The carpet was completely pulled out from under the sports world when the COVID-19 pandemic spread.
The Pac-12 champion Oregon women’s basketball team was on a well-deserved week break following a dominating Pac-12 Tournament championship in Las Vegas when the news of their season getting cancelled hit.
Some of the team were back in Eugene, Oregon while others were back home. Head coach Kelly Graves was out on the road recruiting.
Heartbreaking doesn’t even begin to describe the feelings. It will be the biggest “what if” season to likely ever happen at the University of Oregon.
Coach Graves joined host Jordan Kent on the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast:
We had everything in place, Jordan. We were playing great at the time of the cancellation. We had just come off a championship in the Pac-12 Tournament, a dominating championship game. We had everything in place. This was our year. The analytics had us as the team to beat. We were the heavy favorites on the computers, the B.P.I., even Las Vegas had us as the favorite to win the National Championship. — Kelly Graves
This team didn’t just change the way the state of Oregon thought about women’s basketball, but they were huge in the development and progress of women’s basketball throughout the entire country. It wasn’t just a team dominating the field of competition, but rather a movement of women’s basketball as a whole.
Really had everything in place and that’s really disappointing especially for the iconic players like Sabrina and Ruthy and Satou that had been apart of this ascension to national prominence and for them to not realize that final dream. There will always be a hole in my heart and the hearts of every Duck fan. This will never be duplicated again, unfortunately. This team, the way they captured the imagination of not just the University of Oregon and the state of Oregon but I think basketball fans across the country. They were like a rockstar group. -- Kelly Graves.
There will always be an asterisk for this 2019-2020 season. A what-could-have-been feeling.
You can listen to the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast here: