Turner Thorne Excited About Signing Class

You have to fit into a mold if you want to play for Charli Turner Thorne. The veteran ASU coach doesn't just recruit anybody, she only selects fine individuals that fit into her program and want to be Sun Devils. With the signings of Joy Burke, Deja Mann and Markisha Patterson, Turner Thorne feels that she added three of the top recruits in the country.

"They are three players that can contribute right away," said Turner Thorne, "We have a 1-2 in Deja Mann, a 2-3 in Markisha Patterson and a 4-5 in Joy Burke. We got what we needed, the caliber and the positions we needed. We didn't want to sign five or six. "

Joy Burke is a 6-5 local product from Tempe Marcos de Niza High School. Burke averaged 19.8 points, 14.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game last season and was rated the 30th post player in the country by Scout.com. Turner Thorne feels she deserves to be higher.

"So excited about Joy Burke," said Turner Thorne smiling, "I think she is one of the best posts in the country. She is perfect for us; we want to play a full court game. She is fast and agile and athletic."

To prove how impressed she was with Burke, Turner Thorne compared her game to basketball legend Lisa Leslie.

"That is quite the comparison, but she has a good game with the back to the basket. She can step up and shoot the three. She is 6-5 and has midrange. Just a really bright, hardworking young lady."

Deja Mann will miss her second consecutive high school season with a torn ACL. Mann tore her ACL and missed her junior year, but fully recovered and was playing club basketball before tearing her ACL again.

"An ACL is standard, she has already done it. She did it and she played. The redo isn't that the surgery didn't hold, it was a contact play."

Turner Thorne told Mann that she would continue to support her if the guard decided to wait on the surgery and play her senior season. Mann didn't have any of that.

"It says a lot about her and her family, because I said that if you want to play, play. If you want to wait and do the surgery after the season. They were like, no that isn't right and selfish. I thought that says a lot about her."

Mann averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds to go along with 4 steals per game as a sophomore in high school. Turner Thorne sees her as a similar player to current Sun Devil Briann January.

"Deja Mann is a combo guard. Great shooter, great passer and explosive. She is a little bit about Bri. She brings a lot of the qualities we are losing in Bri."

Markisha Patterson, like Joy Burke, is a local product, but is a junior college recruit. Turner Thorne kept her eye on Patterson when she led Tolleson High School to a state title in 2007, but didn't feel she was ready to be a Sun Devil. After a year at Central Arizona, Turner Thorne says Patterson's progress was extraordinary.

"I knew about her in high school, she wasn't quite ready for our program. The improvement is unbelievable."

"Patterson came back off her knee and led her team to the state championship. I think she was always interested in being a Sun Devil. It makes me smile that it worked out two years later. I knew I wanted to keep an eye on her. She really made tremendous strides."

Turner Thorne was sold on Patterson after attending a practice in which Patterson missed two shots the whole time. The coaches told Charli that this wasn't a rare occurrence.

"She missed two shots in a two hour practice and the coaches told me that she has never, not come in and given everything she's got and what we asked for. That is a Sun Devil. That is what we want. You want players in your program that always want to be Sun Devils."

In addition to go players, Turner Thorne sees this recruiting class as good student-athletes. Both Burke and Mann are applying and likely to get into the Barrett Honors College.

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