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Sun Devil women’s basketball has established a proud tradition of winning on the court, in the classroom and in the community.
Regular-season co-champions of the Pac-12 in 2015-16, the Sun Devil women’s basketball team has advanced to the NCAA Tournament each of the last four seasons. In 2017 they led eventual national champion South Carolina by as many as 11 in the second half and had a one-point lead in the final minute. In 2016 the Sun Devils won 26 games (tied for third-most program annals) and earned their highest seed in program history (No. 2 in the Sioux Falls Region). They posted several other accomplishments along the way, including tying the school record for consecutive wins (15); setting a new single-season program record for most road wins (11); tying the highest AP ranking in school history (No. 8) and setting a new program record for most consecutive wins to start the conference season (9).
Come in and take a closer look at the program, which, under the direction of head coach Charli Turner Thorne, has come to be known as one of the premier programs in the country for the success of its players in all facets of the student-athlete experience.
Thanks to a lead gift of $5 million from Craig and Connie Weatherup to ASU Athletics, the Weatherup Center is home to Sun Devil Basketball. It is a 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility with practice areas, locker rooms, offices and team meeting areas.
The Weatherup Center is where both the men’s and women’s teams train, practice and study. Features of the center include two full-size basketball courts, offices for the coaches, locker rooms and a team video room.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the facility was held April 21, 2008 and construction was completed May 1, 2009.
Wells Fargo Arena, the home for Sun Devil women’s basketball is one of the nation’s finest collegiate arenas. The 10,734-seat facility also plays host to graduation ceremonies and a variety of concerts and shows.
The structure contains offices and locker rooms for ASU basketball, along with space for weight training, a training room and an equipment room.
A recent addition to Wells Fargo Arena was a multimillion-dollar center-court hung video scoreboard. The scoreboard offers the best in modern technology and gives ASU one of the best scoreboards in college athletics. The video scoreboard comes complete with four - eight foot by 12 foot visual display screens. In additions to the scoreboard, two White Way matrix scoreboards with up to the minute game statistics were installed on the east and west side arena walls.
Wells Fargo Arena is a major reason why Arizona State’s athletic physical plant is considered to be the best in collegiate athletics today.
Sun Devil Sports Performance, a 5,000 square-foot training facility, utilizes a variety of unique amenities designed to help Sun Devil women’s basketball players maximize their athletic potential.
Located south of the Weatherup Center, SDSP opened in August 2011 and includes a weight room, 60-yard three-lane track, pool, agility area and rubberized half-court basketball area.
The eight weightlifting combo racks are distinctive in their design and limitless in their capabilities, and are equipped with bars for both Olympic lifts and strength lifts, pulling racks, chin/dip attachments, bands, chains, step up platform and single leg squat pads, among other things. There is also a full line of life fitness machines, a wide variety of free weights and 20 pieces of cardio equipment.
SDSP also includes academic resources and a training room, giving members of the team optimal convenience to manage their academic and athletic commitments.
Without question, one of the trademarks of the Sun Devil women’s basketball program has been its ability to come through with brilliant achievements both on and off the court.
ASU has qualified for the postseason 17 times in the last 18 seasons. Included in that stretch is a school record five-consecutive NCAA Tournament bids (2005-09) and the only two Elite Eight appearances in school history (2007 and 2009).
Last season they won 20 or more games for the fourth straight season and nearly upset eventual national champion South Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils led the Gamecocks on their home floor by as many as 11 in the second half and had a one-point lead going into the final minute of the game.
In 2015-16 they won 26 games (tied third-most in school history), advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, captured a share of the regular season Pac-12 title and concluded the season ranked No. 11 in the final Associated Press poll.
The Sun Devils won the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament in 2002, making ASU one of only five schools in the history of what is now the Pac-12 Conference to have won the tournament. The Sun Devils also made it to the championship game of the tournament on two other occasions (2005 and 2007). In 2001, ASU tied for a share of the league title making it one of only two schools in the conference to have won both a regular season title and the conference tournament.
Sun Devil women’s basketball has been equally exceptional in the classroom. ASU’s No. 5 finish (3.672) on the WBCA’s Academic Honor Roll represented the second time in three seasons the Sun Devils have been among the top 10 programs in the country after placing seventh (3.558) for the 2014-15 academic year. Since the 1996-97 season, Turner Thorne’s first season at ASU, the Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in the number of first-team All-Academic conference awards (21) and the combined number of first- and second-team All-Academic conference awards (43).
The Sun Devil women’s basketball program offers its fans one of the most exciting game-day experiences in the country!
In addition to getting the opportunity to watch the Sun Devil women’s basketball team, one of the country’s most successful programs since 2000, fans attending Wells Fargo Arena are treated to an engaging and entertaining atmosphere at every game.
