Future Ducks to Compete in McDonald's All-American Game

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Future Oregon Men's Basketball players Bol Bol and Louis King have been invited to play in the prestigious McDonald's All-American game, which takes place in Atlanta on March 28. 

The annual star-studded showcase brings together most of the nation's top-ranked high school basketball stars. While Duke and Kansas lead the charge with three recruits set to play, Oregon ranks second (along with Vanderbilt and Kentucky) with Bol and King ready to show off their skills.

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Dana Altman's recruiting class is widely considered a top-five class nationally, and the top recruiting class in the Pac-12. Bol and King are five-star recruits and two of the strongest incoming Ducks in program history. Add in four-star recruits in Will Richardson and Miles Norris, and the future looks bright. 

Even more intriguing is that Altman and his staff could very well get an additional one or two five or four-star commits in the coming weeks. While the early signing period is long past, the regular signing period begins on April 11. Keep an eye on additional verbal commitments coming in the next month, especially at the McDonald's All-American game. 

Additional Links: Full McDonald's All-American Roster | ESPN McDonald's All-American Article

Oregon Women's Basketball Continues Rise in Rankings

Image Courtesy of GoDucks

Image Courtesy of GoDucks

Another week, another move up the national rankings for Oregon Women's Basketball. After beating top-20 ranked Arizona State with relative ease over the weekend, as well as the Arizona Wildcats, Oregon jumped one spot in the AP rankings to #7 in the country. 

As with the past couple moves in the rankings, the squad's new spot is a program record, as the team continues to prove they are one of the very best teams in the land. 

The team is on a nine game winning streak and it must be said that the only two teams they've lost to this season are currently #2 Louisville and #3 Mississippi State. Both teams are undefeated. 

The Ducks square off in a Civil War double-header this week, taking on #18 Oregon State in Corvallis on Friday, then heading back home to take on the Beavers Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena. 

Go Ducks!

Duck Talk - January 13

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Here is this week's Duck Talk, the premier weekly recap of all-things Oregon Athletics. If you have yet to sign up for this fun and informative Saturday morning newsletter, you can DO SO HERE.

Join Coach Mario Cristobal in Portland on February 7 - Coach Mario Cristobal will be in Portland early next month, announcing his 2018 recruiting class at the Parr Lumber Signing Day Dinner. Get your tickets today! - Learn More and Register

Oregon Athletics News

Track and Field Kicks Off Their Season in Seattle - The squad opens their season at the UW Indoor Preview Saturday. Loaded with strong collegiate and professional talent, the event gives a great first test - Read More (Oregon Club of Portland)

No Longer an Upstart, Ducks Handling Life as the Hunted in the Pac-12 - Oregon Women's Basketball flew under the radar last season, but after their incredible NCAA Tournament run and some big wins this season, the Ducks have a target on their backs as they lead the Pac-12 - Read More (GoDucks)

With Maite Cazorla Their Steady 'Rock,' No. 8 Oregon Ducks Women Are Chasing History - The 5-foot-10 junior guard from Spain who has gone from the program's do-everything point guard as a freshman to its best defender and passer as a junior - Read More (OregonLive)

Sabrina Ionescu Named to Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 - The Wooden award goes to the best college men's and women's basketball player each season and is voted on by national college basketball media and experts - Read More (Duck Territory)

Family Business: Keith Smith's Family and Seattle Roots Propelled Him to a Basketball Life - Smith completed his final two years of high school at Rainier Beach. As a junior, he averaged 18.5 points per game. During his senior year, he averaged 15.7 points and led the team to a 3A State Championship - Read More (Daily Emerald)

Ducks Name Aaron Feld Strength and Conditioning Coordinator - Feld joins Oregon from the University of Georgia, where he spent the last three years as the assistant director of strength and conditioning while working with the Bulldogs' football program - Read More (GoDucks)

Q&A with New Oregon DE/OLB Transfer D.J. Johnson - Johnson discusses his reasons for transferring, what it is that appeals to him about Oregon the second time around and when he'll be suiting up in Eugene - Read More (OregonLive)

GoDucks Women's Track and Field Previews: Sprints and Hurdles | Jumps and Combined Events | Throws | Distance

Jordon Scott Named Freshman All-America - Scott finished his freshman season with 34 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks while starting 11 of Oregon's 13 games - Read More (GoDucks)

The Hotline's Ridiculously Early Top-25 for 2018 - Don't look now (or do!), but the Ducks are ranked #13 in a good in-depth top 25, headlined by Justin Herbert on offense and Jim Leavitt working to improve the defense that much more - Read More (Mercury News)

Oregon Track and Field Ready to Open Season in Seattle

Ariana Washington (photo by GoDucks)

Ariana Washington (photo by GoDucks)

The Oregon Men's and Women's Track and Field teams are headed to Seattle this weekend, opening their season at the UW Indoor Preview Saturday. Loaded with strong collegiate and professional talent, the event gives a great first test to both squads. 

The Women of Oregon, seeking their eighth NCAA Indoor Track and Field national title in nine years, won't debut their entire squad in Seattle, but will unleash a number of their incredible athletes. Leading the way is reigning indoor 200 meter champion Ariana Washington, who will test her early season fitness over 60 meters. 

Washington will be joined by super freshman Shae Anderson, who slated to compete in the 60m, 200m and 60m hurdles. Another top frosh, Kaylah Robinson, opens her Oregon career entered in the 200m and 60m hurdles. 

