#16 Arizona State Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Arizona State Sun Devils

Overall Rank: #16
Conference Rank: #2 Pac-12
#16 Arizona State Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Arizona State Team Page


Arizona State went on a tremendous run during the 2014-15 season and just barely missed out on a trip to the Elite Eight with a 66-65 loss to Florida State in the Greensboro Regional. It could be argued that the Sun Devils were a year ahead of schedule with the trip to Sweet Sixteen. Fast forward to now and with four starters back for head coach Charli Turner-Thorne, look for the Sun Devils to be right there in the conversation for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

2014-15 Record: 29-6, 15-3
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Charli Turner-Thorne
Coach Record: 354-213 at Arizona State, 394-253 overall

Experience with four starters back and the experience of being battle tested in the postseason will serve this Arizona State squad very well this season. Redshirt Senior Katie Hempen leads a very balanced and efficient offensive attack for the Sun Devils. Hempen averaged 12 points per game last season and made 38 percent of her shots from behind the three-point line. Elisha Davis will compliment Hempen in the backcourt and will cause havoc for opposing defenses all year long. Sophie Brunner will lead a talented group of players in the paint as Brunner averaged 11.9 points per game and shot an outstanding 54.3 percent from the floor to go along with collecting nearly eight rebounds per game.

The field goal percentage defense has to improve in order for Arizona State to get to the Elite Eight and beyond. The Sun Devils allowed opponents to shoot 41.8 percent from the floor last season. For example, in the Sweet 16 loss to Florida State, the Seminoles were able to carve up Arizona State defensively to a tune of a 53.6 percent field goal percentage in the first half and Florida State raced out to a 33-22 lead at the half. The Sun Devils have to set the tone from the get go in NCAA Tournament play this season, especially once they get into the Sweet 16 round of play. One other key point of emphasis will be to create a wider gap between the assists per game and turnovers per game as the Sun Devils were only a plus 0.4 last season in those categories. A great goal would be to hit about 17 assists per game and lower the turnover average to 12.5 to 13 per game.

Final Projection:
A very demanding schedule awaits Arizona State as Kentucky visits on November 15th to open the season. Then on November 27th over in Honolulu the Sun Devils will get their shot at South Carolina on a neutral floor. It is going to be vital for Arizona State that, win or lose, they play well against the Gamecocks and not be intimidated. It will be a great test run for the intensity level of the NCAA Tournament. A trip to Syracuse to play a gritty Orange team won’t be easy in early December and a rematch with Florida State in Tempe on December 21st rounds out the non-conference schedule. The conference schedule does give Arizona State a break by only having to play Oregon State once. The first two weekends in conference play will set the tone with Cal and Stanford visiting followed by a trip to the Washington schools. Overall, look for Arizona State to be a sleeper Final Four team if they stay healthy all season long.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Katie Hempen, Redshirt Senior, Guard, 12.0 points per game
Kelsey Moos, Junior, Forward, 6.8 Points per game
Elisha Davis, Senior, Guard, 7.5 points per game
Sophie Brunner, Junior, Forward, 7.8 points per game
Quinn Dornstauder, Junior, Center, 7.2 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.7 (103rd in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.9 (21,1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.0 (27,3)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.8 (280,9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.8 (196,8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.1 (22,4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.4 (55,1)
Rebound Margin: 5.0 (46,3)
Assists Per Game: 14.7 (68,4)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.3 (71,6)


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