MBKB Game Notes For UNLV Game Tuesday On ESPN2
March 11, 2002
SUN DEVILS (14-14, 7-11 in Pac-10) PLAY IN NIT AT UNLV TUESDAY ON ESPN2
Winner to face South Carolina/Virgina winner on March 18 or 19
Tuesday, Mar. 12--vs. UNLV (20-10)
8 p.m. PT/9 p.m. MST
Thomas and Mack Center--ESPN2/KFYI 550 AM
NIT First Round--Las Vegas, Nevada
SUN DEVILS ENTER POSTSEASON: The Arizona State men's basketball team (14-14, 7-11 in Pac-10) will play the UNLV Runnin' Rebels on Tuesday, March 12, at 8 p.m. PT/9 p.m. MST in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament. Tim Healey and ASU Hall of Famer Lionel Hollins have the radio call on the Sun Devil Radio Network, while Bob Carpenter and Jimmy Dykes have the call on ESPN2. ASU beat four NCAA Tournament teams, including three from the Pac-10, this season as ASU beat Oregon 95-88 on Jan. 6, No. 10 Arizona 88-72 on Jan. 23 and won at No. 20 UCLA 69-68 on Feb. 16. It marked the first time ASU has topped Arizona and UCLA in the same season since 1985-86. The Sun Devils were 13-9 on the year in mid-February but three key injuries and a streak of games to finish the year against six straight ranked teams put ASU at 14-14 to finish the regular season. ASU went 4-9 against NCAA Tournament teams as it also beat Utah 71-62 on Dec. 4 and finished the season by playing 11 of its final 13 games against NCAA Tournament teams. The game against UNLV will mark ASU's first game against an unranked opponent since Feb. 9 when ASU beat Washington.
ASU and UNLV have met twice, with the Sun Devils winning both games. ASU beat UNLV 79-70 on Dec. 5, 1998, at America West Arena in Phoenix in Rob Evans first season at ASU and also won 84-81 on March 20, 1975, in the NCAA Tournament in Portland. Current Sun Devils Kenny Crandall (nine points on three three-point field goals) and Chad Prewitt (five points, five assists and nine rebounds) were the only two current Sun Devils to play in the game in 1998. UNLV is 20-10 on the year and 16-3 at home and lost in the Mountain West Conference Championship game in Las Vegas on Saturday to San Diego State 78-75.
TOUGH GAMES DOWN THE STRETCH: ASU's six-game stretch to finish the regular season was the first time in school history it played six straight ranked teams. ASU's 1974-75 team played four straight ranked teams, also to finish the season. ASU beat No. 19 Arizona 107-92 to conclude the regular season that year and then went on to the NCAA Tournament where it beat No. 10 Alabama 97-94 in Tempe. ASU then played in Portland where it beat No. 16 UNLV 84-81 before losing to top-ranked UCLA 89-75.
NIT: ASU will make its eighth appearance in the postseason NIT and has a 3-7 (.300) mark ...ASU's last appearance was in 1999-2000, when it beat New Mexico State 83-77 on March 15 in Tempe but lost at North Carolina State 60-57 on March 21...overall, ASU is 20-27 (.426) in postseason.
Year Score(s) Site 1999-2000 NC State 60, ASU 57 (second round) Raleigh 1999-2000 ASU 83, New Mexico State 77 (first round) Tempe 1997-98 Hawaii 90, ASU 73 Honolulu 1993-94 BYU 74, ASU 67 Provo 1992-93 Georgetown 78, ASU 68 Tempe 1991-92 Utah 60, ASU 58 (second round) Tempe 1991-92 ASU 71, Cal-Santa Barbara 58 (first round) Santa Barbara 1989-90 Long Bearch State 86, ASU 71 Tempe 1982-83 Texas Christian 78, ASU 76 (second round) Tempe 1982-83 ASU 87, Cal State Fullerton 83 (first round) Tempe
THE INJURY BREAKDOWN: The Sun Devils are led by All-Pac-10 honoree Chad Prewitt, who has led ASU in scoring in 15 of the past 20 games and averaged 18.9 points and 7.3 boards in Pac-10 play, both sixth in the league. Prewit played the last three games with a partially torn ligament in his right (shooting) elbow which he hurt on Feb. 25 in practice. Prewitt showed the ability to shoot the three this year, as he is 24-of-49 (.490) from beyond the arc in the past 13 games. He hit 5-of-7 at Stanford on Jan. 31 and was 5-of-5 at UCLA on Feb. 16. Prewitt had a career-high 33 points vs. Washington on Feb. 9, the most points by a Sun Devil since Eddie House had 40 vs. UCLA on Feb. 17, 2000, a span of the past 65 games. He also is 18-of-24 (.750) from the free throw line in his past four games.
Senior Awvee Storey and sophomore Kenny Crandall returned to the lineup late in the year after missing games with injury. Storey was poked in the eye on Feb. 9 against Washington and has a swollen left retina and a laceration of the lower left eyelid. He missed the next three games before returning for the Feb. 28 Cal game. Storey has started 15 games and is averaging 15.7 minutes per game. He has notched eight double-figure scoring games this year. He led the Pac-10 in rebounding last year at 9.1 caroms per contest.
ASU also was without Crandall for six games as he sprained a ligament in his right foot on Jan. 31 at Stanford. Crandall is averaging 19.2 minutes per game after returning last week. He is 35-of-82 (.427) from the three-point stripe on the year. In Pac-10 play, he was 21-of-46 (.457). He averaged 7.3 points and shot 50 percent from the field in Pac-10 tilts (28-of-56).