Whether it’s competing on the floor in halftime contests, playing in the snow on Sparky’s Snow Day or being showcased on the arena’s video board at timeouts, Sun Devil fans are provided with a unique, interactive experience that allows them to be a part of the game.
Music provided by the Sun Devil Basketball Band combine with the talents of ASU’s nationally recognized spirit group, the Sun Devil Spirit Squad, and ASU’s world-famous mascot, Sparky, to provide fans with the one-of-a-kind environment that can only be found in college athletics.
Before selected home games fans of all ages have the opportunity to get involved. Sun Devil assistant coaches host ‘chalk talks,’ giving fans an opportunity to learn more about strategy while the Sun Devil Spirit Squad hosts annual clinics in which youngsters get to learn a dance routine before the game and then perform with the squad at halftime.
Did you know that ASU’s game-day experience helps give back to the community? During the holidays the Sun Devil women’s basketball program has promotions that encourage fans to donate food and toys. In addition, every February the Sun Devils host a ‘Pink Out’ game as a part of the ‘Play4Kay’ initiative to raise breast cancer awareness.
Still looking for more? Although the game ends at the sound of the final horn the fun does not! In 2012, Sun Devil Athletics restored the tradition of the Victory Bell. Following each home win, fans are encouraged to join in the celebration as the Sun Devils ring the bell to commemorate each win of the season. Also, fans are always invited to stay and interact with members the team during a post-game autograph session, which takes place following every home game.
Charli Turner Thorne – Head Coach
• The winningest coach in Sun Devil women’s basketball history and No. 2 in the Pac-12 in most career wins, Charli Turner Thorne is at the helm of an Arizona State program that has made it to the postseason 17 of the last 18 years, including a school record five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2005-09), two Elite Eight appearances and a pair of Sweet 16 finishes. ASU’s 12 NCAA Tournament appearances under Turner Thorne are nine more than what ASU had in the 15 years prior to her arrival in Tempe. Has also earned a pair of gold medals with USA Basketball.
• The 2017-18 season is the 21st for Turner Thorne who recorded her 400th win at ASU on March 17, 2017 (defeated Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament).
• Despite injuries to key personnel and a young backcourt, Turner Thorne led ASU to its fourth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance (12th during ASU tenure) and fourth-consecutive 20-win season (12th during ASU tenure) in 2017. The Sun Devils made it to the second round of NCAAs where they came up just short of upsetting eventual national champion South Carolina as the Sun Devils took a lead going into the final minute of the game.
• Was named the 2016 Pac-12 Coach of the Year (coaches and media), the second time she has been recognized with the honor (2001), after leading the Sun Devils to their second regular season Pac-12 championship. ASU would go on to earn its highest NCAA Tournament seed (No. 2) in program history. In 2016 ASU has also tied the program records for most conference wins (16) and consecutive wins (15) and set the program record for most road wins (11).
• In 2014-15 Turner Thorne led ASU to 29 wins (second-highest total in school history), a second-place finish in the Pac-12 and a berth in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The 2014-15 Sun Devils posted the best overall start (18-1) and conference start (7-0) in school history and reached 20 wins faster than any other squad (22 games).
• ASU’s No. 5 finish (3.672) on the WBCA’s Academic Honor Roll represented the second time in three seasons the Sun Devils have been among the top 10 programs in the country after placing seventh (3.558) for the 2014-15 academic year. Since the 1996-97 season, Turner Thorne’s first season at ASU, the Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in the number of first-team All-Academic conference awards (21) and the combined number of first- and second-team All-Academic conference awards (43).
• In 2006-07 guided the Sun Devils to a school record 31 wins, including a school record 16 Pac-10 wins, and led them to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. ASU concluded the 2006-07 season ranked No. 8 in the final USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and No. 10 in the final Associated Press poll, their highest FINAL rankings in each of the respective polls in school history.
Jackie Moore – Associate Head Coach
• Jackie Moore was named assistant coach for the Sun Devil women’s basketball program on June 14, 2012. She was promoted to associate head coach in April 2017.
• Moore, who has previously coached at UMass, Boston College, Miami (Fla.) and Nevada, has nearly 20 years of college coaching experience.
• For six seasons (1993-99), Moore was the head coach at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida. Moore began her coaching career at her alma mater, Armstrong State College in Savannah, Ga., where she was an assistant for two seasons.
• A four-year starter at guard - two years a Santa Fe CC and two years at Armstrong State - Moore earned her B.A. in Psychology from Armstrong State in 1991. The Panama City, Fla., native added a master's degree in Health Science from Georgia Southern University in 1993.
Angie Nelp – Assistant Coach
• Angie Nelp was named assistant coach at Arizona State on May 2, 2017. Nelp joined ASU from Rice University where most recently she helped guide the Owls to a WBI Championship (the school's first postseason title) and 22 victories in 2016-17, the second-most wins in a single season.
