All the Transfers: Does Kelly Graves feel SCORNED?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

I was thinking about all the transfers out of the women’s basketball program the other day, and I could not help but notice a change of thinking on the part of Coach Kelly Graves. His actions in recruiting lately do not correspond with what he has told us in press conferences! I was wondering if you noticed it too, and what you had to make of it.

After all — pondering Oregon Sports and discussing it in civility is what we are about here at FishDuck, so let’s dive in…

I recall Graves announcing that giving so many players extended minutes this last season hurt the continuity of the team, and thus this next year he only needed 10 women on scholarship. Yet after the recent JUCO transfer announcement, the press release states that he is looking for one more to make it 12 on scholarship going into next season. This seems like a pretty rapid pivot in recruiting strategy and player-rotation tactics. Might there be more than that in the background?

Is Coach Kelly feeling scorned, and consequently altered a bit of his coaching philosophy?

Losing so many had to hurt initially…

Pivoting is not a bad thing, as we all mature in our careers as we learn more and experience life. Goodness knows that the challenge of recruiting so many of the nation’s best players and yet keeping them all happy is not something he experienced at Gonzaga, and is a new event at Oregon in women’s basketball. Adding to that, last season and post-season did not turn out as any of us could have anticipated.

To keep players engaged (and to prevent them from transferring at the end of the season) he played many probably longer than he should have, and hence his admission of it. Yet at the end of the season, a raft of Ducks swam away from the pond anyway. Thus his good intentions were not rewarded, and in the end actually hurt the progression of the team. That had to smart…

Boy, as I look at the returning guards, the 5-Star point guard coming in and the transfers? Not enough playing time for all the guards, and perhaps Coach Graves no longer cares? Perhaps he has become a bit more callous, considering the way players leave so easily via the transfer portal? Could his philosophy now be what we see below?

“Recruit a bunch, find out who is best … play them, and whoever leaves at the end of the season — leaves. We are Oregon, and we will do just fine replacing whoever transfers out.”

Jaz Shelley-not her best shooting year…

As I look at the players transferring in, and recall how many who left did not shoot that well when the Ducks needed it — I believe a case can be made that Graves improved the team over what left.

The transfer portal has changed pretty much everything, so perhaps it has also changed Coach Graves’s recruiting strategy and his plan for game-rotation of players. Thoughts?

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer    (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo by Gary Breedlove 

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