Minyon Moore looked comfortable and happy before a recent workout at Matthew Knight Arena.

This is no longer enemy territory.

Moore, the dynamic former USC point guard, is feeling at home in Eugene after joining the Oregon women’s basketball team as a graduate transfer.

“They’re an awesome team by themselves without me. Then adding me on there, I just feel like I give them another dimension,” Moore said. “On defense, I’ll be able to bring another element out of that team, which will be awesome to see.

“I’m excited to see how the dynamics change.”

During the 2018-19 season, Moore led the Trojans in assists (5.9 per game), rebounds (5.5 per game) and steals (2.6 per game) and was second on the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game.

Now she aligns with Sabrina Ionescu in the backcourt as the Ducks reload for another run after reaching the Final Four for the first time in program history.

 

On Feb. 24, which was steady four-year starting point guard Maite Cazorla’s senior night, Ionescu posted the 17th triple-double of her career with 13 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds in a 96-78 victory over USC.

Moore finished the frustrating game for the overmatched visitors with 11 points, six assists, two rebounds and two steals in defeat.

Kelly Graves also took notice of her competitive fire when she told some front-row hecklers to “Shut the (expletive) up!” within earshot of the Oregon coach.

Moore and Graves had a laugh about the interaction during her recruiting visit in May.

“I’m very competitive, Sabrina is very competitive, we have a lot of competitive people on our team,” Moore said. “I think that’s just like the spark that I have. It’s not really appropriate, it’s in your head or whatever, but those fans thought it was funny, too.

“I guess it’s cool if they think it’s cool.”

The Matthew Knight Arena crowd should be cool with a player the caliber of Moore, a member of the Pac-12 all-defensive team as a junior, replacing the unflappable Cazorla.

Sophomore Taylor Chavez and junior Morgan Yaeger provide more experience to the guard rotation, with true freshmen Jaz Shelley and Holly Winterburn adding depth.

Ionescu and Moore played on the same AAU team growing up in California and also won a NIKE EYBL national title together in 2015.

“We kind of had that chemistry. I know how she plays, she knows how I play. I think it’s a perfect fit, honestly,” Moore said. “When Maite left it’s like, snap, they need a point guard, they need some veteran stuff. It kind of really worked.

“I’m excited because Kelly and his staff are familiar with me, I’m familiar with them. It’s just a matter of getting on the practice courts and getting everything together.

Ionescu, who put the WNBA on hold in April to exhaust her collegiate eligibility, has compiled 1,984 points, 792 assists and 756 assists in her career.

The reigning national player of the year (Wade Trophy, Wooden Award winner) has a chance to become the first player in NCAA women’s history to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

Moore enters her senior season with 1,173 points, 450 assists and 221 steals in 89 career games.

“I know Sab. We go back. She’s a pain in the butt when she’s on the other team, obviously,” Moore said. “I mean, she is who she is, she’s the G.O.A.T. It’s awesome.

“Being able to play against her is an honor, being able to play with her now is amazing. I’m going to learn a lot from her.”

Moore also plans to pick up the pick-and-roll where Cazorla left off. Oregon forward Ruthy Hebard is already looking forward to playing with her new roommate.

“I’m glad to see coach wanted her on our team because she’s so competitive and she fits our style of play. She’s a great defender, so it’s going to help us out a lot this year,” Hebard said. “Maite is Maite, but Minyon gives us a great defensive presence and she’s already being a leader on this team talking and helping us out.”

Moore ranked second in the Pac-12 with 74 steals and was third in assists per game behind Ionescu (8.2) and Colorado’s Kennedy Leonard (6.8).

The honorable mention all-Pac-12 selection shot 42.6% from the field and 77.4% from the free-throw line but only 23.4% from 3-point distance.

“Being around shooters like Sabrina and Taylor Chavez and Erin Boley and Satou Sabally, they all really have pushed me to be a better shooter,” Moore said. “I’ve only been here for a month and I already feel like I have more confidence in shooting.

“When you’re around efficient shooters, it kind of makes you feel like you’re comfortable.”

Oregon, the two-time defending Pac-12 champion, returns four starters and adds Moore to the mix.

The Ducks have the experience and talent to win the national championship.

“A lot of people are like, ‘Natty this,’” Moore said of playing on a team with Final Four expectations after USC finished 17-13 last season despite a 9-0 start. “I feel like if we do one task at a time and take care of what we have to take care of and focus on these practices, we’ll be able to accomplish those long-term goals.”