For a college basketball team, losing arguably three of the top players in program history warrants an expected down time to rebuild and reload. However, that is not the case for Oregon Women’s Basketball, as Kelly Graves and staff continue to show that this program is going to be around for a long time to come.
Not only are the Lady Ducks bringing in the number one recruiting class in the country, which includes five 5-star prospects, but they have now added a sharpshooting transfer guard in Taylor Mikesell. Once a 5-star Maryland-commit, Mikesell spent her first two seasons with the Terrapins averaging 12.3 points per game while making 185 threes on 42% shooting from behind the arc. For comparison, over that same time period, Oregon’s leading three point shooter, Erin Boley, has made 186 threes on 43% shooting.
The video above shows Mikesell’s work ethic, something that she will be able to transfer over to her new Ducks teammates, especially the incoming freshman. This type of dedication to becoming better is already a part of this Oregon Women’s Basketball program, as shown with their success on the court. There is no doubt Mikesell should fit right in.
Not being a grad transfer, Mikesell will need to sit out a year due to the transfer rules, but will then have two years left to play. She has said that she plans to apply for a waiver to play right away this upcoming season, but that is yet to be determined.
Mikesell adds to the long list of extremely talented players on this Lady Ducks team. Her addition brings the roster to an astounding eight former 5-star players out of high school, by far the most in program history. While the team will be young and somewhat inexperienced, there is no limit on their talent or potential.
With returning guards Jaz Shelley and Taylor Chavez to go along with incoming freshman point guard Te-Hina Pao Pao, Mikesell will play as a scoring guard who can space the floor. Having both Mikesell and Boley on the perimeter will open up everything else in the offense because teams are going to have to respect their three point shooting.
I think we can expect to see similar production from Mikesell as she had at Maryland. Someone who plays solid minutes, shoots around 40-45% from three and will average 10-15 points per game. She is a player that makes everyone else around her better because she is always a threat to shoot. Not only that, but she is a very crafty passer with good court vision.
One of her greatest strengths might be her ability to create space off the dribble for her own shot. In the highlight video above from her high school playing days, you can see her ability to get separation and create her own shot. This is similar to the way Sabrina Ionescu was able to create her own shot during her time with the Ducks.
Overall, this is another very solid pick up for Graves and his staff. If she is able to play right away, Mikesell brings another experienced guard to the lineup who has played at the highest level. If there is one knock on next year’s Ducks team, it is a lack of experience, especially in big games, and Mikesell can help alleviate some of that concern.
If she is unable to obtain a waiver, she is someone that will push the young players in practice every day, only making them better. Then, she can fill the role vacated by Boley after her senior season. Just as I have said in the past, this Lady Ducks program isn’t going anywhere. They will continue to be a force in Women’s College Basketball, and will continue to reload year after year.
Coach Alex Nordstrand
Top Photo From Twitter
Chris Brouilette, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a current student at the University of Oregon from Sterling, Illinois.
Alex is a lifelong Duck fan living in Eugene who goes to every Football and Basketball game that he can, and appreciates his wife for putting up with him during those seasons. Sports have always been his biggest passion, having played and coached Basketball at the High School level. He hopes to bring a unique and deeper understanding of both the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams at Oregon, and looks forward to nerding out with everyone while writing and talking Ducks!
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