Sun Devils Face Tough Test Vs. Kent State On Saturday
Nov. 22, 2000
Sat., Nov. 25 vs. Kent State**
5:30 p.m. MST
Kent was 23-8 last year
Sat., Dec. 2 vs. BYU**
4 p.m. MST
BYU was 22-11 last year
**Kent State and BYU games televised on Fox Sports Net Arizona.
ASU FACES GOLDEN FLASHES
The Arizona State men's basketball team (3-1), under third-year head coach Rob Evans, plays host to Kent State (Nov. 25) and BYU (Dec. 2) in its next two games. Both games will be carried on KFYI 550 AM and XTRA 910 AM in Phoenix, with Tim Healey (play-by-play) and Vic Cegles (color) calling the action. Tom Dillon (play-by-play) and John MacLeod (color) broadcast both games for Fox Sports Arizona, which will broadcast nine games this year.
QUICK NOTES THROUGH FOUR GAMES
ASU has outrebounded its opponent in each of its first four games...ASU is 3-1 for the first time since 1997-98. It has not gone 4-1 since the 1994-95 Sweet Sixteen season...ASU is averaging 16.75 offensive rebounds in its first four games and is outrebounding its opponents by 8.8 boards per contest...ASU has five players averaging in double figures, with sophomore Donnell Knight leading the way at 15.0 points per game...Chad Prewitt has started 36 straight games...ASU has had four different players lead the team in scoring in its four games (Prewitt, Awvee Storey, Atlon Mason and Shawn Redhage)...Alton Mason has 21 assists and 12 steals through four games with just four turnovers...ASU has held three of its four opponents under 70 points.
HOME HAS BEEN GOOD
Wells Fargo Arena was a solid home for ASU last year, as ASU matched the school record for home wins with a 14-3 (.820) mark. ASU won all 14 games at home against unranked opponents, losing only to No. 5 Arizona, No. 23 Oregon and No. 2 Stanford. ASU was 8-0 against non-conference foes at home last year. ASU's 14 home wins matched the school record set in 1974-75, 1979-80, 1980-81, 1990-91, 1994-95 and 1997-98. ASU is 16-3 (.840) at home over the past two seasons.
Kent State was 23-8 last year and has posted back-to-back 23-win seasons (46-15). The Golden Flashes return four starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team which was ranked 34th in the RPI. Some RPI's had Kent as the highest ranked team to not get an at-large invitation to the tournament.
ASU is 2-1 vs. Kent State, with KSU winning the last meeting back in 1968-69 (92-81). Rob Evans has never faced Kent State.
The ASU and Brigham Young series dates to 1946-47, and ASU records have the Cougars leading the series 23-21, with BYU winning a 78-67 meeting last year in Provo on Dec. 7. The Cougars last visit to Tempe was the season opener on Nov. 27, 1993, when ASU beat BYU 106-95. ASU led last year's game 53-48 midway through the second half but the Cougars outscored ASU 30-15 in the final 11:14 as ASU was just 3-of-16 (.188) from the three-point stripe. Awvee Storey had 22 points and Shawn Redhage added 12, but Eddie House was 0-for-16 from the field. Both Storey and Chad Prewitt fouled out against the bigger Cougars. BYU outrebounded ASU 39-31 as the Sun Devils fell to 4-3 on the year.
Rob Evans (122-111/.520) is in his third season in 2000-2001 (ninth overall) as the head basketball coach at Arizona State after being hired on April 7, 1998. The 1997 SEC Coach of the Year spent six seasons at Ole Miss, compiling an 86-81 (.515) record. He led the Rebels to a 42-16 record in his final two seasons, winning two SEC West titles, and led Ole Miss to back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1937-38. The 54-year old Evans is a 1968 graduate of New Mexico State, where he captained two NCAA Tournament teams, is a 1989 inductee of the NMSU Athletic Hall of Fame and was named to the school's All-Time Basketball team. He is 36-30 (.550) in his his third year at ASU. Evans' Ole Miss squads were known as a tough man-to-man teams which ranked 13th in the nation and second in the SEC in 1997-98 in rebounding at +6.6, despite no player was in the top 30 in rebounding. Ole Miss held opponents to just 30 percent from the three-point stripe, best in the SEC, and to just 40.6 percent from the field. He is 78-46 (.630) in the past five seasons.
QUICKLY ABOUT LAST YEAR
The Arizona State men's basketball team (19-13, 10-8 in Pac-10) posted its best season since 1994-95 in Rob Evans second year at the helm of the program in 1999-2000. The young ASU team, with six true freshmen combining for nearly 96 minutes per game and having just one senior on its roster, posted a Pac-10 road sweep for the first time since 1996 to begin the second half at WSU/Washington and notched a home sweep of the LA schools for the first time since 1986 a week later. It was ASU's first four-game Pac-10 win streak since 1995. ASU also was 3-1 in overtime, all Pac-10 road contests, and was 3-3 in games decided by three points or less after going 1-5 in 1998-99. The Sun Devils posted 19 wins for just the fourth time in the past 17 seasons, as ASU was picked to finish eighth in the Pac-10 media poll but finished in a tie for fourth with NCAA-bound UCLA (a team ASU beat 104-75 on Feb. 17 to end a 22-game losing streak to the Bruins) at 10-8, sweeping four Pac-10 teams along the way (Cal, Washington St., Washington and Oregon St.).
The ASU program has logged some serious air miles within the past year. It started last year with a trip to the Puerto Rico Shootout, as ASU travelled 6,032 miles for its first road trip with its six freshmen. Then came trips to Brigham Young (1,016), Bay Area (1,292), Los Angeles (750), North Carolina State (3,776), Seattle/Pullman (2,216), Oregon/Oregon State (2,020) and North Carolina State again (3,776). Throw in the Nov. 9-12 trip to the NABC Classic in Chapel Hill (3,776), and ASU has flown 24,654 miles in the past calendar year.
REACHING DOUBLE FIGURES
ASU placed all five starters in double figures in the home opener against Southern Utah in a 94-72 win. It marked the first time all five starters notched double-digit points since an 87-66 win over Oregon State on Feb. 20, 1999. Last season, ASU had five players reach double digits just twice (at American Puerto Rico and vs. Cal). In each of ASU's first three games, at least four Sun Devils reached double figures in scoring. Alton Mason and Donnell Knight and have posted double-digits in all four games. Last year, ASU had six games where four Sun Devils reached double digits in scoring and another two games where five players reached double digits.
How impressive was ASU's 3-1 record in road overtime games? ASU just missed matching the NCAA record for road OT wins, which is four. Four schools notched 4-0 marks in road OT games in one season, including ASU in 1980-81. Others were Delaware (1972-73), Cal St. Fullerton (1988-89) and New Mexico St. (1993-94). ASU won road overtime games at California, Washington State and Oregon State and fell at USC after going just 1-3 in overtime.