Editor's note: Max Torres conducted the interview for this story.
The Pac-12 is one of the best conferences in all of women’s college basketball and is loaded with some of the most talented players in the nation. One player that flew under the radar is USC guard Endyia Rogers, who put together two solid seasons in the City of Angels.
She averaged 13.8 points and 3.5 assists per game in her two years at USC, but things changed when head coach Mark Trakh announced his retirement following this past season, and associate head coach Aarika Hughes was hired as the new head coach at Loyola Marymount University.
Across Rogers’ two years at USC, the Trojans had a 28-26 record and finished no higher than seventh in the conference. She entered the transfer portal in April in hopes of finding a program that better suits her needs.
“I’m looking to win,” Rogers told Ducks Digest. “I want to go where I’m going to be put in the best position to brand myself and get to the WNBA.”
With those goals in mind, she narrowed her list of possible suitors to two programs: Arizona and Oregon.
Rogers, an All-Pac-12 selection following her sophomore season, made her first visit to Eugene on June 4. She toured the campus and the facilities and got to hang out with some of the players — Kylee Watson, Sydney Parrish, Maddie Scherr, and Te-Hina Paopao.
“Hanging out with the girls was fun,” Rogers said. “I can tell they like to have fun, and they like to be around each other. They like to work out as hard as they can on the court.”
Rogers, a Dallas native, said she “liked everything” about her stay in Eugene.
“It kind of reminded me of Texas,” she said. “It’s a normal city, just smaller. I was happy I got to meet the coaches and the girls. I was excited to see the facilities, take my photoshoot and see what I look like in a Duck uniform.”
Endyia Rogers Oregon Visit
Rogers got to meet head coach Kelly Graves, who has helped to produce some WNBA draft picks at her position in Sabrina Ionescu, Maite Cazorla, and Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga).
“He’s a proven winner,” Rogers said of Graves. “He’s very genuine, and he takes care of his girls and coaches. He gets people in the league from bigs to smalls.
“He told me before I got there that everyone is intimidated by him because of his size, but he’s a teddy bear. He’s really nice and funny. I love him.”
Rogers is a scoring point guard that can handle and pass the ball with ease. She said that she believes there is a good fit for her at Oregon alongside fellow All-Pac-12 guard Paopao.
“I feel like I can contribute right away and help Paopao run the show up there,” she said of potentially playing in Oregon's system. “They like to get up and down, they make great reads off screens, and they aren’t afraid to shoot.”
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Rogers got a good look at the Ducks last season, as the Trojans lost to the Ducks in both matchups last season. She praised the effort of the Ducks despite their injuries late in the season.
“For the team they had, they did a great job making the Sweet 16,” she said. “They missed Paopao at the end, so that really hurt. I feel like Paopao was the primary ball-handler, so it was an adjustment for the other players to bring the ball up. I feel like that’s something I can help with.”
Rogers will visit Arizona on June 22 and will make her decision shortly after wrapping up that trip. She spoke highly of the Wildcats and their head coach Adia Barnes.
“She’s a players’ coach,” Rogers said. “They went to the national championship; she proved to me that she can win. They’re obviously competitive.”
It will be difficult for Rogers to pass up a chance to replace Aari McDonald on a team that was just a shot away from winning it all a season ago.
Oregon is right there too, and if Rogers chooses to play for the Ducks, a backcourt of her and Paopao will be feared by the rest of the Pac-12 and could further propel the Ducks into the upper echelon of college basketball programs.
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