Making the jump from a high school star to a college freshman is tough on any athlete.
Even more so when you are in a program that expects to compete for conference titles and beyond.
Oregon State’s Taya Corosdale and Aleah Goodman have been making that transition with the women’s basketball team.
It hasn’t always been easy, but they have leaned on each other throughout the process since arriving on campus.
“It’s been great,” Goodman said Wednesday morning. “We were just talking the other day that we still kind of feel like seniors in high school. But it’s been a lot of fun and been great having her to go through this with.
“We always talk about how other schools have four or five freshmen and there’s just the two of us. But we kind of like just having the two of us because we always have each other. We know we can go back to the dorm and talk to each other about things.”
While there have been the usual growing pains, seven games into the season both have been making the necessary adjustments and contributed to a solid start for the 19th-ranked Beavers (5-2).
Both credit the coaching staff and teammates for helping make it a relatively smooth transition.
And both are coming off big performances at the Maui Jim Maui Classic last weekend in Hawaii.
Goodman, a 5-foot-9 guard, had a career-high 16 points in the win over Utah State on Saturday while Corosdale, a 6-3 forward, combined for 17 points and eight rebounds in the two games.
Goodman has played in five games and has been a weapon from long range. She has made an astounding 14 of her first 20 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc and is averaging 9.6 points — fourth best on the team — in just over 18 minutes a game. She’s also dished out 20 assists.
“It comes from having the ability to compete and there’s no doubt in her game because she’s earned the right to be extremely confident,” coach Scott Rueck said in his postgame radio interview following the win over Nevada last Friday.
Goodman worked hard on fixing some of the little things that were off with her shot in high school, and it has been a goal of hers to be a threat from deep.
She also credits her teammates with setting her up to knock them down.
“My confidence has been going up in my shot just because they have been going in,” she said.
Corosdale’s numbers aren’t as impressive as Goodman's but she has begun to settle into the power forward spot. In just over 18 minutes off the bench, Corosdale is averaging 5.7 points and 3.2 rebounds a game.
She's also stretching the floor with her shooting ability, hitting 4 of 11 3s so far.
Rueck said he liked how Corosdale has begun to be more aggressive on both ends of the floor.
“That’s a product of some lessons,” he said last weekend. “She was unhappy that she didn’t play against Duke and didn’t get on the floor.
“We talked about where do we need to go and what am I looking for from her. Part of it is aggressiveness and owning that spot. When you’re in the game you’re our 4 and you need to play like our 4. You need to be aggressive and take it at them and be what you can be.”
Corosdale said she wants to continue to work on being more aggressive, consistent rebounding and knocking down open shots.
No matter what happens the next few weeks and the rest of the season, both players know they have plenty of support — especially from each other.
“It’s really cool to have somebody like that,” Corosdale said of Goodman. “Yeah, I can talk to my other teammates about it but having her be the only other freshman and then we live together makes it even better and just more available to talk to her about things.”