Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women's Hoops Starts Practice Monday
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 04, 2010
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Oct. 4, 2010

Head coach Niya Butts speaks after the first day of practice.

TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball team starts practice Monday in preparation for the 2010-11 season.

Head coach Niya Butts, in her third season at the helm of the Wildcat program, and her coaching staff are excited to get the season started and bring their mix of experienced veterans and talented newcomers to the practice court.

"I thought our energy was awesome on the first day of practice," Butts said. "The freshmen looked great. Our upperclassmen looked great. Shanita Arnold, who sat out last year, is with us this year at the point position. She is going to help us so much. Her leadership today was undeniable. It was a super first day, something we haven't had in the past in terms of practicing on Oct. 4 and they came out with tons of energy. I'm ready to get tomorrow going."

The Wildcat squad welcomes back the 2009-10 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Davellyn Whyte and 2009-10 All-Pac-10 team and All-Pac-10 defensive team honoree Ify Ibekwe. Other letterwinners returning include junior Tasha Dickey, junior Brooke Jackson, senior Soana Lucet, senior Amanda Pierson and junior Reiko Thomas. New to the team this season are freshmen Erica Barnes and Candice Warthen and junior transfers Shanita Arnold and Taylor Dalrymple. Arnold spent last season with the Wildcats but had to redshirt because of NCAA transfer rules.

The Wildcats began practice on Mon., Oct. 4 with the first exhibition game scheduled for Nov. 2 against Grand Canyon. The regular season will begin with a contest at Wichita State on Nov. 11. For tickets to the Arizona Wildcat women's basketball games, call 800-452-2287

WB Welcome Coach Barnes