At long last, the 2019-20 Women's Basketball season is finally drawing near, and the Oregon Ducks are looking to get over the hump this year, bringing home the hardware that they've long desired.
Ahead of the season, Sabrina Ionescu and the Ducks are starting in good standing with the nation, being ranked No. 1 in ESPN's preseason Top-25 ranking. With Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard leading the way, the Ducks will be a tough out for any team that tips off against them in the NCAA Tournament.
Ionescu (19.9 PPG, 8.2 APG) returned to Eugene instead of entering the WNBA for one reason: to finish the job and win a national championship. With the ultra-efficient Hebard (16.1 PPG, 67.0 field goal percentage) in the middle and 6-4 junior Satou Sabally (16.6 PPG) creating matchup mismatches on the perimeter, Kelly Graves has the most potent offensive trio in the country.
When you add in the fact that the Ducks replaced Maite Cazorla with Minyon Moore, a graduate transfer from USC, it only boosts their skill in the backcourt and adds another guard to the roster who can create her own shot and get to the hoop with ease. It will also allow Ionescu to play off the ball a little bit more on offense while offering another player to help shoulder the load.
Rounding out the top-5 are the Baylor Bears, who won the National Championship a year ago, UConn, Stanford, and Maryland. With the season tipping off in less than two weeks, the hopes are high for Ionescu and the Ducks.