When Minyon Moore decided to use her last year of college eligibility and transfer out of USC, the Oregon Ducks were on her mind.
For three years, Moore was tearing up the Pac-12 defensively, making life very difficult for opposing guards and earning Pac-12 All-Defensive honors her sophomore year at USC. But Moore wanted the chance to compete nationally with her final year of eligibility.
On May 25, 2019, Moore committed to Oregon.
Then #MinyonMooreEffect took over.
When I was looking for a home for my last year, I really wanted to be apart of a community that supported their women's basketball team like colleges support their football and men's basketball teams. And you guys go beyond those expectations. - Moore during her senior day speech
Moore helped lead the Ducks defensively from 191st in the country in defensive efficiency (2018-2019) to in the top-30 in 2019-2020. She also held the second best assist to turnover margin last season.
Defensive warmup drill made for @MinyonMoore Minyon has already changed the tone of our practices on the defensive end. Her toughness, energy, & willingness to talk have elevated our daily intensity #FlyWithUs #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/IJVU4GXBzp
— Kelly Graves (@GoDucksKG) October 11, 2019
In her final game in an Oregon uniform, Moore demonstrated that she isn't just a one-way, defensive player. Oregon faced Stanford in the Pac-12 Tournament final where Moore recorded 21 points, hitting 4-for-5 from three-point range and 6-for-9 from the field in Oregon's 89-56 win.
Throughout the season, Pac-12 coaches scouted Moore on the offensive end and matching a big up on her realizing she didn't pose much of a threat in terms of a jump shot. Moore made Stanford pay for that in the Pac-12 final.
It was exactly the game she needed to play in the final game of her collegiate career. It was one more opportunity to finish strong and show the scouts and coaches at the next level that she does have a jump shot and isn't just a one-way player.
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) March 9, 2020
On Monday, April 13 ahead of the 2020 WNBA Draft, few WNBA coaches jumped on a phone press conference with the national media. One of those coaches was New York Liberty head coach Walt Hopkins, who had watched Moore and studied her game:
She's a really tough, well-rounded player. Obviously there are concerns about her ability to consistently stretch the defense with a jump shot. She was a leader… She's really vocal, she's a fantastic defender, she can get to the rim.
I think it's really realistic that somebody does take a shot on her and I hope they do because she's a really tough player. - Coach Walt Hopkins
Currently, Moore is a mid to late third round draft pick; Draftsite.com has her going No. 28 overall to the Indiana Fever. The next level should definitely keep an eye out for Moore on Friday during the draft. Her defensive skills are impressive to say the least, but the intangibles of her desire to win and competitive nature make you glad she was on your team and not the other way around.
You can watch more in the video above.
Be sure to also check out the Talkin' Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon women's head coach Kelly Graves