W-Hoops guide: Davellyn Whyte wants her first NCAA tournament experience
Davellyn Whyte has had an illustrious career for Arizona, but there is at least one thing she has left to do:
Whyte wants to dance.
She is ranked in the top 10 in several all-time Arizona categories, including third in three-point field goals made and scoring average and fifth in scoring. The 5-foot-11 guard is a three-time All Pac-12 selection and has a career average of 16.2 points and 5.2 rebounds a game.
But she still has yet to make a NCAA tournament.
John Routh / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA vs. Grand Canyon University women's basketball
“Making it to the tournament is something you dream about and its something you strive for once you are a freshman,” Whyte said. “So there’s definitely a little added pressure this year to make it to the tournament. But there’s always going to be pressure, so you just work harder to prepare for it.”
A decorated prep star at St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, Whyte was one of Butts’ most sought-after recruits.
“Davellyn has been a tremendous player for us,” head coach Niya Butts said. “Ever since she was a little freshman she’s been playing with heart and ambition and I think it’s why she’s been so successful.”
Whyte attributes her success and gradual improvement to the Arizona coaching staff preparing her and setting short-term individual goals.
Upon arriving at the UA, Whyte’s goal was to be the Pac-10 conference freshman of the year, which she was. Now she wants an NCAA tournament berth, and eventually her goal is to be drafted into the WNBA.
“She has shown a lot [of] maturity this year,” Butts said “It’s going to be key to getting us and Davellyn to the tournament, which is one of our goals.”
As Whyte approaches the end of her collegiate career, a trip to the NCAA tournament appears to be the only thing missing from her resume.
Whyte is one of the spring’s top WNBA recruits, and she doesn’t want to be one of the only draft picks who has never gone to the big dance. But as she’s now the senior leader for the Wildcats, there couldn’t be a better time to prove to country that she is a winner.
“I couldn’t ask for a better teammate,” junior forward Erica Barnes said. “She can be a hard-ass sometimes but it just shows how much she cares.”Whyte has a great deal of pride in being a Wildcat, and wants to see the program continue to flourish long after she is gone. As the captain, Whyte is doing all she can to help lead the team to as many victories as possible. However, she’s also doing her best to teach the young talented Wildcats so they’ll be ready to guide the program when she departs.
“She’s [Davellyn Whyte] been a good person to model my game after,” freshman guard Keyahndra Cannon said. “It was intimidating at first but it pushed us and she’s a great teammate and friend.”
Whyte said she is both amazed and humbled by her achievements from the last three years. From making first team all-conference to playing alongside former Wildcats star Ify Ibekwe, to practicing with the U.S. World Team, Whyte knows that her hard work is reason she’s in line to potentially make the WNBA.
“The team and I put in a lot work on the court and in the classroom over the years, just because we love the game,” Whyte said. “I’ll never take for granted my time and all I have learned at the U of A.”