Oregon Ducks

Pac-12 Tournament: Are the Ducks the most dangerous team?

Pac-12 Tournament: Are the Ducks the most dangerous team?

Records: Oregon (19-12, 10-8 Pac-12), Washington State (11-20, 4-16)

Why watch? Oregon enters the Pac-12 Tournament on a four-game winning streak. The Ducks need to win four more in as many days to be Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament champions and earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

In the regular-season finale, the Ducks beat one-seed Washington (plus spoiled UW’s perfect home season record) and proved they can beat anyone. Since any team can get hot in the tournament… Why not Oregon?

Déjà vu: Six-seeded Oregon faces 11-seeded Washington State in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament and the winner will face third-seeded Utah in the quarterfinals on Thursday night. The Ducks played this exact path last season, beating the Cougars in overtime to face the Utes.

In regular season: Oregon swept the regular-season series vs. WSU; a 78-58 victory in January at home and a 72-61 win last week at Pullman.

Numbers to know: Washington State is looking for its first Pac-12 tournament win since 2009. WSU has never won a conference tournament game when seeded ninth or worse.

Vegas, Baby: No one has won more Pac-12 tournament games in Las Vegas than Oregon. The Ducks are 13-4 in Las Vegas with two championships (2013, 2016), four title game appearances and five semifinal appearances. Arizona also has 13 wins.  

High-Flying Ducks

Oregon’s defense is surging: For the first time in the shot clock era (1985-86 to present), Oregon has held four-consecutive opponents to less than 62 points.

When Payton Pritchard goes, the Ducks go: In the last five games, the junior has scored in double figures with 25 assists and 15 steals.

Paul White picks it up vs. WSU: The senior posted a career-high 21 points in Oregon’s March 6 victory over Washington State. White scored four three-pointers and had a team-best six rebounds.

Louis King, who was just named to the All-Pac-12 Freshman team, has scored in double figures in all but two Pac-12 games.
 The 6-foot-9 forward is the No. 2 freshman scorer in Pac-12 games, averaging 14.5 points per game.

Cougars to keep an eye on

The 2018 Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year, senior Robert Franks, leads the Cougars this season with a team and Pac-12 best, 22.1 points, which ranks 18th in the country.

Franks went big on senior day vs. Oregon State; career-high 37 points on 10-for-19 from the field and 8-for-13 from 3-point range.

Freshman CJ Elleby is the only other Cougar averaging double-figure points with 14.9 points per game, 11th-best in the Pac-12, and the second-most among Pac-12 freshmen.

How and where to watch

Time: Wednesday, March 13, 8:41 p.m

Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada

TV: Pac-12 Networks

More Ducks:

Oregon spoils Washington's perfect home season record

Wrinkles coming for a more reliable running game at Oregon

Oregon Spring Football PT. 1: Injury updates, coaching changes & true freshmen

Oregon Spring Football PT. 2: Ducks to improve dropped passes and defense

[EXCLUSIVE] Dillon Mitchell gets real: His decision to go pro, which NFL teams he met with at the Combine and chemistry with Justin Herbert

[EXCLUSIVE] Dillon Mitchell gets real: His decision to go pro, which NFL teams he met with at the Combine and chemistry with Justin Herbert

After Oregon's victory in the Redbox Bowl, Ducks star wide receiver Dillon Mitchell told the media he was undecided on whether he would stay for his senior season or declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. Mitchell felt fans didn't get the full story and wanted to clear up why he made his decision. In an exclusive one-on-one with Dillon Mitchell and NBC Sports NW's Oregon Duck Insider, Bri Amaranthus, he dives into how his decision played out. 

Which teams did Mitchell meet with at the NFL Combine? Also, apparently Mitchell's family are quite the Oakland Raiders fans, man cave and all!

As Oregon's single-season receiving yards record holder, Mitchell looks back on his chemistry he had with quarterback Justin Herbert. Also, no surprise his favorite memory from last season was beating rival Washington.

Which NFL player does Mitchell model his game after?

Stay tuned for more updates on Mitchell. The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 25. 

READ: 

NFL combine performances may raise Ducks' draft stocks

It's do-or-die: Ducks leave it all on the field at Oregon Pro Day

Which team is going to fall in love with Dillon Mitchell?

Oregon most bet on team in the NCAA Tournament: Should you take the gamble?

Oregon most bet on team in the NCAA Tournament: Should you take the gamble?

