COMING UP:The Arizona women’s basketball team hosts Baden Sports for its last exhibition game of the season at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8, at McKale Center. Video, audio and live stats of this and every home game are available at www.arizonaathletics.com.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS:Arizona easily defeated Play Mode Sports 80-54 in its first exhibition game of the season Tuesday night. The Wildcats shot 49 percent from the field on the game, compared to the 34 percent of Play Mode. Arizona also won the rebounding battle 50 to 41 and forced 25 Play Mode turnovers. Junior All-America candidate Shawntinice Polk led the Wildcats with 17 points on 62 percent shooting, seven rebounds, five steals, two assists and two blocks. Freshman guard Jessica Arnold added 10 points, while senior Dee-Dee Wheeler finished with nine points and eight assists. Sophomore Shannon Hobson added eight points, all of which she scored in the second half.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:Baden Sports is a team comprised of former college players from West Coast schools, including Sara Best and Alicia Heathcote, both of whom are 2003 graduates of Washington. The team will play 12 games in 16 days in eight states. Baden Sports fell to Washington 86-49 on Oct. 31, before dropping games at Utah (70-41) on Nov. 2, California (69-36) on Nov. 3 and San Francisco (71-52) on Nov. 4. The team will face Weber State on Saturday and Oregon State on Sunday, before playing the Wildcats on Monday.
USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches Poll
Rank School Total 2003-04 03-04 Final
(first-place votes) Points Record Ranking
1. Tennessee (15) 944 31-4 2
2. LSU (10) 934 27-8 3
3. Texas (9) 908 30-5 10
4. Connecticut (6) 883 31-4 1
5. Georgia 782 25-10 8
6. Duke 747 30-4 5
7. Stanford 724 27-7 7
8. Baylor 688 26-9 11
T-9. Ohio State 555 21-10 NR
T-9. Texas Tech 555 25-8 17
11. Notre Dame 483 21-11 20
12. North Carolina 472 24-7 21
13. Vanderbilt 468 26-8 13
14. Minnesota 425 25-9 4
15. Purdue 420 29-4 9
16. Michigan State 397 22-9 NR
17. Rutgers 324 21-12 NR
T-18. Boston College 259 27-7 14
T-18. Kansas State 259 25-6 15
20. DePaul 232 23-7 25
21. Penn State 226 28-6 6
22. Louisiana Tech 165 29-3 12
23. Maryland 153 18-13 NR
24. Arizona 147 24-9 NR
25. Oklahoma 139 24-9 18
Others receiving votes: UCLA 89, Utah 83, TCU 69, Villanova 52, Houston 45, Chattanooga 43,
Southwest Missouri State 38, Old Dominion 34, Florida 32, UC Santa Barbara 32, Middle
Tennessee 25, UNLV 23, Louisville 16, Colorado 15, Marquette 15, Virginia Tech 15, Montana 14,
Temple 12, New Mexico 8, Auburn 7, Richmond 5, Liberty 4, Miami (Fla.) 4, Oregon 4, Virginia 4,
Arizona State 3, Marshall 3, South Alabama 3, Wisconsin-Green Bay 3, Eastern Michigan 2,
George Washington 2, Maine 2, Arkansas 1, Creighton 1, Idaho State 1, North Carolina State 1,
Western Kentucky 1.
* 2004-05 Arizona opponents in italics
ARIZONA TABBED NO. 24 IN PRESEASON COACHES POLL:The Arizona women’s basketball team is ranked No. 24 in the preseason USA Today/ESPN/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Coaches Poll released Wednesday. This marks the second year in a row that the Wildcats have been preseason ranked in the poll.
CATS PICKED TO FINISH FIRST, SECOND IN PAC-10:The Wildcats were selected to share the Pacific-10 crown with Stanford in the preseason poll of the media, while the coaches tabbed Arizona to place second. Arizona and Stanford finished with identical 14-4 records last season to share the title, the first such crown in Wildcat history. The media poll marks the first time ever that the Wildcats have been picked to finish first.
WHEELER, POLK NAMED PRESEASON ALL-PAC-10:Senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler and junior center Shawntinice Polk were two of five players named to the preseason All-Pacific-10 team, as selected by the media. The other three named to the team were UCLA junior guard Nikki Blue (two-time All-Pac-10), UCLA sophomore guard Noelle Quinn (2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, All-Pac-10) and Stanford senior guard Kelley Suminski.
POLK NAMED TO WOODEN AWARD WATCH LIST:Junior center Shawntinice Polk was one of 30 players named to the 2004-05 John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-American Team, composed of 30 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for the trophy. In mid-January, the committee will release a midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the official ballot, consisting of the top 10-15 players. The 2005 award ceremony will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 9, 2005 and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast.
WHEELER, POLK ON WADE TROPHY WATCH LIST:Shawntinice Polk and Dee-Dee Wheeler are two of 31 preseason candidates for the 2004-05 State Farm Wade Trophy, given to the Division I Player of the Year. Arizona was one of seven schools with two or more players on the prestigious list. The candidates were selected by a vote of the national awards committee, which is comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball administrators. Players are selected based on statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.
HOME WIN STREAK STANDS AT 27:The Cats have won 27 games in a row at home, tied with Western Illinois for the third longest streak in the nation behind Texas (36) and Louisiana Tech (28). The last time the Wildcats were defeated at home was Nov. 22, 2002, when they lost in overtime to Louisiana State, 78-71. Arizona then won its final 13 homes games during the 2002-03 season, and all 14 games last year.
GOING POLLING:Three of Arizona’s 2004-05 opponents (Georgia, Stanford and Maryland) are nationally ranked in the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches Poll. In addition, Duke, Ohio State and Notre Dame, all potential opponents in the Preseason WNIT, are ranked in the Top 25. UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and Oregon are all receiving votes in the polls.
CURRENT CATS ON UA CAREER LISTS:Senior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler is second in minutes played average (32.2), third in scoring (1,402), field goals made (546) and field goals attempted (1,185), fourth in scoring average (15.2), steals (214), three-point field goals made (134), three-point field goals attempted (373) and three-point field goal percentage (.359), seventh in games started (87), eighth in free throw percentage (.739) and 10th in total minutes played (2,960) and assists (332).
Junior Shawntinice Polk is first in double-doubles (37), blocks (160), rebounding average (10.5) and field goal percentage (.590), fourth in total rebounds (674), sixth in field goals made (448), eighth in free throws attempted (340) and 11th in scoring (1,087).
GOOD BEGINNINGS:With Joan Bonvicini at the program’s helm, the Wildcats have won 10 of their 13 season openers. Last year, Arizona defeated Northern Arizona 89-67 at home in its first game of the season.
WILDCATS ON THE RADIO:All of Arizona’s games this season will be broadcast on Tucson’s Jolt, KJLL 1330 AM, the radio home of Arizona women’s basketball. With Paul Johnson returning for his 10th year as the Wildcats’ play-by-play announcer, the Jolt will broadcast every game, home and away.
WILDCATS ON TELEVISION:The Wildcats have three games this season that will be broadcast on FSN:
Sunday, Jan. 9 - 2:30 p.m. vs. Stanford
Saturday, Jan. 29 - 4 p.m. vs. Maryland (FSN)
Saturday, Feb. 19 - 2 p.m. at Oregon (FSN)
In addition, the Wildcats’ home games against Southern California (Feb. 12) and Washington (Feb. 26) are "wild card" games that could get picked up in the Pac-10 television package.
UP NEXT:The Wildcats open regular-season play with a 7 p.m. game Friday, Nov. 12, against Saint Mary’s (Calif.) in the first round of the Sportsview.tv Preseason WNIT.