Men's Hoops Takes On USC At 4 p.m. Saturday
Jan. 19, 2001
ASU VS. TROJANS: The Arizona State men's basketball team (8-8, 0-5 in Pac-10), under third-year head coach Rob Evans, plays host to the 24th-ranked USC Trojans (Saturday, Jan. 20, at 4 p.m. MST) at Wells Fargo Arena/Ned Wulk Court (14,198). The game will be carried on KFYI 550 AM in Phoenix, with Tim Healey (play-by-play) and Vic Cegles (color) calling the action. ABC will broadcast Saturday's game against USC with Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Jay Bilas (color). The Sun Devils, who fell 91-83 to UCLA on Thursday, could be without 6-9 junior Chad Prewitt (10.1 ppg. and 5.7 rpg.), who badly sprained his right ankle last Tuesday (Jan. 9) and missed the Washington game (Jan. 11) and played just 12 minutes at Washington State last Saturday and just four minutes vs. UCLA Thursday.
SHELL AND ALLEN OUT FOR SEASON: Two Sun Devils who played solid roles as freshman last year must redshirt this season. Tanner Shell, who averaged 9.1 points per game in Pac-10 games including a 24-point effort at USC, broke his left hand in practice in late December and will miss the remainder of the year. Shell had played in just the season opener due to a bulging disc in his back but was practicing for ASU's holiday tournament and was expected to return to the rotation. Last year he had six double-figure scoring games and averaged seven points per game. His 9.1 points per game in Pac-10 play was third on the team. Also, sophomore Justin Allen is redshirting after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease in late September. Allen's treatments have been going well and he is expected to return to the court next season.
STOREY ON THE BOARDS: Awvee Storey, A 6-6 junior who led the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds last year, is averaging 15.3 points and 15.0 rebounds in his past four contests. Storey grabbed 15 boards at Washington and then had a career-high with 16 at Washington State and 16 again vs. UCLA. The 16 boards is the most by a Sun Devil since Mike Batiste had 18 in a triple-overtime win at Texas A & M on Dec. 19, 1998. Storey is averaging 9.4 rebounds per game and has 60 (3.8 per game) on the offensive end. He also has four 20-point games. The only Sun Devils to post 20-point games last year were Storey (3), Pac-10 Player of the Year Eddie House (17) and Tanner Shell (1). Including Storey, five Sun Devils have posted 20-point games, as Alton Mason has three, Chad Prewitt two and sophomores Donnell Knight and Tommy Smith one each.
NOT TO DRAG THIS OUT, BUT...: The loss of Tanner Shell to a broken left hand is magnified when looking at his numbers vs. UCLA and USC last year. Shell played a huge part in the first home sweep of the LA schools since 1986, as he was 10-of-13 (.769) from the field, 4-of-5 (.800) from the three-point line and made all four free throws in the sweep of UCLA and USC on Feb. 17-19. He had 17 points, 14 of them in the second half, vs. USC and had 12 vs. UCLA. He posted 24 points at USC on Jan. 20 and also had 13 at UCLA on Jan. 22. Shell was 8-of-16 (.500) from the floor and 3-of-6 (.500) from the three-point stripe and had 17 points in the second half at USC. In Los Angeles, he was 12-of-24 (.500) from the field, 6-of-12 (.500) from the three-point stripe and 7-of-9 (.777) from the FT line and averaged 18.5 points (24 at USC and 13 at UCLA). He also did not make a turnover in 50 minutes.
QUICK NOTES: ASU had its flight cancelled from Seattle to Spokane last Friday in between the UW-WSU games and as a result arrived in Moscow at its hotel at 1:45 a.m. ASU took a 10 p.m. flight to Spokane and then took a two-hour bus trip to Pullman for its 3 p.m. game. The Sun Devil 'layover' for its 35-minute flight was close to 10 hours...ASU outrebounded Washington by 24 (55-31), the fourth-best rebounding margin by any Evans' team in his 245 games as a head coach, and had 24 offensive rebounds vs. the Huskies...Alton Mason played a career-high 44 minutes at Washington and played 40 minutes vs. UCLA...with the injury to Prewitt, Tyson Johnston played a career-high 28 minutes at Washington...ASU has outrebounded its opponent in 12 of its 16 games...ASU is averaging 15.9 offensive rebounds, best in the Pac-10, and is outrebounding its opponents by 6.2 boards per contest. ASU led the Pac-10 in offensive boards last year at 15.78 per game...four players are averaging in double figures, with Storey leading the way at 14.0 ppg....ASU has had six different players lead the team in scoring (Prewitt, Storey, Tommy Smith, Mason, Shawn Redhage and Donnell Knight)...Tommy Smith posted 11 points vs. UCLA on Thursday and had 14 at Washington State, the first time he has posted double-digit scoring numbers in back-to-back games in his 48-game career.
