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2011-12 Roster

2011-12 OREGON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL • WWW.GODUCKS.COM

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2011-12 Preview

2011-12

PREVIEW Oregon has the luxury of beginning Pac-12 Conference play at home hosting Washington State (Dec. 29) and Washington (Dec. 31). It will mark the first time the Cougars and Huskies play at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks will get their first look at the league newcomers when Utah visits on Feb. 2 followed by Colorado on Feb. 4. “Our conference was tough enough, any more just adds to the pain and suffering,” Westhead said. “We have very tough teams in this league, and Utah and Colorado will be tough opponents.” The Oregon women’s basketball team returns to the floor with a commitment to being even faster for the 2011-12 season. With the departure of six seniors, and the addition of five freshmen, Oregon will have a very new look with a 13-player roster made up of a combined nine underclassmen. Although head coach Paul Westhead’s two recruiting classes are expected to perpetuate his high-octane offense, there is no question that this team is led by its three-member senior class. All-conference guard Nia Jackson returns after missing the final nine games of the season with a knee injury, along with fellow veterans Jasmin Holliday and Amanda Johnson. Holliday has missed just one game in three seasons, while Johnson enters the year as a two-time conference honorable mention pick while continuing to climb numerous top 10 charts at UO. “We have a new offensive push this year; we want to be even faster,” Westhead said. “We need to block out better, shoot three-pointers better, and shoot free throws better, but most important is that we want to play faster.” Schedule The Ducks will play a 31-game schedule with 19 of those dates at Matthew Knight Arena as Oregon opens the year hosting its first seven games in Eugene.

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Westhead has compiled a difficult schedule as 14 of Oregon’s opponents reached the postseason a year ago. Nine teams played in the 2011 Women’s National Invitation Tournament, and five appeared in the NCAA Tournament. Oregon will officially tip-off the season on Nov. 13 hosting 2011 Big West Conference regular season co-champion Cal Poly. Following the Mustangs, the Ducks will play Illinois (Nov. 18) from the Big Ten Conference, and 2011 Big Sky Conference regular season co-champion Portland State (Nov. 20). The Ducks will then host the Global Sports Cage Classic (Nov. 24-27), welcoming Weber State (Nov. 24), Nicholls State (Nov. 25) and UC Irvine (Nov. 27). Following the tournament, Oregon will take its first road trip, heading to Fresno State (Dec. 1) to play the Bulldogs, who reached the 2011 NCAA Tournament after capturing the Western Athletic Conference tournament championship. Oregon will host Portland on Dec. 4 before taking one more road trip in the non-conference portion of its schedule, playing 2011 WNIT participants Denver (Dec. 11) and Nevada (Dec. 14). The Ducks close out the non-conference hosting Cal State Northridge (Dec. 19) and 2011 WNIT participant Saint Mary’s (Dec. 21).

In the new conference schedule format, this year Oregon will play home-and-away series with Washington, Washington State, Stanford, California, Oregon State, Utah and Colorado. The Ducks will host Arizona (Jan. 12) and Arizona State (Jan. 14), and will travel to USC (Jan. 19) and UCLA (Jan. 21). Guards Before two knee injuries sidelined her for the final nine games of the season, point guard Nia Jackson led the Pac-10 averaging 17.0 points and 5.7 assists per game. Despite missing the final half of the conference schedule, Jackson had already earned enough respect from the league’s coaches as she was named to both the 2011 Pac-10 First Team and the 2011 Media AllPac-10 Team. The Seattle native finished the year with 20 double-figure scoring games in 21 games played, and posted eight games scoring 20 points or more. She also recorded the first two doubledoubles of her career in points and assists. Jackson had off-season surgery and is cleared to play, but is continuing to work toward regaining her strength and endurance for her final year in a Duck uniform. “There is every indication that Nia will be ready by our first game,” Westhead said. “Without Nia, we have Ariel Thomas who had a terrific freshman year, and she’ll play everywhere and anywhere, and be ready. But it’s Nia’s spot, she’s our

2011-12 OREGON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL • WWW.GODUCKS.COM


2011-12 Preview point guard if she’s ready.” Speaking of Jackson’s successor, Thomas averaged 8.0 points and 2.2 assists per game for Oregon as a freshman. In the absence of Jackson, the Sacramento, Calif., native started the final nine games of the season, averaging 14.3 points, 4.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. She left UO fans wanting more by capping her season with a dynamic performance in the Ducks 90-89 first-round Pac-10 Tournament loss to Arizona. Thomas willed Oregon to erase what was a one-time 18-point second-half deficit, and scored a career and game-high 29 points in the highest scoring game in Pac-10 Tournament history. She dished a careerhigh tying and game-high six assists – all in the second half, and her 29 points were also the most any Oregon women’s basketball player has scored in a Pac-10 Tournament game. “After Nia’s injury, Ariel was thrown into the fire,” Westhead said. “I was pleased with how she responded by saving the best for our last game against Arizona. She is ready to go for her sophomore year.” Now on scholarship, junior guard Laura Stanulis will continue to help the Ducks at the point guard position. Another player asked to step up in the absence of Jackson a year ago, Stanulis received added playing time appearing in 20 games off the bench while setting new single-game career highs in rebounds (7), assists (7) and steals (5). “Laura continues to improve, and her work ethic helps us every day on the court,” Westhead said.

