Ionescu and the Ducks Will Look to Block out the Noise as They Enter the 2019 Season atop of the Rankings

Zachary Neel

For the Oregon Women's Basketball team, the pressure is nothing new. For several years now, the Ducks have been a part of the national conversation, and in the past two years, deep runs into the NCAA Tournament spurred on by their fearless leader, Sabrina Ionescu. 

The high expectations are part of the game, now. 

In their first meeting with the media this year, some of the Ducks talked about the pressure that they face heading into this season, already ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation by many metrics. For Ionescu, it comes with the territory; she's just going to keep blocking out the outside noise and focus on what she can do for herself and her team. 

For head coach Kelly Graves, it's a similar type of mentality. Graves is used to these expectations because he has spent most of the last decade in the spotlight, with his time at Gonzaga, and now with Oregon. On Wednesday, he preached a message of embracing those expectations and relishing the fact that you are under a microscope. But still, at the same time, it's important to have selective hearing and block out the noise that doesn't matter.