*This article has been updated with the official signing news from head coach Kelly Graves and the Oregon women's basketball team on Thursday, May 21.
🚨 OFFICIAL 🚨@GoDucksKG has bolstered the Ducks' roster with one of the top shooters in the country, signing transfer guard Taylor Mikesell!— Oregon Women’s Basketball (@OregonWBB) May 21, 2020
Welcome to Oregon, @TMikesell23! #GoDucks
Story ➡️ https://t.co/Vn3tHgJXVq pic.twitter.com/f3YUNUeFFE
Can’t wait to get to work🤘🏼🦆💛💚— Taylor Mikesell (@TMikesell23) May 21, 2020
One of the nation’s best three-point shooters is on her way to Eugene, Oregon.
Several elite women’s college basketball stars who want that chance at a national title elect to transfer to make that happen. They go to a place with national attention and eyes on the program to better their chances getting selected in the WNBA Draft. Programs like UConn, South Carolina, Baylor, formerly Tennessee, Louisville, offer that opportunity to do so.
However, that dream destination for so many players lately is Oregon.
This was the case for Minyon Moore, who used her final year of collegiate eligibility to transfer from USC to Oregon. DiJonai Carrington, who is currently in the NCAA transfer portal, is also considering Oregon for her next chapter after spending most of her basketball career at Stanford.
Maryland transfer Taylor Mikesell is the next elite player to make this choice.
The 5-foot-11 guard entered the NCAA transfer portal on April 16, 2020 and exactly one month later, Mikesell has chosen the Oregon Ducks.
I want to win a national championship. I haven’t done that yet, but I have won two conference championships [at Maryland]. — Taylor Mikesell told 247sports’ Erik Skopil
Everything happens for a reason.. Go Ducks🦆💚💛 pic.twitter.com/oY1kFDYyT7— Taylor Mikesell (@TMikesell23) May 16, 2020
Coming out of high school, Mikesell was the nation’s No. 32 overall player and No. 9 point guard, according to ESPN.
Here’s a glimpse at Mikesell’s accolades from her two years at Maryland:
FRESHMAN YEAR (2018-2019)
- Averaged 13.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while shooting .411 from three-point range. Led the nation in made three-pointers in 2018.
- Ended a spectacular freshman campaign being named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year as well as All-Big-Ten Freshman Team.
SOPHOMORE YEAR (2019-2020)
- Averaged 11.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting .425 from three-point range.
- Named All-Big-Ten Honorable Mention as well as All-Big-Ten Academic.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE DUCKS
We now enter the ‘What will the Ducks look like without Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally’ era in Eugene, Oregon. While this past four-year epic run may never be repeated, it’s time to turn the page and see how head coach Kelly Graves can put together all these new pieces.
And with a weapon like Mikesell now on his team, Oregon’s offense just may remain at an elite level.
The arsenal of shooters Graves now has to work with is almost laughable: Erin Boley, .441 from 3-PT range; Jaz Shelley, .420 from 3-PT range; Taylor Chavez, .474 from 3-PT range, and that’s potentially 3/5 of the starting lineup right there. Having those kind of weapons on the outside will force the defense to space out and make more room for players like Sedona Prince, Nyara Sabally and Lydia Giomo down low.
Likely, Mikesell will have to sit out a year due to the NCAA transfer rule, but that doesn't mean she and the Ducks won't petition for immediate eligibility.
Looks like Mikesell’s future teammate Sedona Prince is also pretty excited about the move: