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Arizona Daily Wildcat • November 18, 2010 • Special Section •

It’s all




photos courtesy of J & L Photo

INSIDE Cover Story: High expectations for Derrick Williams and Momo Jones Page 2


A look around the conference to size up the competition Page 4


Top Ten:

Meet the team you’ll catch on the court this season Page 6

On The Rise:

The Arizona women’s basketball squad is looking for a breakout season Page 8

2010-11 basketball guide





CEO board


Chairman of the

Colin Darland/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Arizona guard Lamont “Momo” Jones stands at the site of his father’s death in Harlem, N.Y. Momo, a Harlem native, spent a portion of this past summer at home with his family preparing for the season.

Sophomore guard under bright lights, not pressured by tradition By Kevin Zimmerman ARIZONA DAILY WILDCAT

Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Then-freshman Derrick Williams skies for a dunk in Arizona’s 74-68 victory over the Stanford Cardinal on Nov. 14, 2009.

Expectations high for bluechip forward in year two By: Vincent Balistreri ARIZONA DAILY WILDCAT It’s either a super sophomore season or a sophomore slump for Arizona forward Derrick Williams, no in-between. Williams came to Arizona as a three-star recruit, unsure if he would play as a freshman. But in a year, Williams has turned himself into the face of the Arizona

basketball program. Williams is arguably the best sophomore in the country, coming off a season in which he was a first team All-American. Folks around the Arizona basketball program better get a good glimpse of the 6-foot-8 forward because he probably won’t be around for long. In the meantime, head coach Sean Miller is just glad that he has the potential firstround pick for one more season. “I don’t know if any coach feels better about the player sitting next to him than I do about Derrick Williams,” said Miller at Pacific 10 Conference media day in Los Angeles. “I

really believe he’s poised to take that next step and be one of the best players, not only in the Pac10, but playing the game.” Williams spent some of his summer working out back home at the Hangar Athletic Xchange in Hawthorne, Calif., where top basketball players work out. “A lot of NBA guys worked out there, I was just seeing what they did,” Williams said. “I worked out D-WILL, page B14

Even if Arizona wasn’t Point Guard U, all eyes are on Momo Jones, Arizona basketball’s motor. Even if Jones’ head coach wasn’t a point guard during his University of Pittsburgh days, or the names Kerr, Stoudamire and Bibby weren’t listed in Arizona’s line of point guard succession, the throne is the king of Harlem’s to take. “There’s no free pass anymore,” head coach Sean Miller said at the conference media day. “As your point guard goes — as he works and who he is everyday — that steers the ship to who your team is.” But to Jones, none of the past matters. The sophomore knows he can only control his own game. He believes the point guard tradition isn’t a burden upon his shoulders. Worrying about it puts more pressure in an already pressure-filled position. “The tradition is going to be the tradition at Arizona, when I leave,” Jones said of becoming the starting point guard. “That’s just the tradition. But for me, it’s just another step in my life, it’s just another step forward.” That surely won’t be the perception from anyone outside the program. With Arizona being picked to finish second in the Pacific 10 Conference, the Wildcats’ successes or failures likely will fixate upon Jones’ performances. “People out there are going to wonder if you’re going to do better than you did last year, and make this big jump,” Jones said. “That’s just people’s expectations. My expectations are really slim to none. You just come out and you play every night and give it your all.” During a freshman campaign of learning, Jones was voted by his teammates as the Wildcats’ most improved player.

Miller said Jones never gave up through early-season struggles and absorbed Miller’s coaching to average 6.6 points and 1.6 assists in a backup role. As he gained more playing time, he gained more confidence. As he gained more confidence, Jones said he assumed more responsibility. “Carrying over into this year I always wanted the responsibility,” Jones said, “but at the same time, you can’t get caught up into everybody saying, ‘Everything is on you, everything is on you,’ because at the end of the day there is no ‘I’ in team.” Part of the carryover came in the form of his offseason. Jones returned from summer break in Harlem, N.Y., in shape thanks to home-cooked meals and doing the little things — Jones said that he took a four or five month hiatus from McDonalds and other fast-food restaurants. Jones, who weighed around 200 pounds at 12 percent body fat when he came to Tucson, dropped 10 pounds and is now measuring in at just 6 percent body fat. It wasn’t just his physique that improved while in New York. Negative talk back home gave Jones some motivation as well. New Yorkers questioned why Jones had taken his talents to the desert, where they believed the play was soft and the style slow. “Everybody wanted to see me on TV every night, everybody wanted to see me in the Big East (Conference), everybody wanted to see me playing against my friends,” he said. “It’s something that I took with me and put in my little box that I hold with me, put it there. Everyday it reminds me of everything I need to do to succeed.” Now, it’s on him to translate his fitness and mentality into productive minutes of running the team in what Miller has related to a quarterback managing a football squad. “Momo is under bright lights because the point guard position has been manned by so many great players,” Miller said. “The bar is so high. “I want him to be himself. What I hope is that he grows, he learns.”


