Freshman Kat Tudor makes an impact, on the court and off

Kat Tudor prepares to pass

Kalib LaChapelle, Multimedia Contributor

As a student and student athlete, being expected to contribute as a true freshman for one of the nation’s top basketball programs can be a lot to juggle.

Whether it’s juggling or learning the art of shooting from her father or teammates, the freshman guard has become a key cog as a three-point specialist for the No. 9 Oregon State women’s basketball team.

“We had a juggling class,” said Tudor, cracking a smile. “It was just the weirdest thing.”

Out of 114 total field goal attempts this season, Tudor has shot 94 from behind the three point line. She has made seven field goals on the season that were not three pointers, and she has made just under 42 percent of her three-point shots on the season. The three-point specialist is averaging six points per game in just about 14 minutes per game.  

“She comes in right away and she’s looking to contribute from the outside,” said senior guard Sydney Wiese. “If she has any inch of space, that ball is going up and nine times out of 10 it feels like it’s going in.”

“I know she’s a fan favorite. You can hear it in the energy as soon as she touches the ball,” said head coach Scott Rueck. “It’s excitement and excitement and then silence when it’s in the air and then the explosion once it goes down.”

Tudor has come into a team that is achieving milestones that even last year’s Final Four team couldn’t, such as winning on the road against in the Maples Pavilion against national powerhouse Stanford.

“My favorite moment of the season has to be the Stanford game,” said Tudor. “Winning at their house was amazing, it was so cool to be a part of it with all of these seniors.”

In high school, Tudor shot just under 43 percent from beyond the arc and hit a total of 371 three pointers in her career. Coming Division-I basketball might have slowed some people down, but Tudor credits her coaching staff, teammates and Beaver fans for making her transition easy, both on and off the court.

“They’ve helped a lot. (Rueck) is always pulling us (freshman) into his office asking us how we’re doing. Same thing with all of the seniors. They were the first ones to help when we got on campus, they just make us feel like we belong right off the bat,” Tudor said. “The fans are just amazing, best college town in the Pac-12 and best fans in the Pac-12.”

Along with having their coaches, the seniors and Beaver Nation behind them, Tudor and the freshman class have also helped each other along. Freshman guard Mikayla Pivec, Tudor’s roommate, says they have developed a very close relationship.

“We do almost everything together. Being away from the family for the first time–it’s been a hard transition but we’re getting used to it,” Pivec said. “It’s nice to have that sort of sisterly bond that we share together.”

Throughout her basketball career, Tudor says her father has always been right by her side as her biggest supporter.

“He has always been there for me, just shooting with me whenever I want even when he’s tired at night, just always being there for me and being my biggest supporter,” said Tudor. “My earliest basketball memory is probably playing rec league and my dad coaching. Playing with all of my friends, just kind of messing around and having a good time.”

Tudor has already made an impact on the team as a three point specialist on the court, and off the court Rueck says her personality has shown through with her team.

“She (Tudor) is a joy. She’s a great teammate. She’s got a great sense of humor, a dry sense of humor but it’s so funny,” said Rueck. “So she’s just an awesome person that has a big personality. You don’t always see it but once you get to talk to her you’re like ‘Oh you’re hilarious.’”