Men's Hoops Host BYU Saturday
Nov. 30, 2000
ASU FACES COUGARS:
The Arizona State men's basketball team (4-1), under third-year head coach Rob Evans, plays host to the Brigham Young Cougars on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. MST. The game 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) call the game for Fox Sports Arizona, which will broadcast nine games this year. BYU is 2-0 entering a Thursday (Nov. 30) game at San Francisco. ASU is off to its best start since it was 5-1 in 1994-95, when it advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
SOME SOLID NUMBERS FROM THE KENT STATE GAME:
In its last outing, ASU topped Kent State 76-61 on Nov. 25 and held the Golden Flashes to just 15-of-55 (.273) from the floor. Kent State was 23-8 last year, has posted back-to-back 23-win seasons (46-15) and returned four starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team which was ranked 34th in the RPI. The 15-point loss was the worst for KSU since it fell at Dayton in its season opener 89-73 on Nov. 14, 1998.
ABOUT THAT DEFENSE:
The defensive effort against Kent State on Nov. 25 was one of the best by a Rob Evans-coached team. In his 234 games as a head coach dating to when he took over Ole Miss in 1992-93, Saturday's .273 (15-of-55) was the fourth-best defensive effort. A look at the top five defensive efforts by an Evans' squad in his nine years.
QUICK NOTES THROUGH FIVE GAMES:
ASU has outrebounded its opponent in each of its first five games...ASU is 4-1 for the first time since the 1994-95 Sweet Sixteen team went 5-1...ASU is averaging 16 offensive rebounds in its first five games and is outrebounding its opponents by 8.4 boards per contest...ASU has five players averaging in double figures, with sophomore Donnell Knight leading the way at 15.6 points per game...Chad Prewitt has started 37 straight games...ASU has had four different players lead the team in scoring in its five games (Prewitt, Awvee Storey, Alton Mason and Shawn Redhage)...Alton Mason has 23 assists and 14 steals through five games with just six turnovers...ASU has held four of its five opponents under 70 points...ASU is holding its opponents to just 38.1 percent (98-of-257) from the field.
HOME HAS BEEN GOOD:
Wells Fargo Arena/Ned Wulk Court 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 17-3 (.850) at home over the past two seasons and has won 15 straight home games over non-conference foes.
The ASU and BYU 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 (123-111/.530) 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 37-30 (.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 79-46 (.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.
KNIGHT AND DAY:
Donnell Knight turned it up a notch for the Sun Devil on Feb. 5, when he led ASU with 16 points vs. Oregon. Knight started the year slowly but in the final 12 games was one of the key reasons why ASU was able to notch 19 wins for just the fourth time in the past 17 seasons. A look at Donnell Knight's improvement in the final 12 games of last season:Statistic First 20 Games Final 12 GamesFG % 20-70 (.286) 35-61 (.574)FT % 8-29 (.400) 19-24 (.792)3-PT % 2-17 (.118) 8-14 (.571)Rebounds 38 (1.9 per game) 51 (4.3 per game)Assists 15 (0.75 per game) 17 (1.42 per game)Steals 2 (0.1 per game) 7 (0.58 per game)Minutes 233 (11.7 per game) 245 (20.4 per game)
Chad Prewitt was one of the most improved players in the Pac-10 last year. Prewitt's improvements from his freshman to his sophomore year offer the perfect benchmark for last year's six freshmen. A look at Prewitt's numbers in his first two years:
PLAYER NOTES/SEASON AND CAREER HIGHS
#1 ALTON MASON:
ASU's lone senior who averaged 12.7 points in his final seven games last year...had career-high 8 boards vs. Tulsa on Nov. 10 and then matched a career-high with 18 points vs. Winthrop on Nov. 11...in the final seven games, he averaged 12.7 points, shot 46.8 percent from the field (29-of-62) and was 20-of-23 (.870) from the FT line...last year, he shot 80.7 percent from the FT line (46-of-57) after shooting just 59.5 percent (47-of-79) in 1998-99.
#11 AWVEE STOREY:
Pac-10 leader in offensive boards last year with 105...posted 21 points and 12 boards vs. Kent State on Nov. 25...26 points vs. Southern Utah on Nov. 17...15 points and 7 boards vs. Winthrop on Nov. 11...also had his three 20-point games last year on the road (22 at BYU, 23 at USC and 21 at UCLA).
#4 TOMMY SMITH:
Played in all 32 games last year and averaged 4.9 points and 13.4 minutes...was 31-of-42 (.738) from the free throw line in his final 26 games...also posted six blocks vs. Oregon St. on Feb. 3, the most by a Sun Devil since Bobby Lazor had six vs. Texas A & M on Dec. 19, 1997...posted 10 points at Oregon on Mar. 2.
#2 DONNELL KNIGHT:
Local prep product started last season slowly but came on strong towards the middle of the Pac-10...averaged nine points, five rebounds and 19.6 minutes in a five-game stretch from Feb. 5-Feb. 19 and was a key part of ASU's four-game winning streak in that time...has been in double digits in all five games...18 points vs. Kent State on Nov. 25...posted career-high 21 points vs. Southern Utah on Nov. 17...had 15 points vs. Tulsa and 13 vs. Winthrop in NABC Classic games.
#15 TANNER SHELL:
In his 18 Pac-10 games last year, Shell came off the bench in each one and contributed 9.1 points per game, third on the team in league play, and had six double-figure scoring games...missed the Winthrop game on Nov. 11 with a sore back and has not played since.
#42 SHAWN REDHAGE:
An excellent student-athlete who has a 3.3 GPA in construction science...had 19 points vs. Tulsa in the season opener and then had 17 vs. Winthrop...posted double-digit scoring games 14 times in 1999-2000.
#52 CHAD PREWITT:
Averaged 9.0 ppg, third on the team last year...was the only Sun Devil to start in all 32 games last year and has started the past 37 games...has four double-doubles in career...15 points and 11 boards vs. Kent State on Nov. 25...15 points and nine boards vs. Colgate on Nov. 21...had 12 points and nine boards vs. Tulsa on Nov. 10.
#3 KYLE DODD:
Showed tremendous poise in his rookie year, even nailing the game-winning three-pointer in overtime as ASU won at Washington State 81-79 and began its first four-game Pac-10 win streak since 1995...8 points and 6 boards in 31 minutes vs. Kent State on Nov. 25...in his final 24 games, Dodd posted 56 assists and just 16 turnovers in 466 minutes, an average of one turnover every 29 minutes and he did not turn the ball over in the final six games of the year (62 minutes).
ASU returns 56.3 points per game after averaging a league-best 79.3 points, which accounts for 71 percent of the scoring. ASU was scheduled to return just 32.1 points per game from a 74.5 points per game mark in 1999-2000 (43.1 percent) after losing All-Pac-10 players Bobby Lazor (18.0 ppg.) and Mike Batiste (16.7 ppg.). But led by Eddie House's 23.0 scoring mark and five players averaging more than six points per game ASU led the league in scoring and was 17th in the nation. It marked just the third time in school history ASU led the Pac-10 in scoring (also in 1992-93 and 1980-81). ASU's six freshmen combined for 39.8 percent of the scoring (31.5 ppg.), 38.6 percent of the rebounding (14.9 rpg.), 37.6 percent of the steals (3.2 spg.) and 44.7 percent of the assists (7.2 apg.).