BULLS & BEARS questions for Arizona basketball COMMENTARY BY Bryan Roy sports writer

Sean Miller ’s roster is so balanced that he could adjust three completely different lineups and tinker with dozens of other substitution combinations. Does that mean Arizona can begin another streak of NCAA Tournament appearances? It depends where that balance sits on the spectrum of college basketball. If previously unseen role players like Brendon Lavender can do damage beyond the arc to a Pacific 10 Conference opponent, that’s a dangerous slope most opponents might not be prepared to handle. Of course, Derrick Williams will be expected to handle a bulk of the team’s offensive production, but outside of that, this team’s identity and potential storyline remain unclear. But it’s only November. Here’s what to watch for as the season progresses:

Can Momo Jones handle the starting point guard load?

From to the ZonaZoo newsletter, it’s the most obvious question surrounding this team. Not to discredit anything Nic Wise accomplished in his junior and senior seasons, but hasn’t Jones already answered these questions? Smack in the middle of Pac-10 play last season, Miller put his trust in Jones to hit the game-winning buzzer beater (he did) while Wise watched from the bench. To imply that a surprise spotlight and sudden pressure snuck up on Jones doesn’t make sense. He’s been the guy hosting recruits on campus and pushing his teammates in practice all summer and fall. Miller said he wants Jones to become the quarterback of this offense, and who better to have than the most animated character on this team? Jones doesn’t need to score — just distribute, take care of the ball and most importantly play defense. And whether Miller opts to use freshman point guard Jordin Mayes in a more niche lineup of jump shooters — that’s just more flexibility.

Can Jamelle Horne step up as the X-factor?

That’s been the question since his freshman year when he arrived as a coveted five-star recruit with an absurdly athletic physique. And nothing changed. He earned the nickname “Wildcard” his sophomore year after nobody knew what game they would see on a nightly basis. But this year ’s different, he says. With an improved mental approach to



basketball and academics, Horne can still play effective by crashing the offensive boards and delivering the monster blocks we’ve seen periodically. Expect incoming junior college transfer Jesse Perry to push him to become a better player in practice, but for now, it’s still Horne’s starting spot to lose.

Can Derrick Williams and Kyryl Natyazhko play together?

Remaining 2010-11 men’s basketball schedule 11/18/10 vs.

New Mexico State Tucson, Ariz. 6:30 p.m.

iBN Las Vegas Invitational 11/21/10 vs. 11/23/10 vs. 11/26/10 vs. 11/27/10 vs.

Northern Colorado Tucson, Ariz. 3:00 p.m. Bethune-Cookman Tucson, Ariz. 6:30 p.m. Santa Clara Las Vegas, Nev. 8:30 p.m. Kansas Las Vegas, Nev. 8:30 p.m.

12/01/10 at 12/05/10 vs. 12/08/10 vs. 12/11/10 vs.

Rice Houston, Texas 6:00 p.m. Oklahoma Tucson, Ariz. 2:00 p.m. Cal State Fullerton Tucson, Ariz. 6:30 p.m. BYU Salt Lake City, Utah 4:00 p.m.

Fiesta Bowl Basketball Classic

That’s the plan. Williams would like to open up the floor and knock down open jump shots. Otherwise, once defenders see Williams with the ball, expect them to suddenly crash the paint. Improving his jump shot would add a crucial element to his game — especially if he’s a small forward prospect in the NBA — and subsequently allow Natyazhko (or Alex Jacobson, who has seen considerable playing time) to set screens and further open up the floor. Defensively, that lineup becomes that much longer. “We’re much different if Derrick (Williams)’s at the four, Kyryl (Natyazhko) is at the five and Solomon (Hill) or Jamelle (Horne) is at the three,” Miller said. “We have to adapt and adjust. It may help us on defense.” Natyazhko can also add value without scoring at the post, as he’s looked comfortable taking 15-foot jumpers early on this season. “I believe he’s headed in the right direction,” Miller said. “His improvement is a big thing for our team.”

12/16/10 vs.

Northern Arizona Tucson, Ariz. 7:30 p.m.

12/19/10 at 12/22/10 vs. 12/30/10 at 01/02/11 at 01/06/11 vs. 01/08/11 vs. 01/15/11 vs. 01/20/11 at 01/22/11 at 01/27/11 vs. 01/29/11 vs. 02/03/11 at 02/05/11 at 02/13/11 at 02/17/11 vs. 02/19/11 vs. 02/24/11 at 02/26/11 at 03/03/11 vs. 03/05/11 vs.

