Oregon Ducks

Oregon football vs. Auburn set for prime time

Oregon football vs. Auburn set for prime time

There are only 108 days until Oregon football kicks off the 2019 season against Auburn on August 31, 2019! The following is from the Oregon Athletic Department:

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon’s marquee season opener against SEC foe Auburn in the 2019 AdvoCare Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will kick off ABC Saturday Night Football’s 14th season it was announced on Wednesday morning. The game will begin at 4:30 p.m. PT.

It will be the second meeting between the two programs and the first since the 2010 national championship game. The Ducks have not opened a season away from Autzen Stadium since 2011 when they took on LSU at AT&T Stadium.

Highlighted by Heisman hopeful quarterback Justin Herbert, Oregon returns a combined 17 positional starters, which ranks tied for fourth nationally, from the 2018 club that produced a 9-4 season under first-year head coach Mario Cristobal that was capped with three consecutive wins, including a victory over Michigan State in the Redbox Bowl. The Ducks will also usher in a consensus top 10 recruiting class.

Both Oregon and Auburn were mainstays in 2019 preseason top 25 rankings distributed right after last season. Oregon found itself as high as No. 10 in the ESPN ranking. If the Ducks land in a preseason poll, it will mark the 10th time in 11 seasons that they have opened the season ranked.

The game will also be Oregon’s first against an SEC opponent since it defeated Tennessee, 59-14, at Autzen Stadium during the 2013 season.

Chris Boucher: king of Las Vegas Summer League and the Oregon Duck family

Chris Boucher: king of Las Vegas Summer League and the Oregon Duck family

Former Oregon Duck Chris Boucher made a strong statement in Las Vegas; he has nothing left to prove in the G league or Summer League.

After rebounding from injury his rookie season, Boucher earned G League MVP, G League Defensive Player of the Year and an NBA championship. He was the star of the Toronto Raptors Summer League team, scoring 20 or more points in each of his four games played and showed off his ever-expanding skillset. The 6-foot-10 forward’s dominant play could go a long way in proving to the franchise that his G-League production will translate to the NBA.

“It’s amazing what one year can do,” Boucher said following the Raptor’s final summer league game. “Coming into this summer league you can see what I’ve been working on and I can only get better from there.”

Boucher scored 24 points with seven rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot across 29 minutes during Friday's 108-102 loss to the Sixers in the consolation bracket of the Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged 23 points per game, good for fifth in summer league through Friday’s games.

His game showed improvement, specifically by bringing the ball up after rebounds, guarding perimeter players and finding the right spots on offense to score. Boucher said he is seeing the floor better thanks in large part from learning from Raptors’ Mark Gasol who exhibits impressive patience.

Last season, Boucher appeared in 28 games in limited action, five minutes per game, with the Raptors. With the departure of Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors could consider Boucher at the three or four. His shot-blocking ability and defensive prowess also gives him a shot a third-string center.

Ducks fans are very familiar with his excellent rim protection, Boucher was a key contributor in 2017 to help Oregon reach the Elite Eight before an ACL tear forced him to sit out and watch the Ducks lose in the Final Four. The “Oregon family” was reunited in Las Vegas.

Boucher mentioned that we got to see Dillon Brooks (his “best friend”), Tyler Dorsey, Troy Brown and Kenny Wooten. Boucher smiled and said it was fun to play (and talk a little smack) against Wooten and the Knicks in their Tuesday game.

“I got one bucket on him and I had to tell him, hey, I was there before you,” Boucher said. “But it’s all family, it’s all family… The Oregon family is always a family wherever we are at.”

After successful summer league, the NBA G League star turned NBA champion took another step towards having a role in Toronto in the near future.

Ionescu's "freaking amazing" evening at the ESPYS

Ionescu's "freaking amazing" evening at the ESPYS

The 2019 ESPY Awards recognized athletic achievements from some of the most renowned athletes and entertainers including Oregon’s own triple-double queen Sabrina Ionescu.

Wooden Award winning Ionescu brought her twin brother, Eddy, and her parents to the award show on Wednesday night at The Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

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How would Eddy describe the night? A “freaking amazing” evening that was even more special because the Ionescus made it a family affair.

By the way, Eddy hopes to walk on the Ducks men’s basketball team this season. 

The Ducks women’s basketball star was nominated for two awards; Best Record-Breaking Performance and Best College Athlete against the likes of New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, Golden State’s Klay Thompson, high school track star Matthew Boling, Duke’s Zion Williamson, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and UCLA softball player Rachel Garcia.

Brees received the ESPY for best record-breaking performance for becoming the NFL's all-time leading passer. Williamson grabbed the title for best college athlete.

The Ionescus didn’t come back with hardware but did get to meet some iconic athletes at the star-studded affair. To name a few; Brees, retired basketball player Julius Erving. Houston Rockets’ PJ Tucker and Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart.  

Which color to wear to every Oregon football game: No black

Which color to wear to every Oregon football game: No black

The Oregon athletic department has released which colors fans should wear to each Oregon football game for the 2019 season. Biggest takeaway? No blackout games and five green games. 

Is this the Ducks taking a step back towards their traditional green and yellow roots?

Ducks to open with Seton Hall in Battle 4 Atlantis

Ducks to open with Seton Hall in Battle 4 Atlantis

From the Oregon Athletic Department-

Oregon will face Seton Hall in the opening round of the 2019 Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis tournament on Nov. 27 in the Imperial Arena.

The winner of the game between the Ducks and the Pirates will meet the winner of Gonzaga-Southern Miss in the semifinals on Nov. 28, with the championship on Nov. 29.

First-round pairings on the other side of the bracket include Michigan-Iowa State and North Carolina-Alabama.

The only previous meeting between Oregon and Seton Hall resulted in one of the more memorable games of the 2000 NCAA Tournament. After Oregon took a 71-70 lead in overtime, the Pirates’ Shaheen Holloway drove the length of the floor and made a bank shot with 1.9 seconds remaining that gave the Hall a 72-71 win.

The Battle 4 Atlantis pairing pits a pair of 2019 NCAA Tournament teams against each other. Led by Pac-12 Tournament most outstanding player Payton Pritchard, the Ducks (25-13) won 10 games in a row to close the season – including the Pac-12 Tournament – before falling to eventual national champion Virginia in the Sweet 16. The Pirates return nine of their top 10 scorers from a team that went 20-14 a year ago and lost to Wofford, 84-68, in the NCAA First Round.

This will be the Ducks’ first appearance in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Louis King tapping into Dana Altman's advice during transition to NBA

Louis King tapping into Dana Altman's advice during transition to NBA

The Detroit Pistons and former Oregon Duck Louis King are off to a winning 4-0 start in Las Vegas Summer League play.

After a quiet tournament, Wednesday’s victory over Philadelphia featured a filthy King steal and jam.

“(The NBA) is more intense,” said King after the win. “There are more guys that are more active on defense and they are longer (than college). Getting by them and finishing through contact (has been a challenge).”

The 6-foot-9 forward’s goal in summer league is to showcase his perimeter defense, rebounding and ability to score buckets in transition.  King is long, fluid and surprisingly quick and explosive. On the defensive end, he was a menace at Oregon: He had at least one steal in 16 of the 31 games played as a freshman.

Through his transition from college to professional, the former five-star recruit is tapping into advice that Oregon coach Dana Altman gave him.

“(Altman’s advice) is to be a professional… To be aware that not every aspect of the league will be easy for me,” said King. “I’m going to have to grind every day and that’s what I’m capable of doing.”

King agreed to a two-way contract with the Pistons after going undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft. King was widely expected to be drafted in the second round, but can still can make a pretty penny and develop into an NBA talent.

King is averaging 12 minutes in three games played in Summer League. He’s scoring an average of 2.3 points on 17 percent shooting and 2.3 rebounds per game.

King's numbers don’t pop but summer league play isn’t over. Continuing to show improvement in Las Vegas would go a long way in proving to the franchise that King is ready for G-League and NBA minutes.

King has the potential to be a force on both ends of the floor if the G-League Grand Rapids' staff can tap into his potential. King is a prospect who is able to play positionless ball and develop into a two-way player. His power forward size, tenacious defense and perimeter skill set make him an attractive pickup for the Pistons.  

"Electric" talent to compete for 25 PGA Tour cards at Winco Foods Portland Open

"Electric" talent to compete for 25 PGA Tour cards at Winco Foods Portland Open

The Winco Foods Portland Open, voted the 2018 Web.com Tour Tournament of the Year, is just right around the corner! 25 PGA TOUR cards are awarded on Sunday as pro’s compete on the famed Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, August 8-11.

