Arizona Women's Basketball

Media, coaches have “show-me” attitude toward Adia Barnes’ burgeoning program

Another fifth-place finish predicted for Arizona and Adia Barnes with the release Wednesday of the media’s Pac-12 preseason poll.

The coaches voted the Wildcats’ fifth in the preseason a couple of weeks ago at the Pac-12 Media Day.

Cate Reese and Sam Thomas were selected by the media as preseason all-conference players, a foregone conclusion because both earned that honor after last season.

But no other Wildcats listed including honorable mention?

Stanford and Oregon each have four players chosen as first-team and honorable mention (the Ducks’ four players are all-conference picks). UCLA and Oregon State have three players mentioned.

Arizona’s Taylor Chavez, Lauren Ware, Koi Love, Shaina Pellington, Aariyah Copeland and Bendu Yeaney undoubtedly are capable of at least honorable mention in the Pac-12.

The media and league coaches are definitely in the “show-me” mode with Arizona after the Wildcats lost All-American point guard Aari McDonald to the WNBA after last season.

Outsiders obviously believe that Barnes’ program must prove that last year was not a fluke and the Wildcats are deserving again of what they achieved last season — respect nationally because of their NCAA tournament run to the championship game.

Thomas, Reese and Co. certainly have the motivation to prove people wrong and that Arizona belongs among the elite in the nation.

After Oregon lost Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally following the 2019-20 season, the Ducks were still picked to finish No. 3 last season by the media. The Ducks had five players listed in the preseason all-conference team and honorable mention. Chavez was an honorable-mention choice for the Ducks.

Oregon’s program already arrived at that point.

Arizona is apparently not there yet.

Respect will be earned by the time of next year’s Pac-12 all-preseason picks.

Preseason Media Poll

1. Stanford (26) – 312

2. Oregon – 275

3. UCLA – 250

4. Oregon State – 236

5. Arizona – 215

6. Washington State – 178

7. Colorado – 142

8. Arizona State – 129

9. USC – 125

10. Utah – 66

11. Washington – 60

12. California – 40

Preseason All-Conference Team

Cameron Brink – STAN

Mya Hollingshed – COLO

Lexie Hull – STAN

Haley Jones – STAN

Taylor Jones – OSU

Charlisse Leger-Walker – WSU

Charisma Osborne – UCLA

Te-Hina Paopao – ORE

Alissa Pili – USC

Sedona Prince – ORE

Cate Reese – ARIZ

Endyia Rogers – ORE

Nyara Sabally – ORE

Sam Thomas – ARIZ

Talia von Oelhoffen – OSU

Honorable Mention (received votes from three-or-more members of the media)

Kennedy Brown – OSU

Gina Conti – UCLA

Natalie Chou – UCLA

Dalayah Daniels – CAL

Dru Gylten – UTAH

Taya Hanson – ASU

Krystal Leger-Walker – WSU

Brynna Maxwell – UTAH

Nancy Mulkey – WASH

Jaylyn Sherrod – COLO

Anna Wilson – STAN

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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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