Men's Hoops Off To LA

Jan. 14, 2003

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ASU AT UCLA AND USC: The Arizona State men's basketball team (11-4; 3-1) travels to take on the UCLA Bruins (4-7; 2-1) on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. MST and then takes on the USC Trojans (6-5; 2-1) on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. PT/9 p.m MST. The UCLA game will not be televised, but the USC will be televised on Fox Sports Arizona. ASU ranks first in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.488), field goal percentage defense (.412), blocks per game (5.07) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.18).

Arizona State is coming off a sweep of the Washington schools in Tempe, as it beat Washington 89-57 on Jan. 9 and then topped Washington State 96-55 on Jan. 11. Tommy Smith led ASU against UW with 13 points, a career-high 16 boards, five assists and six blocks as ASU held UW to just 8-of-28 (.286) from the field in the second half. ASU had 13 blocks against the Huskies, the most in a Pac-10 game since Arizona set the Pac-10 record with 16 against Oregon in February of 2000. Against WSU, ASU led by as many as 31 in the first half and shot 34-of-54 (.630) from the field and held the Cougars to 19-of-63 (.302).

ASU has won seven of its past eight and is averaging just 11.9 turnovers per game in that span while holding opponents to 39.5 percent from the floor (168-of-425) and shooting 51.9 percent (229-of-441). Freshman Ike Diogu is averaging 19.0 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 61.5 percent (48-of-78) from the floor and 53-of-70 (.757) from the line and senior Tommy Smith has 20 blocks and leads the team in assists with 30 in those eight games. ASU also has shot 69.5 percent (139-of-200) from the line.

WE LIKE IKE: Freshman Ike Diogu has been all that was advertised, as he leads the team at 18.2 points (fourth in Pac-10) and 6.9 rebounds (sixth in Pac-10) per game and is averaging 29.9 minutes. The Garland, Texas, native already has been to the line a Pac-10-leading 128 times and is shooting .734 percent from the charity stripe (94-of-128). He has led ASU in scoring in eight of the past 10 games.

He is averaging 8.5 free throw attempts per contest and is the only Sun Devil to reach double digits in scoring in all 15 contests. In his past nine games, he is 60-of-77 (.779) from the free throw line. With his 27-points at Oregon, he has five 20-point games. He also became the first freshman since Bennett in 1991 to earn ASU Holiday Tournament MVP honors. With 12 more free throw attempts, Diogu will match the ASU freshman record of 140 set by Mario Bennett in 1991-92.

He posted 27 points at Oregon on Jan. 4 and against Lafayette on Nov. 30, which matches the fourth-best scoring mark by an ASU freshman and Diogu is the first Sun Devil freshman to post back-to-back 20-point games since Mario Bennett in 1991-92. The 27 points is the most by an ASU freshman since Bennett set the freshman school mark with 35 against Arizona in 1992. His double-double against Oregon State (14 points and 10 boards) was only the second double-double by an ASU freshman in the past 12 seasons (321 games) and the first since Chad Prewitt posted a double-double in December of 1998.

DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING: Only five Pac-10 players have posted double digits in every game this year: Ike Diogu (Arizona State), Joe Shipp (California), Brian Wethers (California), Phillip Ricci (Oregon State) and Luke Ridnour (Oregon).

AT THE LINE: Ike Diogu has made a living at the free throw line this year. Diogu has been to the line 128 times (8.53 attempts per game), which is on pace to break the ASU single-season mark of 234 (7.1 per game) set by Mario Bennett in 1994-95.

SUN DEVIL DATA: Tommy Smith has posted a Pac-10 leading 39 blocks on the year and has notched 30 assists in the past seven games. He posted a career-high seven assists vs. Bucknell on Dec. 27 and had a career-high 16 boards vs. Washington on Jan. 9...Jason Braxton has 11 assists and just one tunover in the four Pac-10 games (86 minutes)...in the past two seasons, ASU is 24-4 (.857) when it leads at the half...Shawn Redhage had 14 points in 15 minutes against Purdue on Dec. 21. He is 19-of-36 (.528) from the field in the past seven games...Kyle Dodd is shooting 26-of-43 (.604) from the field on the year and 14-of-20 (.700) in the past eight games...ASU has held nine opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting.

UCLA AND USC SERIES NOTES: ASU has swept a series in Los Angeles just once in its 24 Pac-10 seasons (1979-80)...ASU broke a 15-game losing streak at Pauley Pavilion last year with its 69-68 win over No. 20 UCLA. It commited just 10 turnovers as it jumped out to a 28-14 early lead...UCLA leads the series 47-11...ASU will be trying to win back-to-back games in Pauley for the first time in school history...USC leads the ASU series 38-26 and has won eight of the past nine...ASU's last win at USC came on Feb. 15, 1996. It has lost six straight to the Trojans at the Sports Arena.

VS. UW (JAN. 9): Tommy Smith posted 13 points, a career-high 16 boards, matched a career-high with six blocks and had five assists in an 89-57 win over Washington. ASU led by 11 at the half but outscored the Huskes 46-25 in the second half. Curtis Millage led ASU with 16 points while Ike Diogu had 14 points and nine boards and Jamal Hill had 14 off the bench. ASU got 32 points from its bench and shot 35-of-63 (.556) from the field and held Washington to just 20-of-59 (.339), including 8-of-28 (.286) in the second half. ASU set season-highs in defensive rebounds (32), blocks (13) and second half points (46). The 13 blocks was the most since at least the 1987-88 season, as the ASU record book doesn't have blocks, but a decent point of reference is the Pac-10 record is 16 set by Arizona vs. Oregon in 2000.

HILL UPDATE: Junior college transfer Jamal Hill has just 13 turnovers through 15 games while averaging 23.1 minutes. He is fourth on the team with 9.1 points per game and is shooting 18-of-41 (.439) from the three-point stripe. After scoring just two points against Morehead St. in the opener, Hill averaged 13 points per game in the next five contests. He is 11-of-16 (.688) from the field in the past two games and has scored in double digits in six games. He scored 14 in each game of the Washington schools sweep.

VS. WSU (JAN. 11): ASU jumped out to a 12-0 lead on Washington State and led 44-13 in the first half en route to the 96-55 win. ASU posted a season-high 48 second-half points and held WSU to just 30.2 percent (19-of-63) from the field, a season defensive-best. Ike Diogu led ASU with 17 points while Tommy Smith had 14 points and seven boards. Jamal Hill added 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

ROTATION UPDATE: Injuries have affected the rotation, as highly touted 6-8 freshman Serge Angounou will miss the season after injuring his kneecap in the first exhibition. Angounou had surgery on Nov. 15 and will apply for a redshirt. Also, swingman Kenny Crandall is still recovering from a broken fibula suffered in April and is limited. Curtis Millage, the team's top returning scorer from last year, missed the first three games due to an eligibility issue.

ROB EVANS: Rob Evans (157-145/.520) is in his fifth season at Arizona State in 2002-2003 (11th 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 after going 44-65 (.403) in his first four 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 56-year old Evans is a 1968 graduate of New Mexico State, where he captained two NCAA Tournament teams, is a 1989 inductee of the Athletic Hall of Fame and was named to the school's All-Time team. He is 71-64 (.526) at ASU. Evans' Ole Miss squads were known as 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 113-77 (.595) in the past seven seasons.

MAKING HIS MARK: Ike Diogu's 27-point performance at Oregon on Jan. 4 and against Lafayette on Nov. 30 is tied for the fourth-best freshman scoring mark in ASU history. It is the best scoring mark by a freshman since Mario Bennett set the mark with 35 against fifth-ranked Arizona on Feb. 20, 1992. A look at the top freshman scoring games in the ASU record books:

ASU FRESHMAN SINGLE-GAME POINTSRk.	Pts.	Player1.	35	Mario Bennett vs. #5 Arizona, Feb. 20, 19922.	31	Byron Scott vs. #18 Arizona, Feb. 23, 19803.	29	Jamal Faulkner vs. #2 Arkansas (NCAA), March 17, 19914.	27	Ike Diogu at #9 Oregon, Jan. 4, 2003	27	Ike Diogu vs. Lafayette, Nov. 30, 2002	27	Jamal Faulkner at Oregon, Feb. 28, 1991	27	Byron Scott vs. Arizona, Dec. 27, 19798.	25	Ike Diogu vs. Nevada, Dec. 10, 2002

