EUGENE, Ore. -- After going (10-1) through their non-conference schedule, the Oregon Ducks women's basketball team say they're prepared to begin their Pac-12 conference schedule.
Although Oregon is the two time defending regular season champion in the conference, it won't be a walk in the park for a team with about half of their bench consisting of freshman.
"We've been preparing them," said forward, Satou Sabally. "We've been telling them that it's so much harder than in the preseason. It's just really two games per week and school is going to start next week, so we're going to get into a grind and it's a long period of time where you just have to be focused and dialed in really every weekend twice."
The Ducks have already seen big contributions from the underclassmen off the bench from freshman guard, Jaz Shelley who scored 32 points against UC Riverside earlier this season. Second year guard, Taylor Chavez is also looking to take the next step this year. She's already had games of 25 and 17 points this season. Head coach Kelly Graves says they'll be ready for the challenge.
"I think the first 11 games have gotten them prepared," he said. "You know they've had to come in and play, I think we've had four different players off the bench contribute more than 15 points in a game; led by Jaz getting 32 one game, Taylor Chavez getting 25, it's nice to have that kind of production from your young kids off the bench."
The Ducks will need a complete effort in their first conference matchup against an undefeated Colorado team.
Sabally said, "It's a motivation for us, they look really good. They look fast, we know how they play and we scouted them, we know a couple of players from last year, so they're really good. We're really motivated that we can beat them tomorrow."
Oregon tips off against Colorado, January 3rd, at 7 p.m. in Matthew Knight Arena.