The NCAA Tournament announcement comes with the excitement of filling out your bracket and maybe placing some bets.

Every year, March is a little mad, which causes fans to study and search for their Cinderella(s) and sure bets. Will Saint Mary’s pull the upset over Villanova? Are you picking UC Irvine to be the next UMBC? What about the Ducks?

No. 12 seed Oregon will play No. 5 seed Wisconsin in the first round of the South Region. The latest line has Wisconsin as a 1-point favorite and a 118 total point over/under. Turns out, the matchup has become the most bet on game in the NCAA Tournament. 

What should you do?  A look at recent history shows that putting money down for the Ducks has paid out. Oregon has made a drastic change in the last three weeks and are riding an eight-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament, including four victories to become Pac-12 Tournament champions. Oregon won six of those eight games by double-digits.

Most importantly (for your wallet) in each of those wins, Oregon has covered the spread.

3/16/19 Oregon vs. UW: The Ducks were 1.5-point favorites and beat the Huskies by 20 points.

3/15/19 Oregon vs. ASU: The Ducks were 2-point favorites and beat the Sun Devils by 4 points.

3/14/19 Oregon vs. Utah: The Ducks were 4.5-point favorites and beat the Utes by 12 points.

3/13/19 Oregon vs. WSU: The Ducks were 11.5-point favorites and beat the Cougars by 33 points.

3/9/19 Oregon at UW: The Ducks were 6-point under dogs and beat the Huskies by 8 points.

3/6/19 Oregon at WSU: The Ducks were 7-point favorites and beat the Cougars by 11 points.

3/2/19 Oregon vs. Arizona: The Ducks were 4.5-point favorites and beat the Wildcats by 26 points.

2/28/19 Oregon vs. ASU: The Ducks were 1.5-point favorites and beat the Sun Devils by 28 points.

 

Another note (for your wallet)… Every game has gone under, except the overtime win against Arizona State in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

3/16/19 Oregon vs. UW over/under 119.5 total points: Result: 116 points, under

3/15/19 Oregon vs. ASU over/under 134 total points: Result: 154 points, over

3/14/19 Oregon vs. Utah over/under 137 total points: Result: 120 points, under

3/13/19 Oregon vs. WSU over/under 137 total points: Result: 135 points, under

3/9/19 Oregon at UW over/under 124.5 total points: Result: 102 points, under

3/6/19 Oregon at WSU over/under 142.5 total points: Result: 133 points, under

3/2/19 Oregon vs. Arizona over/under 130 total points: Result: 120 points, under

2/28/19 Oregon vs. ASU over/under 138 total points: Result: 130 points, under

(All odds via Bovada)

Oregon’s defensive prowess has become highly entertaining to watch. But can the Ducks slow down Wisconsin’s top offensive player and four-year starter, Ethan Happ? Don’t come pounding on my door if Oregon loses or it goes over, but I had to point out the trend. If you’ve been betting the Ducks and the under, you’ve been making some major money.

Leaked NCAA women’s tournament bracket reveals Ducks as No. 2 seed

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USA Today Images

Leaked NCAA women’s tournament bracket reveals Ducks as No. 2 seed

Selection Monday came four hours earlier than expected, but we now know the Oregon women’s basketball team is dancing in the NCAA Tournament.

Oregon (29-4) will play as the No. 2 seed in the Portland Region, hosting 15-seed Portland State (25-7) in the first round on Friday at 6 p.m. Both the first and second rounds of the tournament will be held at Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon’s 21-10 all-time against Portland State and 26-2 in the team’s last two meetings. If the Ducks advance Friday, they will face the winner of No. 7 Texas and No. 10 Indiana on Sunday in Eugene.

Oregon could quite possibly play in its home state all the way to the Final Four. The Moda Center in Portland will host two semifinal games on March 29 and the regional championship game on March 31.

Last season, the Ducks made it to the Elite Eight, falling to eventual NCAA champions, No. 1 Notre Dame. Oregon will once again look to make it to the Final Four, a feat the Ducks have yet to accomplish in program history. 

ESPN inadvertently leaked the NCAA Tournament bracket four hours early on Monday. As a result, teams around the country canceled their selection show watch party. Oregon was one of them.

Let the dance begin: Oregon Ducks named No.12 seed in south region

Let the dance begin: Oregon Ducks named No.12 seed in south region

Are you itching to get your March Madness bracket started? Just announced, the Oregon Ducks get an extra day and play close to home.

