Arizona Daily Wildcat Online
sections
Front Page
News
Opinions
· Columnists
Sports
· Men's Hoops
Go Wild
Live Culture
Police Beat
Datebook
Comics
Crossword
Special Sections
Photo Spreads
Classifieds
The Wildcat
Letter to the Editor
Wildcat Staff
Search
Archives
Job Openings
Advertising Info
Student Media
Arizona Student Media Info
UATV -
Student TV
 
KAMP -
Student Radio
The Desert Yearbook
Daily Wildcat Staff Alumni

Commentary: UA women's hoops now knows what it is to be elite


Photo
Charles Renning
sports editor
By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Print this

The Arizona women's basketball team's second-round matchup with Louisiana State University only lasted on ESPN2 for four minutes.

The Wildcats trailed the Tigers 11-0 and the sports network decided to switch to another game.

It was apparent from those first four minutes what the difference in the game would be:

Defense.

Arizona ended up losing 76-43, but more important than the loss, Arizona saw what it takes to be one of the nation's top programs and if they want to get where LSU has been over the last few years, they better have taken notes.

Two years ago, the Tigers traveled to McKale Center and battled with Arizona, beating them 78-71 in overtime. Both teams were pretty even at that point, but now the Tigers have surged ahead of the Wildcats.

Since then, LSU has been to a Final Four last year, losing by two points to Tennessee in the semifinals, and is on its way to another appearance this season.

That is where the Wildcats want to be.

Arizona saw the kind of defensive pressure the Tigers used to suffocate the Wildcat offense holding them to 1-for-11 behind the arc and a season-low 26 percent from the field. The Tigers forced Arizona into 21 turnovers, swiped 11 steals and blocked nine Arizona shots.

LSU was able to frustrate the Wildcats and that, in turn, led to offensive buckets.

If Arizona wants to get even further in the tournament in the years to come, defense will be key.

They will be missing a big piece of their puzzle next season with the loss of senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler, but it's something the Wildcats can overcome.

If junior center Shawntinice Polk can get back healthy, and transfer Joy Hollingsworth is the player everyone says she will be, Arizona could be a very similar team, but must improve its defense.

The Wildcats got a first-hand lesson of how frustrating a good, swarming defense can be; now they must remember that for next year.

If the Wildcats can bring a Southeastern Conference style defense to the Pacific 10 Conference, they could play for their second conference championship in the last three years.

The women's basketball program took a big step in winning its first round matchup with Oklahoma Sunday, now they must take another step and move into the class with the nation's elite.

Only when the Wildcats improve their defensive pressure will they be mentioned among the Tennessees, LSUs and UConns of women's basketball.

-Charles Renning is a secondary education and journalism senior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.



Write a Letter to the Editor
articles
Tigers maul Cats in second round
divider
Cats have tough road to return to Final Four
divider
Commentary: Round of 16 features some sweet coaches
divider
Sweet 16 breakdown
divider
Ace Meloan takes home Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week
divider
Commentary: UA women's hoops now knows what it is to be elite
divider
Converted catcher Coburn corrals Pac-10 award
divider
Restaurant and Bar Guide
Housing Guide
Search for:
advanced search Archives

NEWS | SPORTS | OPINIONS | GO WILD
CLASSIFIEDS | ARCHIVES | CONTACT US | SEARCH



Webmaster - webmaster@wildcat.arizona.edu
Copyright 2005 - The Arizona Daily Wildcat - Arizona Student Media