Get to know the Oregon Ducks dancing in the Final Four
The Oregon women’s basketball team is Final Four bound! On Friday, the Ducks dance on in the NCAA Tournament in Tampa, Florida, as they take on No. 1 Baylor.
This Ducks are led by a bevy of talent including one of basketball's most dynamic stars, whose future might just be in the WNBA, and a supporting cast loaded with 3-point assassins, elite defenders and quiet, but sneaky-good shooters who might just shock the nation and send Oregon to its first women's basketball championship title game.
Perhaps you're an alum who wants to root for your alma mater and you haven't followed the Ducks as of late, or you're an avid basketball follower and need a team to cheer on, if so, let’s get you filled in which Oregon players you need to keep an eye on in Final Four.
Sabrina Ionescu- guard
If you don’t know the all-time NCAA leader in triple doubles yet, it’s not too late to jump on the Sabrina Ionescu bandwagon.
The 5-foot-11 sharpshooter has been one of the country’s best players since her first season, when she took home Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Honors.
In the last two seasons, the Oregon star led the Ducks to back-to-back Elite Eight appearances, and now, Ionescu just booked her trip to Oregon’s first Final Four in program history.
The Ducks will look to ride Ionescu’s monster season, and potentially her last in an Oregon uniform. The two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year is averaging 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 8.1 assists for the Ducks.
Ruthy Hebard- forward
As the saying goes, you’re only as good as the company you keep. And for Sabrina Ionescu, forward Ruthy Hebard is as good as they get. The junior post is a finalist for national power forward of the year and a competitor on the floor for Oregon night in an night out.
Despite going down with a knee injury, which caused her to miss time against Oregon State and UCLA, Hebard is averaging 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game for the Ducks.
Hebard came up big for the Ducks in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, making clutch plays when it mattered and notching a combined 38 points between the two contests.
Satou Sabally - forward
It didn’t take long for forward Satou Sabally to grab everyone at Oregon’s attention.
Sabally, in only her sophomore season, has garnered All-Pac-12 honors, is a Cheryl Miller Award finalist and has been named to the Naismith Trophy and Wade Trophy Watch List.
She has been electric for the Ducks, swatting blocks, collecting her own offensive rebounds and scoring the clutch baskets when it counts. Not only that, but the 6-foot-4 forward emits a surge of energy that provides Oregon with the perfect pick-me-up during scoring dry spells.
Maite Cazorla - guard
As Oregon coach Kelly Graves told reporters, guard Maite Cazorla is one of the Ducks “unsung stars.” Though quiet, she’s an elite defender and one who makes timely shots when it counts.
She’s also one of the Ducks most important players, as she gives Ionescu the opportunity to play off the ball and gets Oregon in its offensive scheme time after time.
In the Elite Eight, Cazorla came up with a timely dagger with less than a minute left on the clock to lift Oregon over Mississippi State and send the Ducks to their first Final Four. Her sneaky-good shooting and consistent defense makes her the quiet superstar Oregon needs to go far.
Erin Boley - forward
You can just call Erin Boley Oregon’s “sniper from the perimeter,” as Coach Graves would say. The Ducks standout has emerged as one of Oregon’s best players and she’s only a sophomore.
Whether she’s in the post or on the wing, Boley’s reputation as an elite 3-point shooter has made her increasingly difficult to defend throughout the season.
While she’s been mostly quiet in the NCAA Tournament thus far, she’s not someone Baylor should overlook.