This is a difficult time to be an Arizona sports fan. The UA football team is struggling, the Diamondbacks are long gone, and to add salt in the wound, the Cardinals may actually be good! Rest assured, though, that help is on the way!
Arizona basketball will be the medication we all need to survive the October blues. Not only will Lute Olson boast one of his best teams ever, but so will women's basketball coach Joan Bonvicini! This could be a very special year for Arizona basketball, all the way around!
While the men are a certain favorite to win another national championship, the women are quietly putting themselves back among the elite of their sport. After two NCAA Tournament misses, the Cats seem to be healthy and full of young talent, and that talent starts with Parade All-Americans Shawntinice Polk and Natalie Jones, both of whom will be impact players. Polk was ranked the best post player in high school two years ago, and Jones comes out of Alaska with a resounding resume. Throw in Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Dee-Dee Wheeler, and things look very bright for the 2002-03 Wildcats.
However, if Arizona is to return to prominence, it will be the less-renowned players who must get the job done. Julie Brase must return to the form she showed while setting scoring records at Catalina Foothills High School. Katrina Lindner (Glengowrie, So. Australia) must be a threat from the outside after being sidelined last season with a knee injury. Danielle Adefeso must get better to spell Polk. Krista Warren, Aimee Grzyb and Candice Allen have the ability to be All-Pac-10 players, and it is time for each of them to reach her potential. Other recruits such as Anna Chappell (Qualicum Beach, B.C.), CoCoa Sanford (Inglewood, Calif.) and Svjetlana Papcevic (Sarajevo, Bosnia) could be surprises too.
In short, this team will have the most depth of any Arizona team under Joan Bonvicini. The talent is there, but a difficult schedule waits. National powers such as LSU, Georgia, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio State, Stanford, Oregon and New Mexico will provide stiff competition. But if you would rather watch a good team get better than suffer the October blues as Jake Plummer scrambles for his life and the Diamondbacks reshuffle their pitching staff, then McKale Center will be the place to be starting in November. Lute's team will be good, but so will Joan's. You can count on that!
See you on the radio!
*Please join us all season long on 1330 AM KJLL. Our first broadcast will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5, beginning at 6:30 p.m. for the annual Red and Blue Game.