New season, new uniforms, the highest preseason ranking in program history, greater expectations… it all starts soon for Oregon Women’s Basketball.
Just released today, for the first time in program history, the Ducks have earned the preseason No. 1 rank in the AP Poll.
And with good reason.
Just take a look at the roster alone, returning four of five starters from last season:
- Sabrina Ionescu for some “Unfinished Buisness”, who decided to return for her senior season at Oregon instead of declaring for the 2019 WNBA Draft (she was the projected No. 1 overall pick). Ionescu is coming off winning the Wade Trophy and Wooden Award, both recognizing the nation’s best player.
- Senior Ruthy Hebard, who was named to the Katrina McClain award watch list for the nation’s top power forward after winning the award last season. Hebard is also a projected top-10 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft.
- Sophomore Satou Sabally, the projected No. 3 pick of the 2020 WNBA Draft and named to the preseason Cheryl Miller award watch list for the nation’s top small forward.
- Erin “Buckets” Boley, whose dynamic three-point shot percentage brings that deep threat presence for the Ducks; transfers Minyon Moore (USC) and Sedona Prince (Texas) bring experience, quickness and length; the defensive, cutthroat presence of sophomore Taylor Chavez; the leadership from Morgan Yaeger and Lydia Giomo; and then the talented fresh faces of their 2019 recruiting class.
"I think it validates our vision that we had going in here," coach Kelly Graves told the AP. "It validates the hard work from my staff that's been with me the whole journey. On this stage, we had a better opportunity to be in position we now are."
Also, Oregon has a huge opportunity hosting a scrimmage vs. Team USA on Saturday, November 9.
After reaching the program’s first Final Four appearance last season and a heartbreaking loss to the Baylor Bears (the defending champions and now preseason No. 2), the 2019-20 Ducks are back for some vengeance and it all begins on Monday, November 11 vs. Northeastern University.