Oregon Ducks

Oregon upsets Arizona: Quick takeaways

Oregon upsets Arizona: Quick takeaways

Oregon just upset Arizona (13-5, 4-1 Pac-12) at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz., 59-54. A few takeaways from the big win:

The Ducks handed the wildcats their first Pac-12 loss with huge help from their defense and rebounding. Oregon held Arizona to 37 percent shooting from the field.  Oregon had nine offensive rebounds that led to 11 second-chance points. 

The return of Kenny Wooten: After not disclosing whether Wooten would play against Arizona or not, Wooten suited up and played 25 minutes with a full-face mask. His impact was immediate with an inside presence that Arizona didn't have an answer for. He finished with five points, seven rebounds and one block (although it looked more like two or three). 

Payton Pritchard's Duck legacy continues: He scored his 1,000th career point. The only Oregon native scholarship player on the roster, Pritchard is 37th in UO history to reach that milestone. 

Paul White continues to step up: The senior led UO with 16 points and five rebounds. The win marks his fifth consecutive game with double-figure points. 

Oregon closed out a tight victory: Single digits have decided six of the last seven meetings between Oregon and Arizona. To close out the game, the Ducks grabbed three offensive rebounds and Louis King made three of four free throws with 90 seconds to go. 

The Ducks improve to 2-2 in Pac-12 conference play, 11-6 overall. Next up, Arizona State. 

Why Mario Cristobal thinks Justin Herbert will be successful in the NFL

Why Mario Cristobal thinks Justin Herbert will be successful in the NFL

Where will Oregon football quarterback Justin Herbert be selected in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft?

Some mock drafts have Herbert going to either the Miami Dolphins at No. 5 or the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 6. Some have the New England Patriots taking him at No. 23 as the heir to the Tom Brady throne. In two weeks, we will have that answer.

Wherever Herbert ends up, one thing is for sure: Mario Cristobal believes his success at the next level is undeniable.

Cristobal joined host Jordan Kent on the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast:

He has it all. There is nothing that he does not have. This guys is a student of the game that plays and works with tremendous passion. A relentless competitor. The intangibles are all there: wants to win; wants to win for his teammates; is not really concerned with personal glories; statistical data, none of that. He just wants to win and he knows to win he has to be a great leader aside from being a great player. — Mario Cristobal

Physically, there’s not a throw that he can’t make. Not only that he can’t make, but that he can do better than everybody else. He’s done some things on the field that I would look over and you know when you have a whistle half way hanging out of your mouth going ‘What? Did that just happen?’ — Mario Cristobal 

Herbert’s four-year run at Oregon is nothing short of incredible. From a 4-8 record his freshman year to a Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl victory in his last, his legacy of the hometown hero from Eugene will always be remembered. 

After his collegiate career ended in green and yellow, Herbert went out and won the MVP of the Reese’s Senior Bowl and once again turned heads at the NFL Combine.

Here is how Herbert measured up at the Combine: 6-foot-6; 236 pounds; 32 7/8 inch wingspan; 10 inch hands; 4.68 40-yard dash; 35.5 inch vertical; 123 inch broad jump; 7.06 second 3-cone drill; and a 4.46 20-yard shuttle run.

Oh, and he also showed off his tremendous cannon for an arm at Oregon’s Pro Day:

Looking forward to watching Herbert at the next level.

Former Dallas Cowboys VP of Player Personnel loves Justin Herbert

Former Dallas Cowboys VP of Player Personnel loves Justin Herbert

Despite Justin Herbert being widely expected to be selected in the first ten picks of the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, he's had quite a mixed reception from draft experts with looming questions about his leadership and decision making.

However, the Oregon quarterback has one large believer in him: Gil Brandt. 

The former Dallas Cowboys Vice President of Player Personnel (1960-1988) held a Twitter Q&A about the Draft and had quite the confidence in Herbert as a prospect, even saying he may be better than Joe Burrow.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner has been the slam dunk, consensus choice to go first overall in the draft to the Cincinnati Bengals for months after leading LSU to a National Championship and putting up a historically efficient passing season. But even then, Brandt thinks that Herbert is in the same tier as Burrow rather than competing with Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Utah State's Justin Love in the tier below. 

