Early entry guard Talia von Oelhoffen already making a splash at OSU

Talia von Oelhoffen opted to enroll early at Oregon State and has already put up double-digit points in three of her four games so far.

Just a few weeks ago, Talia von Oelhoffen was a high school student who had signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Oregon State, as is the “normal” process for recruits. But with a COVID-impacted sports world comes unique opportunities, and suddenly von Oelhoffen found herself scrambling to finish her high school classes early and pack her bags for Corvallis.

At the time, von Oelhoffen was coming to terms with the idea that her final year of high school basketball was likely not going to happen, and this uncertainty pushed her to graduate early and join her new team as soon as possible. She joined the Beavers on Jan. 15.

Now, if you haven’t heard of Talia von Oelhoffen and you’re wondering what the big deal is, let’s dive into why she should be on your radar as a top player to watch and the impact she’s already having on the court for OSU.

We’ll start with some background.

In just three seasons of high school basketball, von Oelhoffen recorded 2,392 points and was on pace to become the all-time leading scorer in her home state of Washington. Here are a few of her other honors:

  • Five star recruit and the No. 14 rated player in the nation by Prospects Nation
  • Three-time Adidas All-American
  • Washington 2B Player of the Year
  • Two-time Scholar Athlete Award winner
  • 2018-19 Washington state champion
  • Naismith Trophy Midseason Top-25

After going through all of her health protocols successfully, von Oelhoffen has been able to lace up for four games so far, three of which have been Beaver victories.

So far, von Oelhoffen has logged 91 minutes of game time in her new uniform, including 24 minutes in each of the last two games. She’s tallied up 44 points so far and put up double-digit figures in all but one of her games. Her combined stat line also features six steals, 16 assists and 14 defensive rebounds.

Even in the one overtime loss (von Oelhoffen’s first game) since her arrival, the guard put in 21 minutes and finished with six points and four rebounds. Her very first bucket was a three from well beyond the arc.

OSU has won its last three straight games, and they’re going to need everyone to leave it all on the court this weekend in a challenging homestand against Arizona and Arizona State. Such a wild journey from high school classes to the Pac-12 stage in a matter of weeks has to make you wonder – is she nervous?

“You would think so, considering that I practiced twice before I played in my first college game, but I wasn’t nervous at all because there isn’t a lot of pressure on me,” von Oelhoffen said. “I’ve just been able to get out there and relax and play. It’s still basketball.”

According to Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck, von Oelhoffen will add to his team’s depth in the backcourt. She will be a confident playmaker and a strong three-point shooter, bolstering an OSU roster already full of young talent.

von Oelhoffen isn’t the only player to have joined her new team earlier than usual. A handful of top recruits throughout the country, including Dominique Darius (UCLA) and Saylor Poffenbarger (UConn), are already on their respective schools’ active rosters. According to NCAA rules this season, these players will still have four years of college basketball eligibility remaining after the conclusion of this season.

Once again, the Pac-12 is shining through in the AP top 25 poll, with four teams ranked in the top 12: UCLA (No. 5), Stanford (No. 6), Arizona (No. 9) and Oregon (No. 12).  Oregon State did make a climb in the latest NET Rankings and came in at No. 45, up from No. 63. The Beavers will look to stay hot this weekend when they host Arizona and Arizona State.

Next up for OSU:

  • No. 9 Arizona at Oregon State – Friday, Feb. 5 at 4 p.m. PT
  • Arizona State at Oregon State – Sunday, Feb. 7 at 12 p.m. PT

Oregon State is currently seventh in the Pac-12 conference standings and has a 6-5 overall record.

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