Last year, Oregon struggled to replace sharp shooter Taylor Lilley, starting two different players at the off-guard position throughout last year with the duo knocking down a combined 43 three-pointers. This year, Oregon has two freshmen in Jordan Loera and Amanda Delgado competing for time at shooting guard. A 2011 graduate of Moses Lake High School in Washington, Loera was a three-time Associated Press Class 4A Honorable Mention selection (2008, 2010, 2011) and two-time Seattle Times All-State First Team selection (2009, 2011). “She’s a very good player, she’s very smart,” Westhead said of Loera. “I like her even more every practice.” Delgado, a 2011 graduate of Liberty High School in Las Vegas, was named the 2011 Gatorade Nevada Girls Basketball Player of the Year after averaging 16.1 points, 3.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game as a senior. She was also named 2011 first team all-state, and in 2011 led Liberty to the Class 4A state title game. Delgado, a natural two guard, could be the outside threat that Oregon was missing a season ago. “Anything she catches she fires and usually makes,” Westhead said. “On five 25-foot shoots, she made all five.” Forwards At the small forward position, Oregon has three very talented options

2011-12 OREGON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL • WWW.GODUCKS.COM

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2011-12 Preview with senior Jasmin Holliday, sophomore Deanna Weaver and freshman Lexi Petersen. Last season, Holliday averaged a career-best 6.8 points per game, while also grabbing 5.2 rebounds per game. Holliday started the first 21 games of the year before taking over a vital role coming off the bench. “We are looking for Jasmin to completely break out her senior season,” Westhead said. “It’s her time to show what she is capable of doing on the basketball court.” Deanna Weaver started the final nine games of UO’s season along with then fellow freshmen Danielle Love and Thomas. The native of Santa Clara, Calif., averaged 6.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game during her rookie season, but improved her scoring numbers averaging 7.3 points and 3.7 boards per contest while starting. “She has that x-factor,” Westhead said of Weaver, who may also be used at shooting guard or in the post. “What she does when she’s on the court changes how we run.” Petersen enters her freshman season after recovering from a knee injury suffered her senior year of high school. While regaining her stamina and strength, Petersen has not spent a lot time on the floor, but Westhead is already impressed with what he has seen. “She’s the fastest player we’ve ever recruited,” Westhead said of Petersen. A 2011 graduate of Seattle Christian High School in Washington, Petersen helped the

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Warriors to four straight conference titles. A two-time Nisqually 1A Player of the Year (2009, 2010), Petersen was considered the 48thranked guard in the 2011 class and a three-star recruit according to ESPN HoopGurlz.

and 2011.

Amanda Johnson is expected to return to her starting job in the post for the fourth straight season. The two-time conference honorable mention pick finished third in the Pac-10 in both scoring and rebounding averaging 15.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last year.

The Ducks will be young but athletic at the trailing post position as sophomore Danielle Love started the final nine games of the year for Oregon last season.

Johnson has led Oregon in rebounding for three consecutive years, and currently ranks in the top 10 of four career statistical categories: rebounds, steals, 3-pointers and double-doubles, while her 1,146 career points rank 18th all-time. “Amanda is poised to lead us once again from her post position,” Westhead said. “Her multifaceted game has proven to be well-suited for our system.” Backing up Johnson at forward is sophomore Chynna Miley and freshman Megan Carpenter. Miley, a native of Atlanta, Ga., appeared in nine games during her rookie season. “Chynna has shown great improvement since arriving last year,” Westhead said. “She still has a ways to go, but seems ready for the challenge.” At 6-foot-4, Carpenter is the tallest player on the squad and is a natural back-to-the-basket post. A 2011 graduate of Longmont High School in Colorado, Carpenter was a two time all-4A Northern Conference selection and two-time Longmont Times Call all-area selection in 2010

“Because of her size, Megan might need to step up this year,” Westhead said. “She’s very comfortable at post.”

Love averaged 3.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in her final nine starts, and saved her best for last. The native of Everett, Wash., played a major role in Oregon falling just shy of upsetting No. 4 seed Arizona in a 90-89 Pac10 Tournament first-round loss. She posted career highs with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the first double-double of her career, and also matched a career high with three 3-pointers in the Pac-10 Tournament thriller. “She had a great freshman year,” Westhead said of Love. “She’s a very confident player, and she did more than I thought she would at this stage.” Oregon’s other newest post player is 6-foot-2 Janitah Iamaleava from Long Beach, Calif. A 2011 graduate of Carson High School, Iamaleava won back-to-back City Section Division I titles in 2010 and 2011. As a senior, she averaged 13.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. “Janitah has all of the physical gifts and abilities to excel as the trail post in our system,” Westhead said. “We anticipate with added conditioning she will help us this season.”

2011-12 OREGON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL • WWW.GODUCKS.COM


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