Men's Hoops Signs Three In Early Signing Period
Nov. 14, 2001
The Arizona State men's basketball program has signed three high school seniors in the early signing period, head coach Rob Evans announced today. The trio includes Serge Angounou (Rio Grande High School/Albuquerque, N.M.), Ike Diogu (Garland High School/Garland, Texas) and Allen Morill (Sam Houston High School/Arlington, Texas). All three will join the Sun Devil program in the fall of 2002.
'We are thrilled that we could get these three great players to commit to ASU as we strive to make this program one of the best not only in the Pac-10, but in the nation,' says Evans. 'All three players were recruited by top schools and they are going to join a strong nucleus next year. Our current junior class set the stage a few years ago when we came to ASU, and these kids on their recruiting visits felt the atmosphere in our program was the best one for them. They all can have an immediate impact. They can not only get up and down the floor but they can get to the glass and most importantly finish plays. We have guys in the program now who can pass and make smart decisions, and these guys will be recipients of those playmakers in the future.'
'The whole process was a great reminder to me of how valuable our staff is and also how much pride our team has in recruiting. Each player was asking daily about the situation. The staff worked very hard and the players are determined to build the program and they understand recruiting is one of the top priorities. It was a tremendous team effort.
The recruitment of Diogu marks the second straight fall ASU has signed a top-50 player. Current freshman Jason Braxton was ranked 47th by Clark Francis of the HoopScoop last year, and Diogu checks in at No. 40 on his list this year.
'Ike's signing is special because of the teams that were involved until the end. We have confidence in our program and Ike showed everyone he does as well. He is the type of player who will make an immediate impact in the Pac-10. He has a soft touch around the basket and has some great post moves. At 6-9 and 240 pounds, he will be strong enough as a freshman to score and rebound. We expect him to make a big impact in his first year and yet we know with his work ethic his potential is unlimited.'
Diogu, who averaged 17 points, 12 boards and four blocks in his junior season, chose ASU over Illinois, UCONN, Seton Hall and Georgetown, and has been ranked as a consistent top-50 player and one of the best forwards in the nation. He is ranked No. 21 by ESPN.com, #37 by Prepstars, #40 by HoopScoop (Clark Francis) and No. 41 by CBS Sportsline (Tony Mejia) and #89 by The Sporting News (Dave Telep). He is coached at Garland by Phil Sirois and Lance Harper.
Angounou, who helped lead Rio Grande to the state regionals last year, moved to Albuquerque from the West African nation of Cameroon in the summer of 2000 and averaged 15 points and 7.9 rebounds as a junior. He was a third-team All-Metro pick by the Albuquerque Tibune as Rio Grande won the District 2-5A regular season title. He also has a 3.8 grade point average and English is his second language. Fox Sports has him in its top-100 list.
Angounou, a 6-7, 205-pounder, was ranked by Prep West Hoops as one of the top five small forwards on the west coast and played for the Arizona Pump N' Run (Arizona Slam) this summer. He was named the Most Valuable Player at this past summer's Arizona Preps Diamond Discovery. He is coached at Rio Grande by Ron Garcia.
'Serge can play a lot of positions for us as he is very athletic. His motor does not stop running, as he played soccer his whole life. His intensity is incredible, and he is a honor student, so he's very valuable to this program.'
Morill, a 6-6, 220-pound forward, attends Sam Houston High School in Arlington, Texas, and played for the Texas Blue Chips AAU team with Diogu. He averaged 14 points and seven boards last year playing for David Clyde. Evans saw him play last April at an AAU Tournament and says he reminds him of several players he had at Ole Miss, 'tough players who really get after you on the defensive end.'
'Allen Morill will be able to help us at three positions, but the best part of his game might be his defensive abilities. He can guard any position on the floor. He has a nice medium-range jumper and is a great finisher. He also has played football in high school, which tells you how competitive he is.'
ASU opens its 2001-2002 season this Saturday, Nov. 17, at 11:30 a.m. at Wells Fargo Arena vs. Stephen F. Austin.
2001 Arizona State Men's Basketball Fall Signees
Serge Angounou, 6-7/205, Rio Grande High School (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Ike Diogu, 6-9/240, Garland High School (Garland, Texas)
Allen Morill, 6-6/220, Sam Houston High School (Arlington, Texas)