@SunDevilWBB adds graduate transfer Ayzhiana Basallo to 2021-22 roster
TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University head women's basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne today announced that graduate transfer and 2020 Mountain West Conference Newcomer of the Year Ayzhiana Basallo will be joining the Sun Devils for the 2021-22 season.
Basallo, a 5-5 guard who will have two years of eligibility, will be transferring to ASU from San Jose State where she will be earning her degree in communication studies later this semester.
"We could not be more excited to have Ayzhiana coming into our program," Turner Thorne said. "In addition to being a three-level scorer who can create for others, she is also a tenacious defender and competitor. We are thrilled to have not only her talent but her character and experience. With her work ethic and passion for the game, she will be an amazing Sun Devil and future great pro."
In her only full season at San Jose State – did not play in 2018-19 due to NCAA transfer rules and SJSU's 2020-21 season was canceled after only four games due to COVID-19 – Basallo earned the Mountain West Conference's Newcomer of the Year award for a season in which she averaged a team-high 18.5 points per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field, 45.4 percent from beyond the arc (school single-season record) and 92.5 percent at the free throw line (school single-season record).
Basallo, who helped SJSU to 19-12 record after just six wins in the previous season (the best win total improvement in all of Division I), concluded the season as a Her Hoop Stats Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year semifinalist and was also named to the All-Mountain West Team for a campaign that included back-to-back Mountain West Player of the Week awards.
"I chose Arizona State because Coach Charli and her coaching staff were very genuine and made it a point that they would truly take care of me and help me achieve my goals and dreams," Basallo said. "I can't wait to step foot on campus and put work in as a Sun Devil and shock the world with this team. I am truly honored to have this opportunity and I will do whatever it takes to win and put this program back on top."
Basallo started her college career at Cal Poly where she earned the Big West Conference Sixth Player of the Year award for a freshman campaign in which she averaged 7.6 points and shot 41 percent both from the floor and beyond the arc and 81 percent from the line.
"Ayzhiana is the hardest worker I've ever trained or coached, said Basallo's club coach Armando Pazos, who is director and coach of Jason Kidd Select. "Watching her grow up on and off the court has made me and everyone in her circle extremely proud. Ayzhiana's leadership, scoring and tenacious mentality make her a perfect fit for ASU. I know Coach Charli and her staff will help develop her on and off the court. It's a perfect match."
Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and a young roster in which 95 out of 120 possible starts were made by freshmen (62) or upperclassmen who were first-year starters (33), the Sun Devils still earned their seventh consecutive postseason berth (20th in 21 seasons) in 2020-21. They captured four wins over NCAA Tournament teams – including one Final Four team – while losing three other contests to eventual NCAA Tournament teams by an average of just 5.0 points with eventual national champion Stanford included in that group.