(Photo: Steve Rodriguez/ASU Athletics)
Although you can only learn so much about a team in an inter-squad scrimmage, Peace and Promise Amukamara absolutely exceeded expectations tonight in ASU’s Maroon and Gold scrimmage.
The sisters suited up for opposite teams with Peace playing for a freshman-laden Maroon squad, while Promise took her talents to the Gold side along with many other returning studs for ASU.
The Amukamaras were extremely active on both sides of the ball, each displaying elite athleticism and basketball IQ. The siblings seemed to be the only two on the court that could guard each other, as they were just able to glide to the rim with ease against inferior defenders.
Peace transferred to ASU this summer from Mesa Community College here in Arizona, where she captured the NJCAA DII title, while garnering Player of the Year honors in 2013. Whether she was stealing the ball on an inbounds pass, or just blowing past perimeter defenders to get easy layups, Peace showed she could possibly play a bigger role for the Sun Devils than originally thought.
Listed as a two guard, she isn’t exactly known for her ball handling or playmaking abilities, but she started at the point for Maroon tonight and gave Head Coach Charlie Turner-Throne something to think about when she decides who will take the starting point guard to open the season.
As impressive as Peace was, older sister Promise showed that she is undoubtedly the most dominant player on this team. A returning senior, Promise played a key part in the team’s success last season starting at the two, and leading the team in steals. She was in control as soon as she walked in the doors of Wells Fargo, as she looked loose and relaxed during pre game warm-ups, kidding around with teammates and offering a speech in the huddle just before tip off.
Promise finished the game with approximately (no stats were recorded) half her team’s points. She was all over the floor, putting her explosiveness on display in transition and in the half court. She was creating fast breaks, getting a few takeaways and showing that nose for the ball that got her recognized as an All Pac-12 Second Team defender last year. But, she also gave us a look at a more varied offensive attack, as she dropped some hesitation moves, shot the three, and just flat out ran by defenders en route to easy finishes in transition.
The sisters looked like they were at a higher level of athleticism compared to their teammates. I can’t stress enough how seamlessly they took over this game, at times creating the impression they were the only two players on the court.
Now all ASU has to hope for is that the defense wasn’t the culprit of these performances and that the Amukamaras are really just that good.
The scary thing is that while they were going against each other tonight, but they will wear the same uniform for ASU this year. With the presence of an experienced point guard on the team in Elisha Davis, it could be difficult for Peace to find minutes with her sister in the starting line-up, but hopefully we will get to see some of that Amukamara chemistry at some point this year.
After the departure of leading scorers Deja Mann and Adrianna Thomas, the Sun Devils will be looking for someone to take over that go-to scorer role, and the Amukamara sisters look like they will be able to match or even exceed what Mann and Thomas did last year.
You can watch the Amukamara sisters and the rest of the of the ASU Women’s basketball team take on Middle Tennessee State, November 14th at Wells Fargo Arena to tip off their 2014-2015 season.