Oregon Women’s Basketball: Non-Conference Slate Will Challenge This Team

Oregon Ducks Head Coach Kelly Graves talks to his team during a timeout.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports
Oregon Ducks Head Coach Kelly Graves talks to his team during a timeout.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports /

Oregon Women’s Basketball opens season with plenty of challenges and potential in 2018-19.

Last season, the Oregon Ducks continued their Powerhouse Progression under Head Coach Kelly Graves. While some players departed in the offseason for other destinations, the key players that helped Oregon to the NCAA Tournament last season remain including Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard.

After losing to Notre Dame last season, Ionescu and Hebard made a Splash on the International Scene winning the FIBA 3×3 National Championship and leading the charge into the FIBA World Cup. The team will bring that experience into the upcoming season. Erin Boley was a key player on that squad and will be eligible to play for Oregon this season after sitting out a season due to transfer rules from Notre Dame.

Typically schools schedule key home games during their non-conference slate, but as Graves has shown, this is not the typical way he does things. The Ducks will pay homage to Ruthy Hebard and open the season in the road in Alaska on November 6th vs Alaska Fairbanks. Oregon’s home opener is a tougher opponent with Syracuse coming to Eugene on November 10th.

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Oregon then heads to Utah State and returns home to face Buffalo. The Ducks then travel to the Saint Mary’s Tournament to face UC Riverside and Saint Mary’s. The biggest challenge of the non-conference comes to Eugene before the end of December. Oregon travels to Michigan State before hosting Mississippi State.

The team closes out the non-conference slate against UC Irvine on December 21st before hosting an Exhibition match vs Concordia on December 30th prior to the start of Pac-12 play. The Pac-12 schedule will be announced at a later date.

Oregon Basketball returns a ton of talent from last season including Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard. Satou Sabally returns for her Sophomore season and her sister joins the team along with Erin Boley who will look to find a place on the floor replacing Lexi Bando from last season.