Rules changes won't affect Arizona State women's basketball

Dhon Santos/Santos Photography

SAN FRANCISCO – The new rules changes were a big topic of discussion in just about every panel session with the head coaches at Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day Thursday at Pac-12 Studios, but perhaps none more so than with Arizona State’s Charli Turner Thorne.

Under Turner Thorne, the Sun Devils have made a name for themselves for their in-your-shorts pressure defense. With officials promising to call a tighter game in 2013-14 – emphasizing calling fouls on hand checks after an initial touch – members of the media expressed concern about how this would affect Arizona State’s defensive philosophy.

Not at all, if you ask the woman in charge in Tempe.

“Time out,” Turner Thorne interjected when the question arose. “We are thrilled with the changes. Just because we take things away doesn’t mean we hand check… The biggest sin in our program is to foul. We work our butts off to play position defense.”

Don’t believe her? “Come to one of our practices,” she said, inviting the media to see firsthand how she teaches defense.

That confidence in the defensive philosophy has trickled down to the players, and redshirt senior Deja Mann is not at all concerned about how the rules changes might affect her when guarding a top-notch scorer.

“If you deny them the ball, you don’t have to worry about hand checking,” Mann said.

And there you have it. Any further questions?