This also isn't the first time Brandt raved about Herbert as he praised his performance in the NFL Combine, too.

Brandt's opinion holds credence too.

In his Hall of Fame career, he pioneered many scouting techniques such as using computers for scouting evaluations, looking outside football for prospects, drafting based on potential in the lower rounds which yielded Dallas Herschel Walker, use of psychological tests and helped create the NFL Scouting Combine. Those advancements helped the Cowboys win two Super Bowls while he worked for the franchise, and trading Walker to Minnesota in 1989 paved the way for three more Super Bowls in the 1990s. 

The Cowboys inducted him into the 2018 Ring of Honor a year before his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

He now works for NFL.com as a draft analyst and Sirius XM as a radio host.  

The 6-foot-6, 237 pound Herbert passed for 3,417 yards, 32 touchdowns and only six interceptions while leading the Ducks to a 12-2 record, a Pac-12 Championship, and a Rose Bowl Championship in his senior season.

We will find out where Justin Herbert will begin his professional career on April 23, when the NFL Draft will be going virtual

Oregon linebacker Troy Dye creates make-shift Pro Day video

Oregon linebacker Troy Dye creates make-shift Pro Day video

We are exactly two weeks away from the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Unfortunately, we are in a time where face-to-face contact, workouts, meetings, and everything that goes into preparing for the Draft has been flipped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This should be a time to showcase your talents one last time, interview and meet with teams, post workout videos, etc. Some players need that extra lift in the eye of general managers across the league.

Oregon linebacker Troy Dye is one of those guys. 

We saw his talent showcased during the season, leading Oregon to a Pac-12 championship and Rose Bowl victory and doing it with one hand and a bum knee. It is as important now more than ever for Dye to showcase his talent as much as possible since he did not participate at the Combine or play in the Senior Bowl. 

Turns out Dye made his own makeshift Pro Day:

Not bad for a guy coming off half a season with a broken thumb and meniscus tear!

HISTORY AT OREGON

Dye made a name for himself in the Oregon history books. 

He is the only player in Oregon history to lead the team in tackles four consecutive seasons and finished third in program history in career tackles (397) and tied for fourth in tackles for loss (44.0). 

Dye has been the backbone of this Oregon defense since his freshman season. From a 4-8 to Rose Bowl champs four years later, having Dye return to Oregon for his senior season was huge for the Ducks last season. During his four-year reign, the defense went through three different defensive coordinators and needed a guy like Dye to step up. He definitely did.

DRAFT PROJECTIONS

As Rapoport stated above, Dye is a potential ‘Friday pick,’ meaning day two of the NFL draft which consists of rounds two through three.

Here’s how Dye weighed in at the NFL Combine: 6-foot-3, 231 pounds; arm length 32 1/4 inches; hand size 9 3/8 inches.

NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein had this to say on the linebacker:

It's easy to fall in love with the tackle production, football IQ and sideline-to-sideline range but his slight frame and difficulty keeping weight on could become a major stumbling block for him in the way teams view his pro potential. His skill set and recognition are best suited along the inside, but due to his size, he might need to ply his trade as an outside 'backer in a 4-3 defense. He has three-down talent with the aptitude to cover or blitz and is in line to go from plus-backup to eventual starter if he can keep good weight on his frame.

According to the latest mock drafts, Dye is a projected late second round, early third round pick:

No. 62 overall to the Green Bay Packers (Draftsite.com)

No. 81 overall to the Las Vegas Raiders (Sports Illustrated)

Oregon Ducks players call out Mike Gundy's blatant hypocrisy

Oregon Ducks players call out Mike Gundy's blatant hypocrisy

With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down all sporting events nationwide, few are as frustrated as Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy who made some controversial comments regarding the safety of student-athletes in a recent teleconference with reporters.

The NCAA, the presidents of the universities, the Power 5 conference commissioners, the athletic directors need to be meeting right now, and we need to start coming up with answers. In my opinion, if we have to bring our players back, test them. They’re all in good shape. They’re all 18-, 19-, 20-, 21- and 22-year-olds. They’re healthy. A lot of them can fight it off with their natural body, the antibodies and the build that they have. There’s some people that are asymptomatic. If that’s true, then we sequester them. And people say that’s crazy. No, it’s not crazy because we need to continue and budget and run money through the state of Oklahoma. -- Mike Gundy

The comments went viral on Twitter for many reasons, but the most blatant is the seeming lack of regard for the safety of his student-athletes. He even says at the end of his statement that's because they need to "run money through the state of Oklahoma" all but saying that the money matters more to him than the health of his players. Gundy also said that he was planning to begin football activities again on May 1st. 

