Arizona Women’s Basketball

UA women's basketball: Wildcats turn to committee to replace Whyte's production

2013-11-01T00:00:00Z UA women's basketball: Wildcats turn to committee to replace Whyte's productionBy Zack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 01, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Davellyn Whyte sits on the balcony at Richard Jefferson Gymnasium and observes.

She’s been watching the Wildcats practice, scrimmage and huddle from a distance.

At this time last year, Whyte was in the middle of the practices, scrimmages and huddles. She was the Wildcats’ unquestioned star, and their leader — a four-time All-Pac-12 selection and listed on 14 of the top-10 all-time career UA numbers list, including second all-time in scoring.

Now, Whyte’s a member of the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars.

She’s injured, mind you — she’s rehabbing a partially torn Achilles tendon in Tucson — but the Wildcats are still tasked with filling her production, which in 2012-13 included 16.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.3 three-pointers and 2.6 steals per game, all team bests.

“It is weird without her,” said junior guard Candice Warthen. “We are gonna miss Davellyn, but I guess we have to find scoring and everything that Dav gave us. We have to find it from other people and other players.

“I don’t think anybody will be able to do what Davellyn did, but everybody has to put forth effort and bring everything she brought, as a group.”

It will be replacement by committee, although the Wildcats recently lost one projected standout in Alli Gloyd. The senior forward suffered an ACL tear recently and will miss the season. Gloyd was the Wildcats’ second-leading rebounder in 2012-13.

“We’re trying to stay away from the injury bug,” head coach Niya Butts said at Pac-12 media day last week. “Unfortunately we couldn’t dodge it. You have to push forward, and, you know, difficulties mastered are opportunities won.”

So with that, we take a look at what the Committee To Replace Davellyn (and Alli) looks like. Arizona will play an exhibition game against Fort Lewis College on Saturday at 3 p.m. in McKale Center.

The points

The production: 26.2 points per game

The filler: Candice Warthen

2012-13 stats: Missed season with injury

Here’s why: Two years ago, the Wildcats started out 7-1, and Warthen was a big reason. She scored 16.8 points per game in that stretch, but then missed nine games with a foot injury and was never the same, finishing the year second on the team with 11.7 points per game.

She missed 2012-13 with an unrelated knee injury but should be the Wildcats’ leading scorer in 2013-14.

The three-pointers

The production: 70 three-pointers, or 2.3 per game

The filler: Kama Griffitts

2012-13 stats: 10.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 three-pointers per game

Here’s why: Griffitts already was solid from beyond the arc last year — she was second on the team with 60. But, she’ll have to shoot a little bit better than 31.3 percent if she’s the Wildcats’ best shooter. She’s capable — in her last season at North Idaho College in 2011-12, she hit 57.8 percent of her threes and scored 16.4 points per game.

The rebounds

The production: 12.3 rebounds per game

The filler: Erica Barnes, LaBrittney Jones

2012-13 stats: Barnes averaged 8.9 points and 5.2 rebounds; Jones is a freshman.

Here’s why: Barnes was the UA’s best rebounder in 2011-12 with 7.4 per game but fell off a bit last year (5.2). Jones, a four-star freshman from Cedar Hill, Texas, has impressed on the boards so far. “She’s crazy on the boards, even though she’s small (6-1), she gets after it,” Warthen said.

The assists and steals

The production: 5.9 assists per game, 3.8 steals

The filler: Carissa Crutchfield, Nyre Harris

2012-13 stats: Crutchfield averaged 6.3 points, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals; Harris averaged 1.4 points, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals.

Here’s why: Crutchfield is the team’s starting point guard, and she should handle the ball a bit more with Whyte out of the mix. Butts has mentioned Harris, little-used in 2012-13, as a guard who’s ready to step up.

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