ASU vs. USC: ASU and USC played two tough games last year with USC winning a 95-92 overtime game at USC on Jan. 20 and the Sun Devils topping the Trojans 93-81 in Tempe on Feb. 19. USC leads the series 34-26 and ASU head coach Rob Evans is 1-3 against Henry Bibby and the Trojans. Last year, freshman Tanner Shell averaged 20.5 points against the Trojans in the two games off the bench, but this year he will remain on the bench as he recovers from a broken left hand.
ROB EVANS: Rob Evans (127-118/.518) 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 41-37 (.526) 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 83-53 (.610) 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 BYU (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). Add this year's Nov. 9-12 trip to the NABC Classic in Chapel Hill (3,776), the Dec. 16 game at San Diego State (750) and the trip to Seattle/Pullman this year (2,216), and ASU has flown 27,620 miles since the beginning of last season.
QUICKLY ABOUT LAST YEAR: The ASU 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, posted a Pac-10 road sweep for the first time since 1996 to begin the second half at WSU/UW 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). 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 teams along the way (Cal, WSU, UW and OSU).
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. ASU also had five players reached double-digits in its 91-78 win over Charlotte on Dec. 30. Last season, ASU had five players reach double digits just twice (at American Puerto Rico and vs. Cal).
#1 ALTON MASON: ASU's lone senior...averaged 12.7 points in his final seven games last year...20 points, including 7-of-9 (.778) from the free throw line, vs. UCLA on Jan. 18...25 points vs. California on Jan. 6...30 points vs. #2 Stanford on Jan. 4...15 points vs. Charlotte on Dec. 30...career-high eight boards vs. Tulsa on Nov. 10...18 points vs. Winthrop on Nov. 11.
#11 AWVEE STOREY: Four 20-point games on the season...seven double-doubles on year...averaging 15.3 points and 15.0 rebounds in his past four games...21 points and 16 boards vs. UCLA on Jan. 18...10 points and 15 boards at Washington on Jan. 11...13 points and 16 boards at Washington State on Jan. 13...17 points and 13 boards vs. California on Jan. 6...18 points and 14 rebounds vs. Ohio on Dec. 29...21 points and 11 boards at SDSU on Dec. 16...suffered a partially torn lateral rectus muscle in the left eye the week of the SDSU game...posted 21 points and 12 boards vs. Kent State on Nov. 25...26 points vs. Southern Utah on Nov. 17...Pac-10 leader in offensive boards last year with 105.
#4 TOMMY SMITH: Posted 11 points and six boards vs. UCLA on Jan. 18...led ASU with 14 points, including 8-of-10 from three throw line, at Washington State on Jan. 14...posted 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting vs. Belmont on Dec. 22...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...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 11 games...15 points and 13 boards at Washington on Jan. 11 for first double-double...11 points at Washington State on Jan. 13...15 points vs. Charlotte on Dec. 30...13 points, seven boards and seven assists vs. Belmont on Dec. 22...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 in early November.
#22 TYSON JOHNSTON: Has three years of eligibity remaining after transferring from Utah after 1998-99...started both games of Washington trip due to ankle injury to Chad Prewitt...six points, five boards and four blocks at Washington on Jan. 11 in first career start...21 minutes and four points vs. #2 Stanford on Jan. 4...nine points and five boards at SDSU on Dec. 16.
#42 SHAWN REDHAGE: An excellent student-athlete who has a 3.3 GPA in construction science...16 points vs. UCLA on Jan. 18...14 points and seven boards vs. Stanford on Jan. 4...19 points and 12 boards vs. Charlotte on Dec. 30...earned ASU Holiday Classic All-Tournament honors...18 points and eight boards, including 9-9 FTs, vs. Mercer on Dec. 20...10 points, eight rebounds and six assists at SDSU on Dec. 16...11 points and six assists vs. BYU on Dec. 2...had 19 points vs. Tulsa in season opener and then had 17 vs. Winthrop.
#52 CHAD PREWITT: Played just four minutes vs. UCLA on Jan. 18 due to right ankle sprain...missed Jan. 11 game at Washington and played just 12 minutes at Washington State on Jan. 13...sprained ankle in practice on Jan. 9...averaged 9.0 ppg, third on the team last year...23 points, including three three-pointers, vs. Charlotte on Dec. 30...20 points and eight boards vs. BYU on Dec. 2...12-31 (.387) from the three-point stripe in his career...was the only Sun Devil to start in all 32 games last year and had started the previous 45 games prior to Washington game...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: Notched 15 points vs. Charlotte on Dec. 30...eight points and six boards in 31 minutes vs. Kent State on Nov. 25...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...in his final 24 games last year, he 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).
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.
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.
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