Oregon Ducks

Oregon swats away No. 1 Kansas, 74-60, advances to Final Four

Oregon swats away No. 1 Kansas, 74-60, advances to Final Four

Oregon 74, Kansas 60 

How Oregon won: No. 3 Oregon (33-5) shot the lights out all night and played spirited and aggressive defense against No. 1 Kansas (31-5) to stun the mostly pro-Jayhwks crowd of 18,643 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., and win 74-60 to advance to the Final Four in Phoenix, Ariz.

Oregon got off to a fantastic start shooting 60 percent in the first half including 7 of 12 from three-point range. That led to a 44-33 lead at the break. The Ducks closed the half with two three-point baskets from sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey. One bounced off the rim, went straight up then back down and in. The other came from straight away deep and went off the backboard at the buzzer. 

Dorsey had 14 in the first half, senior guard Dylan Ennis had 10 and junior forward Dillon Brooks scored 9. Maybe the best performance of the half came from junior forward Jordan Bell, who had four points, eight rebounds and blocked four shots that set the tone on defense. 

Kansas shot 42.9 percent in the first half and were hurt considerably by the foul trouble that Josh Jackson found himself in early on. It disrupted his flow and he finished with zero points after shooting just one shot. Frank Mason III carried the Jayhawks in the first half with 17. 

The great play on offense by UO fell off a bit in the second half but the Ducks' defense did not. Bell put fear into the hearts of every Kansas player that entred the paint with eight blocked shots that ultimately led to countless other altered shots for the Jayhawks. 

On offense, whenever Kansas even remotely looked like it could get back into the game, someone on Oregon made a big play to push the Jayhawks back. 

What it means: Oregon advances to the Final Four for the first time since 1939 when the Ducks last won a national title. 

Key sequence: Kansas got the deficit down to 61-51 in the second half and turned up the heat on defense. After moving the ball around a bit, it ended up in the hands of Dorsey, who starred down his defender and nailed a three-pointer to make the score 64-51, UO. As Dorsey ran back on defense he put one finger to his lips to tell the pro-Kansas crowd to "shush." 

Kansas cut its deficit down to 64-55 but then Ennis scored on a layup to give UO a 66-55 lead. 

Kansas later got a three from forward Svi Mykhailiuk to make it 66-60, UO with 2:49 remaining. Then KU seemingly had a defensive stop working when the shot clock ran down on UO forcing Dorsey to throw up a desperation shot. Kansas, however, failed to get the rebound and the ball landed in Bell's hands. Seconds later, Dorsey cranked up a three to go up 69-60 with 1:41 remaining. 

That was pretty much that. 

High-flying Ducks: Dorsey ended with 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting and had five rebounds. Bell gave the Ducks 11 points and 13 rebounds to go along with his eight blocked shots. 

Brooks scored 17 while making 7 of 18 shots. 

Up next:  Oregon will take on the winner of Sunday's South Region finals game between No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Kentucky in next Saturday's Final Four. 

[Official] Oregon basketball whiffs on Cassius Stanley; Where the Ducks stand

[Official] Oregon basketball whiffs on Cassius Stanley; Where the Ducks stand

Oregon basketball is still piecing its 2019 recruiting class together.

The Ducks whiffed on Cassius Stanley, who committed to Duke. The No. 29 player in the country is ranked No. 3 among combo guards, according to 247 Sports. Oregon was heavily pursuing Stanley, who originally narrowed his top three schools to UO, Kansas and UCLA, ahead of his visit to Duke last weekend, when he added the Blue Devils to the finalist list. 

During his announcement, Stanley praised Oregon as an “up and coming program” with “elite coaches” before selecting Duke.

A commitment from Stanley and consensus five-star combo guard Cole Anthony, would have likely launched Oregon back into the discussion for a top-10 class nationally.

Anthony is expected to make his college decision tomorrow. He’s narrowed the choices to North Carolina, Oregon, Georgetown and Notre Dame.

