Information provided from the Arizona media relations department contributed to this report:
Adia Barnes is one of the 15 coaches across the country to be named to the Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year Late-Season Watch List, which was announced on Wednesday morning.
She is also one of three Pac-12 coaches on the list.
Barnes was a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award last season.
The Wildcats are off to their best start in league play in school history with a record of 12-2. They are in second place behind Stanford (16-2).
Arizona was ranked No. 8 by the NCAA tournament selection committee on Monday, slotting the Wildcats as a No. 2 seed.
Aari McDonald has continued her claim for national player of the year honors, averaging more than 18 points per game while leading the Pac-12 in steals per game. McDonald has scored in double-figures in 82 straight games and is the NCAA’s active leader in scoring.
Sam Thomas has been warming up from 3-point range recently, especially on Sunday against Washington as she made a career-high six from beyond the ark. Since missing her first 10 3-point attempts of the season, Thomas has made nearly 50 percent of her attempts. She is also the only player in the Pac-12 to average two steals and at least one block per game and is second in the conference in steals behind McDonald.
Cate Reese has also been steady for Barnes this season as she is the team’s second-leading scorer and leading rebounder. She was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday after helping Arizona to three wins last week while averaging 18 points on 53 percent shooting from the field. She scored a season-high 25 points at Oregon on 11-of-14 shooting while making all three of her 3-point attempts.
The Wildcats (14-2 overall) next travel to the Bay Area this week with their first game against California on Friday afternoon.
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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.