DEFENSE: ASU held Oregon State to just 47 points on Jan. 2, the fewest by an ASU opponent in a Pac-10 road game since a 58-47 win at Stanford on Jan. 27, 1991. It also tied for ASU's fifth-best defensive effort in Pac-10 game. A look at the best defensive games since ASU joined the Pac-10 in 1978-79:

FEWEST POINTS AGAINST ASU IN PAC-10 GAMET-1.	41	@ASU 53, Washington 41 (Jan. 31, 1991)T-1.	41	ASU 67, @Washington State 41 (Feb. 11, 1984)T-3.	44	@ASU 82, Oregon State 44 (Feb. 25, 1995)T-4.	45	@ASU 96, Washington State 45 (Feb. 7, 2002)T-5.	47	ASU 67, @Oregon State 47 (Jan. 2, 2003)T-5.	47	Washington 47, @ASU 46 (Jan. 9, 1982)T-5.	47	ASU 58, @Stanford 47 (Jan. 27, 1991)T-5.	47	@ASU 55, Washington 47 in Tempe (Feb. 13, 1992)

SHOOTING IT: The 63.3 percent shooting against both Bucknell (31-of-49) and Chaminade (38-of-60) marked the best shooting nights by the Sun Devils since March 9, 1990, when ASU was 30-of-45 (.667) against Oregon State in the Pac-10 Tournament. It marks the best shooting nights by an Evans-coached team (302 games) and ASU's best in the past 378 games. ASU's 63 percent mark against Washington State is the fifth-best in a Pac-10 game and the best in a league game since that same Oregon State game in the 1990 Pac-10 Tournament.

BEST FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE IN ASU HISTORYRk.	.Pct	FG-A, Opponent, Date1.	.756	(34-of-45) vs. Oregon St., Feb. 10, 19792.	.714 	(40-of-56) vs. Santa Clara, Dec. 14, 19793.	.679 	(36-of-55) vs. Stanford, Feb. 9, 19854.	.673 	(35-of-52) vs. California, Feb. 3, 19795.	.667 	(30-of-45) vs. Oregon St., Mar. 9, 19906.	.652 	(43-of-66) vs. Manhattan, Dec. 28, 19867.	.650 	(39-of-60) vs. New Mexico, Mar. 5, 1971T8.	.633	(31-of-49) vs. Bucknell, Dec. 27, 2002T8.	.633 	(38-of-60) vs. Chaminade, Nov. 26, 200210.	.630	(34-of-54) vs. Washington State, Jan. 11, 2003

PLAYER QUICK NOTES

#1 JASON BRAXTON: Has 11 assists and just one turnover in 86 minutes of Pac-10 play...did not turn the ball over in 47 minutes on Oregon road trip in early January...had 11 points vs. Utah on Nov. 27...matched a career-high with seven assists vs. Chaminade (Nov. 26) and vs. Nevada (Dec. 10)...started the final 20 games at point guard last year...averaged 26.3 minutes and 8.8 points in the final 14 games last year...averaging 8.3 points in the 12 games against ranked opponents.

#3 KYLE DODD: Shooting 26-of-43 (.605) from the field this year...shooting 14-of-20 (.700) from the field in the past eight games...has two turnovers in the past five games (82 minutes)...posted nine points vs. Nebraska on Dec. 28...12 points vs. Chaminade on Nov. 26...in his 105-game career, he has 236 assists and just 93 turnovers, a 2.5-to-1 ratio...has seven dunks in four-year career.

#4 TOMMY SMITH: Posted 14 points, seven boards and zero turnovers vs. Washington State on Jan. 11...career-high 16 boards, 13 points, six bocks and five assists vs. Washington on Jan. 9...eight points and eight boards in Pac-10 opener at Oregon State on Jan. 2...16 points, seven boards and six assists vs. Nebraska on Dec. 28...had a career-high seven assists vs. Bucknell on Dec. 27...30 assists in his past seven games...six career doubles-doubles...posted 13 points and eight boards vs. BYU on Dec. 4...had eight points, 11 boards and six blocks vs. Utah on Nov. 27...posted 12 points, seven boards and five blocks vs. Chaminade on Nov. 26.

