Nov. 8, 2002
WHAT'S HAPPENING: The 2002-03 University of Arizona women's basketball team will face its first outside competition of the season when it takes on the TJ MUS CZ Strakonice club on Monday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. in the McKale Center.
#35 - Krista Warren (F/G, 6-2, Sr., Cloverdale, CA)
#00 - Shawntinice Polk (C, 6-5, Fr., Hanford, CA)
#11 - Dee-Dee Wheeler (G, 5-6, So., Chicago, IL)
#13 - Aimee Grzyb (G, 5-7, Jr., San Jose, CA)
#23 - Natalie Jones (G, 5-10, Fr., Anchorage, AK)
OFF THE BENCH: (in numerical order)
#4 - Candice Allen (G, 5-10, Jr., Ontario, CA)
#5 - CoCoa Sanford (F, 6-0, Fr., Inglewood, CA)
#15 - Anna Chappell (F, 6-1, Fr., Qualicum Beach, B.C.)
#20 - Julie Brase (G, 5-10, Sr., Tucson, AZ)
#21 - Katrina Lindner (G, 5-6, Fr., Glengowrie, So. Australia)
#30 - Jessica Duger (G/F, 5-10, Jr., Lake Havasu City, AZ) - not eligible until January
#32 - Svjetlana Papcevic (F, 6-2, Jr., Sarajevo, Bosnia)
#33 - Phakisha Peterson (G/F, 5-11, Fr., El Paso, TX)
#44 - Danielle Adefeso (C, 6-2, So., Los Angeles, CA)
ABOUT ARIZONA: The Wildcats return seven letterwinners, including four starters, from last season's 14-14 squad. Two redshirt freshmen, two transfers and four true freshmen comprise this year's class of eight newcomers. Such an infusion of "new blood" should bode well for the Cats, who remain in the hunt for a return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
Among the returnees is the 2002 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, guard Dee-Dee Wheeler, who is also the Cats' top returning scorer after averaging 12.3 points per game last season. Senior forward Krista Warren was Arizona's top rebounder last year, with an average of 8.2 per game.
Rounding out the list of returnees are junior guard Candice Allen (10.0 ppg), junior guard Aimee Grzyb (10.8 ppg), senior guard Julie Brase (5.6 ppg) and sophomore center Danielle Adefeso (1.6 ppg). Another returnee, sophomore guard Robin Roberson (4.8 ppg) will be redshirting this season.
The Cats are expecting immediate contributions from many of their eight newcomers this year. Redshirt freshman center Shawntinice Polk was a consensus first team All-American at Hanford (Calif.) High School, and freshman guard Natalie Jones was also a Parade All-American at East Anchorage (Alaska) HS.
Junior forward Svjetlana Papcevic has two years of junior college ball under her belt, valuable experience for this young Wildcat team. After sitting out last season with an ACL tear, redshirt freshman guard Katrina Lindner is expected to have an immediate impact, while fellow freshmen CoCoa Sanford, Anna Chappell and Phakisha Peterson will give the Cats depth they haven't had in many seasons. Another transfer, junior guard Jessica Duger will not be eligible to play until the fall semester grades have been posted, so the Cats are hoping to have her for the beginning of Pac-10 action.
ABOUT STRAKONICE: The TJ MUS CZ Strakonice club team is from the Czech Republic. The squad placed fifth in the top women's Czech league during the 2002 season and has five players on its roster with national team affiliations in both the Czech Republic and Sweden. Strakonice has a wide age-range on its squad, varying from 17 to 28 years old.
Strakonice is in the U.S. for a seven-game tour that begins on Nov. 8 with a contest at San Diego State. The team will also play at Loyola Marymount on Nov. 10 before facing the Wildcats on Nov. 11.
LAST TIME VERSUS A FOREIGN CLUB: The Wildcats haven't faced a foreign club since Nov. 12, 2000, when they downed the Slovakian team Cassovia Bardejov, 89-70.
