Each week, a five-member womenshoopsworld.com panel votes to determine the best collegiate player of the preceding week.
Not only did Oregon freshman Sabrina Ionescu have an exceptional week on the court herself, but she guided her team to an upset and a weekend series sweep of the Southern California schools. As a result, the Ducks are now in the conversation for an NCAA Tournament bid, and Ionescu is WomensHoopsWorld’s player of the week for Feb. 6-12.
The top-ranked recruit in her class, Ionescu wasted no time making her mark at Oregon in beginning the year as a starter, and then posting a triple-double just the third week into the season. A second came two weeks later and a third triple-double, last month. In the Ducks’ upset of No. 15 UCLA Friday, Ionescu had 11 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, and leads the NCAA in triple-doubles by a large margin. Against USC Sunday, Ionescu had a team-high 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Oregon was picked to finish near the bottom of the talent-laden Pac 12 Conference, which has the NCAA’s highest RPI. But after the weekend’s wins, they are tied for fifth place with No. 23 Arizona State. A big factor in their rise has been Ionescu and her energy, which helps feed the team.
To see such performances and leadership from a newcomer is exceptional. This is Ionescu’s first player of the week honor, but it likely won’t be her last.