After crushing the Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies to take the Pac-12 Tournament crown and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, Oregon (23-12) is the No. 12 seed in the South Region and will open the tournament against No. 5 seed Wisconsin (23-10).  The first round of the NCAA Tournament will be played on Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif..

"The way this team has fought, it’s been special," junior guard Payton Pritchard said. "We’re just ready to make something happen". 

The Ducks have caught fire and are riding on a dangerous eight-game winning streak. Oregon reached the big dance for the sixth time in seven years after becoming the first team in Pac-12 Tournament history to defeat the top three seeds on the way to winning the title. 

During the CBS Selection Sunaday broadcast, Seth Davis called Oregon "maybe the hottest team in the country right now" and picked the Ducks to beat the Badgers. 

If Oregon wins, it will face the winner of the No. 4 seed Kansas State and No. 13 seed UC-Irvine on Sunday in Louisville, Kentucky on March 28 and 30. 

Three Pac-12 teams landed in the NCAA Tournament; Oregon, Washington and Arizona State. Washington is the No. 9 seed in the midwest region playing No. 8 seed Utah State (26-8) in Columbus, Ohio on Friday. The winner will play No. 1 seed North Carolina or No. 16 seed Iona. Arizona State will play a First Four game vs. St. John's in the West region.

All hail Oregon Ducks coach Dana Altman, the basketball sorcerer

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USA Today

All hail Oregon Ducks coach Dana Altman, the basketball sorcerer

Oregon coach Dana Altman long ago cemented his status as a great coach but what he has done this season should be remembered among his greatest accomplishments.

There is really no earthly reason why this Ducks team should have won the Pac-12 Tournament, as it did tonight with a 68-48 destruction of Washington, the conference's best team during the regular season in Las Vegas, Nev., let alone reach the NCAA Tournament, which is now a certainty. 

Yet, here sits Oregon ( 23-12), headed to March Madness with a serious opportunity to steal a win or two and there is only one person to point to as the main reason for this reality, and that's Altman, who successfully poked and prodded his team for months while transforming them into a defensive force that has reduced opposing offenses to mush during an eight-game winning streak. 

“I think we grew up a lot as a team," Altman told reporters following Saturday night's win over the Huskies. "Everybody kind of gave themselves to the team. Everyone of them gave up a little bit of what they wanted to do for what the team needed them to do."

Getting this team to buy in was no easy task. 

It became clear early on this season that the Ducks' offense was suspect. Junior guard Payton Pritchard hadn't taken the next step. Five-star recruit Louis King began the season on the sideline injured and got off to a slow start on offense when he hit the court. Only fellow five-star recruit, Bol Bol provided consistent firepower early on. But he went down for good with a foot injury before conference play began.

The Ducks began conference play with losses to Oregon State and UCLA ,and so began an up-and-down trek through the Pac-12 that had Oregon stuck around .500 before sinking into a quagmire with a messy three-game losing streak to Oregon State, USC and UCLA. 

That stretch seemed to doom Oregon's chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament even if the Ducks' managed to win 20-plus games given how mediocre the conference has been all season. The only logical path would be to win the conference tournament and how could that have been viewed as a possibility for a team with what turned out to be the 10th best offense in the conference and a defense that during that three-game losing streak had allowed 228 points?

Then, something clicked on defense. During the team's current eight-game winning streak, which includes two wins over Washington (26-8), the Ducks held their opponents to 54.3 points per game. To put that number into perspective, consider that Washington, which used to have the top scoring defense in the conference, was allowing a full 10 points more per game at 64.3. Oregon surpassed them for the conference lead, entering tonight allowing 63.4.

“We had a lot of ups and downs all of us were frustrated,” Altman said. “The coaches, the players. But the resolve they showed to fight back and rally become a team and fight for each other, it was really neat to see.”

The turnaround began with a 79-51 win at home against Arizona State followed by a 73-47 win over Arizona. Those two games, Atlman said, convinced the team of what playing great defense could do for them.

“The guys really realized that we can guard like this game-in and game-out regardless of if the ball is going in, or not,” Altman said.

We'd seen this scenario play out many times before. It's become rather routine to watch Altman teams peak at the end of the season, save for last year when they missed the NCAA Tournament following losing four players to the NBA from a Final Four team. 