Oregon defensive lineman and the nation’s top football 2019 recruit, Kayvon Thibodeaux made his feelings known on Twitter.

Currently, Oregon’s 2019 class is ranked 12th nationally and third in the Pac-12 Conference after landing a big verbal commitment from transfer guard on Saturday.

After visiting Eugene for the Oregon spring football game, Duquesne sophomore guard Eric Williams, Jr. announced on Twitter that he committed to the Ducks will enroll at Oregon for next basketball season.

6-foot-6 Williams, who averaged 14 points and 7.6 rebounds per game this season, will sit out the 2019-20 basketball season and then be a redshirt junior for the 2020-21 season.

The Ducks have also landed commitments from junior college national player of the year candidate Chris Duarte and consensus four-star big man Isaac Johnson, who is expected to take a two-year LDS mission and won't be back in Eugene until 2021. Rounding out Oregon's 2019 class is two 6-foot-8, four-star prospects CJ Walker and Chandler Lawson. 

Meet the Ducks' latest basketball recruiter: Oregon WR Mycah Pittman

Meet the Ducks' latest basketball recruiter: Oregon WR Mycah Pittman

Oregon men's basketball is trying to land one of the nation's top high school athletes, four-star shooting guard Cassius Stanley.

Coach Dana Altman should thank Oregon freshman wide receiver Mycah Pittman, who is already fighing for a starting spot, for doing a little recruiting on Stanley's Instagram. Pittman wrote a simple "Sco (Ducks)" comment. 

Kansas, Oregon, and UCLA were originally Stanley’s top three schools. Ahead of his visit to Duke last weekend, he added the Blue Devils to the finalist list. 

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard out of Sierra Canyon High School (Los Angeles, California) will commit today at 12:30 p.m.. 247 Sports ranks Stanley as the No. 29 player in the country, No. 3 among combo guards and No. 3 in California. 

2019 Oregon spring football game provides fans a lot to “Shout!” about

2019 Oregon spring football game provides fans a lot to “Shout!” about

There was something different about the 2019 Oregon spring football game.

The spring scrimmage finale provided the expected excitement about the potential of next season and appreciation for the United States military. However, Coach Mario Cristobal laid out the red carpet and invites to elevate the usual big alumni weekend to “something bigger."

“So important for our players to learn more about our past,” Cristobal said. “To grow as a football team understanding that for us, upholding the legacy requires a lot and seeing (alumni) face-to-face and eye-to-eye.”

The support for the present squad was insane; surrounded by former Ducks and future Ducks alike. The Autzen Stadium sideline was bursting with Oregon legends and chockfull of a deep collection of talented recruits.

In front of Pro Football Hall of Fame member Dan Fouts, Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, the nation’s top quarterback recruit D.J. Uiagalelei, Mighty Oregon (first team offense/second team defense) beat the Fighting Ducks (second team offense/first team defense), 20-13.

It’s a good sign when the only moment of contention came at the end of the third quarter when the sound system experienced major difficulties during the “Shout!” song and dance; fans could barely hear the Autzen Stadium tradition and made their displeasure known. But that doesn’t mean the 35,100 fans in attendance weren’t electrified by what they saw.

Quarterback Justin Herbert is still elite, throwing a pair of touchdown passes and making zero errors. However, back-up quarterback Tyler Shough stole the show. Oregon fans can breathe easy knowing the Ducks have a reliable backup quarterback. After not attempting a pass last season, the redshirt freshman made effective short throws and looked poised with quick decision making. He’s added 10 pounds of muscle and is looking every bit the fit of a Pac-12 starting quarterback.

"It definitely felt good,” said Shough. “At this point, it's just executing the game plan and executing the plays and having fun out there. I know we have good players around me so just feeding them the ball the best I can."
Shough finished with 178 receiving yards on 18-of-31 passing with one interception and 12 rushing yards.