Contrast that with Mario Cristobal's statement to the media when the pandemic canceled their spring football plans: "Obviously making sure that we are aware of all the developments that are going on and making sure that player safety and everything else that goes with it is at the forefront of our decisions. So now we'll make sure and get with the administration, gather all the information necessary to take the next steps necessary to ensure that our student-athletes are taken care of. And that their health..is at the forefront of our decisions so that's what I'll like to do. " 

Since Gundy's outlandish remarks the school has responsibly stopped his plans to move forward on May 1st, but that didn't stop the internet from seeing the insane plan of action.

Many players nationwide have reacted to his lack of empathy including many from Oregon who see what we're all seeing: Why would they risk not only their health but the health of their families when they aren't allowed to be paid? 

Oklahoma State gave Mike Gundy a contract extension in January 2019 that extended him through 2023 and paid him $5.125 million in 2020.

That's $5.125 million more than thousands of division one college football players receive when it's their bodies on the line to fill the NCAA's pockets. No wonder he's in such a rush to get back on the field.

Some state senates such as Oregon and California have passed bills that could allow for student-athletes to receive compensation in the form of sponsorship deals as soon as 2023. 

Which brand should Sabrina Ionescu sign with?

Which brand should Sabrina Ionescu sign with?

Sabrina Ionescu has one of the toughest, coolest questions to answer coming up: which brand should she sign with?

It is a question only some professional athletes get the pleasure of answering and one that has been in the making for some time for the Oregon basketball prodigy. 

According to Ionescu, she has narrowed down this decision to three brands: Nike, Puma and Under Armour.

Let’s break down why she should sign with either of these three:

WHY NIKE?

Nike has shown much interest in the prodigy from Oregon. 

The company designed and sold her #20 jersey for retail which anyone could purchase in either white or green. The jersey sold out within a day and Nike had to restock immediately.

If there was this much enthusiasm of fans wanting to represent their favorite player, imagine what a brand like Nike could do with a shoe deal for Ionescu. 

Ionescu would become another in a small elite crew of women’s basketball players to get a shoe deal with Nike: Sheryl Swoopes became the first female Nike athlete to have her own Nike signature shoe. 

WHY PUMA

Puma is trying to establish itself as the next up and coming brand for young professional athletes. 

The company signed former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Deandre Ayton to a deal in 2018. Shortly after, Zhaire Smith (2018 NBA Draft pick No. 16 overall) signed to Puma along with Sacramento’s Marvin Bailey III. 

Not just athletes, but Puma announced rapper Jay-Z as the next creative director of its basketball operations.

WHY UNDER ARMOUR

Perhaps Steph Curry has something to do with this….

Ionescu and Curry are long time friends. The two have supported one another for years now, attending the other’s games, holding workouts, giving advice, photos, etc. 

[RELATED]: Sabrina Ionescu, Steph Curry make the most of self-quarantine 

Their relationship could be one of the biggest factors in the pull towards Under Armour.

I’ve been kind of going between Nike, Under Armour and Puma. Obviously have a good relationship with Steph [Curry] so hearing what he has to offer and the opportunity I can take that with and also having a relationship with Phil Knight and being a Nike athlete [University of Oregon] for the last 10 years of my basketball career is also appealing. Just trying to weight out all my options and see what the best opportunity for me would be. — Sabrina Ionescu on the Bald Faced Truth Podcast

Ionescu will make her decision in a few weeks.

Oregon OC Joe Moorhead sends pizza to Starkville PD

Oregon OC Joe Moorhead sends pizza to Starkville PD

Although Joe Moorhead's stint as head coach at Mississippi State didn't go according to plan, he still appreciated his time there and in the surrounding community. 

Now, following in the footsteps of Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal who along with his wife Jessica fed the Eugene Police Department this week, Moorhead fed a police department but he chose the one from the last community he coached in: Starkville. 

