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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Staff Picks: Women’s Hoops

    MVP

    Davellyn Whyte has accomplished in two years what most don’t accomplish in four, at least in terms of accolades and statistics. She has more than 1,000 points and, with Ify Ibekwe gone, expect Whyte to score in excess of 20 points more often this season. Even when she is not scoring, her presence on offense alone creates opportunities for her teammates. The scariest part? After this season she has another year of eligibility left. The Wildcats will go as far as their junior leader takes them.

    Davellyn Whyte

    X-factor

    Aley Rohde is the most highly-touted addition to the Wildcats’ roster, ranked as a four-star prospect and the No. 11 center in the nation by ESPN. Arizona was one of the worst rebounding teams in the Pacific 10 Conference last season, and adding the 6-foot-5 big down low should help change that. Her contributions are especially important with the departure of Ibekwe, who averaged 9.8 rebounds per game last year. If Rohde can live up to her potential this season, The team can be a real contender for the NCAA tournament.

    Aley Rohde

    Finish

    The Pac-12 is always among the top conferences in the nation, so competition will be stiff as usual. While Arizona isn’t quite getting the respect it deserves, the Wildcats haven’t proved they have what it takes to make the NCAA tournament. They weren’t able to qualify last season when they had had Ibekwe, who was an honorable mention AP All-American. With all the turnover on the roster this year — the Wildcats have­ three freshmen and three transfers — the Wildcats could be ready to take off next season, but maybe not this year.

    Fifth in the Pac-12, missing out on the NCAA tournament

    -Zack Rosenblatt

    MVP

    Last year it was Ify Ibekwe, and this year it will be 5-foot-11 guard, junior Davellyn Whyte. Whyte has been influential in the program since her Wildcat debut, being selected to the Pac-10 Conference team two years in a row and also being named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Plus the Pac-12 media poll recently named her as one of the five, preseason All-Pac-12 selections. She’s two years smarter and stronger and will offensively carry the team. Last year she averaged 15.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

    Davellyn Whyte

    X-factor

    Sophomore Candice Warthen handles the ball with maturity and poise and could be a starting point guard this season. The 5-foot-5 guard was the lead scorer in exhibition play, scoring 18 points in the first game and 15 in the second. Last season she averaged 4.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. She’s quick, sees the court and can open up shots for her teammates.

    Candice Warthen

    Finish

    With the team’s determination and natural maturity, Arizona will make the NCAA twournament this year. The Wildcats were sold short in the preseason coaches poll, expected to finish ninth in the conference. Stanford was an obvious first choice. The reigning Pac-10 champions have made it to the Final Four for the last four years. California and ASU are going through coaching transitions, and considering Arizona’s program is stable with fourth-year coach Niya Butts at the reins, the Wildcats should finish above Cal and the Sun Devils.

    First Round in tournament, top half of the conference

    -Kelly Hultgren

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