#13 Arizona State Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Arizona State Sun Devils
Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #2 Pac-12
Arizona State was once again a top contender in the Pac-12 last season but had its postseason run cut short as Tennessee came into Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe and shocked the Sun Devils in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The fact that the Lady Vols pulled off the upset and left Arizona State with that sense of unfinished business is a sign of how far the program has come under the leadership of head coach Charli Turner-Thorne.
2015-16 Record: 26-7, 16-2
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Charli Turner-Thorne
Coach Record:  380-220 at Arizona State, 420-260 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Katie Hempen, Guard, 9.3 ppg
Elisha Davis, Guard, 8.4 ppg
Arnecia Hawkins, Guard, 8.9 ppg
Peace Amukamura, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Eliza Normen, Guard, 1.8 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Sophie Brunner, Senior, Forward, 10.7 ppg
Quinn Dornstauder, Senior, Center, 9.7 ppg
Kelsey Moos, Senior, Guard/Forward, 5.3 ppg
Sabrina Haines, Sophomore, Guard, 5.3 ppg
Kianna Ibis, Sophomore, Forward, 2.8 ppg
Charnea Johnson-Chapman, Sophomore, Center, 1.5 ppg
Armani Hawkins, Sophomore, Guard,
Key New Players
Sydney Goodson, Freshman, Guard
Reilli Richardson, Freshman, Guard
Jamie Ruden, Freshman, Guard
Kiara Russell, Freshman, Guard
Robbi Ryan, Freshman, Guard
Sara Hattis, Center, GR Transfer from Texas
Courtney Ekmark, Guard/Forward, Transfer from Connecticut, not eligible this season
This is going to be a fairly young team this season for Arizona State as they only have three seniors. Sophie Brunner and Quinn Dornstauder will form a very strong inside presence for the Sun Devils and they will have to lead the offensive attack right from the start. In the backcourt is where the lack of experience could be an issue, especially once Arizona State hits conference play when they will see great guard play on a nightly basis from just about every team in the league. So it will be very important for Coach Turner-Thorne to find a rotation of guards that she can trust as soon as possible. There will be tests in the non-conference such as Maryland on November 25th in Las Vegas and on December 11th at Kentucky. Both of these games will test a young backcourt a great deal and will only accelerate the overall development of the backcourt very quickly. Another critical key for success this season for the Sun Devils will be their ability to improve upon their ability to score points from last year’s 63.9 points per game. This number has to get closer to 70 in order for Arizona State to be a Sweet 16 type of team this season.  Bottom line, this program is at a point where it reloads and does not have to go through a long drawn out rebuilding process and should win 20-25 games again if everything comes together as expected.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 63.9 (166th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 54.9 (21, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.5 (94, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.6 (223, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (196, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.8 (94, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.5 (79, 4)
Rebound Margin: 4.8 (54, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (62, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.8 (93, 5)
Madness 2017 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#20 Sophie Brunner
Madness 2016 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#27 Jamie Ruden
#46 Reili Richardson
#51 Robbi Ryan