#34 Arizona State Women's Basketball Preview

Arizona State Sun Devils

Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #4 Pac-12
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On May 2, 2011, long-time Sun Devil Head Coach Charli Turner-Thorne asked for a voluntary leave of absence to spend more time with her family and to take a much deserved break. She has led the Arizona State Women’s Basketball program to 12 consecutive postseason appearances. Only Stanford has a had a longer postseason run of success within the Pac 12 conference.

2010-11: 20-11, 11-7
2010-11 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Joseph Anders (0-0 at Arizona State, 75-86 overall)

Who’s Out:
Becca Tobin was the most consistent shooter on last year’s squad that struggled mightily at times to score the basketball. She will definitely be missed. Dymond Simon had the team’s only double figure scoring average at just over 13 points per game so her presence and leadership will certainly be missed. The absence of both these players will be important to address early on in the non-league portion of the schedule.

Who’s In:
Kimberly Brandon is the leading 2010-11 returning scorer at 9.5 points per game and the leading rebounder at 6.5 rebounds per game.  Brandon will be looking to build on her last six games in 2010-11 where she averaged 15 points per contest for the Sun Devils. Also, the signings of Eliza Normen, an ESPNU Top 100 player, and the Junior College All-American, Micaela Perkins, should bring much needed instant offense to the mix as well.

Who to Watch:
I would look anticipate plenty of three and four guard looks from the SunDevils in 2011-12. They are very deep in the backcourt and Coach Anders will probably have no choice but to play at least three guards with the lack of true size and depth down in the post and to keep all the talent in the backcourt satisfied.

Final Projection:
The key to this season, in a lot of ways for Arizona State, will be how the squad embraces the leadership of Coach Anders. Anders has head coaching experience at Sacramento State and at Northern Arizona where he met Turner-Thorne, which should be just enough to continue the run of 20 win seasons and postseason appearances, setting the stage for a rejuvenated Turner-Thorne to return to the bench in spring of 2012.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Kimberly Brandon, Senior, Guard, 9.5 PPG
Eliza Normen, Freshman, Wing, DNP last season
Micaela Perkins, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Janae Fulcher, Redshirt Senior, Forward, 5.0 PPG
Deja Mann, Junior, Guard, 4.0 PPG