Men's Hoops Takes On Top-Ranked Arizona Wednesday In Tucson

Jan. 20, 2003

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ASU AT UA: The Arizona State men's basketball team (12-5; 4-2) travels to Tucson to face the top-ranked Arizona Wildcats (13-1; 6-0) on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 7:30 p.m. MST (local television on Fox Sports Arizona). ASU ranks first in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.492) and blocks per game (4.94) and is third in scoring defense (65.7 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.416). ASU has won eight of its past 10 and is holding opponents to 40.6 percent from the floor (217-of-535) and shooting 52.0 percent (281-of-540) in that time. Freshman Ike Diogu is averaging 19.2 points and seven rebounds while shooting 64.2 percent (61-of-95) from the floor and 66-of-88 (.750) from the line and senior Tommy Smith has 25 blocks and leads the team in assists with 37 in those 10 games. ASU is outscoring its opponents by 15 in that time (77.4-62.4).

WE LIKE IKE: Freshman Ike Diogu has been all that was advertised, as he leads the team at 18.4 points (fourth in Pac-10) and 6.5 rebounds (ninth in Pac-10) per game and is averaging 30.1 minutes. The Garland, Texas, native has already been to the line a Pac-10-leading 146 times and is shooting .733 percent from the charity stripe (107-of-146). He has led ASU in scoring in nine of the past 12 games, has six 20-point games and has made 73-of-95 (.768) from the free throw line in the past 11 games. He also is shooting 59.2 percent from the field (100-of-169), fourth in the Pac-10.

At his pace, he would become the first freshman since Cal's Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1995-96 to finish in the league's top 10 in scoring and rebounding (Abdur-Rahim was the league's Player of the Year). He could become just the ninth freshman to earn all-league honors since UA and ASU joined the loop in 1978-79. No freshman has earned All-Pac-10 since Jason Gardner (Arizona), Casey Jacobsen (Stanford) and Jason Kapono (UCLA) in 1999-2000, as they are the only freshmen to earn all-league in the past six seasons.

Diogu's 146 free throw attempts (8.59 per game) is on pace to break the ASU single-season mark of 234 (7.1 per game) set by Mario Bennett in 1994-95. Diogu's 146 attempts has already topped the ASU freshman record of 140 set by Bennett in 1991-92. If he keeps this pace and ASU plays at least two postseason games (Pac-10 tournament or NCAA/NIT games), he would crack the Pac-10 single-season list and would register the most free throws since Harold Miner attempted 286 in 1991-92, which is third on the Pac-10 single-season list. He has made more free throws (107) this year than any other Pac-10 player has attempted.

He posted 27 points at Oregon on Jan. 4 and vs. Lafayette on Nov. 30, which matches the fourth-best scoring mark by an ASU freshman and is the most since Bennett set the school mark with 35 against Arizona in 1992. Diogu also is the first Sun Devil freshman to post back-to-back 20-point games since 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 (323 games) and the first since Chad Prewitt posted a double-double in December of 1998.

SUN DEVIL DATA: Tommy Smith has posted a Pac-10 leading 44 blocks on the year and has notched 37 assists in the past nine games (4.1 per game). He posted a career-high seven assists vs. Bucknell on Dec. 27 and had a career-high 16 boards vs. Washington on Jan. 9...ASU is 25-4 (.862) when it leads at the half in the past two seasons...Shawn Redhage had 14 points in 15 minutes against Purdue on Dec. 21. He is 21-of-41 (.512) from the field in the past nine games...Kyle Dodd is shooting 28-of-45 (.622) from the field and 16-of-22 (.727) in the past 10 games...ASU has held nine opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting...Curtis Millage has six 20-point games in his career, all of them away from Tempe.

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

DOUBLE DIGITS: Diogu's 17 straight double-figure scoring games is the best since senior Jeremy Veal notched the feat in the first 30 games in 1997-98 and is tied for the fifth-best in the past 13 seasons. Even in Eddie House's amazing 1999-2000 season, his longest double-digit scoring streak was 10 straight games. A look at the best streaks beginning with the 1990-91 season:

Sun Devil Double-Digit Scoring Streaks(1990-91 to present/Past 13 seasons)Player (Yr./Season)	StreakJeremy Veal (Sr./1997-98)	30Stevin Smith, (Jr./1992-93)	24Mario Bennett, (Jr./1994-95)	21Jeremy Veal, (So./1995-96)	18Ike Diogu, (Fr./2002-03)	17Ron Riley, (Sr./1995-96)	17Chad Prewitt, (Sr./2001-02)	15Ron Riley, (Jr./1994-95)	15Isaac Austin, (Sr./1990-91)	15

UA SERIES NOTES: UA leads the series 128-73 and has won 18 of the past 19 in Tucson. The last time ASU beat Arizona in Tucson was on March 11, 1995, a 103-98 double-overtime game to conclude the regular season...last year in Tucson, ASU fell behind by as many as 18 but came back to take a second-half lead before falling 83-75, as it was just 15-of-31 (.484) from the free throw line...Curtis Millage is 21-of-32 (.656) from the field in his three games against Arizona, including a career-high 27 in Tucson last year...UA was just 11-of-45 (.244) from the three-point stripe against ASU last year in the three games.

