#3 Oregon Women's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Oregon Ducks
Overall Rank: #3
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
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Oregon continued its rise as an elite program last season as they won 33 games, went to the Elite Eight before falling to Notre Dame in the Spokane Regional. The Ducks also won their third conference title and their conference tournament title by dominating Stanford 77-57 in the championship game at Key Arena. Oregon has embraced its status as a program that is the hunted in the Pac-12 and, with a loaded starting lineup coming back in 2018-19, the Ducks are the favorite to win another conference title.
2017-18 Record: 33-5, 16-2
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kelly Graves
Coach Record: 93-47 at Oregon, 520-249 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Lexi Bando, Guard, 10.2 ppg
Mallory McGwire, Forward, 4.9 ppg
Aina Ayuso, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Anneli Maley, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Sierra Campisano, Forward, 1.8 ppg
Justine Hall, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Sabrina Ionescu, Junior, Guard, 19.7 ppg
Ruthy Hebard, Junior, Forward, 17.6 ppg
Maite Cazorla, Senior, Guard, 10.7 ppg
Satou Sabally, Sophomore, Forward, 10.7 ppg
Oti Gildon, Senior, Forward, 4.1 ppg
Lydia Giomi, Sophomore, Forward, 1.2 ppg
Morgan Yeager, Redshirt Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season due to injury
Key New Players
Erin Boley, Redshirt Sophomore, Forward
Nyara Sabally, Freshman, Forward
Taylor Chavez, Freshman, Guard\
Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard set the tone for the Ducks at both ends of the court. Ionescu should be one of the favorites for National Player of the Year honors. Ionescu averaged 19.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and had nearly a three to one assist to turnover ratio as she is almost a lock for a double-double or triple-double on a nightly basis. Hebard is dominant down low as she averaged 17.6 points per game, made 66 percent of her shots and grabbed nine rebounds per game last season. Maite Cazorla is another highly efficient offensive scoring threat in the backcourt as she made 48.6 percent of her shots from the floor. Satou Sabally had a good freshman season, averaging 10.7 points per game and making 37 percent of her three-point shot attempts. Depth could be a concern if injuries happen with the starting lineup as there are currently just ten players on the roster. They will need immediate production form the three new players Erin Boley, Nyara Sabally, and Taylor Chavez to ease some pressure on the starters. Syracuse, Mississippi State and Buffalo highlight the non-conference schedule and all three of those games could be high-flying up-tempo contests. The conference schedule is balanced as they open with the Washington schools, have an early road trip to Los Angeles to play UCLA, and play Stanford once on the road in Palo Alto. Overall, look for the Ducks to be right there in the Final Four conversation all season long and, with the right draw, should get to their first Final Four in program history.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.4 (7th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.6 (136, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 50.0 (4, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.1 (102, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (20, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.1 (3, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.5 (36, 2)
Rebound Margin: 6.4 (37, 4)
Assists Per Game: 19.1 (6, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (31, 4)
Madness 2019 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#1 Sabrina Ionescu
Madness 2018 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#44 Taylor Chavez