Women's Basketball No. 17 in Basketball Times' Preseason List

July 19, 2001

The Arizona State women's basketball team is ranked 17th in Basketball Times' list of teams to watch for the upcoming season. ASU is one of several programs which 'could easily break through to the upper echelon in 2001-02.'

According to the magazine, 'After making a surprising surge in 2000-01, the Sun Devils seem primed to take another step forward. Two transfer students who have flourished at ASU - Amanda Levens and Melody Johnson - will be seniors. If the supporting cast can grow, Coach Charli Turner Thorne's club should challenge for the Pac-10 title.'

Arizona State will return four starters and eight letterwinners from its 2001 Pac-10 Championship squad including its top four scorers and top five rebounders from one year ago. The 2000-01 Sun Devils turned in a 20-11 overall record and a school-record 12-6 mark in Pac-10 play to earn their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1992.

First-team All-Pac-10 selections Melody Johnson and Amanda Levens as well as Pac-10 All-Freshman team selection Betsy Boardman are among the returning starters. In addition to its four returning starters (Boardman, Levens, Johnson and Cian Carvalho), the Sun Devils also return senior forward Leah Combs who started the first 18 games of the year in 2001 and 26 contests in her career. Other returners include senior guard Rainy Crisp and sophomores Jen Albert and Li'i Liu, while the Sun Devils will also welcome a quartet of talented freshmen in the fall.

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