The 2022-2023 Pac-12 Media Days for both the Men’s and Women’s Arizona Basketball teams are in the books. If you missed it, here are some of the Arizona Wildcats and event highlights.
Let’s talk about what was the most important ingredient (hint) of the Pac-12 Media Days. No, it wasn’t the Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff breaking any news on a media broadcasting deal or whether UCLA was going to be forced to stay in the Pac-12. It was the themed dessert for both days, the Vanilla donuts with the block /A\ logo for Arizona Basketball, which by the time I got to the table, were completely gone!
I was forced to eat the USC Rose Chocolate cake donut. It was okay, but I threw half of it in the trash, akin to how Rawle Alkins dunked on Elijah Stewart, stomp and all.
While we are on the topic of food, a few of the Pac-12 basketball announcers and I (one male and one female who want to remain anonymous) noticed the breakfast for each day was, let’s say, different. “Stale bagels and melted acai bowls for the women, and a hot breakfast with eggs, bacon, waffles, and pastries served in fancy silver serving dishes for the men. Did you guys catch that?” Yes, it was plain to see that the media for the women’s day was not served a similar breakfast as the media for the men’s day. That said, lunch was pretty on par, and the dessert donuts were the same. I enjoyed it all to be honest.
But seriously, we all had a great two days, the women went first, followed then by the men.
Arizona Women’s Basketball
The Pac-12 writers, announcers, and support staff were chomping at the bit to hear what she and her players had to say, along with all of the media. Arizona was voted to come in No. 3 (one point from No. 2) in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll where the coaches are not allowed to vote for their team (Tara voted for Utah.)
Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points
1. Stanford (11) 121
2. Oregon 101
3. Arizona 100
4. UCLA 91
5. Utah (1) 84
Adia came into the media room smiling wearing a bright red beautiful suit and rocking some awesome kicks, “I think just excited to start a lot of new players and just a great turnout for the best media day in the country.”
She is right about the turnout, this was the first time I have been at a Media Day for the women’s side and the room was full. The Pac-12 has been predominant in the College Women’s basketball world, and some media folks asked about how different coaches felt about Football being the sport that catapulted the move for UCLA and USC to leave for the BIG10. Tara was just so happy Stanford is staying in the Pac-12.
Adia is very happy to have Aari McDonald on her staff, she adds a lot as a mentor to the current players
"“Yeah, it was great to have her — Just wonderful. We had to kind of jump through some hoops hiring her — But once we were able to get it done, just incredible. My goal for her is to one day be a coach, someone I want to bring along, someone I really trust and love and care about, and I think she can bring so much to our game. There’s one thing me talking about it at 45 years old saying I played back in the day 25 years ago, and they’re like, what? But for them to learn from Aari and to see Aari do things every day and to listen to her advice, they’re really listening, and then to watch her in the summer play, she’s doing it, so I think there’s a tremendous amount of value to that, and just the knowledge and I think the mentoring she brings is good, as I think she’s going to be a great coach one day."
"SHAINA PELLINGTON: For me personally, playing overseas, you’re playing alongside pros basically all the time. They’re very wise. They know the game very well. So I feel like every single time I go overseas to play or play with my national team I learn a lot about the game. I learn different aspects of the game that I was never open to before. I think it helps me develop really well as a player, and also just as a person. HELENA PUEYO: Yeah, for me also personally I think my national team helped me a lot with all the basketball stuff, also like keep growing up as a player, and it’s really fun to go back and support my country, and just trying to do my best for them, and I think it’s really fun to do it."
Coach Barnes remains very happy with Wildcat fans who support the team, “But to see 300 fans the first year to now sell 6,000 season tickets, I think that’s amazing. Obviously, you support teams that win, so that’s been great.”
Arizona Women’s basketball flew back to Tucson on Tuesday and played a game at McKale on Thursday! Adia and her team are BACK!