Men's Hoops Hosts No. 20 Cal And Stanford

Jan. 28, 2003

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ASU PLAYS AT HOME...FINALLY: The Arizona State men's basketball team (12-6; 4-3) takes on the No. 20 California Golden Bears (14-2; 7-0) on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. MST (no television) and then plays the Stanford Cardinal (14-5; 5-2) on Saturday at 3 p.m. MST on Fox Sports Net at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. The Sun Devils will play at home for just the third time in the past 33 days as it opened Pac-10 play with five of its first seven on the road and will play seven of its first 11 in opponent's arenas. ASU has played 10 games away from Tempe this year and is 5-5 in those games. After one game in the Pac-10 Tournament in March, ASU will have played 15 home games and 15 games away from Tempe.

Since February is upon us, it is time to start glancing at the RPI as well, as Cal enters this week at No. 33, Stanford is No. 21 and ASU is No. 35, according to collegeRPI.com.

ASU ranks first in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.483) and blocks per game (4.78), third in scoring defense (66.0 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage defense (.418).

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 6.4 rebounds (ninth in Pac-10) per game and is averaging 30.6 minutes. The Garland, Texas, native has already been to the line a Pac-10-leading 157 times and is shooting .739 percent from the charity stripe (116-of-157). He has led ASU in scoring in nine of the past 13 games, has six 20-point games and has made 82-of-106 (.774) from the free throw line in the past 12 games. He also is shooting 58.9 percent from the field (103-of-175), fourth in the Pac-10.

He could 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 Arizona and Arizona State joined the loop in 1978-79 (25 seasons ago). 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 157 free throw attempts (8.72 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 157 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 (116) 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 (324 games) and the first since Chad Prewitt posted a double-double in December of 1998.

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).

SUN DEVIL DATA: ASU is 37-of-44 (.841) from the free throw line in the past two games...Tommy Smith has posted a Pac-10 leading 44 blocks on the year and has notched 40 assists in the past 10 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...ASU is 25-4 (.862) when it leads at the half in the past two seasons...Shawn Redhage is 24-of-47 (.512) from the field in the past 10 games...Kyle Dodd is shooting 29-of-48 (.604) from the field and 17-of-25 (.680) in the past 11 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...ASU has won eight of its past 11 and is holding opponents to 41.1 percent from the floor (244-of-593) and shooting 50.4 percent (301-of-597) in that time.

ON THE ROAD: ASU already has played 10 games away from Tempe this year and is 5-5 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 five 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 six road games, Ike Diogu is averaging 18.5 points and is shooting 63.3 percent (31-of-49) from the field. Curtis Millage is averaging 15.3 points per game in his 16 career road games.

ASU VS. CAL: The ASU-Cal series had been predictable the past decade, with the home team winning 18 of the past 22 games. ASU leads the overall series 29-24. ASU swept the Golden Bears in 1999-2000 for the first time since 1994-95 and Rob Evans is 3-5 against Cal and its head coach, Ben Braun. California has won the past four.

ASU VS. STANFORD: Stanford leads the series 28-24 and the Cardinal has won the past nine and 13 of the past 14. ASU's only win in that time was on Jan. 31, 1998, when ASU won at fourth-ranked Stanford 90-87 in overtime. Stanford has topped ASU seven straight times in Tempe, with ASU's last win a 79-70 victory on Feb. 11, 1995.

AT #1 UA (JAN. 22): ASU fell behind by 26 in the second half but closed the gap to five at the five-minute mark before falling 71-63 at top-ranked Arizona on Jan. 22. ASU had a season-low 20 points in the first half and shot a season-low 35.1 percent (20-of-57), including just 8-of-32 (.250) in the first half. Curtis Millage led ASU with 20 points while Ike Diogu added 15. Kenny Crandall had 12 points on four three-pointers and played 20 minutes, the most he has played since the opening game. Shawn Redhage added 10 points in his first start since his sophomore season.

ROB EVANS: Rob Evans (158-147/.518) 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 72-66 (.522) 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 114-79 (.591) in the past seven seasons.

PLAYER QUICK NOTES

#1 JASON BRAXTON: Nine points and five boards 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...11 points vs. Utah on Nov. 27...matched a career-high with seven assists vs. Chaminade (Nov. 26) and vs. Nevada (Dec. 10)...averaged 26.3 minutes and 8.8 points in the final 14 games last year and started final 20 games...averaging 7.8 points in the 13 games against ranked opponents.

#3 KYLE DODD: Shooting 29-of-48 (.604) from the field this year...shooting 17-of-25 (.680) from the field in the past 11 games...has four turnovers in the past eight games (133 minutes)...posted nine points vs. Nebraska on Dec. 28...12 points vs. Chaminade on Nov. 26...in his 108-game career, he has 242 assists and just 95 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...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...six 20-point games...has made 82-of-106 (.774) free throws in his past 12 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 vs. Washington State on Jan. 11...14 points and nine boards vs. Washington on Jan. 9...27 points at Oregon on Jan. 4...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...37 minutes vs. Utah on Nov. 27 and had 22 points, eight boards and zero turnovers...the second ASU freshman to start in the season opener in the past 10 years.

#12 KENNY CRANDALL: Played 20 minutes at top-ranked Arizona on Jan. 22 and made 4-of-7 three-pointers and had season-high 12 points...9-of-10 (.900) free throws on the year...five assists vs. Morehead State on Nov. 22 in opener...broke right fibula on April 17 in a dirt-bike accident and is still recovering...has played double-digit minutes six times this year...in Pac-10 games he shot 21-of-46 (.457) from the three-point stripe last year.

#14 CURTIS MILLAGE: Has six 20-point games in his career, all of them away from Tempe...34-of-66 (.515) from field in past six games...led team with 20 points at top-ranked Arizna on Jan. 22...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 his 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-33 (.455) from the field in the past five 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 3.61 GPA in construction science...2001 and 2002 Pac-10 All-Academic selection...10 points and six boards at top-ranked Arizona on Jan. 22...seven points and six boards at No. 9 Oregon on Jan. 4...has four 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 198-of-249 (.795) free throws in his four-year career...also has 68 blocks in his career, ninth-best in ASU history.

WULK HALL INDUCTEE: ASU has announced that the Sun Devil family will induct coaching legend Ned Wulk into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor this spring. The Hall of Honor, established in 2002, inducted its first class last March. Byron Scott was ASU's inductee last year while Wulk will be inducted on March 12, 2003. The Pac-10 Basketball Hall of Honor was created to recognize athletes and coaches who have made significant contributions to the tradition and heritage of the Pac-10 Conference. The ASU athletic department honored Wulk in March of 1999, as the arena floor where he won a building-record 20 straight contests was renamed 'Ned Wulk Court' in honor of the legendary basketball mentor who won 406 games from 1958-82. Wulk, who was 406-272 (.599) in his 25-year run as Sun Devil head coach, was honored at a banquet on March 5, 1999, which was held on the floor of Wells Fargo Arena.

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