RED & BLUE GAME: Wednesday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m.
Come meet the team at a BBQ for Topcats and fans prior to the game.
Time: 6 p.m.
Price: $12.00 ($10.00 for Topcats).
Location: Patio in front of Jim Click Hall of Champions
The Arizona women’s basketball team will play its annual Red & Blue Game on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. in McKale Center. Assistant coaches Kellee Barney and Todd Holthaus will handle the sidelines for the Red Team, and assistant coach Jonelle Streed and graduate assistant Hillary Beck will head the Blue Team, while head coach Joan Bonvicini coaches both squads.
This year’s Red & Blue game will feature alternating lineups of Arizona players and practice players. During the first half, the Red Team will be composed entirely of Arizona players, as the Blue Team will feature five players and seven practice players. During the second half, players who were on the Blue Team in the first half will be switched to the Red Team, and the Blue Team will feature five players that played on the Red Team in the first half with practice players. The roster breakdown for both teams for both halves are listed in the complete notes PDF file at the top of this page.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS:
Arizona returns four starters and 10 letterwinners from last year’s team that went 8-22 and 3-15 in the Pac-10. The Wildcats feature five newcomers to the lineup, including two sets of twins.
The Wildcats will welcome back a group of experienced players that accounted for 76 percent of its scoring and 78 percent of its rebounding from a year ago. Arizona returns senior Joy Hollingsworth, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder from last season at 14.4 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Junior Ashley Whisonant returns at the point after posting 13.7 points and 3.4 assists per game in 2006.
Junior Jessica Arnold, and sophomores Whitney Fields, Kelsey Burns, Malia O’Neal, and Amina Njonkou return to this year’s lineup, as does senior Linda Pace, who has recovered from season-ending knee injury. Junior Shannon Hobson returns to the post after a redshirt season.
ABOUT THE NEWCOMERS:
Arizona features a talented group of newcomers, headlined by two sets a twins and a talented guard from Las Cruces, N.M. Junior college transfers Beatrice and Suzy Bofia will add much needed size to the Wildcat line up this season standing at 6-7 and 6-6 respectively.
Beatrice and Suzy, from Yaound?©, Cameroon, spent the last two seasons at Illinois Central College. Beatrice averaged 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 2004-05, and 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds last season, as Illinois Central won the NJCAA Division II national championship.
Suzy posted impressive numbers in her two seasons at Illinois Central College. In 2004-05, she average 9.5 points and 6.4 rebounds a game and was named to the all-tournament team at the NJCAA Division II national championships after averaging 10.0 points and 11.7 rebounds. Last season, she averaged 12.8 points and 9.6 rebounds a game for the national championship squad, and was named a Kodak honorable mention All-American while setting school records for rebounds in a season (328) and rebound average (9.6).
Rhaya and Rheya Neabors are also twins from Fullerton, Calif., who size in at 6-foot-1 apiece, and will add more options for the Arizona lineup in the post and on the wing. Freshman guard Marie McGee completes the group of newcomers, standing at 5-7, and will vie for playing time in the UA backcourt.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI:
The winningest coach in Arizona women’s basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has taken the Wildcat program from obscurity into the national limelight. In her 15 seasons at the helm, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to nine postseason appearances, including seven NCAA Tournament berths and a WNIT Championship.
Under Bonvicini’s tutelage, the Wildcats have finished in the upper tier of the Pac-10 in nine of the last 10 years, and in 2003-04 won a share of the conference regular-season title for the first time in school history. During this time, Arizona has been nationally ranked multiple times, including a best ever ranking of No. 7 in 1998.
Bonvicini’s success is mirrored in her players’ accolades. She has produced one All-American, five honorable mention All-America selections, a Pac-10 Player of the Year, three Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year, 21 All-Pac-10 honorees, 16 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team choices and 11 Academic All-Pac-10 selections. Bonvicini holds a 266-182 (.594) mark at Arizona and is 591-253 (.700) in 27 years as a head coach, needing just nine wins to become the 13th coach in NCAA history to reach 600 career wins. She has a career record of 24-17 in NCAA Tournament play and has lost just two first-round games in 17 tourney appearances.
THE REST OF THE STAFF:
Kellee Barney(Idaho, 1983) enters her sixth season as an assistant with the Wildcats. Barney is the recruiting coordinator and is also responsible for scouting, floor work and assisting with the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp.
Todd Holthaus (Grand Canyon, 1995) is in his second season with the Wildcats after serving as the head coach at Flowing Wells High School for seven years. He is responsible for post player development, recruiting, scouting, floor work and assisting with the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp.
Jonelle Streed (St. Cloud State, 2003), enters her first season as assistant coach after having spent the previous two seasons as the program’s graduate assistant video coordinator. She is responsible for perimeter player development, recruiting, scouting, floor work and assisting with the Joan Bonvicini Hoop Camp.
CATS PICKED TO FINISH SEVENTH IN PAC-10:
The University of Arizona women’s basketball team was selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conference’s head coaches on Oct., 16. The Wildcats garnered 32 points in the poll, as defending Pac-10 champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this year’s Pac-10 title.
The Cardinal received nine of 10 first-place votes and 81 points, as Arizona State received the remaining first-place nod and tallied 70 points to place second. USC was tabbed to finish third with 63 points, followed by California and Washington with 53 points for a tie for the fourth-place slot. UCLA grabbed 46 points to place sixth, followed by Arizona (32), as Oregon (22), Washington State (16) and Oregon State (14) rounded out the poll.
Last season, the Pacific-10 Conference placed six teams in the NCAA Tournament, the most ever fielded in one postseason in conference history.
Like every season, Arizona competes against some of the toughest competition in the nation. This year will be no different. The Wildcats will face a strong non-conference slate to go along with the always-difficult Pac-10 Conference season. Arizona will play 20 games this season against 12 teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats will face defending national champion Maryland and NCAA Tournament teams George Washington and TCU in the first week of the season. Arizona also hosts NC State, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico, and travels to Texas A&M and Utah. After the brutal non-conference slate, Arizona must throw blows with its Pac-10 Conference foes, including Arizona State, California, Stanford, Washington, USC, and UCLA, all tournament teams from a year ago.
GET IT STARTED:
With Joan Bonvicini at the program’s helm, the Wildcats have won 12 of their 15 season openers. Last year, Arizona defeated LMU, 74-66, on Nov. 18 in McKale Center.
Arizona hosts Colorado State, Pueblo in an exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 6 in McKale Center at 7 p.m.