#5 IKE DIOGU: Has scored in double digits in every game...five 20-point games...has made 60-of-77 (.779) free throws in his past nine games...averaging 7.3 boards in his past 12 games...17 points and five boards vs. Washington State on Jan. 11...14 points and nine boards vs. Washington on Jan. 9...27 points at Oregon on Jan. 4 in 28 minutes...18 points and 10 boards in Pac-10 opener on Jan. 2 at Oregon State...21 points and seven boards vs. Nebraska on Dec. 28 which earned him ASU Classic MVP honors...18 points and nine boards vs. Purdue on Dec. 21...25 points and nine boards vs. Nevada on Dec. 10...15 points and eight boards vs. BYU on Dec. 4...27 points vs. Lafayette on Nov. 30...played 37 minutes vs. Utah on Nov. 27 and had 22 points, eight boards and zero turnovers...became just the second ASU freshman to start in the the season opener in the past 10 years when he took the court on Nov. 22 against Morehead State.

#12 KENNY CRANDALL: Has made 9-of-10 (.900) free throws on the year...five assists vs. Morehead State on Novs. 22 in season opener...broke his right fibula on April 17 in a dirt-bike accident and is still recovering...in Pac-10 games he shot 21-of-46 (.457) from the three-point stripe last year...35-of-83 (.422) from the three-point stripe last season.

#14 CURTIS MILLAGE: Has four 20-point games in his career, all of them away from Tempe...16-of-26 (.615) from field in past three games...led team with 16 points vs. Washington on Jan. 9...18 points on 7-of-10 shooting at No. 9 Oregon on Jan. 4...led team with 16 points and added five boards at Oregon State on Jan. 2...13 points, four boards and five assists vs. Nebraska on Dec. 28...posted 26 points in his season debut vs. Utah on Nov. 27...45-of-57 (.789) from the free throw line in final 16 games last year...made 27-of-33 (.818) free throws in the final eight games...career-highs with 27 points and four three-pointers at No. 14 Arizona on Feb. 20, 2002...24 points at Washington State on Jan. 12, 2002.

#21 DONNELL KNIGHT: Four career double-doubles...13 points and eight boards vs. Washington State on Jan. 11...eight points and seven boards vs. Nebraska on Dec. 28...15 points vs. Bucknell on Dec. 27...12 points and 10 boards off the bench vs. Nevada on Dec. 10 and made all five field goal attempts...posted 15 points and 12 boards vs. Morehead State in season opener on Nov. 22.

#22 JAMAL HILL: Junior college transfer who has been both a starter and first player off the bench...posted 14 points against both Washington (Jan. 9) and Washington State (Jan. 11)...seven points at Oregon on Jan. 4...eight points in 20 minutes in Pac-10 opener at Oregon State on Jan. 2...seven points vs. Purdue on Dec. 21...12 points vs. BYU on Dec. 4 on 5-of-7 shooting...has been in double figures in six games...17 points vs. Chaminade on Nov. 26...16 points vs. No. 15 Kentucky on Nov. 25 in season-high 37 minutes...averaged 35 minutes per game in Maui Invitational with Curtis Millage sitting the first two games.

#24 JUSTIN ALLEN: Redshirted 2000-2001 season with Hodgkin's Disease and is getting back into basketball shape...has played in 64 games in three-year career...has played in 11 games this season...missed Washington home series (Jan. 9-11) with sprained right ankle...hit first-half three-pointer vs. Nebraska on Dec. 28...hit two three-pointers at Utah on Dec. 7, 2002.

#42 SHAWN REDHAGE: Excellent student-athlete who has a 3.56 GPA in construction science...2001 and 2002 Pac-10 All-Academic selection...seven points and six boards at No. 9 Oregon on Jan. 4...has three double-figure scoring games this year after having three all of last year...posted 14 points in 15 minutes against Purdue on Dec. 21...14 points against Purdue was the most since Jan. 18, 2001, when he had 16 vs. UCLA in his sophomore season...12 points vs. Nevada on Dec. 10...13 points vs. Chaminade on Nov. 26...has made 192-of-243 (.790) free throws in his four-year career...also has 68 blocks in his career, ninth-best in ASU history.

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