The 2015-2016 team managed a similar rise from nowhere to reach the Elite Eight. But that team had considerably more talent than this season's team and was much better on offense. This season's team is certainly talented but is extremely offensively challenged in the half court. 

So, while Altman got the 2016 team to buy in on defense, the offense came easier. This team, for the most part, remains an offensive mess but has overcome that by cranking up the defense to ridiculous levels. That has allowed the Ducks to generate offense off of turnovers and opponent's missed shots while taking pressure off of their half-court offense.  

It's a lot easier to win while often struggling to score when you hold your opponents to 54 points per game.  

This accomplishment occurred thanks to the team's great length and athleticism, of course, but meshing it all together in order to become a consistent force at that end of the court took time, patience and a willingness to grind at a rate that most wouldn't have the heart to endure. While it's tough to say this was Altman's greatest coaching achievement, it's certainly in the discussion. But, of course, he credits the players. 

“I’ve never seen a team make that drastic of a change in a three week period,” Altman said.

Leading the charge has been Pritchard, who has taken his game to another level the past couple of weeks, especially on defense. Tonight he had 21 points and seven assists with four steals. Kenny Wooten had four blocked shots. 

Who knows how much longer this joy ride will last. It might only be one more game. But that doesn't matter, at this point. What matters is that this team thrilled while simply earning the right to continue on in the NCAA Tournament.

“I’m really looking forward to continuing to play,” Altman said.

Oregon fans should be looking forward to watching this team grind on, as well. 

Drama? Upsets? Streaks? Madness? Just another night in Las Vegas for the Oregon Ducks

Drama? Upsets? Streaks? Madness? Just another night in Las Vegas for the Oregon Ducks

LAS VEGAS - The Pac-12 Tournament Championship game was destined for drama. For top-seeded Washington it was a tragedy, for Oregon… a spectacle. The Ducks upset the Huskies 68-48 to take the crown and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Talk about a perfect plot. Oregon-Washington rivalry? Check.

Just a week ago, Oregon spoiled Pac-12 champion Washington’s perfect home season record on senior night in front of a sell out crowd of 10,000.

Shortly after the Ducks beat Arizona State in overtime to advance to the championship, Washington guard David Crisp tweeted, “Exactly what we wanted."

UO with a chance to make history? Check.

As the pre-season favorites to win the conference, the Ducks fell short of expectations mostly due to injuries. However, as the six-seed, Oregon caught fire and became the first team in Pac-12 Tournament history to defeat the top three seeds on the way to winning the title. Oregon is also only the second team in Pac-12 Tournament history to win four straight games to take the crown (Colorado, 2012).

Pac-12 Tournament crown and NCAA Tournament Berth on the line? Check.

Not only will Oregon will be headed to the big dance, the Ducks possibly ruined the Huskies NCAA Tournament dreams.  

"Everyone came together at the right time, " senior Paul White said. "And now we're here, Pac-12 champs. I couldn't be more proud".

The first half certainly lived up to the hype. After the first 20 minutes of tightly contested basketball, Oregon led 28-26.

The trio of Payton Pritchard, Paul White and Louis King combined for 23 of those 28 points in the first half that featured six lead changes and six ties.

Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Matisse Thybulle, had no answer for Pritchard, who led UO with 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Pritchard’s final bucket was a nasty dunk and a smile that solidified him as the tournament Most Outstanding Player. 

White and King also finished in double-digits with 14 and 15 points, respectively.

Oregon’s aggressive defense continued, as the Ducks set the Pac-12 Tournament record for blocks with 23. After a very quiet first half, Kenny Wooten swatted his way to four blocked shots. He finished the tournament with 10, a new Pac-12 record.

With King’s help, the Ducks were able to build a nine-point lead with 14 minutes left in the game. He hit three free throws and then on the next possession, got his own rebound for a lay up.

From there, Oregon pushed the lead to 11 points and Washington’s best player, Jaylon Nowell, Pac-12 Player of the Year, picked up his fourth foul. The Huskies opened the second half going 1-for-13 and couldn’t find any momentum. The Ducks ran away with the game after that.

"Those guys really wanted to go (to the NCAA Tournament)," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "I've never seen a team make this drastic of a change in a three to four week period. "

Oregon came to Las Vegas hoping to be in the conversation for an NIT tournament bid and leaves Las Vegas with a punched ticket to the NCAA Tournament and on a dangerous eight-game winning streak. March is mad!

