four years at Saint Mary’s. She only appeared in five games her senior year after suffering a knee injury the previous season. She played a total of 18 games her junior year averaging just shy of 15 points and eight rebounds a game, which at the time both stats were ranked in the top-five in the West Coast Conference.
Coach Rueck added more depth to the guard position with all these incoming guards set to make their debut in Corvallis next season. Losing that veteran leadership from Goodman will be tough to replace for Oregon State but the opportunity to take that role is there for the other veteran players. With two out of five starters gone, it will also be a big decision for Rueck to make in terms of who will see their minutes increase. Some candidates are redshirt sophomore forwards Kennedy Brown and Andrea Aquino, former five star recruits who missed last season due to injury.
The Beavers have yet to fill their coaching vacancies as well and coach Rueck has not had to replace any staff members in recent years. The effect of these changes will be interesting to watch heading into next season as Oregon State looks to continue to be a top contender in the PAC-12.