#13 Oregon Women's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Oregon Ducks
Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12
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Oregon took the women’s college basketball world by storm during the 2017 NCAA Tournament with a run to the Elite Eight before falling to Connecticut. The foundation for this NCAA Tournament was a win over Washington in Seattle at Key Arena in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament quarterfinals. The top seven scorers return this season so expectations in Eugene are sky high for the Ducks as they look to be a serious contender to make another deep NCAA Tournament run.
2016-17 Record: 23-14, 8-10
2016-17 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kelly Graves
Coach Record: 60-42 at Oregon, 487-244 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Jacinta Vandenberg, Forward, 2.0 points per game
Lauren Yearwood, Forward, 1.6 points per game
Jayde Woods, Guard, 2.3 points per game
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Ruthy Hebard, Sophomore, Forward, 14.9 points per game
Sabrina Ionescu, Sophomore, Guard, 14.6 points per game
Lexi Bando, Senior, Guard, 10.2 points per game
Maite Cazorla, Junior, Guard, 8.1 points per game
Mallory McGwire, Sophomore, Forward, 7.3 points per game
Oti Gildon, Junior, Forward, 4.4 points per game
Justine Hall, Senior, Guard, 3.5 points per game
Sierra Campisano, Sophomore, Forward, 3.1 points per game
Morgan Yeager, Sophomore, Guard, 2.1 points per game
Lydia Giomi, Redshirt Freshman, Forward, 1.0 points per game
Key New Players
Aina Ayuso, Freshman, Guard
Anneli Maley, Freshman, Guard
Erin Boley, Sophomore, Forward, Notre Dame transfer, not eligible
Satou Sabally, Freshman, Forward
The Ducks will not sneak up on anyone this season and they will get everyone’s best shot starting in the Preseason Women’s NIT to open the season. Louisville and Michigan are potential opponents in this tournament and that will test the Ducks if they cross paths with either one of those teams. Oklahoma visits Eugene as part of the PK80 Invitational on November 25th. A trip to Starkville is on the docket for Oregon on December 13th and that will be another big opportunity for the Ducks to enhance their NCAA Tournament resume. Ruthy Hebard, Sabrina Ionescu, and Lexi Bando will anchor a very deep lineup that should be able to wear down teams over the course of four quarters. Ionescu and Bando are lethal from the perimeter as they both shot well over 40 percent from behind the three-point line. Hebard will be expected to dominate down low in the paint as she averaged 8.5 rebounds per game last season. The Pac-12 schedule is very favorable as they only play Stanford once at home in Eugene. UCLA visits for a Monday night showdown on February 19th for a game that could very well decide the Pac-12 conference regular season title. Oregon should find a way to get back to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament with a shot at the Final Four if they get the right draw in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.9 (65th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.8 (213, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (19, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.2 (191, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (142, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.2 (4, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.8 (88, 2)
Rebound Margin: 3.0 (93, 5)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (19, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.1 (67, 5)
Madness 2017 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#108 Satou Sabally