The battle to replace former leading receiver Dillon Mitchell’s production was on full display and it appears Herbert will have plenty of offensive weapons in 2019. With large-and-in-charge graduate transfer Juwan Johnson, freshmen Mycah Pittman and Josh Delgado plus improved veterans Jaylon Redd, Brenden Schooler and Johnny Johnson III, Oregon’s wide receiver room is deep.

After an up-and-down 2018 season, Schooler showcased his development with the highlight catch of the day; a 26-yard sideline fade grab with Thomas Graham draped all over him. Pittman led all receivers with seven receptions. Johnson snagged three catches, one for a touchdown. His 6-foot-4, 230-pound size advantage will be a constant goal line threat.

Maybe the best news? Zero dropped passes from the wide receivers. Although, a few catchable balls hit the turf from Oregon’s tight ends.

According to Cristobal, Oregon running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio has earned a larger role in 2019. Habibi-Likio had 12 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 24 yards.

The defense showed they haven’t missed a beat under new defensive coordinator Andy Avalos. La’Mar Winston Jr. looks to be the top candidate to play Avalos’ “STUD” position. It’s clear Kayvon Thibodeaux will make an instant impact. The nation’s top recruit generated consistent pressure and recorded a sack.

“The best part about it is his expectation for himself is as big or bigger as we have for him,” Cristobal said. “I don’t want to be a cliché guy, but he’s got a five-star heart and five-star talent.”

Of the 10 early enrollees of UO’s 2019 recruiting class, four are defensive players and Thibodeaux wasn’t the only one to shine in the spring game. Cornerback Mykael Wright led the team with five tackles, three pass break-ups and a game-sealing interception in the end zone.

UO now enters its offseason strength and conditioning program while the coaches hit the recruiting trail.  On a beautiful spring day and the blooming of a spring tradition that puts emphasis on alumni and legacy, it was a good day to be a Duck.

Rapid Reaction: Quick takeaways from the Oregon spring game

Rapid Reaction: Quick takeaways from the Oregon spring game

A few quick takeaways from the Oregon spring game:

Mighty Oregon defeated the Fighting Ducks, 20-13.

- Tyler Shough has all the tools to become a Pac-12 level starting quarterback. Oregon fans can breathe easy knowing the Ducks have a reliable backup quarterback. The redshirt freshman made effective short throws and looked poised. Yes, it was only a spring game versus the second team defense but I was impressed with his decision making and sharp arm, plus adding 10 pounds of muscle with a better grasp on the playbook doesn’t hurt either.

- Improved dropped passes from the wide receivers. After an up and down 2018 season, Johnny Johnson III and Brenden Schooler showcased their development, confidence and held on the ball.

- Justin Herbert is still elite. He had a pair of touchdown passes and made zero errors.

- Kayvon Thibodeaux is going to make an instant impact. He generated consistent pressure and had a sack.

Oregon spring game: Be the fan in the know

Oregon spring game: Be the fan in the know

Do you want to be the Duck football fan in the know for the Oregon spring football game? I've got you covered. 

Saturday will be a great opportunity to see ten early enrollees from Oregon’s highest-ever rated recruiting class, plus fresh face Penn State graduate transfer wide receiver Juwan Johnson! Watch the video about for what you should be watching for. 

The roster will be split into two teams instead of the offense vs. defense format from a year ago. Rosters for the “Mighty Oregon” squad and the “Fighting Ducks” team will be unveiled soon. 

