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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona women’s hoops needs to win if it wants NCAA tourney berth

Good cop, bad cop is an interrogative technique used by cops — or at least by TV cops — where one comes in and acts nice to the subject, gains its trust by appearing sympathetic, then leaves.

Then the bad cop enters and starts to do the opposite of the cop before him, putting on a display of aggression and negativity toward the subject. This tactic is used so the subject gains trust in the “good cop,” thus making them more cooperative.

The Arizona women’s basketball team has played the game of good cop, bad cop this season, and it’s doing it with the NCAA tournament selection committee.

The committee will not be an easy subject to win over.

The good cop points out that the Wildcats opened the season with wins in 11 of their first 12 games — including the first five games of the year — and currently hold a 13-4 overall record.

The good cop shows that Davellyn Whyte’s star is shining as bright as the team could reasonably expect it to. She’s averaging 18.9 points per game, good for second in the Pac-12, to go with 6.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.5 3-pointers.

It also shows that Shanita Arnold is leading the Pac-12 in assists per game with 5.4 and Erica Barnes is fourth in the conference in rebounding with 9.3 per game.

The good cop looks at the fact that Arizona has defeated a Big East program (Syracuse), a Pac-12 preseason contender (UCLA) and a few opponents ranked in the 80s in the in the NCAA women’s basketball RPI while Arizona itself sits at No. 58.

Then the bad cop walks into the room. He points out that Arizona has lost three of its five games thus far in Pac-12 play, including double digit losing margins to both Oregon (87-73) and rival Arizona State (60-45).

The bad cop notices how Aley Rohde, who in the preseason declared she wanted to win Pac-12 freshman of the year, stands 6-foot-5 and only averages 5.2 rebounds per game to go with 6.6 points per game.

He sees that Candice Warthen, the team’s second-leading scorer through the first eight games, has missed the last nine games due to a foot injury and the team is unsure when she will return.

The bad cop then looks at the fact that Arizona has only faced one opponent currently ranked higher than 50 in the RPI, and they lost that game to No. 17 USC by a score of 72-67. Arizona’s best win came against No. 67 Wichita State.

But while good wins are hard to come by, bad losses aren’t. The Wildcats lost on Thursday to Pac-12 opponent Oregon — ranked a lowly 130 in the RPI.

So, while Arizona has certainly outperformed its considerably low pre-season expectations, it still has some work to do.

And if the Wildcats want to impress the selection committee, and get it to “confess” that Arizona is worthy of a NCAA tournament berth, they need to win basketball games, and they need to win them now.

— Zack Rosenblatt is the assistant sports editor. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatSports.

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