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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

W-Hoops guide: Wildcats need to fill in for Shanita Arnold at point

Senior guard Davellyn Whyte and junior Erica Barnes are the only two healthy starters returning for the Wildcats this year, raising the question of who will fill Shanita Arnold’s spot as point guard.

Arizona fans shouldn’t fear, though, because junior transfer guard Carissa Crutchfield and freshman Keyahndra Cannon are capable, too.

In Arnold’s two-year career at Arizona, she facilitated the Wildcats’ offense by leading the team in assists with 161 and 145 dimes, respectively.

In her senior season, Arnold ranked in the top two Wildcats for scoring and steals behind Whyte, a junior at the time. Arnold scored 320 points and racked up 58 steals in 32 games. She shot for 38 percent from the field, 33 percent from beyond the arc and 74 percent from the free throw line.

Crutchfield knows the pressures of playing the point guard position in Division I ball. She led Oklahoma State to a Women’s National Invitation Tournament title last year after a very difficult season.

In Arizona’s first three games, Crutchfield scored 19 points and recorded the team’s second highest number of assists, with 11. She also has the second highest field goal average for the team with 50 percent and leads the team with the highest three point shooting average, 50 percent.

But the stats don’t do justice to Crutchfield’s hustle and tenacity on the court, especially on defense as starting point guard for the Wildcats.

Cannon, on the other hand, acted as team captain all four years of high school, earning the title of MVP as well. She was named All-Conference and All-State her junior and senior years.

Additionally, in her senior year, Cannon was named All-City, All-District and All-Region after leading Mission Bay High School to the state semi-finals.

So far this season, Cannon has clocked a total of 55 minutes and leads the team with the highest field goal percentage, with 53 percent.

The combined effort of both Crutchfield and Cannon will complement Whyte’s efforts as starting shooting guard.

With only three games under their belts, time will tell if the newcomers can fill the void left by Arnold.

-Iman Hamdan is a journalism senior. She can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @imanhamdanDW

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