Lady Sun Devils Season Preview

Coach Charli Turner Thorne is back for her eleventh season, leading Arizona State University women's basketball into what will most likely be another successful year. Though the team consists of many young players, expectations are still high as the team is ranked in the Top 15 of some major preseason polls.

The Lady Devils have ten letter winners returning this season, including four starters from last season, Emily Westerberg, Aubree Johnson, Jill Noe, and Reagan Pariseau.

Westerberg, who needs a mere 97 points to become the 17th player in ASU history to score one thousand points in her college basketball career, was named to this year's preseason All-Pac 10 team. This experienced senior is prepared to lead the team to a successful season as co-captain with senior forward, Aubree Johnson. Johnson is known as one of the most consistent players on the team and was a top scorer in ASU's preseason exhibition games.

Senior Jill Noe and junior Reagan Pariseau are also poised to have a good 2006-07 season. Noe led the exhibition game against Vangaurd with 19 rebounds. Despite not being able to play for two seasons due to an ACL injury, she paced the Devils last season with 29 three-point shots made. Pariseau finished second on the team for the season with 38 steals and 23 three-point-shots.

With these four upperclassmen, ASU will be prepared to face challenging teams such as Stanford, UCLA, Texas Tech and Tennessee. Overall, ASU will face off against a minimum of seven teams ranked in the nation's top 25. As "I think this is our toughest preseason (i.e. non-conference) schedule ever," noted Turner Thorne. We have four upperclassmen [and] they are very good. I think we'll be ready for it." ASU who has been placed behind Stanford by the Pac-10 media poll and had their highest rankings ever by the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN preseason coaches' poll at No.13 and No.12 respectively.

"We don't have a large roster this year," commented Turner Thorne. "We only have 12 players. We are going to need everybody. This includes newcomers Freshmen Dymond Simon, Kayli Murphy, and an Australian import, Gabby Fage. Though they still have a lot to learn, their willingness and energy are essential to their important defensive roles. Similarly, Coach Turner Thorne explained, "They need to learn the intensity level . . . [but] they are doing really well."

"We have great depth [and] . . . I think our perimeter shooting has improved," said Turner Thorne. The team also has a quick paced momentum on the court that they play to their advantage. Their fundamental ball handling and constant communication will benefit them as well. Though ASU will not likely have height as an advantage against their competitors, their determination, willingness to practice, and great team bonds may lead the team to the success they currently strive for.

Though ASU women's basketball team did not finish last season as well as they would have liked, they tied the schools single-season record for the most wins (25) and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. As they enter the 2006-07 campaign, they are striving to top the success of last year and any other season in the lady Sun Devils history.

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