Oregon Ducks

South Carolina’s Dawn Staley sour Oregon received more attention than Gamecocks

South Carolina’s Dawn Staley sour Oregon received more attention than Gamecocks

It would have been a matchup of the heavyweights: No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 1 South Carolina. The two teams were considered juggernauts all season long and ended their season with historic high notes. 

The Gamecocks finished the season ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time in school history with 26-first place votes, while Oregon moved into second spot after Baylor fell to Iowa State in the final regular season game. It was also Oregon’s highest final ranking in program history. 

While both teams had unprecedented amounts of success, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley felt the national media didn’t give the Gamecocks the respect they deserved. 

In an article with the Undefeated, Staley admitted she was frustrated when fans were mourning the loss of No. 2 Oregon’s season coming to an end due to the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament, while few referred to South Carolina, who finished the season as the No. 1 overall seed. 

I’ve got to answer to why do they disrespect us like this. That’s what came across my phone, and I don’t have answers for them. But I know that the people who decide on what narrative to write about women’s basketball, they got it wrong.

We were the No. 1 team in the country longer than anybody this season. We didn’t get treated like the No. 1 team in the country.

This isn’t the first time Staley has gotten spicy when discussing her team’s lack of attention by the national media. Rebecca Lobo sent out a tweet earlier this month with a graphic attached saying “Who is overall No. 1?”

The post detailed South Carolina, Baylor, Oregon and Maryland, as well as their records, wins against the top-16 and road wins vs. the top-16. Staley was bothered by the narrative, which suggested Oregon was the best team and top-overall seed.

Her South Carolina vs. Everybody mentality shined through in this response.  

Look, Dawn Staley, Oregon did receive a plethora of national attention this season, but it was well-deserved. 

Sabrina Ionescu decided to return for her senior season, and she rewrote NCAA record books. Hours after she spoke at Kobe Bryant’s memorial, Ionescu went on to become the first NCAA Division I player, male or female, with 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds.  

Senior Ruthy Hebard and junior Satou Sabally also played a key role in Oregon’s stellar success. The Big 3 were named AP All-America, giving the Ducks the most All-America selections in program history. 

We get it. South Carolina lost once this season to Indiana in November. They had 26-straight wins following the loss and were 16-0 in SEC play. Oregon fell two times this season to Louisville and Arizona State, before closing the season on a 19-game win streak.

While South Carolina may have come out on top with the better record, the SEC is not the stronger conference. Oregon had more quality wins over quality opponents in the most competitive women's basketball conference in the nation. 

But Staley was named AP Coach of the Year over Oregon coach Kelly Graves. South Carolina has won a NCAA Championship before. They have made multiple Final Four appearances. You don't hear Oregon fans crying over South Carolina's success.

The Ducks, before the NCAA Tournament was canceled, were in uncharted territory. They were looking to carve their name in college basketball history, and they were ready to go through the Gamecocks to do it.

It's too bad these two can't battle it out in the gym sometime soon. Oregon senior Minyon Moore has some thoughts on how things would play out. 

 

Oregon Ducks lose out on 4-star CB Denzel Burke who commits to Ohio State

Oregon Ducks lose out on 4-star CB Denzel Burke who commits to Ohio State

A blue chip Oregon target has decided to attend college elsewhere.

2021 four-star defensive back Denzel Burke announced his commitment to Ohio State University Sunday afternoon via his Twitter. 

On May 12, Burke had announced that Oregon was among his top-five teams along with the Buckeyes, USC, Colorado, and Washington.

Via the 247Sports Composite rankings, Burke was the 183rd overall prospect in the country, seventh-best athlete, and fourth-best overall player in Arizona. Oregon has secured three of the five best players in Arizona this recruiting cycle by getting verbal commitments from OL Jonah Miller, QB Ty Thompson, and OT Bram Walden. 

[RELATED]: Oregon Ducks land 2021 four-star OL Jonah Miller

If the 6'0", 189 pound cornerback wasn't going to choose the Ducks the Buckeyes was the next best bet for Oregon as he will not be in the Pac-12 conference. They may match up on the field next season in Colombus, however, when the Ducks travel to play Ohio State on September 11, 2021. 

Additionally, verbal commitments are nonbinding so if Oregon can pull off the upset against Ohio State this season in Autzen Stadium then maybe Burke could reconsider, if that game happens.

[RELATED]: Could the Oregon vs. Ohio State series flip locations?

