The Arizona women’s basketball beat Indiana on Monday to advance to its first-ever Final Four where the Wildcats will square off against the UConn Huskies on Friday.
Here’s what other UA head coaches had to say about what Adia Barnes and company have accomplished at the NCAA Tournament:
Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea, a winner of eight national championships: “Oh, it’s been phenomenal to watch. I’m just so excited for that team and I know how hard they’ve worked and how hard she’s worked to put the pieces together and, as a coach, it’s just a great feeling to arrive and she’s done it very quickly and I’m just very, very excited to watch this next round with UConn.”
Candrea on what’s impressed him most about the way Barnes has built the program: “Open minded. I think it started with Aari (McDonald) and kind of built around that, but her ability to be able to get the right pieces in. And then to sell her style of play to all those kids is not easy to do sometimes, and I think the one thing that impresses me is they play so hard all the time, and I think that’s been the key. There’s never a look of ‘they’re out’ and I think it kind of begins with Aari and her composure and her body language and that smile on her face. I know when you get a group of kids together like that that all have one common mission and you start hearing people say that you can’t do it, you can’t do it, you can’t do it, which is really a blessing for them because I think right now they’re just on a roll and I think they’re destined. If I’m UConn right now I would look out because this team is playing very hard and playing very well right now at the right time of the year.”
Baseball coach Jay Johnson: “What a special accomplishment. It was really fun to be able to watch the game last night. Aari McDonald, wow, like I don’t even know what to say. To get to that level that they’re playing at right now you need some players to have special performances, and that was amazing. I’m really happy for Coach Barnes and Salvo (Coppa) and their team and their whole crew, representing our university in a first class manner. To get to the top, the pinnacle is pretty special. We’ll be pulling for them next weekend for sure as well.”
Volleyball coach Dave Rubio: “Adia Barnes and their staff and what they just did and the history they just made last night, having gone through that gauntlet, it’s an amazing experience. And having a player like Aari McDonald and do what she did and someone they can really lean on and have the supporting cast around her, it’s a once-in-a-generation type of thing for a school like Arizona. For someone like Adia maybe that happens more often, but congratulations to her and her staff and her team. The town of Tucson is 100 percent behind her and we’re looking forward to the game against UConn.
“I think the recruiting that she’s done has been impressive. Her ability to bring in top level recruits. The mountain that she’s climbed in women’s basketball, you just don’t know how difficult that is from year to year. .. It’s been a slow progress and she’s kind of kept her eye on the ball and the work that she’s put in, and been able to sell her message to her team, I just can’t emphasize enough how difficult it is to do what she’s done. I mean it’s just a monumental task to get the Final Four in any sport is just really hard. Women’s basketball is so competitive across the board, my hat’s off to them and her team and her staff. It’s just an amazing accomplishment.”
Men’s basketball coach Sean Miller: “Congrats to Adia, staff, and the great women’s team for the advancing to this year’s Final Four. What a great run, amazing story. You’re not done yet. Best of luck against those UConn Huskies. We’re with you, pulling for you, and incredibly happy for your success. Great job, everybody. Bear Down.”
Arizona volleyball coach Dave Rubio on Adia Barnes leading @ArizonaWBB to the Final Four: "The mountain that she’s climbed in women’s basketball...I just can’t emphasize enough how difficult it is to do what she’s done." pic.twitter.com/ToF6B0wyqC— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) March 30, 2021
Mike Candrea on @ArizonaWBB reaching the Final Four: "I think they're destined. If I'm UConn right now I would look out because this team is playing very hard and playing very well at the right time of the year." pic.twitter.com/TNkPRzwGok— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) March 30, 2021