Cassovia stayed close to the Cats early in the game, then Arizona scored 17 unanswered points midway through the first half to pull out to an 18-point (30-12) lead. Although Cassovia fought back, the Cats took a 37-26 edge into the lockerroom at the half.
The Wildcats pushed their lead out to 16 points (56-40) at 12:03 in the second, only to see Cassovia out-score them, 21-11, over the next seven minutes, cutting the lead to six (67-61). A 20-7 Arizona spurt over the final 4:37 locked-in the victory for the Wildcats.
Then-sophomore Krista Warren shot 9-for-12 from the floor on her way to 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Then-freshman Aimee Grzyb was 4-of-6 from the field en route to 11 points and three assists, while fellow freshman Candice Allen had five points and one rebound.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK'S ACTION: Senior forward Krista Warren racked up game highs of 19 points and 13 rebounds in a losing effort for the Blue squad as it fell to the Red squad, 91-73, Arizona's annual intra-squad scrimmage last Tuesday.
Junior Jessica Duger, a transfer who actually won't be eligible for the Cats until second semester, shot 6-for-11 from the floor on her way to 18 points and four rebounds to lead the Red team. Finally making her highly anticipated debut in a Wildcat uniform, freshman center Shawntinice Polk tallied 15 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while racking up six assists.
Also playing the for the Red team, freshman forward CoCoa Sanford went 7-for-11 from the field for 15 points, and sophomore guard Robin Roberson, who will be redshirting this season, contributed 14 points and four assists. Another newcomer, junior forward Svjetlana Papcevic was 6-for-8 from the floor en route to 13 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Aimee Grzyb grabbed seven boards and had a game-high seven assists.
In addition to Warren's double-double for the Blue team, sophomore center Danielle Adefeso had 14 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Dee-Dee Wheeler ran off 14 points and a trio of assists. Also making her long-awaited debut, redshirt freshman guard Katrina Lindner notched seven points and two assists, after missing last year with a torn ACL suffered during last season's Red & Blue Game.
HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has nurtured the Wildcat program into an upward-rising powerhouse. In 11 seasons at the helm of the Arizona program, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to six post-season appearances, including four NCAA tournament berths and two in the WNIT.
Just beginning her 12th season with the Wildcats, Bonvicini holds a 193-131 (.596) mark at Arizona and is 518-202 (.719) in 23 years as a head coach. She is 23-14 in NCAA tournament play and has never lost a first-round game in 13 appearances.
Prior to taking over at the UA, Bonvicini led Long Beach State to 10 consecutive NCAA appearances, including two trips to the Final Four. She registered a 325-71 mark in 12 seasons with the 49ers.
DID YOU KNOW: Since Joan Bonvicini took over the Arizona program in 1991, the Wildcats have gone 103-94 against Pac-10 teams, although they have a 69-39 league mark over the last six seasons combined.
THE REST OF THE STAFF: Awarded the title of associate head coach in 1998, Denise Dove Ianello (Northern Illinois, 1992) is in her 11th year at the UA, functioning as both the team's recruiting coordinator and a perimeter coach. In his fourth year at the UA, assistant coach Curtis Loyd (Southern Utah, 1994) is involved with scouting and with coaching the post players and is the director of the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp. Assistant coach Kellee Barney (Idaho, 1983) was just added to the Wildcat staff last February, and her duties include recruiting, scouting and floor work with the players.
THE LITTLEST WILDCAT: Associate head coach Denise Dove Ianello was certainly busy during the off-season! On April 9, 2002, she gave birth to Zachary Robert Ianello, the first child for Denise and her husband Rob, who is the UA football recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Cats will have another preseason tuneup on Sunday, Nov. 17, with an exhibition against Team Concept at 2 p.m. Arizona officially tips off the 2002-03 season on Friday, Nov. 22, against No. 3 Louisiana State at 7 p.m. Just three days later, the Wildcats will hit the road the first time this season when they travel to Malibu, Calif., to take on Pepperdine on Monday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m. PST.
