Men's Hoops Travels To Tucson

Jan. 22, 2001

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ASU VS. WILDCATS: The Arizona State men's basketball team (8-9, 0-6 in Pac-10), under third-year head coach Rob Evans, travels to Tucson to take on the No. 12 Arizona Wildcats Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. MST. The game will be carried on KFYI 550 AM in Phoenix, with Tim Healey (play-by-play) and Vic Cegles (color) calling the action. Fox Sports Net will broadcast the game with Barry Tompkins (play-by-play) and Dan Belluomini (color). The Sun Devils could continue to be without 6-9 junior Chad Prewitt (9.4 ppg. and 5.3 rpg.), who badly sprained his right ankle on Tuesday, Jan. 9, and missed the Washington (Jan. 11) and USC (Jan. 20) games. He played just 12 minutes at Washington State on Jan. 13 and just four minutes vs. UCLA on Jan. 18. Prewitt has played just 16 minutes the past four games.

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, including a 24-point effort at USC. 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 13.8 points and 14.2 rebounds in his past five 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 9.5 rebounds per game and has 63 (3.7 per game) on the offensive end and is the Pac-10 leader in both categories. 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. Storey also has posted double-digits in rebounding in the past five games and is averaging a double-double in Pac-10 play with (12.3 points and 12.2).

QUICK NOTES: ASU is outrebounding Pac-10 foes by 6.5 boards per game, the second-best mark in the league...sophomore Tommy Smith has scored in double-digits in the past three games, a first in his 49-game career. He posted double digits in just five games all of last season. He played a career-high 26 minutes vs. USC on Jan. 20...Alton Mason has 60 assists and just 31 turnovers on the year. ASU's lone senior is shooting 84 percent (21-of-25) from the free throw line in Pac-10 play...ASU has outrebounded 13 of its 17 opponents...sophomore Shawn Redhage is shooting 85.5 percent (65-of-76) from the free throw line on the year...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 is averaging 16.0 offensive rebounds...ASU led the Pac-10 in offensive boards last year at 15.78 per game...ASU has had six different players lead the team in scoring (Prewitt, Storey, Tommy Smith, Mason, Shawn Redhage and Donnell Knight).

ASU VS. THE WILDCATS: ASU had season-lows in points (55), free throws made (six), free-throw percentage (.545) and first-half points (22) in its 82-55 loss to fifth-ranked Arizona on Jan. 26 in Tempe, and then fell at the fourth-ranked Wildcats on Feb. 26, losing 89-82. The Wildcats came out hot and raced to a 23-4 lead with 9:30 left in the first half. The lead would hit 19 three more times and get to 21 once in the first half before ASU closed with a 9-0 run to trail 35-23 at intermission. Arizona would maintain a sizeable lead in the second stanza and went up 67-50 before the Sun Devils mounted their comeback, closing it to 73-70 with 3:28 to go in the game. UA went to the free throw line 44 times and shot 52.8 percent from the field in that win. UA leads the overall series 124-72, as UA has won the past 10. The last time ASU beat Arizona was on March 11, 1995, when ASU beat the Wildcats 103-98 in double overtime in Tucson. The Cats have won the past 13 games in Tucson by an average score of 20.8 points, but two of the past three years ASU has actually led at the half (1998 and 1999).

ROB EVANS: Rob Evans (127-119/.516) 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 41-38 (.519) 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 83-54 (.606) 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 St. (3,776), Seattle/Pullman (2,216), Oregon/Oregon St. (2,020) and NCSU 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).

PLAYER NOTES/SEASON AND CAREER HIGHS

#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 13.8 points and 14.2 rebounds in his past five games...five straight games in double figures in rebounding...11 boards vs. USC on Jan. 20...21 points and 16 boards vs. UCLA on Jan. 18...10 points and 15 boards at UW on Jan. 11...13 points and 16 boards at WSU on Jan. 13...17 points and 13 boards vs. Cal 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: Had 10 points and eight boards vs. USC on Jan. 20...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...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 12 games...17 points and six boards vs. USC on Jan. 20...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: Has played just 16 minutes the past four games due to sprained right ankle...hurt the ankle in practice on Jan. 9...played just four minutes vs. UCLA on Jan. 18 due to right ankle sprain...missed Jan. 11 game at Washington and Jan. 20 game vs. USC...played just 12 minutes at Washington State on Jan. 13...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.

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 31-member 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).

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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