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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona Athletics: A to Z guide on UA sports

A: Andy Lopez

The baseball head coach has been at Arizona for 11 years now, but perhaps no season in recent past has seen such a huge rise in popularity as this spring. With the move to Hi Corbett Field, the Wildcats have seen a record-setting attendance levels. It also helps that the team is one of the best of the country, thanks in large part, to Lopez.

B: Butts, Niya

The women’s basketball coach has the perfect personality and wit for the UA. Known for cracking jokes in interviews, Butts isn’t a half-bad coach either. Under her tutelage, former Wildcat Ify Ibekwe made it to the WNBA.

C: Carey, Ka’Deem

Arizona’s starting running back is a native Tucsonan, having graduated from Canyon del Oro High School as a four-star prospect. He had a solid freshman season with six touchdowns, but is expected to break out in a big way under new head coach Rich Rodriguez. Don’t be surprised if he’s one of the best rushers in the Pac-12 by the fall comes to a close.

D: Davellyn Whyte

The junior guard has been a dominant player since she stepped on the UA campus three years ago. The prolific scorer, rebounder and passer has been named to an All-Pac-10/12 conference team in all of her three seasons so far. Entering the 2012-13 season, Whyte is the sixth all-time leading scorer in UA history, needing 684 points to top the list.

E: ESPN

The Pac-12 Conference signed a huge contract with ESPN that begins this year and is worth more than $2.7 billion over 12 years. Combined with the formation of the Pac-12 Network, every major Arizona sporting event — football and basketball — will be on national TV. A number of smaller sports will also be shown on the Pac-12 Network.

F: Fischer, Jake

The junior linebacker from Oro Valley is considered one of the football team’s main leaders. After missing out on the 2011 season due to an ACL injury, Fischer is ready to bounce back and lead the Wildcats defense after its struggles last season. Fischer had 58 tackles in 2010, 7.5 for loss, along with a sack and two pass deflections.

G: Gabe (York) and Grant (Jerrett)

Head basketball coach Sean Miller has one of the best recruiting classes in the nation so far, and York and Jerrett are a big reason why. Jerrett is a McDonald’s All-American and the 6-foot-10 power forward from La Verne, Calif., is expected to contribute this season for the Wildcats. If you need to know what Arizona is getting with York, look on YouTube for video of what the high-flying guard is capable of doing when he leaves his feet.

H: Hill, Solomon

The junior forward led the Wildcats in multiple categories last season, including scoring (12.9 points per game), rebounding (7.7) and assists (2.6). Hill was expected to take on a larger role with his pal Derrick Williams through the NBA Draft, and he stepped up to the challenge. His best performance of the season came against UCLA in the Pac-12 tournament when he scored 25 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had three steals.

I: Internet

Now more than ever, athletes are using the Internet to interact with fans. Facebook and Twitter have become commonplace for Arizona athletes to interact with fans. Greg Byrne, the UA athletics director, even used Twitter to announce the hiring of Rich Rodriguez as his new head coach. Some recommended Twitter accounts to follow include Byrne (Greg_Byrne), Rich Rodriguez
(
CoachRodAZ), and the official Arizona athletics twitter (@AZATHLETICS).

J: Jeff Casteel

When Rich Rodriguez was hired as the new head football coach, one of his first priorities was getting the right defensive coordinator to revamp the defense. Enter Casteel, considered one of the top defensive minds in all of college football for his unique 3-3-5 defensive scheme. Casteel and Rodriguez coached together at West Virginia for seven seasons, and with Casteel’s tutelage, the Mountaineers consistently had one of the top defensive teams in the nation. Top Arizona defensive players like Tra’Mayne Bondurant and Jake Fischer should be excited to be coached by one of the best in the business.

K: Kick the shit out of ASU

An alteration of the line “hit them hard, let them know who’s who!” in “Bear Down, Arizona,” to emphasize the love that the Wildcats have for their northern rival.

L: Lalang, Lawi

Last year the Kenyan freshmen cross country phenom finished the season undefeated, and became the first Arizona runner to win a men’s cross country national title since 1994. Lalang finished the season with four course records and the Pac-12 title as well.

M: Money

After expanding from the Pac-10 to the Pac-12, the conference set up a deal with ESPN and Fox for 12 years. The deal is expected to be worth up to $4.3 billion, and each school in the Pac-12 is expected to gain an additional $21 million worth of revenue each year.

N: No. 3

Sean Miller has managed to bring in the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation for the Arizona basketball team’s 2012-13 season, according to ESPN. Miller had the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation since last August, but with UCLA’s recent recruiting bender, the UA moved down two spots. Regardless, the additions of guard Gabe York and big men Kaleb Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett will be invaluable when Wildcat basketball tips off in November.

O: Offense

Expect the Arizona offense to undergo major changes during the fall season. For example, the addition of Rich Rodriquez to the football program and senior Matt Scott taking over the quarterback position and incoming five-star center Kaleb Tarczewski to help basketball in the arch along with four other top recruits.

P: Pac-12 Conference

The Pac-12 Conference is now well on its way with a successful inaugural year. The conference provides the most elite level of competition in the country and attracts Division I athletes from all over the world. Utah and Colorado have been contending competitors across all sports with their addition to the conference breeding new rivalries and hopefully lasting traditions.

Q: Quarterback

With former Arizona quarterback Nick Foles now with the Philadelphia Eagles, the new up-and-coming spotlight will fall on 6-foot-3 senior Matt Scott. The other quarterbacks sitting in the lineup are sophomores Richard Morrison, Tyler D’Amore, and Alex Cappellini.

R: Rich Rodriguez Era

Head Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez is about to embark on his first year with the Wildcats. He is the 30th coach for Arizona football with previous gigs at Michigan and West Virginia. His approach to the game includes an emphasis on a quicker, no-huddle spread offense.

S: Sean Miller

One of Arizona’s favorite faculty members, head basketball coach Sean Miller had a rocky season with his team missing the tournament last year and challenges facing his team on and off the court. Miller returns this season with one of the country’s top recruiting classes and an unwavering supportive fan base.

T: Tarczewski, Kaleb

The 7-foot center from Claremont, N.H., was ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect in the ESPN 100 and will help add some size to the Arizona men’s basketball team, which was seriously undersized in 2011-12.

U: Unequaled

Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea garnered his 1,300 win on April 11, making him the second coach to ever reach that milestone in college softball and the fastest coach to obtain the honor.

V: Value

The Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team has the third-best recruiting class in the nation coming in 2012. Of the five members of the class, four are ESPNU Top 100 Players. Head coach Sean Miller secured names like Brandon Ashley, Gabe York, Grant Jerrett and Kaleb Tarczewski.

W: Wilbur and Wilma

Wilbur and Wilma: The mascots for Arizona, Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat, were married in 1986 and even have a certificate to prove it. While Wilbur and Wilma’s furry appearances get the crowd going, they’ve got to give props to the first real Arizona mascot — a live desert wildcat named Rufus Arizona who made his appearance in 1915.

X: XC

Both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams are ranked in the top 15 in the nation, with the women at No. 8 and the men at No. 13.

Y: You

The Arizona Athletic department offers a number of ways you can get involved with college sports on campus. Sign up for Wildcat Wednesdays, a weekly newsletter from Athletic Director Greg Byrne to stay up to date with the latest information from the athletic department.

Z: ZonaZoo
The ZonaZoo is the student section at all sporting events, and is unofficially the largest student section in the Pac-12 Conference.

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