Nov. 9, 2010
TUCSON - In a vote by the league media, the University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball team is picked to finish sixth in the Pacific-10 Conference this season, it was announced on Tuesday in the preseason poll.
Arizona, finishing eighth in 2009-10, received 61 points in the voting. The sixth-place predicted finish is the Wildcats' highest since being picked first by the media in 2004. Stanford led the media poll with 120 points. UCLA tallied 108 points for second place and California rounded out the top three with 88 points.
Additionally, senior forward Ify Ibekwe was named preseason All-Pac-10 by the league's media members. Ibekwe, a 6-2 native of Carson, Calif., has led the league in rebounding in each of the last two seasons. She is a two-time All-Pac-10 and Pac-10 All-Defensive Team member while also being chosen as the 2009-10 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year by the media.
During the 2009-10 season, she became the program's single-season record holder for rebounds with 352, besting the previous mark of 339 set in 2004. Her career rebounding average of 10.5 is also the tops in Arizona history while she also holds the top two single-season rebounding averages.
The preseason all-conference team also includes junior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike, senior forward Kayla Pedersen and senior guard Jeanette Pohlen, all from Stanford, and junior forward Jasmine Dixon from UCLA.
Under third-year head coach Niya Butts, the Wildcats return four starters and seven letterwinners from the 2009-10 season. Among those returning, sophomore guard Davellyn Whyte is the defending Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Additionally, Butts and her coaching staff have added two freshmen, Erica Barnes and Candice Warthen, and two junior transfers, Shanita Arnold and Taylor Dalrymple, to the roster.
The 2010-11 Arizona women's basketball slate will begin with a contest at Wichita State on Nov. 11, at 7:05 p.m. CT. The Wildcats will return to McKale Center on Mon., Nov. 15 for a contest against Northern Arizona, at 7 p.m. For tickets to the Arizona Wildcat women's basketball games, call 800-452-2287.