There will be plenty of star power on the court when the Oregon women’s basketball team returns to action.
Sabrina Ionescu and the Ducks will play the USA Basketball national team in an exhibition game at 4 p.m. on Nov. 9 at Matthew Knight Arena.
Oregon will be tuning up for another Final Four run, while the national team is preparing to win gold for the seventh consecutive Olympics.
Ionescu, the reigning national player of the year and projected No. 1 pick in the 2020 WNBA draft, and her talented teammates will get a chance to share the spotlight with superstars like Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury).
"Not only will our players have the opportunity to play against the highest level of competition, but our fans will watch the best players in the world right here at home while also getting a first look at our 2019-20 Oregon Ducks squad,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said in a release. “This is such a special opportunity for our program, and we can't wait to see everyone there on Nov. 9.”
The exhibition is not part of Oregon’s season ticket package. Season ticket holders can purchase tickets now through Oct. 16, and the remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Oct. 21 at GoDucks.com.
The national team will also play Stanford (Nov. 2), Oregon State (Nov. 4), Stanford and Texas A&M (Nov. 7) as part of its expanded training program ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games.
“All our past USA teams that had a college tour went on to win Olympic gold medals,” national team coach Dawn Staley noted. “So, if we can pull back into some historical times in which we had the opportunity to showcase our national team in this light, women's college basketball is at an all-time high as far as exposure. This will increase the exposure to women's basketball.”
Oregon, which was picked to win the Pac-12 for the third consecutive season in the preseason coaches poll released Monday, opens the 2019-20 season on Nov. 11 against Northeastern.
Graves returns four starters and adds USC graduate transfer Minyon Moore to a deep roster. The Ducks will likely be ranked No. 1 in the preseason Associated Press poll.
“I know we’ve been the underdogs here for a lot of the years. I think it’s pretty cool to see where we’ve gotten and where we still have to go obviously,” Ionescu said. “That doesn’t really mean anything. It’s just a preseason ranking. Anything can happen. We try to block out that outside noise but also appreciate it.”