The Big Three are gone but the Oregon women’s basketball team will have another big-time 3-point shooter available next season.
The NCAA has granted Maryland transfer Taylor Mikesell immediate eligibility. The 5-foot-11 junior guard averaged 12.3 points per game and shot 41.8% from 3-point range while starting 66 consecutive games for the Terrapins.
"We are incredibly excited to know we will have Taylor available to play this season," Oregon coach Kelly Graves said in a statement. "Taylor is a true shooter who will really open things up for us offensively, and her veteran leadership will be important for this young team."
Mikesell joins a reloaded backcourt that returns junior Taylor Chavez and sophomore Jaz Shelley and adds five-star freshmen guards Te-Hina Paopao, Sydney Parrish and Maddie Scherr.
Senior forward Erin Boley, the lone returning starter for the three-time defending Pac-12 champions, led the Ducks with 78 made 3-pointers and shot 44.1% behind the arc last season.
Chavez was Oregon’s top bench scorer (6.5 points per game) and 3-point shooter 47.4% as a sophomore, and Shelley averaged 6.3 points and set a program single-game record for made 3-pointers (10) as a freshman.
Mikesell was the freshman of the year in the Big Ten during the 2018-19 season and set a Maryland record for made 3-pointers by a freshman (95). She averaged 11.2 points and 2.3 assists while shooting 42.5% from behind the arc as a sophomore.
After winning back-to-back Big Ten championships, Mikesell said she decided to come to Oregon to win a national championship.
Program icons Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard were denied the opportunity to cut down the nets at the Final Four as seniors when the NCAA Tournament was canceled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When I was in high school, obviously I had seen and heard of Sabrina," Mikesell told The Register-Guard after announcing her decision to transfer to Oregon in May. "I watched her game a lot when I was coming out of high school. Just over the past few years, with how successful they’ve been and kind of exploded on the national scale, they have a really great chance of winning a national championship.
"That’s something I’m really chasing right now."
Everything happens for a reason.. Go Ducks pic.twitter.com/oY1kFDYyT7— Taylor Mikesell (@TMikesell23) May 16, 2020
Oregon’s elite perimeter shooting will be complemented by an imposing inside presence that will feature 6-7 sophomore Sedona Prince, 6-6 senior forward Lydia Giomi and 6-5 forward Nyara Sabally.
The Ducks also add touted freshmen forwards Kylee Watson (6-4) and Angela Dugalic (6-4) and transfer Arielle Wilson (6-6) to fill out its 13-player roster.
Senior guard Morgan Yaeger medically retired in June. Two freshmen from last year’s 30-2 team, guard Holly Winterburn and forward Lucy Cochrane, transferred earlier this year.
Contact reporter Ryan Thorburn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-338-2330, and follow him on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn and Instagram @rg_ducksports. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.