The Maryland transfer is trying to get on the court in 2020-21
Oregon head coach Kelly Graves said in April that he was open to adding an “all-purpose guard” grad transfer for the 2020-21 season. The most obvious candidate was former Stanford star DiJonai Carrington who had the Ducks in her final three. Her decision to join Baylor seemed to indicate that a guard with immediate eligibility wasn’t in the cards for Oregon this year.
Don’t be so hasty.
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Former Maryland Terrapins’ guard Taylor Mikesell announced her commitment to the Ducks on Saturday, May 16. Five days later, she has officially signed. Oregon also announced that the junior would petition the NCAA for immediate eligibility.
On her way to being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2018, Mikesell hit 95 3-pointers. It was a record not touched by a Terrapin, male or female, in the sports’ history. In her two years at Maryland, she shot 41.4 percent from the field. Even more impressive, she hit 41.8 percent of her shots from outside.
In her two years at Maryland, Mikesell played 32.3 MPG in 66 games. She started all 66 games. In those appearances, she averaged 12.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 2.8 APG. She also averaged 2.6 turnovers per game giving her 1.1 assist per turnover.
“We are thrilled to be able to add a player of Taylor’s caliber,” Graves was quoted in Oregon’s press release. “She is a proven winner and one of the very best pure shooters in the nation, and she’ll add another veteran presence to our young team. Taylor is a tremendous fit for our program and I can’t wait to get her to Eugene.”
If Graves can not only get her to Eugene but also get her on the court this upcoming season, it would go a long way towards putting the Ducks back into the conversation for the top spot in the Pac-12. Most projections currently have Stanford, Arizona and UCLA ahead of Oregon in the hunt for the 2021 Pac-12 title.
The reasons for that are pretty clear.
After losing their top three players to the WNBA draft, Oregon was set to be a very young team next season. While the Ducks have a spectacular freshman class that’s been tagged as the nation’s best, they lost four of their five starters. Only rising senior Erin Boley remains in Eugene. Of the 11 players who appeared in games for Oregon last season, six were lost to either graduation or transfer.
If Mikesell’s appeal is granted, she would take the court next to another highly-touted transfer. Sedona Prince transferred from Texas before last season. She sat out her freshman season after sustaining a broken leg while playing for Team USA at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Mexico City.
The two have played together before. They joined forces to win a bronze medal at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship.
Mikesell hopes to be successful in one endeavor that escaped Prince, though. Last season, Prince appealed for an exemption to gain immediate eligibility. The request was eventually denied by the NCAA much to the consternation of Graves.