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Women’s Basketball’s Four to Flourish in 2021-22: Taya Hanson

Senior sniper

Richard Martinez/ House of Sparky

In the final game of its WNIT run, Arizona State guard Taya Hanson had nine points on 3-10 shooting with no triples and four turnovers in the two-point defeat. As the Sun Devils’ leader in points (12.8 per game), steals (1.3 per game) and free throw percentage (83.7), Hanson should look to turn this rough performance into fuel during the 2021 offseason.

A rising senior, Hanson is poised to step into the “team leader” role again for ASU. She was one of two players to start all 24 games during her junior year, after primarily coming off the bench her first two years in Tempe.

Something that changed for Hanson last year was becoming the number one scoring option. She earned honorable mentions for the All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 All-Defense teams but needs to improve in some areas to help the Sun Devils even more this upcoming year.

Hanson shot 34.4 percent from behind the arc, which was sixth in the Pac-12 among players who attempted at least 100 threes. While that may look good on paper, she attempted over 300 shots last season (180 from three) and there is a likelihood she will not shoot that many times next season.

Becoming more efficient will be key for Hanson this upcoming year, but it is definitely not a hard thing to ask. As a freshman, Hanson shot 24.3 percent from deep. The following year she improved to 29 percent. If she can stick with that trend and shoot the ball at a near-40 percent clip, it will cause a game planning fit for other opponents.

We got a glimpse of what Taya Hanson could be when she feels it from long distance. In the squad’s Jan. 2 win over Cal, Hanson tied ASU’s single-game record with seven threes in the contest.

For a player that took just over half of her shots off of screens or in spot up situations, Hanson will need the Sun Devils to move the ball well for her to get shots off. But if she gets going, that will only open up even more options for their offense. She is a willing passer as well.

The only other main area for improvement would be her turnovers. She was second on the team with just 2.3 per game. With some graduate transfer additions and the anticipated enhanced jumper, it should take the pressure off of her to put the ball on the floor to create and be the only focus of opposing defenses.

With that in mind, Taya Hanson should be gearing up for a senior season that should excite Sun Devil fans and bring Charli Turner Thorne back to the NCAA Tournament.