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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Transfer portal tracker: Who’s staying and who’s leaving Arizona WBB?

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Nathanial Stenchever

Maddison Conner a guard on the Arizona women’s basketball team points in the direction of the Wildcat basket after a teammate steal on March 19 in McKale Center. The Wildcats would win 72-67.

Arizona women’s basketball team’s head coach Adia Barnes continues to see more turnover on her roster. Players Madison Conner, Lemyah Hylton, Paris Clark and Lauren Ware all entered the transfer portal Thursday, March 23, with senior Lauren Fields entering her name the following day.

 

Conner, who appeared in all 32 games played this season, led the team with a 93.8% success rate on her free throws. She sank 45 of a possible 48 attempts, while also averaging 5.8 points per game. Conner was a sharp 3-point shooter as well, sinking 32 of her 86 shots to lead the team with a 37.2% average (minimum 25 attempts).

Clark held down a rotational role in her first season as a Wildcat but was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and was poised for a more central role on the team. She appeared in 24 games, was fourth on the team in offensive rebounds with 28, and had the fewest turnovers with 14.

Hylton appeared in just 15 games for 121 total minutes.

Ware did not make an appearance this season after nursing some injuries, but hopes were high after a promising 2021-22 campaign. She started 22 out of her 23 games played and was second on the team in blocks with 28 and rebounds per game with 4.2.

Starters Shaina Pellington, Jade Loville and Cate Reese are all out of eligibility after playing in their fifth seasons. The only core contributor remaining on the squad one week after their loss at the hands of the University of Maryland is Helena Pueyo. Pueyo, a captain on the team, announced that she will be returning for her fifth year at Arizona.

 

 

Esmery Martinez, another starter on the team, has not announced whether she will return for her fifth season.

Maya Nnaji, the younger sister of Arizona men’s basketball alum Zeke Nnaji, has tweeted that she intends to return to Arizona for the 2023-24 season. Kailyn Gilbert also seems to be staying put so far.

 

 

Barnes will be filling her roster out after a devastating offseason. The 2023-24 Wildcats can expect to be centered around Pueyo, with former role-players and incoming freshmen to fill in the gaps. Arizona has three five-star recruits committed to play for them next spring in Montaya Dew, Breya Cunningham and Jada Williams.

With the loss of Ware, the 6-foot-4 Cunningham will join Nnaji as the tallest woman on the team. The 6-foot-2 Dew will be the second tallest on the team, regardless of whether the 6-foot-2 Martinez decides to return or not. Their size will help retain the element of intimidation on a relatively tall roster.

Ironically enough, the 5-foot-6 Williams will be the shortest player on the team. The point guard is a talented player, though, helping the U.S. achieve a gold medal in the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup. She averaged 4.4 points and 2.1 assists per game over seven undefeated games on the highest level of women’s high school basketball.

Barnes has a heavy burden to bear over the next few months, but she has a lot of exciting young talent to look forward to in the 2023-24 season already.


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