Resilient Ducks only one win away from clinching the Pac-12 Tournament title

Resilient Ducks only one win away from clinching the Pac-12 Tournament title

LAS VEGAS - In their third night game in as many days, the Ducks began fresher than ever.  Oregon came out with energy and a zip that many of us only feel after a double shot of espresso.

Oregon (22-12, 10-8 Pac-12) had complete control of the first 20 minutes but, similar to a caffeine overdose, crashed in the second half, only to re-emerge to force overtime and upset second-seeded Arizona State.

"Our whole season was on the line,” Ehab Amin said. "As a senior it was super emotional for me”.

With the 79-75 victory over Arizona State (22-10, 12-6), Oregon is only one win away from clinching the Pac-12 Tournament title and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Oregon is riding a seven-game winning streak, their longest streak of the season, into the championship game versus top-seeded Washington.

Colorado, also as the six seed, is the only team to win four straight tournament games and claim a tournament title, accomplishing the feat in 2012.

The victory also etches Oregon coach Dana Altman in the history books; Altman passed Arizona’s Sean Miller for the most Pac-12 tournament wins with 18.

The 8:50pm tipoff started with Kenny Wooten blocking Arizona State’s first two shots, which would foreshadow Oregon’s domination in the first half.

When the Sun Devils made mistakes, Oregon made them pay. In the first half alone, the Ducks scored 15 points off of ASU’s seven turnovers.

Paul White and Payton Pritchard also made their presence known early. Oregon’s veterans refused to let Oregon go down without a fight; White (14 points), Pritchard (18 points), Amin (13 points) combined for 45 points.

Pritchard added eight assists, passing Johnathan Loyd (458-2010-14), for fifth in UO career assists.

However, it was Louis King who led the team with 19 points and who changed the game. The freshman willed the Ducks out of 1 of 11 scoring drought in the second half. He rattled off nine straight points to put Oregon back in striking distance.

The Ducks’ aggressive defensive play continued in the extremely physical game. UO blocked seven shots in the first half and finished with 10.

Missed free throw attempts almost killed Oregon, going 13-24 at the line.

With the end of regulation counting down, back-to-back three-pointers by White and Amin tied the game to force overtime.

Oregon outscored ASU 8-1 to open overtime, beginning with a gnarly Wooten dunk. The Ducks never lost the lead. 

"We never count ourselves out,” White said. "We are grateful for how good we are playing, but we're not done”. 

Who knows where Oregon found the energy, but suddenly the Ducks in the Big Dance seems incredibly possible. The Pac-12 Championship game between Oregon and Washington will be played at 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Impeccable timing; Hot Ducks one step closer to Pac-12 Tournament crown

Impeccable timing; Hot Ducks one step closer to Pac-12 Tournament crown

LAS VEGAS – Hours before tipoff of Oregon’s Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal, Oregon announced the extension of coach Dana Altman’s contract. Oregon’s contract with Altman, one of six active head coaches in Division I with a current streak of at least 22 consecutive winning seasons, runs through the 2025-26 season.

Good timing for the announcement, it seemed. Turns out, it was great timing.

With Phil and Penny Knight watching court side and big dance hopes on the line, the Ducks advanced to the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal game for the sixth time out of eight seasons. Oregon upset third-seeded Utah, 66-54, and is now 5-0 against Utah in the Pac-12 tournament.

The victory is Altman’s 17th Pac-12 Tournament win, tying Arizona’s Sean Miller for the most. The Ducks (21-12, 10-8 Pac-12) are riding a six-game winning streak and advance to play second-seeded Arizona State on Friday at 8:30pm.

"I'm excited, my family is excited, we've enjoyed our nine years at Oregon" Altman said. " We want to build something special.... it's a special place".

Before mounting their comeback, the Ducks fell to a six-point halftime deficit. Oregon could not get organized on offense, lacked ball movement and shot 27.6 percent from the field.

On a hot streak of holding the last six opponents to less than 62 points, the Ducks’ aggressive defensive play continued. Oregon held Utah, the top shooting team in the conference, to 34 percent from the field and outscored them in the paint, 36 to 30.

Despite the physical game, Oregon did not attempt a free throw the entire first half. 

A huge part of Oregon’s lock down defense came from Francis Okoro, who tied the tournament record with six blocked shots in a game. Payton Pritchard and Louis King sparked the Ducks’ comeback on offense, each scoring 20 points.

