February 07, 2013

Next up: The Arizonas at Maples

The Cardinal are at home this week to host the teams from Arizona, whose last visit was two year ago.

The games are:

  • Arizona on Friday night at 7:00. The game will be streamed live by the Pac-12 Networks (watch here) and broadcast by KZSU.

  • Arizona State on Sunday afternoon at 2:00. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks and broadcast by KZSU.

    It's Pink Zone day. Wear your pink shirt, hat, wig, tutu, whatever ... to show your support of breast cancer awareness.

    You can purchase tickets online, using promo code PINK, for special $5 general admission or $15 reserved tickets!

  Arizona Wildcats

Fifth-year head coach Niya Butts hoped to rebound from last season when the Wildcats slipped all the way to the Pac-12 cellar, but they haven't rebounded very far.

They had a decent 8-3 non-conference season, but have won only three conference games and are currently in a three-way tie for eighth place in the Pac-12.

This poor season has been partly due to lack of experience. Of their ten active players, only three played for Arizona before this season. The others are either freshmen or transfers.

The Wildcats are missing two players who were expected to play key roles this season:

  • Junior guard Candice Warthen was expected to take over as starting point guard, but she hasn't played at all. She had missed eight games in the middle of last season due to a foot injury, but had apparently recovered and ended the season as the Wildcat's second-best scorer. She is still on the roster, and I can't find any report of the reason for her absence from the court.

  • 6'5" center Aley Rohde, who started in every game last season as a freshman transferred to UNLV this season.

The Wildcats have one of the best scorers in the conference – senior guard Davellyn Whyte – but the rest of the team doesn't provide enough reliable scoring. As a team, their shooting percentage is 36.2 – the second-worst in the Pac-12. They do better from beyond the arc. They're fourth-best in the Pac-12 with an average of 32.3.

The Wildcats' productivity is hurt by poor ball handling. They have about three turnovers to every two assists.

The Wildcat's most productive players are:

  • #0, 5'11" senior guard Davellyn Whyte leads the Wildcats, as she has ever since she was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2010. Per game, she scores the most points (16.4), sinks the second-most 3-pointers (2.57), gives the most assists (4.8), gets the most steals (2.7) and grabs 5.7 rebounds. She's fouled far more than any other Wildcat and makes 75% of her free throws. Although her strength is primarily as a scorer, she's had to play the point a lot this season due to Warthen's absence. Unfortunately, her weakness is ball-handling — she has the same number of turnovers as assists.

  • #10, 6'0" junior guard/forward Kama Griffitts transferred from North Idaho College in January last year and sat out the remainder of the season. She's the Wildcats' second-best scorer with 12.0 points per game. She takes 62% of her shots from beyond the arc and makes just under a third of them for an average of 2.65 per game – the second-most in the Pac-12. She also tallies 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game.

  • #30, 6'1" junior forward Alli Gloyd transferred from Mesa Community College this season. She leads the Wildcats in rebounds with 6.1 per game and scores 9.6 points per game.

  • #23, 6'2" junior forward Erica Barnes, in her third season with the Wildcats, comes off the bench for more than 20 minutes. She averages 8.8 points and is their second-best rebounder with 5.8 per game.

  • #4, 5'8" junior guard Carissa Crutchfield transferred from Oklahoma State last season and, per NCAA regulations, sat out the season. She runs the point for the Wildcats and has a fairly good assist/turnover ratio – 1.24. She also averages 5.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.

The other five active players contribute, on average, 14.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.

Arizona's win-loss record (11-10 overall, 3-7 conference) places them in a three-way tie with ASU and OSU for eighth place in the Pac-12, their RPI (127) places them 10th, and their strength of schedule rank (154) places them 11th.

Here are Arizona's 2012-13 statistics and roster.

  Arizona State Sun Devils

After a year-long sabbatical, Charli Turner Thorne is back as head coach for her 16th season with the Sun Devils. She brought with her two new assistant coaches and six new players (five freshmen and a junior college transfer).

The Sun Devils lost four of their five top players from last year due to graduation. Then they lost starting senior guard Deja Mann, who was the team's returning leading scorer from last season, to a season-ending knee injury in September.

So the Sun Devils are a young team, with eight of 12 players on the active roster in their first or second year in the program and just one who had more than 10 career starts (fifth-year senior Janae Fulcher) .

The Sun Devils did fairly well (8-4) with a difficult non-conference schedule and came into the conference season on a 5-game winning streak. But they've faltered in conference play and are now in a three-way tie for eighth place with just three conference wins.

The Sun Devils are a well-balanced, deep team. They have ten players who average more than 13 minutes per game, and no player has averaged more than 26 minutes. Coach Turner Thorne hasn't changed her style of play. She's used the same five starters all season and doesn't hesitate to go to the bench.

The Sun Devils are balanced, but not strong on either defense or offense. They get the second-fewest total rebounds and the fewest defensive rebounds of any Pac-12 team.

On offense, they have eight players who average more than five points a game, but just one who scores in double digits (barely). They score the second-fewest points of any Pac-12 team – on average, just over 60.

The Sun Devils' starting five all season have been:

  • #22, 6'3" redshirt senior forward Janae Fulcher has taken on the role of team leader in Deja Mann's absence and has done a good job. She's the Sun Devils' leading scorer with 11.6 points per game. She makes 53.7% of her shots (fourth-best in the Pac-12), but doesn't take a lot of them – fewer than ten per game. She also gets 4.5 rebounds per game.

  • #10, 5'8" sophomore guard Promise Amukamara averages 7.6 points, 1.8 steals and 3.6 rebounds per game.

  • #3, 6'5" junior forward/center Joy Burke, recovered from the concussion that caused her to miss most of last season, is the Wildcats' leading rebounder (5.8 per game) and shot-blocker (1.1 per game). She also scores 7.0 points per game

  • #2, 5'8" senior guard Micaela Pickens averages 6.2 points, 2.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. She takes about 40% of her shots from beyond the arc and makes about a third of them – on average, not quite one per game.

  • #14, 5'9" junior guard Adrianne Thomas averages 5.2 points, 2.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

The seven "reserves" get 46% of the playing time and account for 39% of the points and 43% of the rebounds.

Arizona State's win-loss record (11-11 overall, 3-7 conference) places them in a three-way tie with Arizona and Oregon State for eighth place in the Pac-12, their RPI (114) places them seventh, and their strength of schedule rank (96) places them 10th.

Here are Arizona State's 2012-13 statistics and roster.

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