Sun Devil Men's Hoops Host #1 Arizona
Feb. 18, 2003
NO. 1 VISITS TEMPE FOR FIRST TIME: The Arizona State men's basketball team (17-7; 9-4) plays host to the top-ranked Arizona Wildcats (20-2; 12-1) on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. MST on Fox Sports Arizona. Tom Dillon and Tim Kempton have the call for Fox Sports Arizona, as Saturday will mark the first time the top-ranked team will visit Wells Fargo Arena. ASU opened Pac-10 play with five of its first seven and seven of its first 11 on the road but now plays three of its final five at home, where it is 10-2. ASU has played 12 games away from Tempe this year and is 7-5 in those games, including neutral site wins over Moutain West leading Utah (Maui Invitational) and Big Ten leading Purdue (Las Vegas Showdown). After one game in the Pac-10 Tournament in March, ASU will have played 15 home games and 15 games away from Tempe. The Sun Devils have won four straight Pac-10 games for the first time since February of 2000 and for just the second time in the past eight seasons.
ASU has outrebounded 10 of its past 11 opponents and is outrebounding opponents by 8.8 per game in that span. The Sun Devils have averaged 15 offensive boards per game in their past three outings and also are in a groove at the foul line, as they are 155-of-208 (.745) from the free throw line in the past eight games. Against UCLA, ASU made 20-of-22 (.909) from the line, the tenth-best mark in school history.
Freshman Ike Diogu, Cal senior Joe Shipp and Oregon junior Luke Ridnour are the only Pac-10 players who have posted double digits in every game this year. Diogu is averaging 20.5 points and 9.3 rebounds in the past six games and has nine 20-point games on the year. He is the only player in the league ranked in the top five in scoring (18.8/4th) and rebounding (7.1/5th).
ASU enters this week's game with an RPI of No. 30, according to collegeRPI.com (Feb. 17). Arizona is No. 8. Others in the Pac-10 include Stanford (19), California (26), Oregon (36), USC (103), Washington (118), Oregon State (129), UCLA (190) and Washington State (210).
ASU ranks first in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.488) and blocks per game (4.83), second in scoring defense (66.4 ppg) and scoring margin (+10.1) and third in rebounding margin (+5.5). The 66.4 opponent points per game is the best by ASU since the 1983-84 team gave up 65.2 points per game.
EVERYONE LIKES IKE: Freshman Ike Diogu leads the team at 18.8 points (fourth in Pac-10) and 7.1 rebounds (fifth in Pac-10) per game. The Garland, Texas, native has already been to the line a Pac-10-leading 197 times and is shooting .741 percent from the charity stripe (146-of-197). He also is shooting 61.1 percent from the field (149-of-244), second in the Pac-10, and is at 65.4 percent (85-of-130) in Pac-10 games, best in the league. He is shooting 68.1 percent (47-of-69) in ASU's eight road contests.
Diogu 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 (the only freshmen to earn all-league in the past six seasons).
PATIENCE: When Rob Evans arrived at ASU in the spring of 1998, many talked about his final two years at Ole Miss when he went 42-16 (.724) and won two SEC West titles. Before those seasons, Evans took a program many called 'below ground' and had a 44-65 (.403) mark in his first four seasons. At ASU, Evans was 60-60 in his first four years before the 17-7 (.708) record this year. Overall, Evans is 104-125 (.454) in his first four years of building a program and is 59-23 (.720) after the rebuilding process.
SIXTH-MAN SPECIAL: Senior Shawn Redhage posted one of the best performances off the bench in all of college basketball this season on Feb. 8 at Washington in ASU's 79-77 overtime win. Redhage had a career-high 29 points (8-of-11) from the floor, and also had career highs in free throws made (11) and attempted (18). The construction science major with a 3.61 grade point average and two-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection posted season highs in rebounds (eight, but since topped with 12 vs. USC), assists (five) and minutes (34). On Feb. 13 against USC, Redhage had 16 points (including 8-of-9 from the free throw line) and matched his career-high with 12 rebounds for the second double-double of his career. Redhage now has seven double-figure scoring games this year after having three all of last year. Redhage matched the ASU freshman record with 28 starts in 1999-2000 but is now coming off the bench and has posted double digits in four of the past seven games. His 29 points is the most by a Sun Devil off the bench since at least the 1979-80 season. He is 42-of-81 (.519) from the field in the past 16 games.