• Nelp spent four seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Mercer where she was responsible for coaching the guards, as well as scout and film preparation. Prior to Mercer, Nelp served as assistant director of basketball operations at Marquette University. She also spent one season as a graduate assistant coach on the Arkansas women's basketball staff under then head coach Tom Collen.
• Nelp played collegiate basketball at Colorado State, accumulating 1,397 points, 629 rebounds, 356 assists and 261 steals in four seasons. During her time with the Rams she earned Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors, was a first-team All-MWC selection, a Kodak All-America Honorable Mention honoree and was named an academic all-conference performer all four seasons.
• After graduating from Colorado State in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in health and exercise science, she went on to spend two seasons with the NWBL Colorado Chill and one season with 08 Stockholm in Sweden. As a professional, she helped lead the Chill to the 2005 NWBL title and 08 Stockholm to the 2003 Swedish national crown.
Briann January – Assistant Coach
• All-time Sun Devil great and current Indiana Fever guard Briann January was named assistant coach at ASU on April 19, 2017. January, who helped lead ASU to 104 wins – the most in program history in a four-year span – while playing for the Sun Devils, will continue her professional playing career with Indiana where she is currently preparing to start her ninth season.
• January, who in 2016 was named to the Pac-12 Women's Basketball All-Century Team, concluded her Sun Devil playing career at or near the top of several ASU career statistical categories including assists (first), free throw percentage (first), steals (second), free throws (second), 3-point field goal percentage (fourth), 3-point field goals (fifth) and points (seventh). A two-time Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, January earned honorable mention All-America recognition from the Associated Press and WBCA in 2009. During her four-year career the Sun Devils won 77 percent of their games (104-32), including 82 percent of their Pac-10 games (59-13), and qualified for the NCAA Tournament all four years, including two Elite Eight appearances (2007, '09).
• January was selected by the Fever with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft. In that time she has played a major role in helping Indiana qualify for the playoffs each of the last eight seasons, including three trips to the WNBA Finals and a WNBA championship in 2012. January is coming off a 2016 campaign in which she averaged 9.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and a career-best 4.7 assists per game while being named to the WNBA's All-Defensive Team for the fifth straight season.
When new Sun Devil players step into the women’s basketball locker room at ASU, they are immediately met with a list of the program’s priorities. At the top of the list are three simple words: “Be a giver.”
“From day one, our players know they have not only given themselves over to this team to be successful and win championships, but they know they are giving themselves to the community as well,” explained Sun Devil head coach Charli Turner Thorne.
In September of 2007, the Sun Devil women’s basketball program was recognized as one of the recipients of the Pat Tillman Leadership Award for all of the work it does in the community. Three months later, in December, former Sun Devil Danielle Orsillo was featured in Sports Illustrated for her work with mentally disabled adults.
One of the team’s biggest community initiatives is ‘The Character Code Game,’ a role-playing game that teaches students how to demonstrate great character in sports and in life. Every fall Sun Devil players visit students, ages 8 to 12, in schools around the Phoenix area and introduce them to the game, which was created by the team’s life coach Carlette Patterson. The game challenges students to understand what it means to have character, and how character is demonstrated at home, school and with friends.
Another initiative the Sun Devil women’s basketball started was the now-annual Sparky’s Kids to College Field Trip Game, which made its debut during the 2006-07 season. The concept behind the event is introducing grade-school children to a college campus. The game is held at 11 a.m. on a school day and fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders are bussed in from local elementary schools. ASU has had more than 4,000 in attendance for the game on seven occasions, including crowds of 5061 in 2015, 5,816 in 2011, 6,118 in 2007 and a high of 7,322 in 2009.
The annual Race for the Cure in Phoenix and Pat’s Run in Tempe are two events where the team gives its time every year. In addition, the Sun Devils also participate in youth clinics during the year, teaching younger kids the basic fundamentals of basketball.
In August of 2012 the team took its community outreach efforts overseas when it traveled to New Zealand as part of a foreign tour. During the trip, which was equal parts basketball, team bonding and community outreach, the team participated in several youth clinics. At the conclusion of each clinic, the team would spend time talking to children in addition to participating in autograph sessions.
In 2012 Sun Devil women’s basketball kicked off its season with a special campaign aimed at raising awareness about the 40th anniversary of Title IX and the significance the legislation had in the U.S. In the weeks leading up to its season opener against Texas Tech, ASU women’s basketball recognized the efforts of 40 individuals whose stories reflected the importance Title IX had and continues to have today. Those individuals were also honored at halftime of the Texas Tech game.
In August 2015, the program announced the launch of ‘Keep The Beat,’ an awareness campaign designed to help people of all ages have a better understanding of what it means to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. The team has held a special ‘Keep The Beat’ game for heart health awareness each of the last three seasons.