After two wins to start the Sun Devils’ 2020-21 campaign, the team was getting set to face-off against Saint Mary’s in the final game of the weekend event. Among those not on the floor in uniform, was then-junior forward Jayde Van Hyfte.
Van Hyfte only appeared in the team’s first game against Steven F. Austin five days earlier, where she had three points on 1-4 shooting in 16 minutes of action.
After the 62-53 win on Nov. 30 without her, head coach Charli Turner Thorne said that Van Hyfte would undergo knee surgery and miss the remainder of the season.
If Arizona State is going to be back near the top of the Pac-12, they are going to need a healthy and productive return from one of their leaders in the front court. As a sophomore, Van Hyfte started all 31 games for ASU, and was second on the team in rebounds (five per game).
For a team that ranked ninth in the Pac-12 in snagging boards, the return of the 6-foot-1 senior will undoubtedly provide some relief on the defensive glass, and add some pressure to make sure other teams limit second chances for the Sun Devils.
This past season, ASU was a top-25 offensive rebounding team. Back in 2019-20, 19.7 percent of Van Hyfte’s points were off of crashing the offensive glass (per synergy sports) and she finished top-four in the Pac-12 with 2.87 offensive rebounds per game.
With her relentless pursuit of the ball on both ends of the floor, it will add another point of emphasis that teams have to prep for when matching up against the Sun Devils. Controlling the boards can be a big factor in winning and controlling games.
JAYDE VAN HYFTE, RING THAT BELL BABY ‼️ pic.twitter.com/QgnytiEWsA— Sun Devil WBB (@SunDevilWBB) November 11, 2019
It will be interesting to watch how big of a focal point the Annawan, Illinois native is this upcoming season, as she averaged just 4.6 points per game during her last full season.
Regardless, her presence on the floor should provide some more depth at the forward position with rising sophomores Maggie Besselink and Katelyn Levings returning to Tempe as well.