Adia Barnes acknowledged today the support she has received from Arizona coaches and former athletes in the Wildcats’ drive to get fans into McKale Center for the WNIT and mentioned that “I don’t think you see that at other programs.”
Last week, athletic director Dave Heeke, football coach Kevin Sumlin, former men’s player Solomon Hill (now of the New Orleans Pelicans) and women’s player Danielle Adefeso (a fashion designer based in New York) went public about buying tickets for students and the general audience for the WNIT games at McKale Center against Idaho State and Pacific.
Arizona president president Robert C. Robbins tweeted this week that he purchased 50 tickets to donate to military personnel for tomorrow’s WNIT Sweet 16 game at McKale against Idaho at 6:30 p.m.
In today’s press conference, Barnes brought up the names of other existing coaches providing support.
“President Robbins … Dave Heeke … I just saw Coach (Mike) Candrea … all the coaches. Sean Miller bought some (tickets) today,” Barnes said. “That kind of support … I couldn’t ask for a better place. That’s why I love this place. I loved it as a player. I love the family. I love what we’re all about.
“I don’t think you see that at other programs. I don’t think it feels this way.”
Bob Elliott and Reggie Geary attended Sunday’s game against Pacific. Barnes joked, “Somebody has to get a hold of Jason Terry.”
Coach Miller is joining in for this round! He’s purchased 50 tickets for @ZonaZooOfficial! Let’s fill up the Zoo like we know you can to help support @AdiaBarnes and @ArizonaWBB! #BearDown | #MadeForIt https://t.co/er2W7Wzzw6
“Just know that Solomon Hill, who hasn’t been here, doesn’t know our team, doesn’t know me personally is just supporting … it means a lot,” Barnes said. “I think it’s about giving back. That’s what we do at Arizona. You are part of a family, an extended family. That’s kind of how it’s always been here.
“That’s how I’m building the women’s program to be just like Sean and Lute (Olson) have done with the men’s program.”
Arizona “very likely” could play at Wyoming in Elite Eight
Barnes said a scenario is “very possible” that Arizona will play at Wyoming in the WNIT Elite Eight if the Wildcats beat Idaho and Wyoming defeats visiting Pepperdine tomorrow night.
Arizona has averaged slightly more fans than Wyoming through the first two games of the tournament. Arizona has averaged 3,399.5 while Wyoming is at 3,045.
“I just know that’s a reality that could happen,” Barnes said, “and it’s a very likely one.”
TOP 10 WNIT CROWDS THIS POSTSEASON
|UAB at Arkansas||3939||Second||Arkansas won 100-52|
|Houston at Arkansas||3689||First||Arkansas won 88-80|
|Pacific at Arizona||3534||Second||Arizona won 64-48|
|South Alabama at Wyoming||3405||Second||Wyoming won 78-71|
|Idaho State at Arizona||3265||First||Arizona won 66-56|
|Denver at New Mexico||2875||First||New Mexico lost 83-75|
|Northern Colorado at Wyoming||2685||First||Wyoming won 68-60|
|Northern Iowa at Minnesota||2549||First||Minnesota won 91-75|
|UAB at Troy||2451||First||Troy lost 93-89|
|Youngstown State at Cincinnati||1951||First||Cincinnati won 76-62|
Much of it has to do about bids placed by schools to the WNIT to host. If Arizona and Wyoming win tomorrow, Arizona may yield to Wyoming to save money for a potential later bid either for a semifinal game or the championship game.
“If Pepperdine wins (at Wyoming), I think we play at home against Pepperdine,” Barnes said.
Tee Tee Starks a police intern
Senior forward Tee Tee Starks, who will take advantage of another year of eligibility next season because of medical reasons, is presently a police intern.
“They love her,” Barnes said of the criminal justice major. “She’s the type that she’ll do the work. She’ll always have a good attitude. She represents herself well. That’s what she does and she’ll probably get a job offer.”
in 2010, my grandpa passed away. my biological father hasn’t really ever been present in my life so when my papa passed, i took it pretty hard. this year for my birthday my best friend @LoveeMe23 got me something to keep my papa with me daily. luv u💞 I cried & i cried HARD.. pic.twitter.com/A5oULFwVNw
Barnes added that Starks, “Talks about her internship. I know she’s excited. I had made some phone calls and I knew she got it before she got it. I knew she would represent. I want to put my name attached to someone who’s going to do well and represent us well and that was definitely her.”