The Ducks got off to a great second half start. Oregon forced a few turnovers, baffling the Utes with the press and Pritchard grabbed the momentum with back-to-back layups to tie the game. Oregon outscored Utah, 48-30 in the second half.

"Obviously this team is capable of a lot, which we showed in the second half," Pritchard said. "That's how we gotta bring it (against ASU), starting from the tip".

As the Ducks heated up, so did Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, who received a technical foul for slapping a cup off the scorer’s table after a foul call

Utah’s 16 free throw points kept it in the game, but could not overcome going 2-of-23 from beyond the arc.

Next up, Arizona State (22-9, 12-6). Oregon lost to ASU in Tempe in January but then crushed the Sun Devils at home, a month later. ASU is coming off of a 83-72 victory over UCLA.

Altman is five wins away from becoming Oregon’s all-time winningest head basketball coach. He has a chance to take one step closer to that honor, the Pac-12 Tournament crown and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

It's do-or-die: Ducks leave it all on the field at Oregon Pro Day

It's do-or-die: Ducks leave it all on the field at Oregon Pro Day

It's been nearly 25 years since Mario Cristobal participated in Pro Day. 

The Oregon head coach did not attend his senior Pro Day at the University of Miami due to a nagging knee injury he sustained in his final game as a senior. Instead, Cristobal spent the months following working as an assistant strength coach, where he was able to prepare for his next shot. 

"I could rehab and be able to pay for it, whatever I needed to do, to train and go out for Pro Day the following year, a lot like Jimmie Swain today," Cristobal said, "And then later that summer I was able to sign a rookie free agent contract with the Broncos and that was my one shot in the NFL. Certainly not the conventional way to do so, but I chased it hard, I was able to have an opportunity." 

While Cristobal's time with Denver was short-lived, a two-year stint with NFL Europe guided him into his coaching career, where he is helping nearly a dozen current and former Ducks prepare for their one shot: becoming a professional football player in the NFL. 

On Thursday, in front of the 31 of the NFL's 32 teams, wide receiver Dillon Mitchell, defensive lineman Jalen Jelks, defensive back Ugo Amadi and linebacker Justin Hollins, who all were invited to the NFL Combine in February, got a second chance to impress. 

Mitchell is coming off a record-setting season with UO. The wideout became the single-season leader in receiving yards with 1,184 yards, leading the Pac-12 in receiving yards as a junior. Despite a stellar season for Mitchell, the junior decided to strike while the iron is hot and declare for the draft. He improved his draft stock on Thursday, recording a 6.93 second three-cone drill, which would be sixth among 29 wide receivers to run at the Combine. But the 6-foot-2, 189-pounder still feels he has a lot he can improve on. 

"Using my hands at the line of scrimmage that's something I feel I need to work on," Mitchell said. "I'm rising above the pressure."

Amadi improved his vertical to 34 inches, a 1.5 inch improvement from his February performance. Jalen Jelks, who only participated in two drills, matched his vertical leap at the Combine at 32.5 inches while falling three reps in the bench press. Hollins did not update any of his official drills from his results at the Combine. 

Tony Brooks James, who had 57 carries for 306 yards and 21 kickoff returns for 548 yards for UO before sitting out of the Redbox Bowl with a left knee injury, got his chance to impress NFL scouts after not receiving an invite to the Combine. The Oregon runnng back recorded a 4.17, 20-yard shuttle, third among running backs, and a 7.2 second three-cone performance, placing him 10th out of 16 running backs to participate in the Combine. 

"Today was it," Brooks James said. "Do-or-die day for me. I left it all on the field. ...major chip on my shoulder. From not being invited to a bowl game or Combine and been looking down on, I had a chip on my shoulder that I had to brush off today."

So, how did he feel about his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? 

“Money,” Brooks-James said. “Money.”

Joining eight current Ducks were former players Vernon Adams Jr., Charles Nelson and Jimmie Swain. Cristobal says he admires each of Oregon's players for putting themselves out there, as getting drafted is not guaranteed.

"As long as you have an opportunity to pursue it, you pursue it for as long and as hard as you can," Cristobal said. "Remember, I was that guy that chased it and got cut, and went out to NFL Europe and went out to NFL Europe again until I was just about banned from going to a camp. That's how hard I chased it, because its your only opportunity to do it. 

"As long as its in their blood, it's in their heart, and they feel they have an opportunity to do, we encourage it all the way."