Some might view the 2005-06
None of that, however, is true.
“We are ready to play,” head coach
“We had a great summer in preparation, and we have great team chemistry,” Bonvicini said. “Last year we were decimated with injuries and didn’t have a lot of size, but now we are pretty tall and have great depth.”
Although Arizona is coming off an 8-22 season, with a 3-15 mark in Pac-10 play, the Wildcats look to continue the success of a women’s basketball program that made three-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2003-05, and won 20 or more games eight times in the last 11 seasons.
“This year we have a chance to be much improved from last season,” Bonvicini said. “Our team enters this year healthy and we have a lot of depth at each position. I’m really excited to coach this group of players.”
The following is a breakdown of the 2006-07 Arizona Wildcats.
One major strength the Wildcats will enjoy this season is solid depth at all positions. That depth can be first noticed in the backcourt.
“There is no question that we have a lot of depth at the guard positions,” Bonvicini said. “Most importantly, we have a lot of good experience in the backcourt.”
Guard play was a strength of the team last season, as the Wildcats set a single-season record with 176 three-point field goals made, and a single-game record with 30 assists against Furman (11/22/05).
Although the Wildcats will have to fill the shoes of departed senior Natalie Jones, a four-year starter in the
“Joy is a great shooter and is poised to have a solid year,” Bonvicini said. “She is our leading returning scorer from last season and has great leadership skills.”
Hollingsworth is a proven scorer, as she posted her 1,000th career point vs.
Whisonant returns as the team’s assist leader, posting 102 assists on the season while averaging 13.7 points per game. She made 27 starts at point guard in 30 games played, and was second on the team with 41 steals.
“Ashley is a very solid player,” Bonvicini said. “She’ll be the point guard for us. I think this year is going to be her best year as a Wildcat.”
“Jessica had a tough year last year because we had no inside presence,” Bonvicini said. “She needs a post player to help her hit the jumper, and she will have that this season.”
Burns is coming off an impressive freshman campaign in which she averaged 4.1 points and 11.7 minutes in 27 games, including three starts.
“Kelsey had a good freshman year,” Bonvicini said. “She is a great shooter, she has improved her overall game and is ready to get more minutes and contribute to our team.”
Pace started the first 11 games of the season before injuring her knee, averaging 5.4 points and 24.0 minutes per game. She is a three-year letterwinner with 61 games to her credit, and will be an experienced leader for the Wildcat guards.
“Linda has worked hard to come back from knee surgery this offseason, and we are looking forward to a great senior year from her,” Bonvicini said.
O’Neal also logged valuable playing time in her freshman season, posting 13.7 minutes in 22 games including seven starts, while ranking fifth on the squad with 34 assists.
“Malia is in excellent condition,” Bonvicini said. “She is looking forward to having a full season and will contribute to our lineup.”
“Marie is a very good athlete,” Bonvicini said. “She will play both the point and wing for us and is a great defender who will help us off the bench in her first year.”
Last season, teams exposed
Standing at 6-7 and 6-6 respectfully, Beatrice and Suzy are poised to make in immediate impact on the
“The Bofia twins add a lot of depth to our post positions,” Bonvicini said. “They are versatile players who can run the floor and post up.”
Beatrice and Suzy, from
“Beatrice can run with our guards, that is how quick she is,” Bonvicini said. “She is a solid back-to-the-basket post player who will develop more as the season goes along.”
“Beatrice can literally dunk. She does things I have never seen a woman do. She can post up and without taking a dribble, drop step and dunk,” Bonvicini said.
Suzy posted impressive numbers in her two seasons at
“Suzy got a lot of game experience at the junior college level,” Bonvicini said. “She’s a gamer. At 6-6, she can face up to the basket, make moves and put it on the floor.”
“I have never coached twins before and now we have two sets,” Bonvicini said. “Rheya is a lefty and she can play anywhere from the two to the four positions for us. Rhaya is a righty that will play the block position as well. They are very both very well coached players.”
“Whitney is in great shape and is ready to contribute to our team,” Bonvicini said. “She is a very good defender and an excellent rebounder.”
Although she battled a foot injury for much of the season, when healthy, Njonkou was a solid contributor to the
“Amina is in great shape,” Bonvicini said. “She looks healthy, her shot looks great, and is a great contributor in the post for our team.”
Junior forward Ch?© Oh, who averaged 8.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 30.9 minutes in 20 games (18 starts) last year, will redshirt this season.
Like every season,
“We have a lot of good competition on our schedule,” Bonvicini said. “The Pac-10, I think, is going to be the best it’s ever been. Last year we put six teams from our conference in the tournament. As difficult as last season was, as competitive as it was, I think this season is going to be even more competitive. Our non-conference schedule is tough as well. There won’t be any gimmies.”
The Wildcats have a loaded non-conference slate at home with matchups against Nicholls State in the season opener on Nov. 14, NC State (Nov. 24), Louisiana Tech (Dec. 3), New Mexico (Dec. 5), Long Beach State (Dec. 12), and Fresno State (Dec. 18).
UA opens February at
The Pac-10 Tournament will again be held at the HP Pavilion in