2015 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day: Jillian Alleyne wants to make a postseason splash in senior year
SAN FRANCISCO — By the time she wraps up her Oregon career at the end of this season, senior forward Jillian Alleyne will be one of the all-time greats in Ducks women’s basketball history. She needs to score 616 points to become the school’s all-time leading scorer (she scored 684 one season, although that was under a more uptempo system) and just 19 boards to become Oregon’s all-time leading rebounder.
But for all the individual accolades Alleyne has achieved – Associated Press Third Team All-American, All-Pac-12, Pac-12 All-Defensive Team, Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, among others – she has yet to be part of a team with a winning record. She has experienced a post-Pac-12 tournament postseason once, going to the WNIT in 2014.
So obviously, an NCAA tournament appearance would be the cherry on top of a great collegiate career.
“Coach said that I have a chance to leave a great legacy, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you have team success. And I’ve noticed that over the years the players that get the recognition and go down in their schools as the best players is because of their team’s success and that’s No. 1,” Alleyne said Wednesday at 2015 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day. “So going longer than a day in the Pac-12 tournament and being top-five in the Pac-12 are all goals, but the NCAA is definitely a No. 1 priority.”
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The Ducks are picked to finish eighth in the Pac-12 this season, so it’ll be an uphill climb to the big dance from an outsider’s perspective for Oregon, which hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since 2005.
Second-year head coach Kelly Graves had to give the Ducks a serious makeover when he took over for Paul Westhead, the coach famous for his run-and-gun offense. Graves likes where his team is defensively in thanks to “Camp Guard ‘Em,” where he spent the first three days of practice solely on defense.
The rebuilding project isn’t over, though. Graves has some concerns about the Ducks’ ability to consistently win games during the conference grind.
“This year, we're good enough to be anybody on any given night. Over 18 games, are we going to be consistent enough? Do we have the depth? That remains to be seen. That’s going to be difficult,” Graves said. “All I can ask as a coach is we’re really competitive – night in and night out, people hopefully are going to hate to come to Eugene and play the Ducks.”
That said, Graves things the future is bright in Eugene. Hopefully for Alleyne, it does turn out to be sooner than later.
“I’m really excited about the future. I think we got a chance to do something special up there,” Graves said.