More details:

  • Admission is free.
  • Fans are asked to bring three non-perishable food items for donation to Food for Lane County. 
  • Oregon legends and Pro Football Hall of Fame members Gary Zimmerman (OL, 1980-83) and Dan Fouts (QB, 1970-72) will represent the two teams during the coin toss.
  • Fans are encouraged to arrive early and carpool as much as possible. The Autzen Stadium East parking lot will open to the public at 11:30 a.m. at a cost of $5 per vehicle.
  • Starting at 1 p.m. there will be an Easter egg hunt for children on the HDC practice fields. Fans should enter through the north gate that is closest to Martin Luther King Boulevard.
  • The men’s basketball program will be signing autographs inside Autzen Stadium on the concourse starting at 1 p.m. Commemorative autograph cards will be provided.
  • Flyover by F-15s from Oregon National Guard during the national anthem.

Meet Mycah Pittman, the Oregon freshman with "fire in his belly"

Meet Mycah Pittman, the Oregon freshman with "fire in his belly"

How can Oregon make the most of quarterback Justin Herbert’s final season as a Duck? One fresh-faced Duck receiver is working on going from starstruck to filling big shoes. As one of the highest rated receivers to sign with Oregon, freshman Mycah Pittman has made his presence felt and is already impacting the Duck offense.

The battle to replace former leading receiver Dillon Mitchell’s production (75 receptions for 1,184 yards) will be on full display Saturday in Eugene at the Oregon football spring game.

Pittman, a consensus four-star recruit and top three wide receiver from California, has been playing in the slot during spring practices with his eye on expanding his role. His speed is a major asset but his strong hands have impressed teammates and coaches.

“He’s got that swagger, he knows who he is, his potential, but he can ball too,” Jevon Holland said. “He’s resilient and he’s got fire in his belly. He’s got a lot of what we need in the receiver position and on the team, period. Especially from a young guy to push the older guys.”

Dropped passes aren’t an issue for Pittman. “Yea, you will rarely see me drop a pass,” Pittman said before correcting himself. “You wont see that. Let’s leave it at that.

“I never double catch the ball, I’ll make sure I stay after practice if I need to get it right,” Pittman said after Tuesday’s practice.  

Every day for two months, Pittman spent his hands deep in a bucket of rice, an “old school workout” exercising his hands to increase strength and grip.

Pittman already has a grasp on more than 90 percent of Oregon’s playbook. He enrolled early to get a head start on executing alignments, routes and developing a connection with Herbert. March 29 was his first day, but his Oregon career started long before that. Before and after high school, Pittman hit the books to study Oregon’s offense for a total of three hours a day. He took to the whiteboard to work on the X’s and O’s and used up five dry erase markers.

“I didn’t see any type of transition from him,” La’Mar Winston Jr. said. “He was ready to go from the first practice, first play, first catch. Strong hands, nice route runner.”

Pittman was in awe when describing catching passes from Herbert. “I caught my first pass on a little out route from Justin Herbert and I was like, ‘Yo, Justin Herbert just threw me the ball!’” Pittman said. “This is the No. 1 pick, I’ve seen this guy on TV, and he’s bigger in person. It’s pretty cool. He’s a very humble guy.”

His preparation and attention to detail has paid off. Within three weeks, Pittman has turned heads with flashy grabs from Herbert and backup quarterback Tyler Shough, elevated the play of the position group as a whole and developed a friendship with another newcomer who has already climbed the depth chart, Juwan Johnson.

Although new to the Oregon roster, Johnson has experience on his side, playing in 16 more games than the Ducks’ most veteran wide receiver, Brenden Schooler (21 games).

“He’s a great kid ultimately. He just wants to learn," said Johnson on his first impression of Pittman. “I sort of took him under my wing when he got here. He was sort of lost and eager to learn the plays. So we kind of picked up the plays together and did it that way. It was great for both of us, very beneficial. I had no idea his dad was Michael Pittman until last week.”

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound athlete from Calabasas High School has football in his blood. His father Michael Pittman was a productive NFL running back for a decade and won a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mycah lived in Florida for 10 years.

When it comes to drawbacks of the freshman, the Ducks don’t have much to say. Although, Pittman says cherry jelly beans are a junk food weakness. Totally relatable.

