Kelly Graves thought his Oregon Ducks hadn’t really done anything to deserve the No. 3 ranking in the AP Top 25 — the school’s best ever.
Now after suffering their first loss of the season on Sunday at Michigan State, the Ducks will fall in the poll.
“We hadn’t earned the ranking,” the coach said after the 88-82 loss. “I think everybody assumes because of what we’ve done in the past, that it’s just naturally going to happen, and we haven’t played hungry. We didn’t play hungry. They played hungrier tonight.”
It’s been a rough week for the women’s program. On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that Oregon violated rules related to the both basketball teams and the track and field program and put the school on probation for two years.
The decision issued Wednesday said Graves failed to “monitor and promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program.” He must serve a two-game suspension this season.
“I regret that some members of my staff made errors of judgment, and I have taken actions to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” Graves said in a statement when the university received notice. “I am steadfastly committed to building a winning program at the UO that operates in full compliance with NCAA bylaws and is committed to the highest levels of integrity.”
While Oregon will drop in the poll, Michigan State has a good shot of getting ranked because the Spartans have only one loss this season — by four to No. 10 N.C. State. It would be Michigan State’s first ranking since November 2016.
Here are other things that happened in women’s college basketball this past week:
MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY: Former UCLA basketball player Nicole Kornet showed she’s still got it. She participated in a promotional contest in her former team’s game against Fresno State on Friday night. The prize for hitting a layup, free throw, 3-pointer and half-court shot in succession is usually a car, but Kornet wasn’t eligible to win because she was a former player. Kornet made it clear on social media that she knew she wasn’t eligible to win the car, but still enjoyed participating .
Kornet began her career at Oklahoma before transferring to UCLA, where she started seven games in the 2016-17 season. She averaged 7.7 points per game.
ALMOST 2K CLUB: Allazia Blockton became Marquette’s all-time leading scorer on Sunday breaking Krystal Ellis’ mark of 1,940 points. Blockton now has 1,946 in her career while only playing in 106 games. She’s on pace to become the first 2,000-point scorer — male or female — in school history.
“It means everything to me because Marquette has a history of great basketball players, so achieving that means the world to me. It is everything I could have hoped for.”
HOOSIER HYSERIA: Indiana improved to 9-0 with a 98-74 win over Missouri State on Sunday. It’s the Hoosiers’ best start since winning their first 14 games in the 2013-14 season. Indiana also has the longest current winning streak in the country with 15 consecutive victories. The team has won 17 straight at home and 24 of 26 overall.
DEVILISH RETURN: Duke redshirt freshman Mikayla Boykin made her 2018-19 debut Thursday against UNLV and was very impressive with 11 points, six assists, a career-high five steals and four rebounds in 20 minutes. Boykin started the third quarter and sparked the Blue Devils to an impressive second half, outscoring the Lady Rebels, 41-21. Her debut came 361 days since she tore her ACL Dec. 10, 2017, against Winthrop. Boykin received a medical redshirt for this past season and will have four years of eligibility remaining. Duke’s game against South Carolina scheduled for Sunday was postponed because of a snowstorm moving through the southern states. The schools said they would try to reschedule.
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