Despite no longer residing in Starkville, Moorhead made the classy move of donating them lunch to show his appreciation for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic, by purchasing them some Papa John's pizza.

The new Oregon Offensive Coordinator responded to Starkville PD's thankful post with one of his own.

"You’re very welcome. Keep up the great work," said Moorhead. "My family and I are very appreciative of everything you have done and continue to do for the community. Particularly in this time of uncertainty. God Bless"

The Mississippi State family gave Moorhead well-deserved recognition for the kind gesture.

Sabrina Ionescu, Steph Curry make the most of self-quarantine

Sabrina Ionescu, Steph Curry make the most of self-quarantine

The coronavirus pandemic won’t stop Sabrina Ionescu from getting some hoops in with Steph Curry.

The two GOATS are both quarantining in the Bay Area and luckily, they have one another to stay in tip-top shape. 

Don’t worry, they were 6-feet apart. See Sabrina’s recent Instagram post for evidence. 

Ionescu, who grew up in Walnut Creek, is expected to be the top pick in the WNBA’s virtual draft on Friday, April 17. 

She’s coming off a historic collegiate career at Oregon and completed a clean sweep of the major individual awards in college basketball, including the illustrious John R. Wooden Award, which recognizes the nation’s most outstanding player. 

Over the past few years, Ionescu’s developed a close relationship with mentor Curry. The Warriors star cheered on Ionescu and the Ducks as the triple-double queen became the only player in NCAA history to record 2,000 career points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.

"It's pretty amazing to see her set new levels of expectation for what greatness is, not just for women's basketball but for basketball in general," Curry told ESPN. 

"She's blazing a trail nobody has set foot on." 

It takes one legend to recognize another. 

WATCH Sabrina Ionescu featured in Sabrina the "GOAT" independent film

WATCH Sabrina Ionescu featured in Sabrina the "GOAT" independent film

Sabrina Ionescu will leave Eugene a legend that'll be remembered forever, but her tale is not confined to the University of Oregon.

The GOAT has become a national sensation while in a Ducks uniform becoming the first player in NCAA history, men's or women's basketball, to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in a college career. She's also the all-time leader in triple-doubles regardless of gender, by a large margin. 

It's no wonder that her status has spawned fans not only nationwide but across the globe, including in her parents' homeland: Romania. 

A new short film displays the global outreach of Ionescu's legend.

Okay, you got us. Sabrina Ionescu may not star in the film but Sabrina the goat does. And that's close enough. 

Plus, she put on the best performance from a goat since Black Phillip scared stan twitter in A24's The VVitch. That's easily worth the watch alone. 

Also, plenty of people were on the correct side of history praising the film.

The film was written by Michael Bishop. Directed and shot by Matt Wilcox & Blue Ox.

Bishop was one of the original members of Supwitchugirl, which became popular with their "I love my Ducks" song and slogan. 

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal and wife donate box lunches to Eugene police

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal and wife donate box lunches to Eugene police

Mario Cristobal and his wife Jessica realize there are many police officers working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On Tuesday, the Oregon football coach and his family decided to give back to those local responders working the lunch shift at the Eugene Police Department. 

The Cristobals packed individual meals for police personnel, each containing this message: “Thank you for your selfless service to our community! We appreciate you! God bless and stay safe.”

The Eugene Police Department was taken back by the selfless gesture from the Ducks community and shared this thank you post on Twitter. 

“BIG THANKS to @oregonfootball, @coach_cristobal, @jesscristobaLLL, who donated these delicious box lunches today.The whole stack disappeared a short time after they arrived. We are grateful for your support.”

During a press conference with the media Friday, Cristobal expressed his appreciation for those who are serving the community during the coronavirus pandemic. 

"I've always had the ultimate respect for teachers and police officers and obviously doctors, nurses, practitioners, and now more than ever homeschooling is hard,” Cristobal said. “It's been quite the challenge but love the challenge and the opportunity that comes with that. I think everybody is reconnecting in a way that they never thought they would.”

Cristobal has certainly become one of the most beloved figures in the Eugene community. The third-year coach led Oregon to a Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin in 2019. The future is bright for Ducks football, but Cristobal knows in times like these, it’s all much bigger than football.