It’s Monday, so let’s recap the week that was for the Arizona Wildcats across a variety of sports.
- Everything coach Adia Barnes has done since she took over the program a few years ago has been done with 100 percent effort. From recruiting to coaching, she and her players have given 100.
- On Wednesday night, the squad put 100 on Montana, running away with the 100-51 win. It was the first time since January 2013 the ‘Cats scored 100 points.
- Redshirt sophomore Aari McDonald scored 28 points, four assists, four steals, and six rebounds. Freshman Cate Reese notched her fourth double-double on the season with 20 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Her rebound total is the most by a freshman since Shawntinice Polk in 2002. Semaj Smith, another freshman, added 13 points off the bench, a career-high for her.
- Along with the win, McDonald was named Pac-12 Player of the Week last Monday, the second time in three weeks she’s been named it. McDonald, who has a legit case to be the best player on campus, is the leading scorer in the country with 26.8 points a game.
- The team ended the week with their seventh-straight win, beating Long Beach State on the road, 70-43, to improve to 8-1, its best start since 2011.
- UA finishes up its non-conference schedule this week with two home games. The ‘Cats welcome UTEP next Monday to McKale Center and then Northern Arizona on Friday.
Track and Field
- Team Red won the 2018 Winter All-Comers for the third time in four years. The team beat Team Blue and Team White with 158 points.
- Indoor track season begins Jan. 19 in Flagstaff for the ‘Cats.
- The TV schedule was released this week, and UA plays 16 times on the Pac-12 Network in the upcoming season.
- The schedule for the Hillenbrand Invitational was released this week, too. Alabama, New Mexico, Illinois-Chicago, South Florida, and Cal-State Fullerton will be playing at the invite at renovated Hillenbrand Stadium from Feb. 14-17.
- Arizona opens the invite up on Feb. 14 against New Mexico.
- The Pac-12 took a hit when Oregon ace Megan Kleist announced that she is withdrawing from the school. The Ducks, who have won the Pac-12 five of the last six years, lost No. 2 starter Miranda Elish earlier in the offseason to transfer.
- Trailing 41-29 at the end of the first half, it looked like the streak of 50+ wins over non-conference teams would end with Utah Valley. However, a 16-2 run to begin the final half was the pillar in a nice comeback 80-69 win for the ‘Cats. UA improved its non-conference win streak to 52 games.
- Sophomore Brandon Randolph hit four 3s during the run, finishing with a team-leading 16 points. Randolph isn’t just scoring points, but he has taken a leap in his defending, becoming “by far” Arizona’s most improved defender.
- We have full coverage of Thursday’s game and our takeaways from it.
- Chase Jeter, a Duke transfer, is blossoming in Arizona.
- Arizona wanted ‘Bama, and they got ‘Bama, but it didn’t go as planned. The ‘Cats (7-3) took on Alabama Sunday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, but left the state with their third non-conference loss, as the Tide survived 76-73. Jeter led the team in scoring with 19 points, along with two blocks and nine rebounds.
- Check out our basketball section for postgame coverage.
- UA hosts Baylor on Saturday night.
- With under 100 days until Selection Sunday, Andy Katz of NCAA.com released his first bracket projection on Friday. He has UA as a No. 9 seed in the Midwest region going against St. John’s. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, the bracket guru, has the ‘Cats among the First Four Out.
- Are you ready for some football? Or are you still in shock about the final game of the 2018 Arizona season? Whatever group you fall into, the 2019 schedule was released this week, so fans can circle which games (maybe) they’ll attend. Arizona starts its season on Aug. 24 in Hawaii. The first home game is Sept. 7 against Northern Arizona.
- When you’re done looking at the 2019 schedule and predicting what will happen, you can look at our five questions heading into the new season.
- Arizona landed three recruits in the last few weeks. Sylvain Yondjouen, Josh Donovan and Trevor Mason committed to coach Kevin Sumlin and the program and we have analysis on the players.
- Shawn Poindexter accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine game on Jan. 19 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
- J.J. Taylor was named to the Pac-12 First-Team. The redshirt sophomore running back ran for 1,434 yards to finish second in conference.