The depth chart is open and Pittman is ready to fight for a starting spot.  He doesn’t feel pressure for Saturday, to play in Autzen Stadium with fans watching for the first time, “I am more excited when there are more people to see me."

Glimpse of life without Sabrina Ionescu: Oregon WBB lands the nation’s top guard, Sydney Parrish

Glimpse of life without Sabrina Ionescu: Oregon WBB lands the nation’s top guard, Sydney Parrish

The future is so bright for Oregon women’s basketball, you might need to wear shades.

Okay that was a lame, overused pun.

Fresh off a Final Four run, the Oregon women’s basketball program has elevated it’s standard, discarded its “newbie” title among the nation’s elite and landed the nation’s No. 11 overall prospect and the No. 1 guard in the class of 2020, according to ESPNW.

Indiana-native Sydney Parrish committed to Oregon over Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee and UCLA. The 6-foot-2 athlete is the first five-star prospect to commit to Oregon since Satou Sabally in the class of 2017 and the highest rated recruit to commit to Oregon since Sabrina Ionescu (No. 4 overall in 2016).

The Ducks are looking more like a perennial national contender by the minute. Expected to be the top-rated preseason team in 2019-20, Oregon returns most of its team including rising stars Sabally, Erin Boley, Nyara Sabally and a very-determined Sabrina Ionescu, who opted to stay at Oregon with one more accolade in mind; a national championship.

However, the Wooden Award winning Ionescu has only one year of eligibility left. As irreplaceable as the triple-double queen is, Parrish has all the tools to pick up and lead the Ducks when Ionescu turns pro.

"We're building something here in Eugene," Ionescu said in her Players Tribune letter. "We're building something — together — that's going to last for a long time after we've all graduated."

As a junior, Parrish averaged 21 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game, leading Hamilton Southeastern School (Indiana) to its first-ever state championship and earning the Gatorade State Player of the Year award.

The elite guard is Oregon’s first verbal commitment for the 2020 class and Parrish plans on being an active recruiter for the Ducks.

She’s a skilled and versatile sharpshooter that clicked with coach Kelly Graves immediately.

“It didn’t feel like any other visit,” Parrish said to Prospects Nation.  “I didn’t feel like the coaches were trying to sell me on anything.”

Parrish and her family were taking spring break in Florida when the Ducks made the Final Four in Tampa Bay earlier this month.  Her parents surprised her with tickets and Parrish was able to watch her future team.  

No. 12 ATH Anthony Beavers Jr. commits to Mario Cristobal, Oregon Ducks

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Oregon Football

No. 12 ATH Anthony Beavers Jr. commits to Mario Cristobal, Oregon Ducks

His last name is Beavers but he is headed to the Oregon Ducks.

Mario Cristobal gets the commit from four-star 2021 ATH (ranked as the nation's No. 12 ATH) Anthony Beavers Jr. from Harbor City, California. 

The 6’2, 170 lbs ATH primarily plays in the secondary, which is good news for safeties coach Keith Heyward and cornerbacks coach Donte Williams as current juniors Nick Pickett, Brady Breeze, Deommodore Lenoir and Thomas Graham Jr., who have a lot of experience playing with one another, will likely no longer be on the roster in 2021.

Beavers Jr. joins other 2021 four-star running back commit Seven McGee, also from the state of California making that #Califlock pipeline from California to Oregon strong for Mario Cristobal and his staff. McGee and Beavers Jr. rank No. 5 and No. 11 respectively in the state of California. 

Beavers Jr. describes playing for the Oregon Ducks as his “dream school” and Mario Cristobal is here to make it happen.

Dillion Mitchell is meeting with NFL teams and ready to make the world 'eat their words'

Dillion Mitchell is meeting with NFL teams and ready to make the world 'eat their words'

Dillon Mitchell, the highly recruited four-star WR prospect out of Memphis, Tennessee, has been pegged as a “sleeper” in a loaded receiver class but has found a unique niche. The Pac-12 2018 receiving yards leader is eager to make a team and prove he belongs in the NFL, where his goal is to win a Super Bowl.