North Carolina State Raleigh, N.C. 2:30 p.m. Robert Morris Tucson, Ariz. 6:30 p.m. Oregon * Eugene, Ore. 8:00 p.m. Oregon State * Corvallis, Ore. 8:00 p.m. California Tucson, Ariz. 8:30 p.m. Stanford * Tucson, Ariz. 4:30 p.m. Arizona State * Tucson, Ariz. 12:30 p.m. Washington * Seattle, Wash. 8:30 p.m. Washington State * Pullman, Wash. 6:00 p.m. UCLA * Tucson, Ariz. 7:00 p.m. USC * Tucson, Ariz. 5:30 p.m. Stanford * Palo Alto, Calif. 7:00 p.m. California Berkeley, Calif. 6:00 p.m. Arizona State Tempe, Ariz. 7:00 p.m. Washington State * Tucson, Ariz. 6:30 p.m. Washington * Tucson, Ariz. 4:00 p.m. USC * Los Angeles, Calif. 8:30 p.m. UCLA Los Angeles, Calif. 2:00 p.m. Oregon State * Tucson, Ariz. TBA Oregon * Tucson, Ariz. TBA

Will Daniel Bejarano play much?

Sunday’s “kabillion”-point blowout gave Miller no option but to allow Bejarano to play a few minutes in the second half, since every other player did, down to the walk-ons. But the absence of Bejarano from every other exhibition game has provided an interesting storyline this preseason. Arguably Miller ’s most heralded incoming freshman — and the state’s most hyped high school basketball player — Bejarano remains very far behind the rest of the team competitively in practice. Miller has said it’s to the point where it “would be very difficult” for him to crack the regular rotation. “There’s a gap, and he’s gotta close that gap,” Miller said. “You know, Daniel (Bejarano) is a fantastic kid. But not everybody gets to play, and the reason he didn’t play has nothing to do with his demeanor or attitude. It’s just that in practice he’s not been able to have three weeks of practice worthy of playing.” While Miller said it was “doubtful” that Bejarano would redshirt the season, it proves that playing time isn’t guaranteed. Will Bejarano stick around long enough to play as a deep reserve? Since he played in a regular season game on Sunday, transferring would mean he would miss one year of eligibility.

Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament 03/09/11 03/10/11 03/11/11 03/12/11

First Round Los Angeles, Calif. TBA Quarterfinals Los Angeles, Calif. TBA Semifinals Los Angeles, Calif. TBA Championship Los Angeles, Calif. TBA

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A look at the five best players around the Pacific 10 Conference and the expected impact on their respective teams.



Last Season: Averaged 7 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists

Last Season: Averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists

The stats weren’t astounding, but Tyler Honeycutt is the best player on a Bruins’ team that lacks a senior on its roster. At 6-foot-8, 188 pounds, Honeycutt is looking to become the leader of UCLA after working on his perimeter game and jump shot throughout the offseason. After all, his rebounding and court vision are already there.

The son of former No. 1 NBA draft pick Mychal Thompson had a hot start last season but struggled once teams realized he could light up the scoreboard. At 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, Thompson is hoping to become better at getting his teammates involved and also scoring by getting to the rim when defenses throw double teams at him. He’ll also look to become a stronger leader.

“I’m going to try to make

“I’ve heard him be a little

more vocal. He has done that this spring. He doesn’t say a whole lot, but I’ve heard him a few times encouraging other guys. I’ve never seen that in the past.

every play but make it as smart as possible, because if I turn over the ball and make mistakes, it doesn’t leave much for the freshmen to look at.

— Head coach Ken Bone via

— Honeycutt via the Los Angeles Times.

 ways the Pac- can raise its standing The Pacific 10 Conference once again begins the season ranked No. 6 in conference strength — barely beating out the mid-majors. Washington begins the season as the only ranked team in either poll, but it’s not like the Pac-10 can’t improve itself during non-conference games.

Nov. 22: Nov. 27: Dec. 2: Dec. 3:

Here are nine games this year that could Dec. 5: make or break the perception of West Dec. 5: Coast basketball: Dec. 8: Dec. 11: Dec. 18:

Washington vs. Virginia (Maui Invitational) Arizona vs. Kansas (in LasVegas) UCLA @ Kansas Washington State vs. Kansas State Southern California vs. Texas Arizona vs. Oklahoma Washington State vs. Gonzaga Washington @ Texas A&M Southern California @ Kansas

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2010-11 basketball guide

Isaiah Thomas - UW

NIKOLA VUCEVIC - USC Last Season: Averaged 10 points, 9 rebounds, 1 block

Last Season: Averaged 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists

Weighing in at 240 pounds, the 6-foot10 Vucevic led the Pacific 10 Conference in rebounding last season. The bad news for conference opponents is that he traveled to his home of Montenegro over the summer, polishing his already versatile skill-set. Oh, and the big man also took advantage of the Trojans’ new strength and conditioning coach.

