ASU women’s basketball ready to ‘do their job’ for 2020-21 season
Arizona State women’s basketball has a young team and a new offensive scheme to kickstart the 2020-21 season.
The Sun Devils open their season against Stephen F. Austin State University on Wednesday in Tempe with a 4 p.m. tipoff.
Last season, ASU went 20-11 overall, while SFA went 23-6.
This year, ASU is comprised of mostly freshmen, two of which have been named probable starters for Wednesday — Jaddan Simmons and Katelyn Levings, according to coach Charli Turner Thorne.
Despite the fact that ASU has a team mostly comprised of freshmen, Thorne is very impressed with their leadership and skills.
“These freshmen are so ready that sometimes they will speak up and say, ‘Hey guys, this isn’t it.’ That is how impressive the freshman class is,” Thorne said via Zoom.
Along with the new faces came a new offensive scheme that Thorne describes as “positionless.”
“We can put out any five people on the court and they should be able to do what we want them to do — run an offense,” Thorne said.
The players love it and are excited about the versatility of the scheme.
Thorne is most excited about how the team’s come together this year.
“They have such a good vibe. They show up and work hard. Now we have to keep that, because it is getting real,” Thorne explained.
SFA is a well-experienced and highly talented team, especially with their center Aaliyah Johnson. Thorne has been laser focused on strengthening the interior defense to shut down their offense.
“It will be a great test for us to see if we can manage it all,” Thorne said.
Although the team has been scrimmaging as much as possible, it is difficult for Thorne to assess the skill level of the team.
“I usually have a better sense,” Thorne said. “We haven’t had normal training and normal practices. We didn’t have contact until the end of September, and then we had to ease into it. I just don’t know.”
Although a win will give the team major confidence for the season, Thorne stressed that the team will not panic if they don’t close out a game early.
“The key is that if you want to be a great team, you have to be able to take a punch,” Thorne said.
When Thorne sat down at the press conference on Tuesday, her shirt read “do your job,” and ASU plans to do just that.