Men's Hoops, 4-1 In Pac-10, Plays At USC Saturday at 9 p.m. MST

Jan. 17, 2003

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ASU AT USC: The Arizona State men's basketball team (12-4; 4-1) takes on the USC Trojans (6-6; 2-2) on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. PT/9 p.m MST on Fox Sports Arizona. ASU has won eight of its past nine games after a 75-64 win at UCLA on Thursday in which the Sun Devils jumped out to a 40-22 halftime lead. ASU shot 28-of-47 (.596) from the field, including 13-of-18 (.722) in the second half and outrebounded UCLA 33-27. Tommy Smith had 16 points, 10 boards and six assists and Curtis Millage led all scorers with 23, including 8-of-12 from the field. Ike Diogu added 16 points. ASU made seven straight free throws in the final 2:39 to seal the win.

ASU improved to 4-1 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1987-88. ASU will be trying to go 5-1 for the first time since the 1980-81 team went 11-1 to start the Pac-10 season. ASU is 12-4 for the first time since the 1994-95 Sweet 16 team went 13-3 in its first 16 games.

ASU has won eight of its past nine and is averaging just 12.8 turnovers per game in that span while holding opponents to 40.0 percent from the floor (190-of-475) and shooting 52.7 percent (257-of-488). Freshman Ike Diogu is averaging 18.7 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 63.2 percent (55-of-87) from the floor and 55-of-76 (.724) from the line. Tommy Smith has 21 blocks and leads the team in assists with 36 in those nine games.

WE LIKE IKE: Freshman Ike Diogu has been all that was advertised, as he leads the team at 18.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. The Garland, Texas, native already has been to the line a Pac-10-leading 134 times and is shooting .716 percent from the charity stripe (96-of-134). He has led ASU in scoring in eight of the past 11 games. Diogu is averaging 8.4 free throw attempts per contest and is the only Sun Devil to reach double digits in scoring in all 16 contests. 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. His double-double at Oregon State (14 points and 10 boards) was only the second double-double by an ASU freshman in the past 12 seasons (322 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 134 times (8.375 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. With six more free throw attempts, Diogu will match the ASU freshman record of 140 set by Mario Bennett in 1991-92.

SUN DEVIL DATA: Tommy Smith has posted a Pac-10 leading 40 blocks on the year and has notched 36 assists in the past eight 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...in the past two seasons, ASU is 25-4 (.862) when it leads at the half...senior Kyle Dodd is shooting 27-of-44 (.614) from the field on the year and 15-of-21 (.714) in the past nine games...ASU has held nine opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting...ASU has swept a series in Los Angeles just twice in its 24 Pac-10 seasons (1979-80 and 1986-87)...ASU's last road sweep was at the Oregons in February of 2001...ASU won 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...Rob Evans (158-145/.521) 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 72-64 (.529) at ASU.

OTHER PLAYER QUICK NOTES

#1 JASON BRAXTON: Has 11 assists and just four turnovers in 110 minutes of Pac-10 play...nine points at UCLA on Jan. 16...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).

#4 TOMMY SMITH: Had 16 points, 10 boards and six assists in 39 minutes (matching career high) at UCLA on Jan. 16...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...36 assists in his past eight games...seven career doubles-doubles.

#5 IKE DIOGU: Has scored in double digits in every game...five 20-point games...has made 62-of-83 (.747) free throws in his past 10 games...averaging 7.1 boards in his past 13 games...16 points on 7-of-9 shooting at UCLA on Jan. 16...17 points and five boards vs. Washington State on Jan. 11...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...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...played 37 minutes vs. Utah on Nov. 27 and had 22 points, eight boards and zero turnovers.

#12 KENNY CRANDALL: Has made 9-of-10 (.900) free throws on the year...five assists vs. Morehead State on Nov. 22 in season opener...broke his right fibula on April 17 in a dirt-bike accident and is still recovering.

#14 CURTIS MILLAGE: Has five 20-point games in his career, all of them away from Tempe...24-of-38 (.632) from field in past four games...team leader with 23 points at UCLA...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...posted 26 points in his season debut vs. Utah on Nov. 27...made 27-of-33 (.818) free throws in the final eight games last year.

#21 DONNELL KNIGHT: Four career double-doubles...13 points and eight boards vs. Washington State on Jan. 11...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...12-of-21 (.571) from the field in past three games...posted 14 points against both Washington (Jan. 9) and Washington State (Jan. 11)...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...16 points vs. No. 15 Kentucky on Nov. 25 in season-high 37 minutes.

#42 SHAWN REDHAGE: Excellent student-athlete who has a 3.56 GPA in construction science...2001 and 2002 Pac-10 All-Academic selection...has three double-figure scoring games this 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...has made 192-of-243 (.790) free throws in his four-year career.

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