Men's Hoops Travels To Oregon Schools

Jan. 29, 2001

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ASU OFF TO OREGON: The Arizona State men's basketball team (8-10, 0-7 in Pac-10), under third-year head coach Rob Evans, travels to Oregon to take on the Oregon State Beavers on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MST and then takes on the Oregon Ducks on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 1 p.m. PT/2 p.m. MST on Fox Sports Net. The games will be carried on KFYI 550 AM in Phoenix, with Tim Healey (play-by-play) and Vic Cegles (color) calling the action. There is no television coverage of the Oregon State game, but Fox Sports Net will broadcast Sunday's Oregon game with Steve Physioc (play-by-play) and Dan Belluomini (color).

PREWITT BACK IN ACTION: The Sun Devils received a boost last Wednesday at Arizona when 6-9 junior Chad Prewitt (9.9 ppg. and 5.4 rpg.), who badly sprained his right ankle on Jan. 9, returned to the lineup after playing just 16 minutes the previous four contests. Prewitt missed the Washington (Jan. 11) and USC (Jan. 20) games and played just 12 minutes at Washington State (Jan. 13) and just four minutes vs. UCLA (Jan. 18). Against Arizona last Wednesday, Prewitt had 18 points on 7-of-11 (.636) shooting, including two three-pointers. He added six rebounds in 31 minutes. Prewitt averaged 10.2 points in Pac-10 play last year, second on the team, and had started 45 straight games before missing the Washington game.

SHELL AND ALLEN OUT FOR SEASON: Two Sun Devils who played solid roles as freshman last year must redshirt this season due to injuries. 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 12.8 points and 12.8 rebounds in his past six 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 9.3 rebounds per game and has 64 (3.6 per game) on the offensive end and is the Pac-10 leader in both categories. Storey also has posted double-digits in rebounding five of the past six games and is averaging a double-double in Pac-10 play with (11.7 points and 11.3 rebounds).

IN THE CLASSROOM: The Sun Devil men's hoops team had one of its best semesters last fall. Seven Sun Devils posted at least a 3.0 grade point average last semester. One player's academic effort that is worth noting is sophomore Justin Allen, who passed all nine hours with a 3.33 grade point average. Sophomore Shawn Redhage, a construction science major, is an Academic All-American candidate with a 3.28 cumulative grade point average. Overall, the 14 players on the team had a 2.7 grade point average.

QUICK NOTES: ASU is outrebounding Pac-10 foes by 5.9 boards per game...sophomore Tommy Smith has scored in double-digits in the past four games and is averaging 12.0 points per game in that time. He posted double digits in just five games last season and in just two Pac-10 games. He played a career-high 26 minutes vs. USC on Jan. 20...ASU's lone senior, Alton Mason, is shooting 86.1 percent (31-of-36) from the free throw line in the past eight games...ASU has outrebounded 13 of its 18 opponents...sophomore Shawn Redhage is shooting 84.6 percent (126-of-149) from the free throw line in his career...ASU had its flight cancelled from Seattle to Spokane 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 15.9 offensive rebounds this year. ASU led the Pac-10 last year at 15.78 per game...ASU has had six different players lead the team in scoring (Prewitt, Storey, Smith, Mason, Redhage and Donnell Knight)...Storey 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.

VS. UO: ASU has split the last six games at Oregon, including a heartbreaking loss last year when Darius Wright hit a fade-away three-pointer at the buzzer as UO beat ASU 76-74. ASU leads the series 27-22 and won the 1999 meeting in Eugene 64-60 on Jan. 23, 1999. Junior Chad Prewitt is the only Sun Devil to play at McArthur Court more than once, as Alton Mason missed the 1999 game to attend his father's funeral.

VS. OSU: ASU swept OSU last year for the first time since 1995-96, including a 77-74 overtime win in Corvallis on March 4. ASU also won 75-64 on Feb. 3 in Tempe as it held OSU to 22-of-54 (.407) from the floor. Tommy Smith posted six blocks in the game in Tempe. Corvallis was not kind to ASU in 1999, as the Sun Devils fell to OSU 81-51, the worst defeat for Evans in his ASU tenure and his worst defeat since second-ranked Kentucky beat Ole Miss 90-60 back on Jan. 6, 1996. ASU is 12-4 against OSU in the past eight years overall.

ROB EVANS: Rob Evans (127-120/.514) 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 41-39 (.513) 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 83-55 (.601) 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

#1 ALTON MASON: ASU's lone senior...has made 31-of-36 (.861) free throws in the past eight games...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...season-high four steals at Washington on Jan. 11...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.

