Patricia Morris had been involved in the recruiting process for a little while before her junior year at Duarte (California) High when Oregon State threw its hat in the mix.
There was an immediate feeling that the Beavers could be a good fit for her aspirations to play women's college basketball.
“When they came to my house for the first visit, they were really welcoming,” Morris said Monday morning. “I felt the whole family atmosphere. I was really excited about their school.”
The Oregon State staff was persistent, and the focus the coaches had in those interactions helped build a bond that was predicated on more than just basketball.
“They always checked up on me and called me, making sure how I was doing, not just how’s basketball going but how are you,” Morris said.
That focus played a key role in Morris choosing to play for the Beavers. She and fellow freshmen Andrea Aquino and Jasmine Simmons are part of a talented recruiting class that is on campus and preparing for the upcoming season.
There were several other factors as well. Morris remembers attending a game on her unofficial visit in November (2016) and she looked up and saw the fan support and it blew here away.
“That was really great,” she said.
When it came time for her official visit in May 2017, she said she knew Oregon State was “the school for me” and committed.
At 6-foot-7, Morris has been a consistent scorer and rebounder in the post. The Beavers are looking for someone to fill the void left by Marie Gulich, who lead the team in scoring (17.5) and rebounding (9.1) last season as OSU made a run to the Elite Eight for the second time in three season.
Morris said she has been working with coach Scott Rueck on her shooting during her short time in Corvallis.
“He wants me to be a more active post so that’s what I think what I’m going to be doing when I’m here,” she said. “I definitely rebound a lot and play defense. I think I can bring that to the table.”
She added that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the team.
Having seen the success posts like Gulich and Ruth Hamblin before her have had under Rueck and his staff, Morris is trying to soak up as much as she can.
“Ruth and Marie, from where they started to where they’ve gone — the WNBA — is really inspiring,” Morris said. “Coach Scott has worked well with every single post that he has had and I’m just really excited to get better as the years go.”
Adding her name to the list of posts who have been drafted into the WNBA would be a dream come true for Morris.
“It’s going to take a lot of work but I’m willing to work for it.”
As of now, Morris is undecided on a major but she has an interest in math and science so she is taking some of those courses — calculus and chemistry — to kick start her academic career at Oregon State.
“Just exploring my options here because there’s a lot of options,” she said.
The Beavers hope she is a great option on the court for the next four seasons.