Add in 60m hurdle All-American Alaysha Johnson and reigning Pac-12 outdoor long jump champion Rhesa Foster, and fans will have a better idea as to how this year's team is shaping up come Sunday morning.

On the men's side, top freshmen Myles Webb and Reed Brown are set to debut. Webb is scheduled to compete in the 60m and 200m, while Brown will test his talent over 600m and 1000m. 

Another freshman, Joseph Anderson, who was arguably the top prep hurdler in 2017, opens his UO career as well, entered in the 60m hurdles. 

Keep an eye on the young talent ready to debut for the Ducks, while veteran athletes look to continue the program's success throughout the 2018 indoor campaign.

Additional Read: Ducks Head to Rust-Buster Featuring New Faces, Odd Events (GoDucks)

Oregon's Rising Superstar: Sabrina Ionescu

When Sabrina Ionescu signed her Letter of Intent to play for Kelly Graves and the Oregon Women's Basketball squad in late spring 2016, it was clear Oregon was bringing in the program's best recruit ever.

Ionescu immediately jumped into the starting line-up, grew her game throughout the season, got comfortable competing against higher-level talent and ultimately led the Ducks to the deepest run in program history, marching to the Elite Eight after beating perennial powers Duke and Maryland.

With a season of success behind her, Ionescu is leading her top-10 ranked squad this season, stepping up her game once more, while becoming the vocal leader of the squad both on and off the court. 

Through 15 games, Ionescu is performing markedly better than her freshman season:

Points Per Game: 18.9 v 14.6
Rebounds Per Game: 7.1 v 6.6
Assists Per Game: 8.1 v 5.5
Field Goal Percentage: 47% v 39%

Her minutes played are the same as the 2016-17 season, meaning her productivity is what's rising. Add in a 49% three-point percentage and it's clear Ionescu offers the Ducks the most well-rounded player in the NCAA.

Equally as impressive, Ionescu is already making her mark on the NCAA record books, smashing the NCAA record for triple-doubles, having already earned 8 through only 1.5 season. 

As the season carries on, and expectations for the squad rise, it seems clear fans can expect Ionescu to continue to escalate her game, help her teammates and continue to lead the Ducks into uncharted waters. A Final Four run is no longer a dream.

What we're witnessing is special and as fans it's time for us to rally around Ionescu and her Duck teammates.

More with Sabrina Ionescu: Oregon Player Profile | Twitter Profile | Instagram Profile

Three Things to Look Forward to in January

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As 2017 comes to an end, 2018 shines bright with unlimited potential for Oregon Athletics. With a new month upon us, here are three Oregon teams to keep an eye on and cheer loudly for in January: 

Women's Basketball is a Force

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Behind the stellar play of Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard and the rest of the deep and talented roster, Oregon's Women's Basketball is a top ten ranked squad capable of winning the Pac-12 and making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. 

Last season, the Ducks started slowly in Pac-12 play, gaining both valuable experience and confidence as the season progressed. Fast forward to this year and the squad is ready to show the nation they are a legit threat to knock off any team at any time.

Coach Kelly Graves has done a marvelous job challenging his squad early on this season. While the Ducks have lost to top-five ranked Louisville and Mississippi State over the past month and a half, they've also beaten top-20 ranked Texas A&M twice. 

Oregon, ranked #10 in the country, is now considered a co-favorite with UCLA to win the Pac-12. No doubt this squad still has plenty of room to grow and improve this season, which makes it all the more fun to follow along, as the squad seeks to put their stamp on the women's basketball world.

Men's Basketball is a Work in Progress

After the magical Final Four run of last season, the Oregon Men's Basketball team is a completely different squad in 2017-18. Coach Dana Altman brought in an extremely talented freshmen class, led by five-star recruit Troy Brown. Additionally, he brought in a pair of key transfers and former Georgetown transfer Paul White could finally play after sitting out a year.

The Ducks have had their ups and downs over the first two months of the season. Sporting a 10-3 record, the Ducks haven't beaten any ranked teams just yet, but they've seemingly found their groove over the past five games, going 5-0 and winning by an average of 13 points. 

Two of Oregon's three losses were to very good teams. Oklahoma currently ranks #12 in the country and could be one of the true surprises of the 2017-18 season. Boise State, who ended the Ducks' home court win streak, is a legit NCAA Tournament bubble team with a strong chance to win the Mountain West.

Coach Altman has started to see his starting unit gel, with players finding their roles, while the bench is also hitting its stride. Opening Pac-12 play this Friday, Oregon squares off against Utah. A fast start to the Pac-12 season not only is the key to success for this squad to continue to build momentum, but is needed if they hope to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

Women's Track and Field Set to Defend Title

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Last year, Oregon Women's Track and Field team won the sport's triple crown, earning national titles in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. It's the first time in NCAA that's happened. 

While the cross country squad missed out on a national title this fall, finishing fifth, the women's track and field team is poised to challenge for top prize both indoors and outdoors once again. Led by star sprinters Hannah Cunliffe and Ariana Washington (pictured), distance runner Katie Rainsberger and numerous top-flight freshmen, the Ducks have both top talent and depth capable of helping bolster their point totals. 

The Ducks look to become the first back-to-back champions outdoors since Texas A&M won three in a row from 2009-2011, while continuing their indoor dominance, having won seven of the past eight indoor national titles.

Go Ducks!