2017 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day: Charli Turner Thorne uses story time to explain ASU's youth
SAN FRANCISCO – When Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne takes the podium at Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day, media members know they’re in for story time, as the 21st-year head honcho usually works in a story – sometimes exaggerated or fabricated to get a point across – that exemplifies a feeling she has about her team for the upcoming season.
Wednesday afternoon was no different, as she told this story to relate how youthful her team is (presented in its entirety to get the full Turner Thorne experience):
“This was back when my two older sons were like five and seven, okay? They wouldn’t do anything that my husband and I asked them to do. They just wouldn’t listen. They wouldn’t listen. We couldn’t get them to do the things that we needed them to do.
So we tried timeouts. We tried all sorts of things. So finally I went to the pastor at our church and said ‘This is what’s going on. Can you help us?’ He’s got kids and everything, and he’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ll come over to the house. I want Liam first.’
So he puts Liam in a room and sits him in a chair. Walks up to Liam and says, ‘Where’s God?’ Liam’s just sitting there. He’s got big, blue eyes. He’s just looking at him. And Pastor kind of walks away, comes back, ‘Where’s God?’ Now Liam’s getting really nervous. He’s fidgety and getting scared.
Then the pastor comes back, and in his biggest, boomingest voice, ‘WHERE’S GOD?!’ And at this point Liam jetted out of the room, ran upstairs, put himself in his closet sobbing uncontrollably.
So the older son is surveying all of this. He’s next. He goes into Liam’s room – ‘Liam, what happened? What happened?’ Liam’s like, ‘I don’t know, but God’s missing, and they think we did it.”
Yes, the Sun Devils are young. They don’t have a single senior on their roster and lost their entire starting frontcourt from 2016-17 as they try to build upon a 20-win season that saw the Sun Devils take a lead against eventual-NCAA champion South Carolina into the final minute of their NCAA second-round game.
But the cupboard isn’t bare in Tempe. The backcourt brings a lot of intrigue with guards like Sabrina Haines, Reili Richardson, Kiara Russell and Robbi Ryan, but even then, Haines is the only upperclassmen of the bunch as a junior (the other three are sophomores).
Turner Thorne, who considers this the youngest team she has ever coached at Arizona State, is looking forward to the challenge (don’t use the word “hard” around her; basketball isn’t hard like losing a loved one, basketball is a “challenge”).
“When I think about our team this year, I think about youthful innocence, but also just an incredible ability to do big things, to do really big things,” Turner Thorne said. “We’re super excited about how we’re coming together. So I think it’s kind of a fun blend. We don’t have any seniors, but we’re really built with some tremendous juniors and sophomores, and we’re excited about it.”