“We're the ones who set the bar here.”

EUGENE — With his team on a nine-game losing streak and sitting at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings, Oregon women's basketball coach Kelly Graves addressed questions about his future with the Ducks for the first time Sunday following a 74-55 loss to UCLA.

“No,” Graves said flatly when asked if he was concerned about his job security. “No, no. We've had a good run here. We're struggling this year, and everyone knows it. I don't think we've lost the kids. They're still playing hard, with a good attitude, and working hard in practice.”

The Ducks (11-16, 2-12 Pac-12) faced a challenge in turning around their Pac-12 schedule: Eight of their nine games on the losing streak have been against ranked opponents. Four of those opponents were in the top 11 in the AP poll, and that includes two games against No. 8 Colorado.

But the four 30-point losses this season are the most in a single season in program history. The Ducks' previous four 30-point losses as a program occurred over a 10-year period — dating back to the year before Graves took over. During that streak, Oregon State's margin of defeat averaged 19.1 points per game.

Graves pointed to Oregon's past success — which included a Final Four appearance in 2019 and a potential national championship team in 2020, had the coronavirus canceled the tournament entirely.

“I don't worry about that,” Graves continued on the subject of job security. “We're the ones who set the standard here, and we're not there yet at our bar. But the standard has been set in the last 10 years. We're working our butts off to do it. It's going to take recruiting. It's going to take work on the gate. We've been there and we can get back there.”

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“I'm not taking anything away from that group. It's not easy for them. I'm sure a lot of them haven't been through such a streak either.

The Ducks have four games remaining on the schedule before the Pac-12 Tournament: on the road at Washington and Washington State, and at home against Cal and No. 3 Stanford.

Oregon State has two players in its 2024 recruiting class so far: four-star guard Katie Viso, and Luxembourg international forward Faith-Ehi Etot. Graves said he and his staff will continue to work on the recruiting trail and transfer portal this offseason with the goal of improving the roster.

“We just have to do a better job as a coaching staff with the players we have and continue to get better,” Graves said, clearly frustrated by the series of questions. “This is the first time this has ever been filed. If you want, I can give you a history lesson. It's been a very good run. We're not where we need to be now or where we want to be.”

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