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Walt Disney World would 'be happy' to host the WNBA season as well

Walt Disney World would 'be happy' to host the WNBA season as well

Sabrina Ionescu always produces magic on the court so it only makes sense she may make her professional debut next to the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

According to Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports, Walt Disney World would "be happy" to host the WNBA in addition to the remainder of the NBA season if the league wants.

"We'd be happy to host the WNBA here as well," a source told Smith. "We see this as an overall partnership with the entire NBA umbrella. We've been great partners for years, as seen with the NBA Experience at Disney Springs. This is an expansion of that."

Smith worked at Disney for 20 years before leaving to cover the NBA full-time.

The report comes hours after NBA spokesman Mike Bass announced that the NBA in congruence with the Player's Association have begun talks to play out the remainder of the season at Walt Disney Corporation's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

"The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing," Bass said. "Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place."

On April 3, the WNBA season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no longer targeting to begin training camp on May 15.

"As developments continue to emerge around the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extension of the social distancing guidelines in the United States through April 30, the WNBA will postpone the start of its training camps and tip of the regular season originally scheduled for May 15," said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a statement. "While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats, our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees."

The league also held the 2020 WNBA Draft virtually which saw three Oregon Ducks go in the first round: Sabrina Ionescu (No. 1 to the New York Liberty), Satou Sabally (No. 2 to the Dallas Wings) and Ruthy Hebard (No. 8 to the Chicago Sky).

Additionally, Oregon State's Mikayla Pivec was selected by the Atlanta Dream with the first pick of the third round. 

Now, it appears like all four will make their respective WNBA debuts at Walt Disney World.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

The secret to Oregon's success starts in the weight room with Aaron Feld

The secret to Oregon's success starts in the weight room with Aaron Feld

You probably noticed the moment Aaron Feld took over as Oregon Football’s Strength and Conditioning coach back in January 2018.

Whether it was the magnificent mustache or perhaps it was the first time you heard him screaming ‘good morning’ at his players when they arrived for football practice in the early AM. Or maybe you noticed his impact on the players themselves, seeing their bodies transform in the weight room. 

Whatever the case may be, Feld has made quite the impact in Eugene, Oregon. 

The biggest difference Feld sees since he has taken over the program is the mindset in the weight room.

The weight room mentality here in the long history seemed to be just guys come in, do what they got to do and get out. What we tried to do was change that mentality of ‘Okay this is something we have to do,’ to ‘Okay, this is part of the process of winning.’ — Aaron Feld

That’s no easy task. For example, the players would have a scheduled lift every Sunday during football season, meaning after playing a long, hard-hitting football game on Saturday, to then wake up on Sunday to go lift. But Feld believes first in training your mind to then train your body. To see working out as something greater than just working out.

We used to have to come up with gimmicks and games and ideas to get them excited about training. This past season, it’s a business mentality. You walk in the weight room, you go to work, you get your job done and then you bounce. The purpose isn’t to lift weights; the purpose is to be great at football. — Aaron Feld

It’s that mindset that separates the good from the great and it’s in every small detail.

The fact that the Oregon weight room overlooks the practice fields serves as a constant reminder to the players that they’re not there to lift weights; they are there to play football. It’s about keeping your body and your mind in tip top shape to play the game of football.

Now it’s part of what they [the players] do and not something they have to do. — Aaron Feld

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Justin Herbert’s Redbox Bowl halftime speech is the most Justin Herbert speech ever

Justin Herbert’s Redbox Bowl halftime speech is the most Justin Herbert speech ever

For those of you who don’t remember, most likely because you’ve washed it from your memory on purpose, let’s flash back to the 2018 Redbox Bowl game.

It was a warm, sunny day for a noon kickoff at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The 8-4 Ducks, in head coach Mario Cristobal’s inaugural season, earned a post-season bowl game against the 7-6 Michigan State Spartans.

What came next was anything but predicted.

The Ducks and Spartans entered halftime with the scoreboard reading 0-0, and no that wasn’t the game clock, it was the score. 

Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld joined host Jordan Kent on the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast. Feld was asked what his favorite memory of being a coach at Oregon was. 

One of his favorites came at halftime of this Redbox bowl shutout.

Justin Herbert calls the whole team up - he doesn’t speak a whole lot - and he give this great ‘Hey, everybody relax, do your job, you know the drill, we’re going to go out there and win this game.’ And then he said, ‘Now let’s go out there and kick their butts.’ The entire team died out laughing. It was the perfect comic relief, icebreaker, like everyone calm down. We went out and had a good time the second half. — Aaron Feld

It’s the most Justin Herbert-like speech ever. 

