Men's Hoops Travels To San Diego State On Saturday

Dec. 11, 2000

ASU TRAVELS TO SAN DIEGO TO FACE AZTECS: The Arizona State men's basketball team (5-1), under third-year head coach Rob Evans, travels to San Diego State (4-3) on Saturday, Dec. 16, for a game with Steve Fisher's Aztecs at 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MST in Cox Arena (12,414). 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 10 games this year. ASU is off to its best start since it also was 5-1 in 1994-95, when it advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. ASU is trying to go 6-1 for the first time since 1992-93. The Sun Devils have held five of their six opponents under 70 points and are holding opponents to just 35.8 percent (113-of-316) from the field, the best mark in the Pac-10, and just 62.0 points per game, third-best in the league.

SOME SOLID NUMBERS FROM THE PAST TWO GAMES: In its past two outings, ASU has held BYU and Kent State to just 30-of-114 (.263) from the floor. BYU was 22-11 last year and Kent State was 23-8, and both teams had the majority of their players returning. The 15-point loss was the worst for Kent State since it fell at Dayton in its season opener 89-73 on Nov. 14, 1998, while the 28-point loss was the worst for BYU since it fell at Oregon 93-62 on Dec. 5, 1998.

ABOUT THAT DEFENSE: The defensive efforts against BYU (Dec. 2) and Kent State (Nov. 25) were among the best by a Rob Evans-coached team. In his 235 games as a head coach dating to when he took over Ole Miss in 1992-93, those two games rank second and fifth for field goal percentage defense . A look at the top five defensive efforts by an Evans' squad in his nine years.

Rk. Pct. FG-A Opponent/Evans' Team Date

1. .200 13-65Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Ole Miss Nov. 24, 1997

2. .254 15-59 Brigham Young at Arizona State Dec. 2, 2000

3. .258 16-62 Alabama vs. Ole Miss Feb. 12, 1997

4. .271 16-59 Delaware State at Ole Miss Dec. 20, 1994

5. .273 15-55 Kent State at Arizona State Nov. 25, 2000

QUICK NOTES THROUGH SIX GAMES: ASU has outrebounded its opponent in each of its first six games...ASU is averaging 14.3 offensive rebounds in its first six games and is outrebounding its opponents by 7.8 boards per contest. ASU led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds last year at 15.78 per game...ASU has five players averaging in double figures, with junior Awvee Storey leading the way at 15.0 points per game...Chad Prewitt has started 38 straight games...ASU has had four different players lead the team in scoring in its six games (Prewitt, Awvee Storey, Alton Mason and Shawn Redhage)...Alton Mason has 26 assists and 15 steals through six games with just six turnovers. He leads the Pac-10 in assist/turnover ratio (4.33)...ASU is 19-5 (.792) when leading at the half in the past two seasons.

VS. SDSU: ASU leads the series with San Diego State 14-9 and ASU has won four straight, with the Aztecs last winning 80-73 in 1978-79 in the last meeting in San Diego. ASU is 4-6 vs. SDSU in San Diego and is 10 -3 vs. SDSU in Tempe. Last year in Tempe on Dec. 18, Eddie House scored 37 first-half points en route to a then school-record 46 to lead ASU to a 99-85 win. ASU led by 20 at the half (55-35) and got 40 points from its bench in the win. SDSU got 17 offensive rebounds and outrebounded ASU 39-37.

ROB EVANS: Rob Evans (124-111/.528) 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 38-30 (.559) 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 80-46 (.635) in the past five seasons.

MILEAGE: 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 since the beginning of last season.

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. 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.

OVERTIME: 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 last year for the Sun Devil on Feb. 5, when he led ASU with 16 points vs. Oregon. Knight last 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 and how he has continued the trend this year:

Statistic First 20 Games Final 12 Games 2000-2001

FG % 20-70 (.286) 35-61 (.574) 31-59 (.525)

FT % 8-29 (.400) 19-24 (.792) 20-25 (.800)

3-PT % 2-17 (.118) 8-14 (.571) 5-11 (.455)

Rebounds 38 (1.9 per game) 51 (4.3 per game) 34 (5.7)

Assists 15 (0.75 per game) 17 (1.42 per game) 17 (2.8)

Steals 2 (0.1 per game) 7 (0.58 per game) 1 (0.2)

Minutes 233 (11.7 per game) 245 (20.4 per game) 197 (32.8)

PREWITT'S IMPROVEMENT: 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 and he has continued the trend early this season. A look at Prewitt's numbers over his first three seasons:

Statistic 1998-99 (Fr.) 1999-2000 (So.) 2000-2001 (Jr.)

Points Per Game 4.1 9.0 12.7

Minutes Per Game 15.3 22.0 26.0

Games Started/Played 8/30 32/32 6/6

Offensive Rebounds 36 61 21

Double-Digit Scoring 2 games 17 games 5 games

Pac-10 Points Per Game 2.6 10.2 --

Pac-10 Minutes Per Game 10.6 24.2 --

Pac-10 FT % 15-22 (.682) 48-65 (.738) --

Pac-10 Rebs. Per Game 1.4 4.7 --

ON THE TUBE: Arizona State makes 18 television appearances this year, including 10 locally on Fox Sports Arizona. ABC will broadcast its first game from Tempe since 1996-97 when it televises the Jan. 20 game vs. USC at 4 p.m. MST. ASU also will appear on CBS for the first time since 1996-97 when its Feb. 17 game at UCLA is shown at 1 p.m. PT/2 p.m. MST. Fox Sports Net will broadcast the remaining six games, including both Arizona broadcasts, with ASU travelling to Tucson on Jan. 24 and the Wildcats coming to Tempe on Feb. 21. Both of those Wednesday tilts begin at 8:30 p.m. MST.