Standing 5-foot-8, Thomas’ demeanor more than makes up for his stature. He’s the Huskies’ vocal leader — just follow him on Twitter and you’ll see why — but despite bouts of inconsistency, the junior is the heart and soul of the conference’s preseason champion.

“He has a passion about this game. He

“I’ve seen a big-time jump in him conditioningwise and strength-wise. His game is just overall better. I think he’s primed to have a great junior year.’’

wants to be the best he can be. And he wants to win. He’s going to do whatever it takes to make any of those things happen. There are times Isaiah (Thomas) probably wants to slap me. He probably wants to tell me off, but he doesn’t because I think he feels as upset as I am right now, I know he wants the best for me. His attitude has been great.

— Head coach Kevin O’Neill via The Associated Press.

— Head coach Lorenzo Romar via The Seattle Times.

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Last Season: Average 17 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist Nothing describes the feisty 6-foot-4 Green any better than “shooter.” With the departure of Landry Fields to the NBA’s New York Knicks, don’t expect Green to do anything but shoot even more. According to Dime Magazine, he fired at least eight three pointers in 17 games last season, ending the year at a 38 percent clip beyond the arc, which wasn’t much worse than his overall average of 40 percent.

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“Playing against Landry

everyday in pick-up and practice made me a better player. He never took plays off. He never took days off. Playing against him, I feel like it just raised my game, raised my overall mentality of the game, about what I needed to bring to the table.

— Green via

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about everyone by winning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. He electrified crowds with dunks and was, without a doubt, the team’s MVP a year ago.

The portfolio: It seems that everyone finds

#3 SOLOMON HILL The personnel file: 6-foot-6, 226 pounds,

6.7 PPG, Los Angeles, Calif.

basketball team will once again need Williams to be a beast. He must find a way to improve his free-throw shooting and mid-range jumper.

Stock: Nike: Both powerhouses ‘just do it.’

The outlook: Hill showed signs of being

#2 MOMO JONES The personnel file: 6-foot, 196 pounds, 6.6 PPG, Harlem, N.Y.

a way to overlook what Fogg has done at Arizona. The junior is experienced, savvy and clutch. See: three straight free throws at the end of regulation to send last season’s Southern California game in over time.

The outlook: Sean Miller was asked where

his team will get its points from outside of Williams. The first name that came out of his mouth was Fogg. The junior will need to be more aggressive to make that happen.

able to knock a jumper down. If he starts to shoot more often and can shoot consistenty, it will take his game to another level.

Stock: UPS: Dependable, reliable and deliv-

Stock: United Airlines: Both able to fly

The personnel file: Transfer, 6-foot-7, 210

coast to coast.

The portfolio: Jones struggled in the

beginning of last season but became a key at the end of the season. Jones’ buzzer-beater against Stanford gave everyone a glimpse of what he could be.

ers on time.


#6 KYRYL NATYAZHKO The personnel file: 6-foot-11, 264 pounds,

1.9 PPG, Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.

The portfolio: When confident, Natyazhko

showed he can knock down a 15-foot jump shot and be a presence inside with his near 7-foot frame. The sophomore has the potential to be a force down low.

The outlook: The center didn’t appear

confident around the basket, which will change if he wants to play more often this season, let alone become a factor.

Stock: GM: Bailed out last year, now reenergized for a new plan this year.

The personnel file: freshman, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Los Angeles, Calif.

The portfolio: There were a few games last


season that Lavender showed that he was the best shooter on the court. He’s also a pesky defender, and his intensity will make him vital coming off the bench.

The personnel file: 6-foot-6, 205 pounds,

The outlook: If Lavender can maintain

The portfolio: Parrom made his name as a

4.6 PPG, Bronx, N.Y.

his confidence throughout the season, he could see significant minutes. Establishing and maintaning confidence as well as consitency will define his season.

hardnosed defender that brought toughness and tenacity. He’s a player that will be physical whenever his number is called off the bench.

Stock: Verizon: Dialing up from long dis-

The outlook: Though Parrom brings the


pounds, St. Louis, Mo.

9.4 PPG, San Diego, Calif.

The portfolio: Attended John A. Logan

The portfolio: Horne has always been

The portfolio: Led his high school to backto-back California state titles, which is an impressive accomplishment in a state filled with talent.

The outlook: Miller said he has liked what

he’s seen from Mayes but has said on numerous occasions that he must make an improvement on the defensive end.

Stock: Gillette: Razor sharp guard with silky smooth stroke.

defensive toughness, he must make wide open shots so he doesn’t become an offensive liability. He also must make better decisions and eliminate careless turnovers.

tance with good signal.

