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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


W-Hoops Notes

Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA womens basketball team played
Tim Glass
Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA women’s basketball team played

After outscoring their exhibition opponents 199-118 in its first two contests, the Arizona women’s basketball team will be able to bring a focus and momentum into its regular season opener on Friday in Kansas against the Wichita State Shockers.

As preseason practice wraps up, let’s preview what the Wildcats will look like as they kick-start their hopeful trek to the NCAA Tournament in March.


With the addition of newcomers Erica Barnes and Taylor Dalrymple, Arizona superstar Ify Ibekwe doesn’t have to be such an anchor down low this season. Barnes and Dalrymple have shown that strong post abilities in Arizona’s first two match-ups and will give Ibekwe the chance to stretch out to the wing to give opponents a taste of her outside shooting.

Shooting guards

Incumbent Pacific 10 Conference Freshman of the Year Davellyn Whyte came in with high expectations that she is already exceeding. Her 28 points against Western State proved how good of a player she really is.

Perhaps more welcoming to Arizona staff this preseason has been the rise of junior Brooke Jackson, whose questionable shooting last year has been replaced with smart shot selection.

The emergence of Jackson has given junior Reiko Thomas more time to recover from an ankle injury that has kept her out of the entire preseason. Jackson and Whyte have given Butts no reason to rush Thomas onto the court.

Point guards

Attempting to replace the tenacity and leadership of Ashley Frazier was no easy task for Arizona, but newcomer Candice Warthen and redshirt freshman Shanita Arnold have given Butts confidence that the position will be in good hands.

Arnold will most likely assume the starting role, and with good reason: her 22 points and 15 assists against Western State gave her her first double-double at Arizona.  

According to Butts, Warthen’s ability to run out of a camera frame will really give an extra burst off the bench to the Wildcats’ performance on both sides of the ball.

Makayla and Jordan get a locker

The team officially welcomed three-year-old Makayla Smith and her sister Jordan to the Wildcat family by presenting them with their very own locker, complete with team jerseys in the women’s basketball locker room.

Makayla, who was diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor in May 2009, and her family were brought to the team through the non-profit foundation Friends of Jaclyn, which connects pediatric brain cancer patients with local athletic teams for a second support system.

Makayla and her family will be welcome at any event all season and will be added support and inspiration for the team as a whole.

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