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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Hoops Guide: Staff Picks

Men’s Basketball:

Lance Maddensports writer

How far will the team go?

I know what you’re thinking: This team is young, inexperienced — yadda, yadda, yadda. But this team is also a lot deeper than it has been in the past, no matter how young the majority of the players are. The team had excellent chemistry very early on, and everyone understands their role. And, oh yeah, there’s that new coach in town, who has proven his past teams can win. It’s Miller time.

NCAA Tournament Second Round

Who will be the Most Valuable Player?

This is almost a no-brainer. As long as Nic Wise stays healthy, he is going to lead the Wildcats, both on the stat sheet and in the locker room. He has become more vocal this season. He understands he is the leader, but is in no way selfish. The smallest Wildcat will have the largest impact.

Nic Wise

 

 

Kevin Zimmermansports editor

How far will the team go?

The key to making the NCAA tournament will be how well Arizona plays in Pacific 10 Conference games. Luckily for the Wildcats, the league is in for a down year, and having a wide-open conference will give even a young team like Arizona a chance to win on any given night. That being said, such a young team — no matter how much they improve — will be fodder for any halfway experienced squad come March.

NCAA Tournament First Round

 

Who will be the Most Valuable Player?

Nic Wise may be the leader, but the team will rely upon Jamelle Horne producing night-in and night-out to have a chance at success. He brings energy, rebounding and the only experienced inside presence. He has the most to lose as a guy who has not yet had an up-to-par season. At the same time, he has the most to gain as the player who can single-handedly keep Arizona’s head above water.

Jamelle Horne

 

 

 

Women’s Basketball:

Nicole Dimtsiosassistant sports editor

How far will Arizona go?

Arizona’s renewed bench will be the key to how far the Wildcats can make it this season. The starting five for the UA has an offensive threat waiting at position, but Arizona will have to keep the players fresh in order for that impact to be felt. With depth problems seemingly solved for head coach Niya Butts, the Wildcats should be able to implement their new run-and-gun style of offense, and will see a definite improvement from last season.

Sixth in the Pac-10

Who will be the Most Valuable Player?

The unquestioned star of Arizona women’s basketball for the past two seasons has been Ify Ibekwe. The now-junior averaged a double-double last season and has the defensive skill to round out as a dual threat. The new additions to the team will allow Ibekwe to get some rest during games and be more productive without giving every ounce of her effort.

Ify Ibekwe

Michael Fitzsimmonssports writer

How far will Arizona go?

This team is completely different from the team that went 12-19 a year ago. Full of fresh faces and an explosive offense, the Wildcats can make up for anything they lack in the post presence of other teams in the Pac-10 conference. If they can keep turnovers low and allow their offense to take off, then they could win a couple of games in the Pac-10 tournament, and maybe even make the Big Dance in March if they play consistent basketball.

Fifth in the Pac-10

Who will be the Most Valuable Player?

With All-American forward Ify Ibekwe returning with another year under her belt, it’s hard not to choose her for this honor. She consistently turns in double-doubles and last season she was the only player in the Pac-10 to average one, finishing with 15.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. Her impressive resume grows each year, and entering her third season as a Wildcat with a strong supporting cast, she is an easy selection for Arizona’s Most Valuable Player this year.

Ify Ibekwe

 

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