Dec. 31, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. -
Head coach Niya Butts and the Arizona women’s basketball team returned from a short holiday break to productive, high-energy practices at McKale Center this week.
“We have had some great practices,” Butts said. “We have gone five days in a row here, after break, and we have had some good intensity. We look good.”
Arizona closed out a non-conference season with a 8-3 record, including notable wins over New Mexico and UNLV, both on the road. The Wildcats now prepare for a rigorous Pac-12 Conference schedule, opening Friday, Jan. 4 at Washington State.
“There are a couple of games that we lost that we were frustrated with as a team,” junior forward Alli Gloyd said. “Moving on, experiencing those losses early in the season, will help us. We know how it feels to lose games we could have won, so I think that will help us in conference play.”
As Arizona prepares for Pac-12 play, the team has taken its intensity and energy in practice to the next level.
“Coming back from Christmas break, we have continuously had great practices,” Butts said. “We have been doing a lot of scrimmaging, a lot of playing and getting up and down the court. Our team is getting better in some areas we needed to work on, so we feel pretty good heading into Pac-12 play.”
In 2011, the Wildcats had an impressive non-conference showing with an 11-1 record, but suffered injuries and went 3-14 in conference play. With the exception of guard Candice Warthen, who is out for the season, the team is prepared and fit.
“I think our group is pretty solid right now,” Butts said. “We have everybody healthy, for the most part, with the exception of Candice, but we haven’t had her all year long. We are healthy, we have everyone moving forward to conference play unlike last year, so that feels really good to me. Right now, it’s just about fine-tuning those things and getting ready for Washington State.”