Mitchell has visited the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, according to the former Oregon star. 

Coming off of one of the best seasons a Duck has ever had that resulted in an NFL Combine invitation, Mitchell also had formal meetings at the Combine with the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys.

“It has been great to be invited in and get to be around the place I would be working,” said the Redbox Bowl MVP. “Only surprising aspect would be that as I viewed the NFL facilities, I look back at the Oregon facility as something like Mount Olympus now. Nothing compares to the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex. Nothing.”

Mitchell chose to strike while the iron was hot and declare for the 2019 NFL Draft after shattering expectations in 2018, which he describes as a tough decision. Oregon coach Mario Cristobal’s advice was if he decided to take his talents to the NFL, go in with a whole heart and don’t let an opportunity slip by… Guidance that Mitchell has taken to heart.

“The whole world is going to eat their words.” Mitchell tweeted on April 12.

UO’s single-season leader in receiving yards said he was referencing his hunger and determination to be one of the best receivers in the NFL. He wants to quiet critics, who list his ball-tracking as a main concern. Mitchell says his agent has told him to prepare for his draft range to be anywhere from first round to undrafted, come April 25-27.

I watched Mitchell show off his electric athleticism by making contested catches away from his frame and at tough angles at Oregon. The chip on his shoulder reminds me of former Ducks basketball star Dillon Brooks; it powers their ability instead of limits it. In my opinion, there is too much for an NFL team to fall in love with for Mitchell to go undrafted.   

Yes, the 2019 receivers group is full of incredible, large athletes who excel in contested catches. The pool of slot players and short-target threats is smaller. Mitchell fits the bill for a variety of team needs, but has been seriously linked to the Cardinals (where he could be catching passes from quarterback prospect and rumored overall No. 1 draft pick Kyler Murray).

If it was up to Mitchell’s father, Dillon would be in silver and black next season with the Oakland Radiers. He called his dad is a “top-tier Raiders fan” with a decadent man cave who is considering moving to Las Vegas. Can you imagine Mitchell alongside Antonio Brown in Oakland?

His ability as a ball carrier, excellent route running, efficient footwork and yards after catch potential make him an enticing weapon for NFL offenses. At 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, Mitchell checks the box for his frame. His explosive junior season caught a lot of attention, recording 75 catches for 1,184 yards and ten touchdowns.

The pre-draft visits are a huge opportunity for Mitchell to feature his large route tree and how quickly he can process different game scenarios. Naturally soft spoken, Mitchell's interviews could give him the opportunity set himself apart from the other mid-round wide receivers. 

His biggest strength is his versatility: he could play outside, in the slot, or both. His downfield speed serves as both a scorcher on offense and as a potential force in the return game. Mitchell periodically handled return duties, with a long return of 45 yards on a punt return during his rookie season.

The Draft Network said Mitchell is, "sudden as smoke when releasing off the line of scrimmage or attacking would-be tacklers on screens and other quick-hitting plays." Mitchell lands at No. 124 (round four) on the best available prospects list, which would be the Seattle Seahawks' selection.

A strong combine and Oregon pro day performance added buzz and likely raised his draft stock. Mitchell proved his extremely quick ability to accelerate and stretch the field in the 40-yard dash, timing in at 4.46 seconds, the 14th fastest out of 47 receivers who ran. At Oregon’s pro day he recorded a 6.93 second three-cone drill, which would be sixth among 29 wide receivers who ran at the combine.

With his whole heart in it, Mitchell can’t wait to hear his name called.

“I think it will be a different type of feeling that I’ve never felt before,” Mitchell said. "I’ve been holding onto this dream for so long, since I was a kid. And for something to finally happen… I’m not sure what the emotions will be but I’m going to have tears of joy most definitely.”