CAREER HIGHS FOR ALTON MASONPOINTS: 30 vs. #2 Stanford (1/4/01), REBOUNDS: 8 vs. Winthrop (11/11/00), ASSISTS: 12 vs. Southern Utah (11/17/00), MINUTES: 44 at Washington (1/11/01), FIELD GOALS MADE: 10 vs. California (1/6/01), FIELD GOALS ATT.: 18 vs. California (1/6/01), STEALS: 6 at California (2/27/99), 3-PTERS MADE: 6 vs. #2 Stanford (1/4/01), 3-PTERS ATT.: 9 vs. #2 Stanford (1/4/01), FTS MADE: 11 vs. Winthrop (11/11/00), FTS ATT.: 14 vs. Winthrop (11/11/00).

#11 AWVEE STOREY: Four 20-point games and seven double-doubles on year...averaging 11.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in Pac-10 play...five straight double-figure rebounding games from Jan. 6-20...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.

#4 TOMMY SMITH: Has scored in double-digits in the past four games and is averaging 12.0 points per game in that time...13 points at #12 Arizona on Jan. 24...10 points and eight boards vs. #24 USC on Jan. 20 in a career high 26 minutes...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...11 points in 14 minutes vs. BYU on Dec. 2...season-high three blocks vs. Colgate on Nov. 21...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.

CAREER HIGHS FOR TOMMY SMITHPOINTS: 20 vs. Belmont (12/22/00), REBOUNDS: 8, twice, vs. USC (1/20/01), BLOCKS: 6 vs. Oregon State (2/3/00), ASSISTS: 3 vs. San Diego State (12/18/99), MINUTES: 26 vs. USC (1/20/01), FIELD GOALS MADE: 9 vs. Belmont (12/22/00), FIELD GOALS ATT.: 11 vs. USC (1/20/01), STEALS: 3, four times, vs. UCLA (1/18/01), FTS MADE: 8, twice, at Washington State (1/13/01), FTS ATT.: 10 at Washington State (1/13/01).

#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 13 games...12 points at #12 Arizona on Jan. 24...17 points and six boards vs. #24 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.

CAREER HIGHS FOR DONNELL KNIGHTPOINTS: 21 vs. Southern Utah (11/17/00), REBOUNDS: 13 at Washington (1/11/01), BLOCKS: 2 vs. Penn St. (12/29/99), ASSISTS: 7 vs. vs. Belmont (12/22/00), MINUTES: 42 at Washington (1/11/01), FG MADE: 10 vs. Southern Utah (11/17/00), FG ATT.: 17 at San Diego St. (12/16/00), FT MADE: 6, five times, vs. Kent State (11/25/00), FT ATT.: 8 at Washington (1/11/01)

#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.

CAREER HIGHS FOR TYSON JOHNSTONPOINTS: 9 at San Diego St. (12/16/00), REBOUNDS: 5, twice, at Washington (1/11/01), BLOCKS: 4 at Washington (1/11/01), MINUTES: 28 at Washington (1/11/01), FIELD GOALS MADE: 3, twice, at Washington (1/11/01), FIELD GOALS ATT.: 6 at San Diego St. (12/16/00), FT MADE: 3 at San Diego St. (12/16/00), FT ATT.: 7 at San Diego St. (12/16/00)

#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...has made 126-of-149 (.846) free throws in his two-year career.

#52 CHAD PREWITT: Had 18 points on 7-of-11 (.636) shooting, including 2-of-2 from the three-point stripe, in 31 minutes at #12 Arizona on Jan. 24...played just 16 minutes the previous four games due to sprained right ankle suffered on Jan. 9...played just four minutes vs. UCLA on Jan. 18...missed Jan. 11 game at Washington and Jan. 20 game vs. USC...played just 12 minutes at Washington St. on Jan. 13...23 points, including three three-pointers, vs. Charlotte on Dec. 30...20 points and eight boards vs. BYU on Dec. 2...14-33 (.424) 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 6-3 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.

TRAVEL PLANS: ASU will stay at the Eugene Hilton (541-342-2000) during its stay in Oregon. The Sun Devils arrive in Eugene at 1:08 p.m. on America West #6072 on Wednesday (Jan. 31). ASU returns to Tempe on Sunday, Feb. 4, on America West #36 from Los Angeles at 11:12 p.m. after leaving from Eugene at 5:20 p.m. on America West #2445 to Los Angeles.

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