Stock: ADT Security: Both can protect and

The personnel file: 6-foot-7, 224 pounds,

Community College

defend home (court).


inconsistent, but when the senior plays well he brings a jump shot with unlimited range and super athleticism that can shift the momentum of the game with crowd-pleasing dunks.

The outlook: Perry will have to be the

guy fans cheer for when he gets off the bench. Must become the energy guy that enamors fans with effort and passion on the court.

The outlook: He has the charisma and tenacity, but establishing trust from his teammates will be key. Developing a consistent jump shot will also make Jones much more dynamic.


The personnel file: 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, 3.2 PPG, Mesa, Ariz.

11.1 PPG, Brea, Calif.

The portfolio: Hill came into last season overweight, so he had to play catch up throughout the season, but his versatility showed he can potentially be the Wildcats’ best player.

The outlook: The 2010-11 Arizona


The personnel file: 6 foot-3, 180 pounds,

pounds, 15.7 PPG, La Mirada, Calif.

The portfolio: Williams surprised just

A season after head coach Sean Miller took the reigns of the ailing Arizona Wildcats, the Daily Wildcat gives you the outlook for the top 10 spots on the 2010-11 roster.


The personnel file: 6-foot-8, 241


The outlook: This is the last chance for Horne to show that five-star ranking out of high school wasn’t all wrong. One way he can immediately improve? Rebounding.


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ready for telling THE


season W-hoops coach implements new offense at the dawn of her third season as head coach By Alex Williams ARIZONA DAILY WILDCAT The third year of a coach’s regime is usually when things start coming together, and the Arizona women’s basketball team is no different. “I definitely feel good about where we’re heading as a program,� said head coach Niya Butts. “(Later in the season) I’ll be able to give you a better feeling. Our teams have been getting better every year, and the leadership has been getting better every year.� Improvement has been a staple under Butts’ tenure. In her first year, Butts led Arizona to the Bank of Hawaii Classic Tournament championship . In her second year, she led the Wildcats to their highest win total in five seasons. The leadership that Butts harps on might be the biggest difference between this year ’s Arizona squad and teams from the past. Butts is now less like a babysitter, and is able to focus more on the smaller things plaguing her teams.

“Coach isn’t going to see every single thing that we do wrong,� said senior forward Soana Lucet. “If we see one of our teammates not touching the line, we’re going to call them out. This is for us getting better.� That attitude has already made this year stand out for Butts, who has been Arizona’s head coach since 2008 after serving as an assistant for one year at Michigan State University and five years at the University of Kentucky. “After practices the last couple years, the coaches have just been so drained that I swear I needed a massage after a week of practice,� Butts said. “Not having to put them through every single drill, it’s so refreshing. They’re really starting to police themselves where before we had to point out every single mistake.� That type of communication is something that comes with more experience in the program, and this team isn’t lacking that with four of five starters from last year’s team returning. “There’s no substitute for experience and time,� Butts said. “Having those years together and growing in this program,





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Record: Ninth in the Pac-10


Record: Eighth in the Pac-10



that’s certainly helped.� Depth, experience and leadership aren’t the only things that are different about this year ’s team. The Wildcats are

also implementing a new up-tempo offense that places emphasis on turnovers and running the floor. “We’re getting more athletic at every position, especially the point guard position, which is a key,� Butts said. “We’re getting comfortable with each spot on the floor with our speed and quickness. We’re picking up things a lot faster, and I think that has a little bit to do with it.� With Ify Ibekwe being named to the Naismith Trophy and Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award watch lists and Davellyn Whyte returning as Arizona’s leading scorer, Butts is in a position to turn Arizona into a contender, and to do it fast.



Tim Glass/Arizona Daily Wildcat

After two inconsistent seasons, head coach Niya Butts and her new offensive system hope to make a splash into the postseason for the first time. The third-year coach believes experience and athleticism will take the Wildcats a long way this year.





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Five questions

for women’s

hoops COMMENTARY BY Alex Williams


sports writer

Can Ify Ibekwe be a threat from 3?

Forward Ify Ibekwe, Arizona’s second-leading scorer and leading rebounder a season ago, is expected to be able to knock down shots from behind the arc for the Wildcats this season. If she’s able to be a threat, Ibekwe’s outside shot will open things up inside for forwards Soana Lucet and Taylor Dalrymple, which will only increase the number of ways that an already diverse Arizona squad can score.


Will Arizona have an inside presence?

The Wildcats are undersized — Amanda Pierson is UA’s tallest player at 6-foot-3, but senior Lucet and junior transfer Dalrymple, both at 6-foot-1, along with Ibekwe, will be asked to do most of the scoring inside. If Dalrymple and Lucet can force teams to pay attention to them in the post, it will draw attention from super-sophomore Davellyn Whyte, Arizona’s leading scorer from a year ago.


Will Whyte have a sophomore slump?

