(Photo: Nicole Hernandez/ WCSN)
As Arizona State enters the Pac-12 tournament, there are a lot of areas of the game the Sun Devils need to clean up if they want to make a deep run.
The Sun Devils tend to play the best when they are forcing a lot of turnovers with their great defense and ability to get easy shots. They capitalized on this not only in the last few games, but also through the entire regular season as they forced 16.1 turnovers a game.
However, sometimes the team gets sloppy.
Arizona State needs to take full advantage of these turnovers and the easy shots that come from it. Too often this season ASU missed easy and even sometimes uncontested shots close to the basket.
ASU needs to take advantage of their chances at the free throw line as well if they really want to make a postseason push. Arizona State has struggled all year long at the charity stripe where they have only shot 66 percent. Things have not gotten better as the Sun Devils shot a shockingly low 51 percent against No. 15 UCLA, when they lost by three, in their last game of the regular season. There’s almost no way that the Sun Devils will be able to upset the highly ranked Pac-12 teams if they shoot this poorly from the free throw line.
Another issue when they push the tempo is their sloppiness taking care of the ball. Sometimes when the Sun Devils increase the tempo to cause turnovers, they actually end up cumulating their own as well. Arizona State has struggled with their turnovers averaging 15.3 during the entire season. It’s clear that the problem has not been fixed as they continue to struggle with turnovers late in the season as they averaged 17.3 turnovers in final three games.
“We need more consistency next week,” Coach Charlie Turner Thorne said. “And I think we can get it.”
Probably the simplest way for the Sun Devils to succeed in the post season is to feed Sophie Brunner.
“There’s not a person you rather have with the ball,” Thorne said.
Brunner has been red hot to finish the season as she’s averaged 16.8 over the last five game. She scored 20 points in each of the last two games while shooting a fantastic 68 percent. Arizona State needs to give Brunner the ball time and time again, as she has become their most reliable scorer as of late.
While the regular season may have been disappointing for the Sun Devils, Thorne doesn’t believe they team is done yet.
“We’re still writing our story,” Thorne said. “We’re hoping to have a great march.”