The Arizona Wildcats never got to complete their historic 2019-20 season. After setting one record after another and securing what was sure to be a chance to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the team saw its drive for a special ending to the year stopped in its tracks when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports world in mid-March.
While we’ll never know what this team could have accomplished in the NCAA Tournament, a full regular season and conference tournament worth of competition is more than enough to assess each individual player’s performance.
- Year: Senior
- Height: 5-foot-7
- Position: Guard
- 2019-20 statistics: 13.9 MPG, 5.1 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, 45.8 FG%, 41.7 3FG%, 80.0 FT%, 29 GP, 1 GS
The player Adia Barnes always fondly spoke of as her first recruit didn’t play as much in her final year as she did over her first three seasons, but she never let any disappointment show. After starting 78 games over her first three seasons and averaging 36.3 minutes per game in the 2017-18 season, she was in the starting lineup only once this year.
At Arizona’s local media day before her senior season, she told me that her job was to help the younger players learn their way, and she stuck to that all year. Barnes praised the way Alonso helped fellow Spaniard Helena Pueyo adapt to the student-athlete life at an American university. Early in the year, Alonso often served as Pueyo’s translator when she met with the media.
On the court, Alonso would leave as Arizona’s career leader in 3-point field goal percentage at 40.1 percent, going 120 for 299 in her four years. The previous record was 39 percent by Monika Crank, who played for the Wildcats from 1996-2000. Crank was good on 106 of 272 3-pointers.
Best stretch of play
Although she made her only start of the season against Colorado in the road loss, Alonso’s best stretch of play was earlier in the Pac-12 season in a three-game stretch that included both Oregon and Oregon State.
Beginning with Oregon State’s visit to McKale on Jan. 10 and ending with the road win over Washington State a week later, Alonso went 6 for 11 from the field. Ten of those shots and all six makes were from 3-point distance. She grabbed six rebounds and dished out nine assists, including four dimes in the seven-point loss to the Ducks.
Worst stretch of play
While she had her best stretch of play against the Oregon schools and Washington State early in the Pac-12 season, Alonso’s worst stretch was against the Oregons and both Washington schools late in the year beginning Feb. 7.
She averaged eight minutes per game over those four contests and missed the only two shots she put up. She had no rebounds or steals. On the positive side, she did have two assists against Oregon and three against Washington State. She played 11 minutes in both of those games.
After her final game in McKale Center, Alonso spoke about her time at Arizona as the lone four-year senior: “I leave (knowing) the highs and lows of the program. I’ve learned a lot. And I’m glad that I am able to be part of this team right now with everything that we are doing. I’m just proud.”
Alonso was recognized as honorable mention All-Pac-12 Academic in her sophomore and junior seasons. The Nutritional Sciences major planned to finish up her degree and continue the next steps of her life in her native Spain.