"Down 1, up 4" for Oregon women's basketball
SAN FRANCISCO – A brief glance at the 2012-13 slate for the Oregon women’s basketball team reveals quite the rough go of things: 4-27 overall and 2-16 in conference play, good for last in the Pac-12. If the research stopped there, the conclusion would probably be that this team is just in a bad state.
There’s more to the story, however, as the Ducks had to deal with a serious case of the injury bug. At certain points, coach Paul Westhead was down to seven players to choose from to throw out on the hardwood in 2012-13. Four players went under the surgical knife. An exciting team that had once been in the top 15 in the NCAA in scoring was down to its bare parts.
Unfortunately, 2013-14 got off to a rough start before it really even started. Jordan Loera, one of two players to start in every game for Oregon last year, injured her left knee in practice and is out for the season. Here we go again, right?
Not so fast, naysayer. Outside of Loera, overall team health has been good. All four players who underwent surgery last season -- Lexi Peterson (out after the first game last year), Laura Stanulis (done for 2012-13 after the fifth contest), Janitah Iamaleava and Amanda Delgado -- will be good to go in the next couple of weeks (Iamaleava and Delgado have already returned), and the Ducks hope to get back to their basket-making ways.
“Jordan Loera was one of our steadiest players…thick and thin, she was a very good performer,” Westhead said at Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day Thursday at Pac-12 Studios. “Win-lose department, we’re down one and up four, but the down one does not help us for sure.”
The “up four” doesn’t count Hofstra transfer Katelyn Loper, who has a reputation of tickling the twine from her days in the Colonial Athletic Association (she ranked 40th nationally for 3-pointers made per game in 2011-12). Additionally, Westhead noted that a couple of the incoming freshmen “can score and shoot.”
“We will be improved by some additional personnel,” he said.
So maybe down one and up seven is more appropriate.