Eugene, Ore. -- Oregon women's basketball has come out of the gate as strong as can be in the conference season, defeating their first four conference opponents handily. The Ducks have yet to let a Pac-12 team in single digits, and also have beaten Washington State and USC by 40 points apiece. Even with a roster that doesn't go exceptionally deep, Oregon has found a balance in keeping energy available by spacing out the intensity of practices.
"[Coach Kelly Graves] is doing a great job of managing practice. We don't go very hard for very many days," says junior guard Sabrina Ionescu. " I think it's been great for us. I like it because I don't get subbed out. I enjoy not having a deep bench."
The Ducks also spent part of their road trip to Los Angeles in a bit of a limelight, with Ionescu taking some time to join Sportscenter anchor (and Oregon alum) Neil Everett for an SC @ Night segment, while Los Angeles Laker great Kobe Bryant dropped by the Ducks locker room.
"They should embrace it. I mean, why not?" head coach Kelly Graves says. "The reality is Sabrina (Ionescu) and Ruthy (Hebard) and Satou (Sabally), to a degree, are used to it. I haven't seen it negatively impact any of them."
The Ducks face Arizona State at 6:00 pm at Matthew Knight Arena (broadcast on Pac-12 Network) and then see Arizona at 12 pm on Sunday, again at Matthew Knight (broadcast on Pac-12 Network).