Interview: Oregon State's Jamie Weisner and Sydney Wiese discuss the 2014 NCAA Tournament experience

Swish Appeal interviews Oregon State stars Jamie Weisner and Sydney Wiese before their second round matchup with top-seeded South Carolina.

Swish Appeal: How satisfying has this season been for you -- especially overcoming your wrist injury?

Jamie Weisner: "It's been an incredible year. Personally and obviously, it hasn't been what I expected, but the team lifted me up. I was able to find joy in their success and still be happy to be a part of this team. I'm just so proud of what they've done and what they have been doing, and to get us to this point, I mean it's just incredible. I've enjoyed every minute of it."

SA: You were one of the first big-time recruits to commit to Coach Rueck, how does it make you feel to see that decision paying off?

JW: "It just goes to show that hard work pays off. Coming to Oregon State, I saw the vision that Coach Rueck had, and I knew he was going to do great things for this program. That's the reason why I came, because I wanted to be a part of that. And I wanted to be a part of something - and put Oregon State on the map.

"We really started from the bottom...this year we've taken great strides and putting Oregon State to the top. It's been incredible, and I'm just feeling blessed to be a part of this program."

SA: When the clock hit zero two days ago, and you saw that you all won your first NCAA tournament game, how did that feel?

JW: "It was amazing. Like I said, ‘Hard work pays off.' I don't think anyone at the beginning of the season thought we would be at this point; and I didn't even believe it at the beginning of the season. I knew at some point in my four years we would get here, I didn't know it would be this year. But, somewhere during the middle of the season, I had that vision of us making the NCAA tournament. And then to win the first game, it's amazing! I'm just thankful."

- - -

SA: What has this year's experience been like for you as a freshman?

Sydney Wiese: "It felt incredible, just to know that our hard work is beginning to payoff, it's just the beginning. I'm a freshman, and we are a really young team, so the sky is the limit for our team. I don't seem to think that we've reached our goal potentially, yet. There's still so many things to work on and get better at - but it was indescribable yesterday.

"You still remain hungry, and you still want to get better, there's still work to get done. But, we're looking definitely looking forward to playing tomorrow."

SA: How did it feel to be in such an offensive rhythm in the second half - especially hitting four consecutive threes during that four-minute stretch?

SW: "Well, I got off to pretty slow start in the first half. I felt that I was sort of forcing the issue too much, and not really letting the game come to me. I sort of prayed in the middle of the game, 'You know what Lord, just help me to get into the flow of things and just to let things come to me.' After that, I started to pass more; just look for the best shot on offense, not necessarily mine and I just started to play within myself.

"And I think that's what, sort of sparked energy on the offensive end. Luckily, people stepped up in the first half and really hit good shots - got us that lead to go into halftime. And then in the second half, my shot started to fall and it was almost like...I've shot so many times in the gym by myself, so might as well hit them now when the lights are on (laughing)."

SA: A topic of discussion has been your headband, when did you start wearing your headband?

SW: "I think it was third or fourth grade. I had bangs when I was a kid (laughing), and I decided to grow them out and my dad told me to just wear a thicker headband. It just became sort of my ritual thing."

SA: How much are you looking forward to the challenge of playing the No. 1 seed South Carolina tomorrow?

SW: "I'm really excited. Like I said, we've been working so hard since the fall and even the summer, and it's almost like our hard work is paying off. It gives us another opportunity to show our stuff tomorrow and show what we've been working so hard on. It's going to be a challenge for us, South Carolina is really tough team - they're really competitive and aggressive, it'll be a good matchup for us.

"But, I'm going to have so much fun because you never know when your last game is going to be - it could be tomorrow or next week. So I'm just going to try, personally, to leave everything that I have out on the floor. I always tell myself before the game, 'No regrets.' I know that everybody is going to be pretty excited tomorrow - we're going to leave it all out there."

For more on Oregon State's season, check out SB Nation's Building the Dam. For more on Oregon State's path through the tournament, check out our Stanford region storystream.

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