May 4, 2012
By Adam Gonzales
During the 2011-12 University of Arizona women's basketball season, the Wildcats relied heavily on junior guard Davellyn Whyte. Understandably though, because she was the team's most successful player in her first two seasons. She turned out to be the team's leading scorer averaging 17 points per game, was the second-leading rebounder with 6.8 rebounds per game, and led the team in steals averaging 2.6 per game. Whyte used an element of surprise in her game this year because she added skills to her game that opponents had never seen from her before.
"I worked hard on the things I knew I needed to get better at last offseason," Whyte said. "When game time came, I could go to those things that nobody had seen before, and I developed my mid-range game, which I hadn't been good at in the past."
The team leaned on Whyte the entire year and saw her as a leader, which she is comfortable with.
"I didn't have a choice," Whyte said. "I've been a leader my whole life and after Ify (Ibekwe) and Soana (Lucet) left, I had to fill the shoes and take on that leadership role. I don't know if I was 100% ready for it last year but I did what I knew how to do."
Coming into the year, head coach Niya Butts told Whyte that she was going to have to become a leader, because she can lead by example and she also wanted Whyte to be the vocal leader on the team.
"She stresses the vocal part of it," Whyte said. "I wasn't a real vocal person before I came here, and that is something I have been working on since I got here."
Having to be one of the team leaders and a key senior for 2012-13 will be a much more comfortable role for Whyte. She now knows what it takes to be a leader on a Division I team and can flourish in that role.
In 2012-13, Whyte had one of the most successful seasons by a Wildcat women's basketball player. She put her name in many of the single-season school records in 2012. She scored the sixth-most points in a season with 544, she had the sixth-most steals with 84, made the fourth-most three-pointers in a season with 71, had the third-most free throws made with 141, and had the 10th-best scoring average of all time.
Whyte was recognized nationally for her efforts as part of the program. She was named Associated Press Honorable Mention and first-team All-Pac-12. Yes, those are some amazing accomplishments, and any basketball player would be completely satisfied with that, but Whyte is still looking to top all that not only for herself, but for the team.
"I want to put myself in a good position," Whyte said. "We have all the pieces and we just need to win as a team. That is my main goal. I want to do whatever it takes for our team to win. I just want us to get better."
To say that Whyte has had a successful career would be a huge understatement. She will go down as not only one of the best players in Arizona history but as one of the best players in Pac-12 history. Whyte has been named to the first-team All-Pac-10/Pac-12 team in her first three seasons and was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year for the 2009-10 season.
Whyte also has opportunities to top the Arizona record books if she can have another successful year this year. She has the fifth-most points all time with 1,554, and if she can score 684 points in the 2012-13 season, she will be Arizona's all-time leading scorer. She also has the chance to have the most three-pointers in a career. Whyte currently has made 204, and if she makes 82 next year, she will also have that mark.
Whyte is looking to achieve two accomplishments that only one Wildcat has ever achieved. She is looking to become the first Wildcat since Adia Barnes (1995-98) to be the team's leading scorer all four years of her career. She is also looking to become the first Wildcat to make first team All-Pac-10/Pac-12 all four years of her career.
A native of Arizona, she hails from Phoenix and attended St. Mary's High School but never thought she would end up playing in Tucson for the Wildcats. However, she has enjoyed her time as a Wildcat so far.
"I wouldn't change anything that has happened here," Whyte said. "I didn't want to come here at first, but when I came for an AAU tournament, I fell in love with this place. I never thought that I would come to Arizona but when it happened, it just seemed right."
Whyte is looking to finish out here career at Arizona on a high note. If she can continue to have the success that she has had her entire career, she will end up being one of the best players that the city of Tucson has ever seen.