Among all the talent attending the tournament will be Oregon golf coach Casey Martin, who spoke at the media day.

Martin has an impressive list of accomplishments since taking the job at the University of Oregon; a National Championship (2016), National Coach of the Year (2017) and two-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year in (2010, 2017).

A former PGA TOUR player and Eugene, Oregon native, did you know Martin played golf at Stanford with Tiger Woods? In the interview, Martin dives into their history and the emotions he’s felt since Woods’ resurgence.

Also, Martin spoke highly of the level of “electric” talent who will compete in the sixth annual Winco Foods Portland Open. Guests will also enjoy ‘The Grove,’ located alongside the par-3 12th hole featuring local breweries, wineries and one of the most scenic views on the course.

100 percent of all ticket sales are donated to local charities and youth organizations. The 2018 tournament raised a record $1.4 Million for charity bringing the five-year total to nearly $6 million.  Tickets are for purchase here.

LaMichael James' take on Oregon's Sean Dollars: Dangerous

LaMichael James' take on Oregon's Sean Dollars: Dangerous

The best recruiting class in Oregon football history is in Eugene and preparing for their first collegiate season. Hype surrounds the star-powered 2019 class looking to make an instant impact, including Sean Dollars, who has all the tools to have a stand out freshman season and develop into a starting running back before his time is up at Oregon.

He’s also caught the eye of former Duck running back star and Heisman Trophy candidate LaMichael James who believes Dollars is already “college ready.”

“I think he will be a special player once he gets his opportunity,” James said. “He’s the highest rated running back to come to Oregon since Jonathan Stewart. You pair that with the best offensive line Oregon probably has ever had and it could be a dangerous combo.”

Dollars is the highest rated running back on Oregon’s 2019 roster and the nation’s No.1 all-purpose back, per 247sports. He is one of three Mater Dei High School players to sign with Oregon in the 2019 class. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound special talent is praised for his versatility to be a workhorse, every-down type of back that can also catch the ball out of the backfield.

"Can do it all,” Coach Mario Cristobal said. “Line him up in the slot, line him up in the backfield, empty, wildcat — you name it, he can do it. Excellent as a kick returner, also."

But exactly how can the Ducks’ utilize Dollars and where does he fit on the depth chart?

2018 saw the emergence of Ducks duo CJ Verdell and Travis Dye, who will be excellent for years to come. Cyrus Habibi-Likio is poising himself for a breakout season and Darrian Felix had a strong spring showing before being sidelined by illness.

[READ:Underdog Ducks will beat Auburn: Oregon football prediction]

That’s enviable veteran experience, which creates a good problem for UO offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo and running back coach Jim Mastro.

Should Dollars enter Oregon’s fall camp in peak physical and mental shape, he could be an elite addition to the backfield. James compared the potential blend of speed and power of the 2019 UO backfield to when he was a Duck (2009-11).

“Verdell is a downhill runner; north and south with force… I love how he runs,” James said.  “Dye is a slasher and a smooth transition from Verdell. Then you have Dollars who can be used in unique ways. (It reminds me of) me, Kenjon Barner, DeAnthony Thomas and Josh Huff, who were all pretty exchangeable in backfield.”

Undoubtedly, Dollars’ elusiveness and versatility will make him a special player at Oregon. In the right role, Dollars’ could climb the depth chart and start his Duck career right away with a money freshman season.

NBA Summer League important for seven former Ducks

NBA Summer League important for seven former Ducks

Seven former Oregon basketball players are headed to Las Vegas for NBA Summer League. For a few Ducks, the single-elimination tournament is an important chance to make way into the NBA and for some, it’s a shot to extend NBA careers

Former Ducks on Summer League rosters

Louis King (Detroit)

King and the Detroit Pistons agreed to a two-way contract after going undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft. King was widely expected to be drafted in the second round, but can still can make a pretty penny and develop into an NBA talent with the Pistons.

WATCH: Detroit vs. Croatia / Noon Friday/ ESPN3

WATCH: Detroit vs. Portland / 12:30 Saturday / ESPNU

Kenny Wooten (New York)

Wooten will join the third-overall selection, RJ Barrett, and try to make an impression during Summer League. The tournament acts as an audition for the former Duck, who is hoping for a chance to make the main roster in training camp. The Knicks, at 8-1, are favorites to win the Summer League Championship.