Sophomore guard Whyte scored 33.8 points per game last year on 41.5 percent shooting, including shooting 35.3 percent from 3-point land, but has the Pacific 10 Conference figured her out? If Whyte can avoid the infamous sophomore slump, Arizona will have a two-headed scoring monster with Whyte and Ibekwe, who scored 33.7 points per game a season ago.


Can Brooke Jackson be a viable third option?

With defenses focusing their attention on Ibekwe and Whyte, will junior guard Jackson be able take some of that attention away with her ability to shoot from behind the arc? Last year, Jackson shot 33 percent, but in this season’s two exhibitions and season opener, she’s shooting 50 percent. If she can keep that up, opposing defenses are going to have their hands full defending Arizona’s diverse offensive options.


The ’Cats can score, but can they play defense?

So far this season, the Wildcats have hit the 90-point mark twice with a low of 81. Offense isn’t going to be the issue — at least not consistently. Arizona’s opponents shot 37.8 percent last season, scoring 66.5 points per game. So far we’ve seen similar numbers this season from the Wildcats’ defense, but the points are coming much tougher for the opposition. If the Wildcats can make opponents work for every basket, they’ll be able to turn defensive stops into easy baskets in transition.






2010-11 basketball guide


Surrounding Arizona star forward Ify Ibekwe with a solid support system has been one of head coach Niya Butts’ main focuses in rebuilding the program and changing the culture of women’s basketball since her arrival three years ago at Arizona. Now, finally able to establish a foot in the recruiting door, Butts has been working to sign some of the biggest high school recruits. Here’s a look at who the ’Cats will have at their disposal throughout the 2010-11 campaign.

#12 BROOKE JACKSON Position: Class: Height: Hometown:

Guard Junior 5-foot-8 Mesa, Ariz.

The explosion of Jackson in the first few weeks of practice was welcomed by the program. In her first two seasons, Jackson’s play was saddled with injury, and she wasn’t able to perform the way both she and Butts would’ve liked. Jackson has also been a leading scorer for the Wildcats throughout preseason play, just continuing to prove how vital the guards will be for Arizona this year.

#0 Davellyn Whyte Position: Class: Height: Hometown:

Guard Sophomore 5-foot-11 Phoenix, Ariz.

It didn’t take long for Whyte to establish herself as a dominant force for the women’s basketball team. After garnering the Pacific 10 Conference Freshman of the Year, the Arizona single-game scoring leader has been unstoppable in the first few weeks of the season. As a beacon of budding leadership, Whyte’s efforts will be greatly appreciated in the coming season and throughout her entire tenure as a Wildcat.


#5 Shanita Arnold Position: Class: Height: Hometown:

Guard Junior (redshirt) 5-foot-5 Fort Smith, Ark.

After playing two seasons at UA, Arnold, who was forced to sit out last season because of NCAA transfer rules, has been dominant so far as Arizona’s new point guard. Her 16 points in the season opener against Wichita State proved that Arnold has what it takes to deserve the starting spot for the Wildcats.

#53 Soana Lucet Position: Class: Height: Hometown:

Forward Senior 6-foot-1 Noumea, New Caledonia

Lucet will be helping Ibekwe defend the post. Her prowess down low will allow Ibekwe to stretch out to the wing to create more shooting opportunities, establishing a more diverse offensive game. In her first go-around with Arizona last year, Lucet started all 31 games and finished third on the team with a 12.9 points per game average.

SUPPORTING CAST #24 Candice Warthen

Since Warthen is one of the fastest players on the Arizona squad, Butts and staff will look to use Her as a quick burst of energy off the bench to bring some more life into the offense. During her high school career, Warthen wrote her name in the record books, becoming her high school’s all-time leading women’s basketball scorer. Position: Class: Height: Hometown:

Guard Freshman 5-foot-5 Warrenton, Ga.

#23 Erica Barnes Position: Class: Height: Hometown:

With her double-double performance against the Wichita State Shockers in the Wildcats’ season opener, Barnes offered herself up as a very viable option to take care of the low post when Ibekwe or Lucet are having an off-day. Forward Freshman 6-foot-2 Sacramento, Calif.


