By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – During the most important off-season of her career Alex Wiese didn’t play in a single basketball game.
Preparing for her first season with a new group of teammates after transferring to Regina from Tipton following her freshman year, knee surgery kept Wiese off the court for the entire summer.
The surgery to repair a torn ACL that ended her freshman season didn’t allow Wiese to get on the court with her team this summer but it couldn’t stop her from fitting in.
“I went with them to every team camp, every game even though I couldn’t play and I got to know them and learn how they did things,” Wiese explained. “I came to every practice and every open gym to get to know the girls and get some good chemistry.”
That summer work, along with a heavy dose of rehab work helped Wiese hit the ground running when she was cleared to resume play in August.
By the time games began in November, Wiese looked like she had been playing with her new teammates for years.
Wiese is averaging 13 points and 10.3 rebounds per game this season, helping Class 2A top-ranked Regina to an 8-0 start.
“I wasn’t a tough transition at all,” Wiese said. “We have a great group of girls and they brought me in and were great helping me get used to it.”
Wiese established herself as one of the top post players in Class 2A last season averaging a double-double with 15.4 points and 12.7 rebounds per game in 16 games before a knee injury ended her season.
The 12.7 rebounds per game ranked second in Class 2A last season.
“I don’t want to brag her up too much but I don’t know if I have seen a girl that rebounds with that much purpose like she does,” Regina coach Jeff Wallace said. “She is an elite rebounder in my mind. She is a really special rebounder.”
Wiese got off to a slow start this season by her high standards.
She failed to record a double-double in her first four games at Regina, scoring in double figures twice in those games.
Over the last four games Wiese has been back to her old self.
The 6-foot-0 sophomore is averaging 17 points and 11.8 rebounds per game over the last four games.
“At the beginning she was rushing and I think she put a lot of pressure on herself because she hadn’t played in a while and it was a new school and now she is starting to relax and you are seeing what we expect out of her,” Wallace said. “We’ve seen it at practice all along and she is just a difference maker.”
Wiese has scored at least 14 points in each of the past four games and has a pair of double-doubles in that stretch.
She had 14 points and 17 rebounds in a win over Wilton and had 17 points and 14 rebounds in a victory over West Branch.
“I feel like I get better every game,” Wiese said. “I’ve just worked into it and get more comfortable every game.”
Wiese believes she is performing at the highest level of her career after he offseason surgery.
She is shooting a career-best 55 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free throw line and has more assists than turnovers.
“I have never thought about my knee,” Wiese said. “It was mainly running and just getting used to playing at the same speed again and I think I’ve gotten to that point already.”