Arizona Women's Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Prominent with Pac-12 Player Awards Including Aari McDonald as Defensive Player of the Year

Adia Barnes insinuated during her radio show last night that she would be upset if her team did not earn defensive player awards in the Pac-12 when the honors were announced today.

Barnes must be feeling pretty good right now.

She not only has Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection Sam Thomas but also the Defensive Player of the Year in Aari McDonald.

McDonald was also selected to the All-Pac-12 team along with sophomore post player Cate Reese. Thomas was an all-conference honorable mention choice and Helena Pueyo was chosen honorable of the All-Freshman team.

Arizona is 15th in the nation allowing only 55.0 points per game. The Wildcats rank No. 37 allowing opponents field goal percentage of 36.4 percent. They are No. 24 in steals per game at 10.5.

McDonald is also one of 10 semifinalists for the prestigious Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy that was announced today.

The 13th-ranked Wildcats, who are seeded No. 4, begin play in the Pac-12 tournament in the quarterfinals Friday at 12:30 p.m. against Thursday’s winner of the No. 12 California vs. No. 5 ASU game.

Arizona is presently the No. 14th-ranked seed by the NCAA tournament selection committee. Barnes also mentioned during her radio show that at least one win is needed in the Pac-12 tournament to ease concerns — and solidify a chance to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament — after losing to unranked Colorado and California in the last two weeks of the regular season.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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.

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