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2010-11 basketball guide





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For Ify, there’s no time better than the present By Dan Kohler ARIZONA DAILY WILDCAT When Arizona women’s basketball prospect Ify Ibekwe came to Tucson on a recruiting trip with then-head coach Joan Bonvicini, she probably never realized the impact that she would make when she actually stepped onto the McKale Center floor in a Wildcat uniform. Four years later, the Pacific 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and two-time All Pac-10 team selection tops all sorts of school record lists and ranks 19th in career rebounds for the conference. However, for her to fulfill her career goal she will now need to lean on her fellow Wildcats to create the one thing that she’s wanted since starting at Arizona — an NCAA tournament bid. In her four years with the program, this could be the best chance that the Wildcats have had since their last tournament bid in 2000, and it all started with the attitude that came to the table on day one. When official preseason practices began in October, the Arizona coaching staff was floored by what they saw: determination. This wasn’t the typical, grueling practice of the start of the season, where freshmen adjustments let the coaches know who they will have to baby-sit and hound for the rest of the year, this was a practice of an experienced squad. Drills were running quickly, words of wisdom were being shouted from player to player. Communication was happening. Even the new faces didn’t even seem to be fazed by the faster pace of NCAA Division-I basketball. Ibekwe recalled her first practice, and words like “fear” and “uncertainty” were being thrown around, but the ability of the freshmen to play the way they did is in part, thanks to the leadership that Ibekwe and her other seasoned teammates were able to impart on the younger players before the start of practice. This determination is essential to the

type of culture that head coach Niya Butts is finally instilling into the program in her third year, and her recruiting hasn’t been so bad either. In just her second year, Butts was able to sign guard Davellyn Whyte from her home in Phoenix to become the first Arizona player to win the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award since DeeDee Wheeler in 2002. Continuing to this year, freshmen Candice Warthen and Erica Barnes have gotten a quick jump on the team bandwagon, switching off to garner a doubledouble in

Arizona’s first two regular season games. The focus will have to continue, and while a seasonlong focus is a lengthy task, the Wildcats are faster, stronger and more determined than they have been in years. They owe it to themselves and to Ibekwe. She wants success in her final curtain call, and success is only equivalent to an NCAA Tournament bid.


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Remaining 2010-11 women’s basketball schedule

11/26/10 vs. 11/27/10 vs. 12/02/10 at 12/07/10 at 12/19/10 vs. 12/21/10 vs. 12/28/10 vs. 12/31/10 vs. 01/02/11 vs. 01/06/11 at 01/08/11 at 01/16/11 at 01/20/11 vs. 01/22/11 vs. 01/27/11 at 01/29/11 at 02/03/11 vs. 02/05/11 vs. 02/13/11 vs. 02/17/11 at 02/19/11 at 02/24/11 vs. 02/26/11 vs. 03/03/11 at 03/05/11 at

03/09/11 03/10/11 03/11/11 03/12/11

Mississippi Oxford, Miss. 6:00 p.m. Arkansas - Pine Bluff Tucson, Ariz. 11:00 a.m.

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Cancun Thanksgiving Classic

Texas A&M Cancun, Mexico 7:30 p.m. Bradley Cancun, Mexico 5:15 p.m.

Nevada Reno, Nev. 8:00 p.m. New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M. 7:00 p.m. New Mexico State Tucson, Ariz. 2:00 p.m. North Texas Tucson, Ariz. 1:00 p.m. Iona Tucson, Ariz. 7:00 p.m. Oregon Tucson, Ariz. 3:00 p.m. Oregon State Tucson, Ariz. 1:00 p.m. Stanford Palo Alto, Calif. 8:00 p.m. California Berkeley, Calif. 3:00 p.m. Arizona State Tempe, Ariz. 3:00 p.m. Washington Tucson, Ariz. 7:00 p.m. Washington State Tucson, Ariz. 2:00 p.m. USC Los Angeles, Calif. 8:00 p.m. UCLA Los Angeles, Calif. 3:00 p.m. California Tucson, Ariz. 7:00 p.m. Stanford Tucson, Ariz. 2:00 p.m. Arizona State Tucson, Ariz. 2:00 p.m. Washington State Pullman, Wash. 8:00 p.m. Washington Seattle, Wash. 1:30 p.m. UCLA Tucson, Ariz. 7:00 p.m. USC Tucson, Ariz. 8:30 p.m. Oregon State Corvallis, Ore. 8:00 p.m. Oregon Eugene, Ore. 3:00 p.m.






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2010-11 BASKETBALL GUIDE Staff Picks







Kevin Zimmerman

Vincent Balistreri

Dan Kohler

Alex Williams

sports writer

sports writer

sports writer

sports writer

Where will Arizona finish?

Where will Arizona finish?

The only direction to go is up for the Arizona men’s basketball team. However, there’s still a hill to climb. The Wildcats will return to the postseason after a year’s absence. A year of improvement shows as Sean Miller’s club finishes in the top three of a still weak Pacific 10 Conference and earns a low seed in the tournament, where the Wildcats will get knocked off by a more experienced team.

Since the Arizona basketball program missed the tournament for the first time in 25 years, everybody began to question whether Arizona was still a basketball school. Let’s put that to rest right now. Arizona has a basketball program. The football program has come a long way, but quite frankly, it has no chance when the basketball program is stable. Miller has brought stability. Since football couldn’t bring a Rose Bowl for Christmas, basketball will bring a Sweet Sixteen party for spring break.

