The way Oregon basketball legends Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard run the pick and roll, it may seem like the two have been doing so since their first steps in diapers. The way they tore through opposing defenses, make defenders look silly, dropping dimes and making it look effortless...
They made it seem like this was as natural as breathing.
To get this good takes a tremendous amount of hard work, though.
Ionescu had no prior experience of running ball screens, even in her high school career at Miramonte HS in Orina, California where the Matadors posted a 119-9 record.
Ionescu told ESPN in their latest cover story on the Oregon star:
Coming into college, I never ran a ball screen in my life, and that's what our entire offense was. And so I had to learn how to use the ball screens and all the frustration that comes with that. - Sabrina Ionescu
The two that taught a free pick and roll clinic game after game throughout their four-year careers at Oregon. It all made sense seeing that Ionescu lead the nation in assists per game (9.1) while Hebard lead the nation in field goal percentage (68.7). The Yin and Yang.
One of the things Ionescu has stated she will miss about Hebard is the pick and roll. Being able to read what the other will do without talking is something that was established early on between the two with lots of time and practice.
But, as their NCAA careers are now in the books, the two are headed for the WNBA. Will we one day see Ionescu and Hebard in the same jersey at the professional level? Duck fans can only dream of that, but that may not be the case for a while.
Both are currently preparing for that next step amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, NBA and WNBA skills coach Alex Bazzell, who has worked with Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Gigi Bryant, Candace Parker and many more, posted a workout video with Ionescu, running off ball screens and how to attack the defender.
For those of you wondering how Ionescu's game will translate to the professional stage, this video brings to light how ready she is:
Good read for HS/College guards against a hard hedge. @sabrina_i20 is one of the best already off ballscreens but she never stops asking questions. No surprise she's one of the best PGs in the 🌎. pic.twitter.com/jQ82oFAZQA
— Alex Bazzell (@alexbazzell24) March 19, 2020