Eugene, Ore. -- Oregon women's basketball has been playing some oftheir best basketball as of late, but head coach Kelly Graves still thinks there is another level they can reach. That sentence may be hard to picture for some Duck fans that have seen the team dominate in their last 10 games, which include wins over 7 teams in the AP Top 20.
"It gets a little exhausting," says senior guard Minyon Moore. "It's truly amazing how our team has come back together from that bounce back loss to Arizona State together and now we're doing great things. It's exhausting but when you win it makes it easier."
And the Ducks have been winning. A lot. Oregon's last five games have been won by an average of 31 points and that includes wins over no. 4 UConn at Gampel Pavilion, no. 12 Arizona and no.19 Arizona State. Offensively, the Ducks have been leaning on their big three of Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally but have also been substantially better defensively. Moore's introduction into the lineup has allowed Graves to be more flexible with how he runs his team on defense.
"We've picked up a lot more full court than we normally do," explains Graves. "We've trapped in the half court a lot more. WE've changed our defense because she's a heck of a rover. I don't know if you've ever played slow pitch softball and you had that rover back in the day. She's that rover. She can kind of do anything."
This will also be a return home for Moore, who spent the bulk of her college career playing at USC. In her three seasons with the Trojans, she was named to the Pac-12 all-defensive team twice, the Pac-12 all-freshman team and was an honorable mention all-Pac-12 in 2019. In Eugene, Moore has been more of a defensive lynchpin, which has been a change, but a welcome one.
"I don't have to produce 25 points per game to get a win, or to help my team win," Moore says. "I have other players on my team that can do that. So it's just kind of impacting the game where I can, do what I can."
Even with the 'mixed emotions' of returning back to USC, Graves doesn't think it will be any kind of distraction especially on the back end of a trip that opens with a top 10 opponent in UCLA.
""I don't think it's gonna faze her at all being back home; she's in her element there," UO coach Kelly Graves says. "I think she's proud she's a Duck; she's also proud she was a Trojan for three years, and did great things there."
The Ducks take on UCLA on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.