SCRIBE AWARD: Jeff Faraudo of the Oakland Tribune surveyed 25 beat writers of Pac-10 basketball on various topics at the end of the regular season and ASU senior Chad Prewitt was voted the league's most underrated player. Prewitt got nine votes, outdistancing Luke Jackson and Luke Ridnour of Oregon, Phillip Ricci of OSU who each to two votes. Prewitt also got one vote for league's best interview while Curtis Millage got a vote for the top defensive player.
COMBINE THE TWO: With Crandall and Storey out of the rotation, ASU statistically was without 35.6 minutes, 13.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game (stats before the injured players returned). Players stepped up, as Storey actually only played two minutes vs. Washington State on Feb. 7 due to a lower back sprain. Curtis Millage, who leads the team in minutes played at 29.8 per game, is the only Sun Devil to play 40 minutes when he went the distance against Washington on Feb. 9. Donnell Knight played a season-high 28 minutes at Arizona while Chad Prewitt played a career-high 38 vs. Washington en route to his career-high 33 points. Knight posted back-to-back double-digit points for the only time this year with 14 points and 10 boards vs. Washington State and 10 points vs. Washington. He has made his past 10 free throws. Also, senior Brad Nahra played a career-high 32 minutes in the win at No. 20 UCLA on Feb. 16 and had four assists.
QUICK NOTES: ASU is 14-3 (.824) when it leads at the half but 0-10 when it trails and 0-1 when tied (at Cal, tied at 29)...freshman point guard Jason Braxton averaged 8.6 points in the 10 games against ranked opponents and is averaging 25.7 minutes in the past 13 games...junior point guard Kyle Dodd has 66 assists and just 20 turnovers on the year, a ratio of 3.30-to-1. In the past 20 games, he has 44 assists and just 14 turnovers...ASU is 26-4 (.867) under Evans when it shoots at least 50 percent, including a 16-2 (.889) mark in the past two seasons...Awvee Storey earned his Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in communications and sociology at ASU's Dec. 15 mid-year commencement...sophomore Justin Allen played a season-high 16 minutes vs. Washington State on Feb. 9. He is 7-of-15 (.467) from beyond the three-point stripe in the past eight games...after starting the season 3-of-19 (.158) from beyond the three-point stripe in the first seven games, Curtis Millage is 27-of-74 (.365) in the past 21 games...ASU averaged 16.78 assists per game in Pac-10 play, first in the loop.
EXHIBIT A: Chad Prewitt is the first four-year player in Rob Evans' tenure at ASU and it is tough to remember any Pac-10 player improving any more than 'Big Red' from a freshman to a senior season. ASU has been void of four-year players in its recent history, with only Eddie House (1996-2000), Jeremy Veal (1994-98), Quincy Brewer (1992-97) and Ron Riley (1992-96) playing four seasons beginning with the 1992-93 season. Prewitt, who is the 27th Sun Devil to score 1,000 points with 1,167, is averaging 17.3 points per game this year and is shooting .531 from the field. He is averaging 18.8 points and 7.8 boards in the past 20 games. Prewitt has 12 20-point games on the year (28 games) after posting just two in his first three seasons (89 games). A note on his improvement: Prewitt scored more points in the Jan. 4-6 weekend sweep of the Oregon schools (52 points) when he earned Pac-10 Player of the Week than he did his whole Pac-10 freshman season (1998-99), as he had 46 points in 18 games.
ONE MORE IMPROVEMENT NOTE: How big of a improvement has Prewitt made to become the 18th leading scorer in ASU history? Only one other player in ASU's top 25 chart scored less in his first year. ASU 1988 Hall of Fame inductee Fat Lever is currently 19th on the ASU scoring chart with 1,137 points but averaged just 3.6 points in his freshman year of 1978-79. Lever ended up averaging 9.2 points in his sophomore year, 11.6 in his junior year and 16.6 in his senior year for a 10.1 career average. Prewitt averaged just 4.1 points in his freshman year.
REDHAGE AT THE LINE: Junior Shawn Redhage, tied for the fourth-best free throw percentage mark in ASU history, has made 30-of-40 (.750) from the line this year. Redhage had a season-high 13 points at California on Feb. 2 is averaging 16.9 minutes and 6.2 points in the past 14 games and is shooting 52.9 percent (37-of-70) from the field in that time. He played a season-high 24 minutes at Washington State on Jan. 12 and posted eight points and also played 24 minutes vs. Washington on Feb. 9. He had seven assists vs. UCLA on Jan. 17 and had eight points and six boards at UCLA on Feb. 16 in 15 minutes.
ASU CAREER FREE THROWSRk. Name (Seasons) FT-A Pct.1. Alex Austin (1986-90) 255-313 .8152. Rick Taylor (1974-78) 253-311 .8143. Dennis Hamilton (1963-66) 261-321 .813T4. Shawn Redhage (1999-pres.) 169-209 .809T4. Isaac Burton (1993-95) 208-257 .809
IMPACT RECRUIT: Junior Curtis Millage made his mark in his initial season, as he is one of three players to start all 28 games (Tommy Smith and Chad Prewitt are the others) and leads the team in minutes per game at 29.9. He averaged 13.9 points in Pac-10. In his past 24 games, he is averaging 14.0 points, including a season-high 27 at Arizona on Feb. 20 and 24 at Washington State on Jan. 12. He is 40-of-51 (.784) from the free throw line in the past 15 games and is averaging 5.1 boards in his past 13 games, including 11 at California on Feb. 2. He played 40 minutes vs. Washington on Feb. 9 and is averaging 31.6 minutes in the past seven games.
ROB EVANS: Rob Evans (146-140/.510) is in his fourth season at Arizona State in 2001-2002 (tenth overall) 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 55-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 60-59 (.504) 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 nationally. 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 102-74 (.580) in the past six seasons.