Starks, an Iowa State transfer who started 12 games this year, is averaging 4.6 points and 3.1 rebounds.
Bryce Nixon in a boot
Freshman guard Bryce Nixon is wearing a boot because she had a toe stepped on in practice, said Barnes.
“It’s just killing her. A practice player stepped on her toes, so it’s just really tender,” Barnes said. “Having the boot, it just relieves pressure.”
Barnes did not indicate if Nixon, of Phoenix Arcadia High School, will miss Thursday’s game. She has averaged 8.8 minutes in 31 games off the bench this season.
2019 WNIT RESULTS AND SCHEDULES
Access full bracket at this link.
|Idaho State at Arizona||3265||Arizona won 66-56|
|Denver at New Mexico||2875||New Mexico lost 83-75|
|Northern Colorado at Wyoming||2685||Wyoming won 68-60|
|South Alabama at Lamar||1829||Lamar lost 73-71|
|Pepperdine at Cal Baptist||833||Cal Baptist lost 91-79|
|Pacific at Fresno State||599||Fresno State lost 77-72|
|Hawaii at St. Mary's||444||St. Mary's won 67-43|
|Idaho at Loyola Marymount||315||LMU lost 79-64|
|Pacific at Arizona||3534||Arizona won 64-48|
|South Alabama at Wyoming||3405||Wyoming won 78-71|
|Denver at Idaho||1230||Idaho won 88-66|
|Pepperdine at St. Mary's||325||Pepperdine won 65-61|
Idaho at Arizona, 6:30 p.m.
Pepperdine at Wyoming, 5:30 p.m.
|Houston at Arkansas||3689||Arkansas won 88-80|
|Northern Iowa at Minnesota||2549||Minnesota won 91-75|
|UAB at Troy||2451||Troy lost 93-89|
|Youngstown State at Cincinnati||1951||Cincinnati won 76-62|
|Kent State at Green Bay||1269||Green Bay lost 64-59|
|Stephen F. Austin at UT Arlington||1159||UTA won 60-54|
|Prairie View at TCU||987||TCU won 72-41|
|Northeastern at Butler||437||Butler won 89-82|
|UAB at Arkansas||3939||Arkansas won 100-52|
|Minnesota at Cincinnati||1945||Cincinnati won 72-65|
|UT Arlington at TCU||1531||TCU won 71-54|
|Kent State at Butler||747||Butler won 70-52|
TCU at Arkansas, 5 p.m.
Butler at Cincinnati, 4 p.m.
Opposite of Arizona
|IUPUI at Middle Tennessee||1492||Middle Tennessee won 59-47|
|Seton Hall at Toledo||1289||Toledo won 71-65|
|Morehead State at Ohio State||1114||Ohio State lost 71-61|
|Rider at West Virginia||1032||West Virginia won 83-43|
|High Point at Ohio||567||Ohio won 81-74|
|Old Dominion at Villanova||521||Villanova won 86-81 (OT)|
|Western Kentucky at Miami (Ohio)||338||Western Kentucky won 67-63|
|Dayton at Northwestern||325||Northwestern won 74-51|
|Northwestern at Toledo||1879||Toledo lost 54-47|
|Villanova at West Virginia||1388||West Virginia won 64-57|
|Morehead State at Western Kentucky||1206||Western Kentucky won 68-65|
|Middle Tennessee at Ohio||867||Ohio won 59-57|
Northwestern at West Virginia,1314,West Virginia lost 56-54
Western Kentucky at Ohio, 4 p.m.
Opposite of Arizona
|Stetson at South Florida||1357||South Florida won 84-50|
|North Carolina A&T at James Madison||1120||James Madison won 48-37|
|American at Penn||817||Penn won 64-45|
|Furman at Virginia Tech||681||Virginia Tech won 92-65|
|Charlotte at VCU||383||VCU won 65-52|
|Hartford at Providence||368||Providence won 71-54|
|Sacred Heart at Georgetown||345||Georgetown won 90-59|
|Drexel at Harvard||266||Harvard won 69-56|
|South Florida at James Madison||1120||James Madison won 48-37|
|VCU at Virginia Tech||781||Virginia Tech won 82-72|
|Penn at Providence||511||Providence won 64-54|
|Georgetown at Harvard||322||Harvard lost 70-65|
Georgetown at Providence,NL,Providence lost 53-46
Virginia Tech at James Madison, 4 p.m.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.