TRAVEL PLANS: ASU will depart on America West #2186 from Phoenix to San Diego at 5:09 p.m. MST on Friday, Dec. 15 and arrive in San Diego at 5:18 p.m. PT. ASU leaves for Phoenix Sunday at 10 a.m. on America West # 2561 and return at 12:18 p.m. MST. ASU will stay at the Marriott Mission Valley (619-209-6640).

QUICK PLAYER NOTES#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: Had 11 points in 14 minutes vs. BYU on Dec. 2...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.

#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 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: Came off the bench in each Pac-10 game last year 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...11 points and six assists vs. BYU on Dec. 2...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...20 points and eight boards vs. BYU on Dec. 2...was the only Sun Devil to start in all 32 games last year and has started the past 38 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 last year, 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).

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 18-3 (.857) at home over the past two seasons and has won 16 straight home games over non-conference foes.

REGARDING HOME OPENERS: ASU beat Southern Utah 94-72 on Nov. 17, 2000, to win its 11th straight home opener. Rob Evans is 8-1 in home openers in his nine seasons as a head coach. Evans is 3-0 in home openers since coming to ASU. ASU beat San Jose State 68-49 on Nov. 13, 1998, to win its ninth straight home opener in Rob Evans first game as ASU coach. San Jose State's 49 points was the fewest in an opener since ASU beat California Western 71-47 in 1960-61 and the fewest by an opponent in the Evans era. The last time ASU lost a home opener was on Dec. 5, 1989, when ASU fell to BYU 65-64, a streak of 10 straight.

FALL SIGNEE JASON BRAXTON: The Arizona State men's basketball program signed Jason Braxton (Moreno Valley, Calif./Canyon Springs High School) in the fall signing period. Braxton, a 6-2 guard who can play both the point and the wing, will join the Sun Devil roster in 2001-2002. 'Jason is a very versatile and smart player who can help us immediately next year,' says Rob Evans. 'This is a great signee for us. Our staff searched the country this past year and after watching Jason numerous times, we felt he was the best point guard prospect for our system. His toughness and leadership ability is tremendous. He pushes the ball in transition and is very smart. He committed to us early, so it was obvious that he wanted to be a Sun Devil. We only have two scholarships available because of the youth on the team so we had to be very selective. He is another piece of the puzzle that we now have in building this program into a great one. He joins freshmen and sophomores that were rated very highly in all the scouting services.' The Sporting News ranks Braxton as the 16th-best point guard prospect, calling him 'probably the most athletic point guard in the class' and he was rated by ESPN.com as the 41st-best overall prospect in the nation and by The HoopScoop as the 44th best player. He averaged 15 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in his junior season. CNNSI.com also rates him as the 22nd-best point guard in the nation and Bob Gibbons has him as a top-100 player. Canyon Springs also is where current ASU linebacker Solomon Bates graduated from in 1999. Also, Kenny Crandall, who was a freshman in 1998-99 and started in 23 games, went on a two-year Mormon Mission to Eugene, Ore., and will return to the Sun Devils in 2001-2002. Crandall, a native of Mesa, Ariz., and a 6-4 swingman who prepped at Mountain View High School, averaged 5.9 points and 28.4 minutes per game in his initial season. He will have three years of eligibility beginning in 2001-2002. Alton Mason is the lone senior on this year's Sun Devil squad. The spring signing period runs from April 11-May 15.

EVANS A VOTER: Rob Evans is one of the 31 head coaches on The USA TODAY/ESPN Board of Coaches which votes on the Coaches Top 25. The 2000-01 voting panel also includes Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Eddie Fogler (South Carolina), Bob Huggins (Cincinnat), Gene Keady (Purdue), Rick Majerus (Utah), Dave Odom (Wake Forest) and Oliver Purnell (Dayton).

2000-2001 ASU record tendencies

Outrebounded opp. 5-1

Outscored opp.'s bench 2-0

Led at halftime 5-1

Shot more FTs than the opp. 3-0

Shot better from field than opp. 5-0

Shot worse from field than opp. 0-1

Shot 50 pct. or better from field 2-0

Shot less than 50 pct. from the field 3-1

Opp. shot 50 pct or better from field 0-0

Opp. shot less than 50 pct. from field 5-1

Committed less/same

turnovers than their opp. 4-1

Committed more turnovers than opp. 1-0

Played at home 4-0

Played on neutral court 1-1

ON MISSIONS: Kenny Crandall, who was a freshman in 1998-99 and started in 23 games, went on a two-year Mormon Mission to Eugene, Ore., and will return to the Sun Devils in 2001-2002. Crandall, a native of Mesa, Ariz., and a 6-4 swingman who prepped at Mountain View High School, averaged 5.9 points and 28.4 minutes per game in his initial season. He will have three years of eligibility. Also, Dewy DeWitt, a walk-on from Show Low, Ariz., who redshirted last year and received a full academic scholarship, left for his mission Aug. 30 to Trujillo, Peru. He returns July 30, 2002 and will have four years of eligibility.

ALUMNI LUNCHEONS: The ASU Alumni Association is sponsoring three luncheons with Rob Evans. The luncheons will be held Dec. 18, Jan. 22 and Feb. 19 from noon-1 p.m. at Monti's La Casa Vieja in Tempe. Cost is $15 per person. For more information, contact the ASU Alumni at 480-965-ALUM (965-2586).

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