First round, NCAA tournament


Sweet Sixteen

Derrick Williams can score the ball, but in Miller’s system, getting Williams and his teammates in the position to be successful rests in the hands of point guard Momo Jones. As a sophomore, Jones doesn’t have to be like the playmaking, ball-dominating guards Arizona has seen in the past; he simply needs to be the vocal and on-court leader the Wildcats need to get through times of struggle. Judging from his preseason attitude, he’s well on his way to doing just that.


This one is a no-brainer. Last season, Williams was the most consistent Wildcat as a freshman. This season, he will only get better. Williams has NBA millions on the line each night he suits up for the Wildcats this season, and the better his team does, the more his stock will rise. Williams will be great knowing he’s a big-time season away from a David Stern handshake. Derrick Williams

Momo Jones

Williams: ‘If I’m open, I’m going to shoot it’

D-WILL continued from page B2

with James Harden, Shaun Livingston and DeMar DeRozan. It was more just working out, but they told me to get more shots up.” Williams will not sneak up on teams the way he did a year ago. This season he will be the other team’s first defensive assignment and he’s prepared for it. “I worked on that this off-season,” Williams said of the constant double teams. “I know Coach is going to throw more double teams at me in practice.” Williams also spent countless hours working on his jump shot and trying to become more comfortable with his shooting, he said. “I worked out Monday through Friday,





r 21? for a

probably shot 700 shots,” he said. “If I’m open, I’m going to shoot it. I think confidence has a lot to do with it. I’m a lot more confident than I was last year. “If I can hit the open shot, that’ll be better for our team.” It will be better for the team and Williams’ draft stock, which he says is not a motivation. “I don’t think it motivates me, I motivate myself,” he said. “I’ll use the goals that I have.” Whether he uses the draft hype as an incentive or not, people will discuss it the entire season and NBA scouts will watch Arizona’s big games closely to evaluate Williams.

Where will Arizona finish?

With Stanford dominating the top of the conference table for the better part of a decade, the position of the Wildcats in the Pac-10 standings will essentially be based on which Arizona team decides to show up in each contest. If the team comes to play like they did in their season opener against Wichita State, by playing competitively for an entire 40 minutes plus overtime, then there is no reason that they cannot finish in the top half of the conference. However, if they start to show shades of their winded second half play that was far too present last year, the Wildcats could end up in the bottom three, right where they finished last year.

Where will Arizona finish?

Arizona will take another step toward rebuilding its women’s basketball program and finish fifth in the Pac-10 after finishing ninth and eighth in the last two seasons respectively, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Ify Ibekwe’s leadership and Davellyn Whyte’s scoring will win the Wildcats plenty of games, but Arizona’s newfound depth is still young and will run into a few speed bumps throughout the year. Arizona could put it together and make a run in the Pac-10 tournament and even make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005, but it will be hard with the inexperience at point guard.

Fifth in the Pac-10


While it’s hard to choose against Ify Ibekwe in her senior season, the emergence of Davellyn Whyte was the most significant asset for the Wildcats last year. The combination of her accuracy from the perimeter as well as her ability to get to the basket makes her one of the most dynamic players on the Arizona squad. With the 2010 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award and the title of Arizona’s single-game scoring leader in her back pocket, don’t be surprised if Whyte is on the short list for Pac-10 Player of the Year for the rest of her career at Arizona. Davellyn Whyte

Games scouts will pay close attention to:

Kansas: This may be Arizona’s biggest game of the season. The stage is set in Las Vegas for Williams to prove that he’s worthy of a first-round pick. Everyone will be watching on ESPN, and Williams’ performance this Thanksgiving weekend will probably shape people’s opinion of him for the rest of the year. BYU: The state of Utah is one of the toughest places to play in, regardless of the sport. Going to Provo, Utah, will not be an easy task

Fifth in the Pac-10


Whyte is going to be the Wildcat that puts up the most impressive numbers, but she wouldn’t be doing it without Ibekwe, who has been named to both the Naismith Trophy and Lowes Award watch lists. Ibekwe averaged a double-double last season, with 14 points per game to go along with 11.4 rebounds. To compliment the inside game Ibekwe has showed off the past three seasons, she has also added a 3-point shot which will only open things up more for her in the paint. Ify Ibekwe

but great players lead their team in hostile environments. The Cougars are ranked in the preseason and Williams can benefit greatly by leading his team to victory. Washington: Both games against the Huskies may decide who wins the Pac-10. If the Wildcats win, so does Williams’ draft stock. UCLA: The Bruins have had a down year as well last season, but 6-foot-8 freshman Reeves Nelson was a positive for their team. Nelson is a quality player who will be a good challenge for Williams. A quality game against Nelson can add to his draft stock.


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Arizona Daily Wildcat 2010-11 Basketball Guide  

Arizona Daily Wildcat 2010-11 Basketball Guide

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