But it also got the job done. The Ducks went on to win 7-6 and Mario Cristobal earned his first post-season bowl game win as head coach at Oregon. Oregon’s sole touchdown was a 28-yard pass from Herbert to wide receiver Dillon Mitchell with 11:19 to play in the fourth quarter.

Oh man, to be a fly on the wall during that halftime speech.

Feld has another favorite memory, quite similar to the one above, that too makes a whole lot of sense when looking at the last four years of the Oregon Football program. 

Last season, Cal had a 7-0 lead at halftime over Oregon in Autzen Stadium, something that doesn’t happen often. 

Troy Dye comes into the locker room, grabs Herbie [Justin Herbert] and pulls him over to the offensive line… We had been coaching and preaching about lifting each other up and elevating everybody and Troy calls these guys over and says, ‘Hey, all we need is eight points. If you get us eight points, we’ll win this game.’ We ended up winning 17-7 so the defense absolutely held their end of the bargain. — Aaron Feld

It’s like those moments when the student becomes the master. 

That kind of leadership was both needed and expected in those crucial moments and throughout the rest of the season from Justin Herbert and Troy Dye when the two decided to forgo the 2019 NFL Draft and return to Oregon for their senior year.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Could the Oregon vs. Ohio State series flip locations?

Could the Oregon vs. Ohio State series flip locations?

There’s still so much unknown right now when it comes to professional sports and collegiate sports.

Oregon Ducks fans and Ohio State Buckeye fans are anticipating the decision on their scheduled 2020 non-conference game this fall. The game is currently scheduled for Sept. 12 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

However, there’s a lot of concern that sporting events will not take place in the state of Oregon at that time. 

Two weeks ago, Oregon Governor Kate Brown gave an update on sporting events in Oregon, stating that large events such as sports would not be able to return or would be drastically altered “until we have a reliable treatment or prevention like a vaccine.”

So now the question is: Will the Ducks and Buckeyes showdown take place at all?

The scheduled Sept. 12 game is part of a home-and-home series.

Oregon is scheduled to travel to Ohio Stadium on Sept. 11, 2021.

This week, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith made a joke about playing both of the games in their house.

“We can just play both of them here, two years in a row,” Smith joked during a teleconference Wednesday.

Ducks fans probably don’t think that was all that funny.

But in all seriousness, Smith said he spoke with Oregon’s athletic director Rob Mullens, but they did not discuss the possibility of flip-flopping locations for the two games.

That's not to say that the possibility of switching locations for the series couldn’t happen.

Smith isn’t ruling out the idea.

“This is the first time I've thought about it, so I'm not so sure I've got a strong opinion on it,” he added during Wednesday’s teleconference. “Because we would be probably giving up a game next year, in '21, which would make it harder for us. So, I'm not so sure I would do that.”

He started off Wednesday’s teleconference stating, “Obviously, we have a lot of challenges with what we’re dealing with it. A lot of things to be… decisions to be ultimately made.”

Listen to the entire Gene Smith conference call right here.

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley. 

Troy Dye went out as a Rose Bowl Champion and it 'meant the world'

Troy Dye went out as a Rose Bowl Champion and it 'meant the world'

Once a Duck, always a Duck.

It's a saying that originates in Eugene but has been echoed all through the country and even the world. As those leave the University of Oregon, one thing's for sure: All Ducks share a special bond. 

Now that sentiment will extend to Minnesota where former Oregon linebacker Troy Dye will be playing professional football for the Minnesota Vikings who selected him in the fourth round, 132nd overall, during the 2020 NFL Draft.

In an interview on the Minnesota Vikings podcast, Dye discussed what his time in Eugene meant to him. 

I think Eugene is probably my second home because I just fell in love with the community. I feel like I have a spot there for the rest of my life, no matter what. - Troy Dye

After winning the Redbox Bowl as a junior, Dye along with quarterback Justin Herbert, forwent the NFL Draft to play one final season in Eugene with one goal in mind: To go out on top.

We've been through so much: Three difference coaching changes, three different offenses, three different defenses, different scandals, different things going on with strength coaches and administration people, just different things that can distract people. People transfering, people getting kicked off. There's many things that can get you discouraged and you can go 4-8, then [7-6], then 8-4, and then the last year could be 8-4 and you'd be okay with that but we had a different mindset, different goal. We made sure everybody was on the same page going into this last year and made it happen. - Troy Dye

The city had given Dye so much that he knew he needed to finish the rebuild his senior class began. 

I've built so many relationships and friendships over those four years it's just meant the world to me. So to be able to go out with that senior class that we came in with and go out with the Rose Bowl it just meant the world.

