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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Questions remain for women’s hoops

    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

The University of Arizona womens basketball team defeats the University of Washington 72-62 at McKale Center in Tucson, AZ,
    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat The University of Arizona women’s basketball team defeats the University of Washington 72-62 at McKale Center in Tucson, AZ,

    After the departure of three freshmen from the Arizona women’s basketball team, the program has faced a series of questions about next year’s squad.

    “”It was a mutual decision from both parties and in the interest of both parties,”” said UA head coach Niya Butts.

    Butts confirmed that freshmen Amani Butler, Jhakia McDonald and Malia Nahinu have not only left the program, but will not return to the UA next semester. Instead, the freshmen have chosen to pursue options at other schools.

    Although the loss of three players is a blow to the team’s roster, Butts is optimistic about the state of the program and the help she has acquired through the recruiting process.

    Butts left Tucson on Wednesday in search of more recruits to boost the roster in the off-season. Most recently, the Wildcats acquired two junior college players – Jennifer Kioa from Los Altos Hills, Calif., and Amanda Pierson, from Liberal, Kan.

    “”Both bring something different in terms of strength and ability,”” Butts said. “”We lost three post players to graduation. We’re looking for them to step in and fill those shoes.””

    Butts is looking to compensate for the loss of seniors Beatrice Bofia, Sarah Hays and Amina Njonkou, all graduating this year. Next season, those post players will add to the company of All-America honorable mention Ify Ibekwe, Arizona’s leading scorer last year.

    In addition to the junior college transfers, coach Butts has also secured incoming freshmen Davellyn Whyte from St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, in addition to Brooke Jackson from Mesa who has three years of eligibility remaining.

    “”We’ll continue to build this program and do the things that we preached this year,”” said Butts about the impact of the loss. “”(Recruitment is) still happening right now. There is the possibility to adding to the scene.””

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