ASU Basketball: What is Wrong With the Women’s Team?
Arizona State is in the middle of a season-long three game losing streak. What are some of the reasons for their recent struggles?
The Sun Devils are currently sitting at 14-7 and 5-5 in Pac-12 run after going 1-4 in brutal five game stretch.
Arizona State had to face three Top-15 teams in Washington, Stanford and UCLA (all losses) and tough teams in Cal (lone win) and USC (loss).
ASU have struggled since the calendar switched to 2017. There are multiple reasons why that has happened.
One reason is the lack of depth for Arizona State.
Head coach Charli Turner Thorne has had to deal with shorter squad after the transfer of guard Armani Hawkins plus the injuries to forwards Kelsey Moos and Jamie Ruden.
Moos’ injury on New Year’s Day has really affected the Sun Devils on both ends of the court.
Moos is arguably ASU’s best perimeter defender and a key rebounder to help out center Quinn Dornstauder and forward Sophie Brunner.
She’s also Arizona State’s best three-point shooter. Sun Devils haven’t shot the ball well from behind the arc this season.
Not to mention that Turner Thorne says the team is missing Moos’ emotional leadership.
With Moos’ injury, freshman guard Robbi Ryan has filled in admirably for Arizona State.
Unfortunately, it’s forced Turner Thorne to go to a shorter lineup and it’s led opponents to get many offensive rebounds.
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Another reason for ASU’s struggles is freshman’s struggles to match their early-season production.
Guard Reili Richardson, who replaced once-injured Kiara Russell as the starting point guard, has really struggled on the last four-game road trip.
It’s starting to look like fatigue is setting in for the freshman, which is understandable considering they are experiencing their first full season in the collegiate game.
The schedule has also not been kind for the Sun Devils.
They have faced a brutal Pac-12 schedule having faced Stanford twice and Washington and UCLA once.
Also they are coming off playing four straight conference games on the road, which makes it that much more difficult for a young team.
Schedule eases up a tiny bit, but Arizona State has a tough game Friday night versus No. 11 Oregon State who are atop the Pac-12 with 9-1 conference record.
Sun Devils need to right the ship if they want a chance to getting a Top 4 seed and a bye in the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament and if they want to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Arizona State has the opportunity to boost their resume with a win versus Oregon State this weekend and with one more game versus Washington and UCLA remaining.
With Moos expected back within the next couple of weeks, Arizona State should be able to right the ship and get back in contention for the Pac-12 title.