Arizona women's basketball projected as top 10 team next season
The news that Arizona guard Aari McDonald will return for her senior season means the Adia Barnes' team is loaded for next season with standout guards and other key contributors.
I talked with Javier Morales of our partner site, AllSportsTucson.com, about McDonald in the video below.
Arizona is seventh nationally in ESPN's way-too-early rankings for next season.
McDonald, a second-team All-American who led Arizona to a 24-7 overall record last season, was weighing the option of turning pro and joining the WNBA.
Morales recently talked to Barnes, who was quoted on AllSportsTucson.com as saying, "If she was going to get $10 million as a first-round pick I would encourage her to go, but the pay scale is a lot different in the WNBA. She can help herself on and off the court by coming back.”
Morales broke down the talented cast surrounding McDonald:
Oklahoma transfer Shaina Pellington will be eligible after sitting out this season and Indiana transfer Bendu Yeaney, another guard, could be granted immediate eligibility next season after playing only six games this season with the Hoosiers after suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon injury at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Helena Pueyo, Tara Manumaleuga and Mara Mote will also be returning to the perimeter next season as sophomores. Bryce Nixon, who would have been a junior next season, has entered her name into the transfer portal.
McDonald, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, will be a returning All-Pac-12 selection along with junior forward Cate Reese. Senior forward Sam Thomas, a member of the Pac-12’s All-Defensive Team, is also returning.