VS. UCLA (JAN. 16): ASU won consecutive games in Pauley Pavilion for the first time in school history with a 75-64 win on Thursday. ASU led by as many as 21 in the second half but pulled to within six before ASU hit seven straight free throws to close out the win. Tommy Smith had 16 points, 10 boards and six assists while Curtis Millage led ASU with 23 points. Ike Diogu added 16 points. ASU committed 20 turnovers but shot 59.6 percent (28-of-47) from the field.

VS. USC (JAN. 16): ASU fell behind by 10 early but battled back to tie the game at 74 before falling 76-74 at USC on Saturday, its seventh straight defeat at the Sports Arena. Ike Diogu had 24 points, including 11-of-12 at the free throw line, to lead ASU. ASU committed 20 turnovers for the second straight game and allowed USC to shoot 16-of-29 (.552) from the field in the first half. Tommy Smith posted 11 points, eight boards and six blocks in 38 minutes. ASU was 20-of-23 (.870) from the free throw line.

HILL UPDATE: Junior college transfer Jamal Hill has just 17 turnovers through 17 games while averaging 22.8 minutes. He is fourth on the team with 8.5 points per game and is shooting 19-of-47 (.404) 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 15-of-30 (.500) from the field in the past four games and has scored in double digits in six games. He scored 14 in each game of the Washington schools sweep on Jan. 9-11.

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 (158-146/.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 72-65 (.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 114-78 (.594) in the past seven seasons.

HISTORY LESSON: ASU will have an opportunity to play the top-ranked team in the nation for the first time since March of 2001 this Wednesday and for the sixth time overall. ASU had an opportunity to play the No. 1 team in the nation when it played Pac-10 champion and No. 1 Stanford on March 10, 2001. It marked the fifth time ASU had played against the top-ranked team. ASU is 1-4, with the win coming 22 years ago (March 7, 1981) in one of the greatest wins in Sun Devil history. ASU, coached by 2003 Pac-10 Hall of Honor inductee Ned Wulk, travelled to Corvallis and led 40-20 at the half against top ranked Oregon State and won 87-67 on the final day of the regular season. All five ASU starters (Sam Williams, Paul Williams, Alton Lister, Byron Scott and Fat Lever) in that game were future NBA first- or second-round draft picks. A look at ASU vs. No. 1, and note that all the games were on the road:

Arizona State vs. the No. 1 Team in the Associated Press PollScore	Date	Site#1 Stanford 99, Arizona State 75	Mar. 8, 2001	Palo Alto, Calif.#1 Stanford 86, Arizona State 67	Jan. 6, 2000	Palo Alto, Calif.#1 Arizona 99, Arizona State 59	Jan. 28, 1988	Tucson, Ariz.#5 Arizona State 87, #1 Oregon State 67	Mar. 7, 1981	Corvallis, Ore.#1 UCLA 98, #16 Arizona State 81 (West Regional)	Mar. 15, 1973	Los Angeles, Calif.

ON THE ROAD: ASU already has played nine games away from Tempe this year and is 5-4 in those games. ASU played at the Maui Invitational in November, played at Utah and vs. Purdue in Las Vegas in December and already has played four Pac-10 road games. After one game in the Pac-10 Tournament in March, ASU will have played 15 home games and 15 games away from Tempe. Five of ASU's first seven Pac-10 games are on the road and seven of its first 11. In its five road games, Ike Diogu is averaging 19.2 points and is shooting 65.1 percent (28-of-43) from the field. Curtis Millage is averaging 15 points per game in his 16 career road games.

PLAYER QUICK NOTES

#1 JASON BRAXTON: Shooting 48.6 percentf from the field in Pac-10 games...nine points and five boards in 24 minutes at UCLA on Jan. 16...six boards at USC on Jan. 18...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 28-of-45 (.622) from the field this year...shooting 16-of-22 (.727) from the field in the past 10 games...has three turnovers in the past seven games (113 minutes)...posted nine points vs. Nebraska on Dec. 28...12 points vs. Chaminade on Nov. 26...in his 107-game career, he has 242 assists and just 94 turnovers, a 2.6-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: Just look at page one of the release as it has the best stuff...has scored in double digits in all 17 games...six 20-point games...has made 73-of-95 (.768) free throws in his past 11 games...averaging 6.9 boards in his past 14 games...24 points (11-of-12 from free throw line) at USC on Jan. 18...16 points (7-of-9 from the field) at UCLA on Jan. 16...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. 2 at Las Vegas Showdown...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 Nov. 22 in season opener...broke his right fibula on April 17 in a dirt-bike accident and is still recovering...has played double-digit minutes just five times this year...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 five 20-point games in his career, all of them away from Tempe...26-of-46 (.565) from field in past five games...eight boards at USC on Jan. 18...led team with 23 points at UCLA on Jan. 16, as he was 8-of-12 (.667) from the field...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-of-20 (.650) from the floor in the past three games...13 points at USC on Jan. 18...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 (four games) and first player off the bench...15-of-30 (.500) from the field in the past four games...14-of-18 (.778) from the free throw line on the year...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.

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