W-Hoops guide: 3 questions for Arizona women's basketball
Was last season’s 1-12 finish a fluke or a sign of things to come?
Arizona won only one of its last 13 games after starting the season off 11-1.
Largely because of injuries, the Wildcats couldn’t adapt with the changes and played like a completely different team in the second half of the season. Now, starting point guard Shanita Arnold (graduation) and center Aley Rohde (transfer) are gone. A solid recruiting class and the return of Davellyn Whyte might not be enough to turn the program around, at least this year.
How good are the seven newcomers and can they gel in time?
Arizona added seven new Wildcats to its roster, four transfers and three freshmen. Some, if not all, will be expected to play important roles. 6-foot-1 junior college transfer Alli Gloyd is the most decorated of the transfers, and junior transfer Carissa Crutchfield and freshmen Keyahndra Cannon and Nyre Harris will play key roles.
The Wildcats have a lot of chemistry to build if they want to compete in a tough Pac-12 conference.
Who will step up alongside Davellyn Whyte?
There’s no question that Whyte is the Wildcats’ leader. She’s a good bet for 18 points, six rebounds, and six assists a night. But it’s unclear who will be the Wildcats’ second option on offense.
The Wildcats can’t rely on random spurts from role players. They will need someone other than the senior to take some of the load off Whyte.
The best candidate is probably Candice Warthen. The junior guard scored 11.7 points per game, good for second behind Whyte, and that number would have been much higher if she wasn’t plagued with injuries for most of the season. In Arizona’s second game of last season, against Georgia State, Warthen scored 36 points, so she’s a capable scorer when healthy.