WATCH: New York vs. New Orleans / 6:30 PM Friday / ESPN

WATCH: New York (KW) vs. Phoenix / 6:30 PM Sunday/ ESPN

Chris Boucher (Toronto)

Boucher added two accomplishments to his resume this season; reigning NBA champion and G-League MVP. He appeared in 28 games with the Raptors and has one year left on his deal. A dominant performance in Las Vegas would go a long way in proving to the franchise that his G-League production will translate to the NBA.

WATCH: Toronto vs. Golden State / 9 PM Saturday / ESPN

WATCH: Toronto vs. San Antonio / 4 PM Monday/ ESPNU

Troy Brown (Washington)

The youngest player taken in the 2018 NBA Draft and former first-round pick enters his second season coming off of a strong final stretch of his rookie season. Brown earned consistent rotation minutes the final two months of the season. In his final 15 games, Brown averaged 9.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 27.5 minutes per game on 45.5% shooting and 35.0% from 3-point range. Summer League will be a great opportunity for Brown to show off his year one improvements.

WATCH: Washington vs. New Orleans / 7 PM  Saturday/ ESPN

WATCH: Washington vs. Brooklyn / 2:30 PM Monday/ ESPN3

Joseph Young (Los Angeles)

Young, who spent three seasons with the Pacers, is looking to earn another shot in the NBA after not playing in the league in 2018-19. He performed well in China last season.

WATCH: Lakers vs. Chicago / 4:30 PM Friday/ ESPN

WATCH: Lakers vs. Clippers / 4:30 PM Saturday/ ESPNU

MiKyle McIntosh (Indiana Pacers)

Currently, McIntosh is a member of the Hamilton Honey Badgers, a member of the newly founded Canadian Basketball League. McIntosh shined for Oregon in the 2017-18 season and is looking for an opportunity in the NBA.

WATCH: Indiana vs. Memphis / 4 PM Saturday / ESPN3

WATCH: Indiana vs. Detroit / 2 PM Monday / ESPNU

Elijah Brown (Washington)

Currently on the Grand Rapids Drive in the NBA G-League. The guard is the son of Mike Brown, former head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers, and NBA coach of the year in 2009.

WATCH: Washington vs. New Orleans / 7 PM  Saturday/ ESPN

WATCH: Washington vs. Brooklyn / 2:30 PM Monday/ ESPN3

Ducks not participating in Summer League

Bol Bol (Denver)

Dillon Brooks (Memphis)

Tyler Dorsey (free agent)

Jordan Bell (Minnesota)

Football players team up with Sabrina Ionescu for 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament

Football players team up with Sabrina Ionescu for 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament

Oregon athletes will be competing against each other in a 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament called Augusta Invitational.  

It appears that Oregon running back Darrian Felix, quarterback Tyler Shough and graduate transfer wide receiver Juwan Johnson have quite the fourth teammate: Oregon women’s basketball star Sabrina Ionescu is listed as the reserve for team “Ball So Hard University."

Offseason? What offseason? Ionescu can’t get enough basketball. The triple-double queen and Ruthy Hebard were also named to the USA 3x3 basketball tournament in Peru for the Pan American Games on July 27-29. 

Questionable to put Ionescu as a reserve... Last summer, Ionescu, Hebard, and Oregon teammates Oti Gildon and Erin Boley won the USA Basketball 3x3 national title in Colorado Springs. In May, Ionescu earned tournament MVP after helping to win the USA Basketball national title in Las Vegas.

Another intriguing aspect of this team: Johnson, who transfered from Penn State and could be quarterback Justin Herbert’s top target next season, is bonding with teammates and buying into Duck culture.

It’s a good sign that the receiver is connecting and creating relationships with Felix and Shough, who emerged as UO’s top backup quarterback this spring.

The “Ball So Hard University” squad also could play the “Tic Tacs” in the tournament: a team made up of Oregon wide receiver Brenden Schooler, tight ends Ryan Bay, Jake Breeland and “reserve” Kyle Buckner.

The “premiere tournament” will take place on July 13, according to Instagram.