#37 Arkansas Women's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Arkansas Lady Razorbacks

Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #7 SEC
Arkansas Women's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Arkansas Team Page


Coach Tom Collen led Arkansas to one of their best seasons in quite some time. For the first time ever the Lady Razorbacks won ten games in SEC play and, as a result, Coach Collen won the conference’s Coach of the Year award. Arkansas reached the NCAA Tournament where they won their first round matchup before falling in a tight game to Texas A&M. Winning a game in the tournament may be asking a bit too much right now of this squad, but they do have the talent to return to the big dance and, once there, anything can happen.

2011-12 Record: 24-9, 10-6
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tom Collen

The focus for this team will shift from the backcourt to the frontcourt. With Sarah Watkins, Dominique Robinson, Quistelle Williams and Keira Peak returning, the Lady Razorbacks do not lack options, experience or talent up front. Watkins will be the new leader of this team. The 6-3 center averaged 10.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last season and the offense should always run through her. Robinson is a great athlete and one of the toughest defenders in the SEC. She is a decent all-around scorer who can step outside and hit some long balls, but is certainly not afraid to mix it up in the paint either. Williams was the first forward off of the bench last season, but the senior is ready for a starting role. If her performance in the NCAA Tournament is any indication, Williams will easily surpass her 5.3 point and 4.4 rebound averages of 2011-2012. When Coach Collen wants to play a little smaller, he will call on Peak. The 5-9 junior is a very good athlete who never lacks in the hustle department. Peak’s production decreased during her sophomore season, but if she gets back to her freshman form, it will be hard to keep her out of the starting lineup; even with all of the experience in front of her. No matter who starts, Arkansas has a deep and talented frontcourt. This is a team that wins games with defense and the frontcourt will lead the way. Whether it is the shot blocking of Watkins or the long arms of Robinson and Peak disrupting passing lanes, the Razorbacks will again not make it easy for anybody to get a clean look at the basket.

While the frontcourt takes over, Arkansas will miss the backcourt duo of C’eira Ricketts and Lyndsay Harris. Ricketts did it all for the Lady Razorbacks, leading the team with 11.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals per contest. The only thing that will be missed more than her production is her leadership. While Ricketts was attacking the basket and creating opportunities for herself and her teammates, Harris was knocking down shots. She was the only dangerous shooing threat on the team and Arkansas will need to find somebody else who can stretch out the defense and open up space for the interior scorers. Calli Berna could help fill Ricketts and Harris’ role. As a freshman last season Berna earned 14 starts and averaged 3.6 points and 2.7 assists. She also knocked down 32.6 percent of her attempts from long range.

Final Projection:
Coach Collen will likely need to rely pretty heavily on the freshmen in the backcourt. Fortunately, this is another solid recruiting class. Dominique Wilson is the star of the class. The combo guard should be a great fit with Berna in the backcourt. Wilson will provide Arkansas with a secondary ball handler who can also do some shooting and scoring. Between Berna and Wilson, replacing Ricketts and Harris may not be quite as daunting of a task. Mia Melton is more of a true point guard and has the talent to work her way into the regular rotation. Melissa Wolff is a versatile 6-0 wing who can play just about anywhere. For now Arkansas will likely need depth at the off-guard position and she can fill that role. If the team needs more versatility at the forward spots, Wolff will certainly be a candidate to fill in there as well. Overall this is a talented and tough team. That toughness will be extremely important as Arkansas adjusts to life after Ricketts and will have to find ways to avoid long stretches of stagnant offense.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Calli Berna, Sophomore, Guard, 3.6 points per game
Dominique Wilson, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Dominique Robinson, Junior, Forward, 6.6 points per game
Quistelle Williams, Senior, Forward, 5.3 points per game
Sarah Watkins, Senior, Center, 10.0 points per game

Madness 2012 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#137 Dominique Wilson