Women's hoops struggling to finalize the line
Coming into the 2005-2006 season, the Arizona women's basketball team knew it was going to have significant holes to fill with the vacancies left by center Shawntinice Polk, who died Sept. 26, and former point guard DeeDee Wheeler.
Now there are other gaps in the Wildcat lineup.
Junior forward-center Shannon Hobson, who averaged 4.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game last year, will use a medical redshirt this season.
"Shannon's not playing this year," Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini said Wednesday. "She's redshirting. She's not playing. Her back is not healthy."
The 6-foot-2 Hobson would have provided additional height to a short Arizona team. She averaged 19.5 minutes per game and started 16 games in 2004-2005.
Hobson, Polk and Wheeler combined to average 35.4 points and 16.7 rebounds per game last season, shooting a combined .461 from the field.
Frosh O'Neal may be academically ineligible for year
The Wildcats are waiting to find out if they'll have the services of freshman point guard Malia O'Neal, named the 2005 Seattle Times State High School Player of the Year.
Bonvicini said that she does not know if the highly touted recruit will be eligible to play this season.
"I really can't comment on that because it's under review from the NCAA," she said yesterday of the 5-foot-5 guard. "It's not a rule violation. We're hopeful (that she will be able to play), I'll say that."
The Times reported earlier this month that O'Neal said she expects to become eligible after taking summer classes. Bonvicini said that O'Neal did not take summer school classes at Arizona.
Should she be eligible, O'Neal would compete for the starting point guard job with sophomore Ashley Whisonant.
O'Neal averaged 17.4 points on 52 percent shooting en route to leading the Bulldogs to the 4A state title last season.