COMING UP: The Arizona women’s basketball team plays its first exhibition game of the season at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Nov. 2, against Play Mode Sports.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: The Blue team, composed mainly of Arizona’s starters, defeated the Red Team, made up of reserves and men’s practice players, 76-75, in the Red & Blue Game Thursday night. The Blue team shot 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from downtown and an amazing 90 percent from the free throw line. Meanwhile, the Red team combined for 39 percent from the field and just 24 percent from three-point range. The Blue team out-rebounded the Red team 43 to 34, but committed 28 turnovers compared to the 17 of the Red team.
Senior Dee-Dee Wheeler led the Blue team with 26 points on 67 percent shooting. She also dished out four assists and nabbed four steals. Junior Shawntinice Polk added 16 points, 15 rebounds and a game-high six assists, while senior Danielle Adefeso and sophomore Shannon Hobson had nine points apiece. Hobson also pulled down eight boards. Junior Joy Hollingsworth, who has to sit out this season after transferring from San Francisco, paced the Red team with 24 points and five rebounds.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Play Mode Sports is a team comprised of former college players. Five of the 11 players are from Pacific-10 schools, while all but three of the players graduated in 2000 or later. This is the first of seven games Play Mode will play this season, and the only game it will play out of the state of California.
CATS PICKED TO FINISH FIRST, SECOND IN PAC-10: The Wildcats were selected to share the Pacific-10 crown with Stanford in the preseason poll of the media, while the coaches tabbed Arizona to place second. Arizona and Stanford finished with identical 14-4 records last season to share the title, the first such crown in Wildcat history.
The media poll marks the first time ever that the Wildcats have been picked to finish first. The Cardinal garnered eight first-place votes in the poll, while Arizona received seven. Both teams totaled 140 points. It marks the first time there has been a tie for the first-place spot since the poll’s inception in 1997-98. The Wildcats’ highest previous projection was second in 1997-98.
In the coaches poll, Arizona received 72 points and one first-place vote, while Stanford was tabbed to win the title with eight first-place votes and 79 points. This is the fifth year in a row that Stanford has been favored by the coaches to win the title since the poll’s inception in 1998-99.
WHEELER, POLK NAMED PRESEASON ALL-PAC-10: Senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler and junior center Shawntinice Polk were two of five players named to the preseason All-Pacific-10 team, as selected by the media. The other three named to the team were UCLA junior guard Nikki Blue (two-time All-Pac-10), UCLA sophomore guard Noelle Quinn (2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, All-Pac-10) and Stanford senior guard Kelley Suminski.
POLK NAMED TO WOODEN AWARD WATCH LIST: Junior center Shawntinice Polk was one of 30 players named to the 2004-05 John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-American Team, composed of 30 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for the trophy. In mid-January, the committee will release a midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the official ballot, consisting of the top 10-15 players. The 2005 award ceremony will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 9, 2005 and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast.
WHEELER, POLK ON WADE TROPHY WATCH LIST: Shawntinice Polk and Dee-Dee Wheeler are two of 31 preseason candidates for the 2004-05 State Farm Wade Trophy, given to the Division I Player of the Year. Arizona was one of seven schools with two or more players on the prestigious list. The candidates were selected by a vote of the national awards committee, which is comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball administrators. Players are selected based on game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.
HOME WIN STREAK STANDS AT 27: The Cats have won 27 games in a row at home, tied with Western Illinois for the third longest streak in the nation behind Texas (36) and Louisiana Tech (28). The last time the Wildcats were defeated at home was Nov. 22, 2002, when they lost in overtime to Louisiana State, 78-71. Arizona then won its final 13 homes games during the 2002-03 season, and all 14 games last year.
GOING POLLING: Five of Arizona’s 2003-04 opponents (Georgia, Maryland, Stanford, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara) are nationally ranked in the various preseason polls. In addition, Duke, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Middle Tennessee State, all potential opponents in the Preseason WNIT, are ranked in the Top 25.
Georgia, which Arizona faces on Dec. 12, is ranked as high as No. 4, while Pac-10 foe Stanford is ranked in all five polls, ranging from No. 6 to No. 11. UCLA is in three of the polls, Maryland appears in two and UC Santa Barbara in one.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in minutes played average (32.2), third in scoring (1,402), field goals made (546) and field goals attempted (1,185), fourth in scoring average (15.2), steals (214), three-point field goals made (134), three-point field goals attempted (373) and three-point field goal percentage (.359), seventh in games started (87), eighth in free throw percentage (.739) and 10th in total minutes played (2,960) and assists (332).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (37), blocks (160), rebounding average (10.5) and field goal percentage (.590), fourth in total rebounds (674), sixth in field goals made (448), eighth in free throws attempted (340) and 11th in scoring (1,087).
GOOD BEGINNINGS: With Joan Bonvicini at the program’s helm, the Wildcats have won 10 of their 13 season openers. Last year, Arizona defeated Northern Arizona 89-67 at home in its first game of the season.
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO: All of Arizona’s games this season will be broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM, the radio home of Arizona women’s basketball. With Paul Johnson returning for his 10th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer, the Jolt will broadcast every game, home and away.
WILDCATS ON TELEVISION: The Wildcats have three games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Sunday, Jan. 9 - 2:30 p.m. vs. Stanford
Saturday, Jan. 29 - 4 p.m. vs. Maryland (FSN)
Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m. at Oregon (FSN)
In addition, the Wildcats’ home games against Southern California (Feb. 12) and Washington (Feb. 26) are "wild card" games that could get picked up in the Pac-10 television package.
UP NEXT: Arizona hosts Baden Sports for its last exhibition game of the season at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8, at McKale Center.