Dye's senior class accomplished just that winning the program's first Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl Championship since 2014, and finishing with the program's highest final ranking of No. 5 since Marcus Mariota left for the NFL. They also left the program ready to continue building forward with back-to-back top recruiting classes in the conference which leads to more talent being injected into the program.

Dye, Herbert, and the rest of the 2020 class will be remembered for turning around the program back to national relevance; where it belongs. 

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley. 

New Hayward Field is complete and it looks absolutely stunning

New Hayward Field is complete and it looks absolutely stunning

The walk to Autzen Stadium is considered among the most beautiful parts of Eugene, but now it may have some competition. 

Wednesday evening, Oregon Track & Field released a look at the newly built Hayward Field testing the sound system. 

Then, Oregon Cross Country coach Jill Steele released a look at twilight which was stunning. 

Oregon 2021 wide receiver target Dont'e Thornton liked what he was seeing, too. 

Construction on the renovation of Hayward Field began in Summer 2018 fully funded from Phil and Penny Knight along with 50 other donors. The capacity has been increased more than double from 10,500 to nearly 25,000.  

The field was scheduled to host the 2020 Pac-12 Championships and 2020 Olympic Trials, but both events were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly constructed field will host the 2021 Olympic Trials June 18–27, 2021 ahead of next year's Summer Olympics. 

Additionally, the 2021 World Championships have been delayed to July 15–24, 2022 as the 2022 World Championships at Hayward Field. 

Former Oregon Track and Field star and Olympian Ashton Eaton talked about Eugene maintaining the tradition of Tracktown, USA on the Talkin' Ducks podcast last month, prior the delay to 2022. 

The World Championships was a plan that was in the minds of folks who were building up the Oregon track program, Hayward Field and the ‘Tracktown’ idea years ago. And so, in order to get to that point, the 2008 Olympic Trials had to be had, 2012, 2016 and now 2021. So these things were all not random. They were leading up to this moment of bringing the entire world of track and field to Hayward Field, to Eugene, Oregon. -- Ashton Eaton

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley.

Oregon Ducks signee Luke Hill arrested for attempted murder

Oregon Ducks signee Luke Hill arrested for attempted murder

Oregon Ducks signee Luke Hil was arrested Tuesday on eight different charges, including first degree attempted murder, according to 247Sports

Per arrest records, Hill has been charged with the following

  • An attempted loaded handgun on person
  • Handgun on person
  • Possession of a firearm by a minor 
  • Use of an assault weapon
  • Use of a firearm
  • Attempted first-degree murder
  • Reckless endangerment
  • First-degree assault

The former four-star recruit has a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 19, 2020, at 8:45 a.m. ET in Prince George County in Maryland.

"He was informed earlier this Spring that he would not be a member of our program," head coach Mario Cristobal told DuckTerritory in a statement Wednesday.

Justin Hopkins of ScoopDuck has reported that Oregon hasn't had plans of having him in the program for months. The University never gave him any admissions paperwork after becoming aware of character concerns and told Hill he would not be a Duck. Hill then deleted all Oregon presence among his social media. 

John Canzano of The Oregonian reported that Hill was let go from Oregon following a series of "immature actions" in February unrelated to the current charges. 

247Sports rated Hill as a four-star recruit, ranked as the 195th overall player in the 2020 high school class and 15th overall cornerback. He held offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, and other premier college football programs.

This story is updating as more information is becoming available. 

Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest GoDucks.com editor-in-chief Rob Moseley.

Patrick Chung signs two-year contract extension with NE Patriots

Patrick Chung signs two-year contract extension with NE Patriots

Patrick Chung is being rewarded for his consistency on the field.

The former Oregon Ducks safety has agreed to a two-year extension through 2023, according to Field Yates. 

Originally drafted by the Patriots in 2009 and spending all but one season with New England, Chung has been a late bloomer professionally. Chung has found his stride.

He has enjoyed three Super Bowls (XLIX, LI, LIII) since returning to the Patriots after a brief stint in Philadelphia and has only missed one regular-season game.

Chung has also been recognized for being able to stay on the field. During his Oregon days, Chung currently holds the record for starting more games than any other defensive player in program history (51 straight game).

He might not pop off the screen as a player with a lot of Pro Bowl selections or crazy defensive stats season after season, but that never matters at the end of the end when you help your team get to the Super Bowl practically every year.

Chung has been the backbone of this long run of excellent defense the Patriots are now accustomed to the season after season and now is being rewarded for what he has brought to the table for the Patriots.