CALL HER POLKEY: At her request, Shawntinice Polk would appreciate being called "Polkey" (single-name reference only) as much as possible.
INJURY REPORT: Senior guard Julie Brase is day-to-day with a deep thigh bruise suffered during a collision with a teammate in the Red & Blue Game on Nov. 5. Freshman forward CoCoa Sanford is probable for Monday's contest after suffering a mild sprain to her left ankle during practice mid-week.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Arizona has a pretty tough slate on tap for this season. According to the preseason WBCA/Summerville RPI, Arizona's non-conference schedule alone ranks 13th out of the 324 women's basketball teams nationwide. The Cats' overall schedule strength, including Pac-10 games, ranks 49th.
GOING POLLING: Eleven of the 19 opponents on the Cats' 2002-03 schedule have been ranked or received votes for ranking in the multiple preseason polls that have been released.
Louisiana State, Stanford and Georgia were ranked in each of the 12 polls released so far. LSU has been placed as high as third (Associated Press, Women's Basketball News Service, Street & Smith's and ESPN.com), while Stanford has been ranked as high as third (Lindy's Magazine) also. Georgia has been placed as high as fourth (All-Star Girls' Report).
Oregon has appeared among the top 25 in five different polls, receiving ranking as high as 18th (All-Star Girls' Report). Washington has been ranked in four polls, with a high of No. 16 (WomensCollegeHoops.com), and received votes in three others.
New Mexico was ranked in three polls, with a high of No. 21 (Athlon and WomensCollegeHoops.com). USC (24th - Athlon), Ohio State (20th - All-Star Girls' Report) and Pepperdine (22nd - Street & Smith's) made appearances in one top 25 apiece. UNLV and Arizona State both received votes for ranking in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll.
GOOD BEGINNINGS: With Joan Bonvicini at the program's helm, the Wildcats have won seven straight season openers and nine in the 11 years she has been at the UA.
LOVE THOSE TV GAMES: Arizona garnered a perfect 6-0 record in televised games last season. During those contests, the Cats averaged 84.5 points per game, out-scored their opponents by an average of 16.3 ppg and shot 46.5 percent from the floor, 38.1 percent from three-point range and 82.8 percent from the free throw line.
That should bode well for the Cats this year, as they have at least five contests already scheduled for broadcast and have the potential for two more to be picked up by television before the season is over.
CHECKING THE RECORD BOOK: Wildcat senior Julie Brase is third in on the UA career list in three-point percentage (.369), tied for sixth in career three-pointers made (83) and is seventh in three-pointers attempted (225).
Junior guard Aimee Grzyb is fourth in career three-point percentage (.362), fourth in three-pointers made (100) and fourth in three-pointers attempted (276).
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Although the McKale Center has historically been kind to the Cats, they logged six losses at home last season, their most losses in McKale since the 1994-95 team dropped seven home games.
The Wildcats have won 29 of their last 38 home games and are 51-14 on their home court over the last four seasons combined. During Joan Bonvicini's 11 seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have posted a 116-49 mark in McKale Center. Arizona has an all-time record of 182-157 on its home court since the 1976-77 season.
80 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: It seems that the 80-point mark almost always means adding another to the "win" column for the Wildcats. In the 30-year history of UA women's basketball, the Cats have posted a 140-21 record when scoring 80 points or more in a game. Under Bonvicini, the Wildcats have gone 100-14 when topping that 80-point plateau.
CAT SCRATCHES: The Arizona women's basketball program has a 352-419 (.457) all-time record, however it is 156-83 (.653) from 1994 to present... Joan Bonvicini has a 194-107 career record against Pac-10 teams.
ON LOCATION: Last year, Arizona was 9-6 at home, 5-7 on the road and 0-1 in neutral games.
THE CATS AND PAC-10 OPENERS: Under Joan Bonvicini, Arizona has a 7-4 mark in Pac-10 openers and has won its first conference contest in seven of the last nine years.
2003 PAC-10 CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT: The 2003 State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament will be on March 7-10 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.