DIOGU'S FREE THROWS: Diogu's 197 free throw attempts (8.21 per game) is on pace to break the ASU single-season mark of 234 (7.1 pg) set by Mario Bennett in 1994-95. Diogu's 197 attempts topped the ASU freshman record of 140 set by Bennett in 1991-92. If he keeps this pace, 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 this year than any other Pac-10 player has attempted.
MILLAGE HEATING UP: Curtis Millage has made 34-of-41 (.829) from the free throw line in the past eight games and is 70-of-137 (.511) from the field in the past 12 games. He is averaging 16.5 points per game in Pac-10 play, seventh in the league. Millage has nine 20-point games in his career, including 27 vs. USC on Thursday which matched his career high. He also made all 14 of his free throw attempts in the sweep of the Los Angeles schools.
KYLE'S TURN OFF THE BENCH: Kyle Dodd is shooting 35-of-65 (.538) from the field this year and has 23 assists and just four turnovers in the past four games. He posted a season-high 14 points vs. UCLA on Feb. 16, just one point short of his career-high set in his sophomore year on Dec. 30, 2000, when he had 15 points vs. Charlotte. Dodd also leads the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.24.
SUN DEVIL DATA: In ASU's eight road games, Ike Diogu is averaging 18.5 points and is shooting 68.1 percent (47-of-69) from the field...Tommy Smith has posted a Pac-10 leading 58 blocks on the year. 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 28-4 (.875) when it leads at the half in the past two seasons...ASU has held nine opponents to under 40 percent shooting and has won all 10 games when it shoots 50 percent...ASU's win over Cal on Jan. 30 snapped a 17-game losing streak when ASU trailed at the half. The last time ASU had come back from a halftime deficit was March 3, 2001, when it trailed Oregon State 31-30 before winning 61-59. ASU also came back from a 39-35 halftime deficit to beat UCLA on Feb. 15.
MAKING HIS MARK: Ike Diogu's 27-points at Oregon on Jan. 4 and against Lafayette on Nov. 30 are 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. Diogu now owns six of the top 11 freshman scoring games in ASU history and is the first Sun Devil freshman to post back-to-back 25-point games, as he had 26 vs. USC and UCLA. A look at the top freshman scoring games in the ASU record books:
ASU FRESHMAN SINGLE-GAME POINTS (25-point games)Rk. 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. 26 Ike Diogu vs. UCLA, Feb. 15, 2003 Ike Diogu vs. USC, Feb. 13, 2003 Ike Diogu at Washington State, Feb. 6, 200311. 25 Ike Diogu vs. Nevada, Dec. 10, 2002
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 right 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 (163-148/.524) is in his fifth season at Arizona State (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, 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 77-67 (.535) 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. 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 119-80 (.598) in the past seven seasons.
PLAYER QUICK NOTES
#1 JASON BRAXTON: Has 11 assists and just two turnovers in the past three games...matched a career-high with seven assists and zero turnovers vs. USC on Feb. 13...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...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 7.6 points in the 13 career games against ranked opponents.
#3 KYLE DODD: Shooting 35-of-65 (.538) from the field this year...nine turnovers in the past 14 games (254 minutes)...23 assists and just four turnovers in past four games...14 points, eight assists and five boards vs. UCLA on Feb. 15...seven assists vs. Washington in 27 minutes and six vs. Washington State...nine points vs. Nebraska on Dec. 28...12 points vs. Chaminade on Nov. 26...in his 114-game career, he has 274 assists and just 100 turnovers, a 2.74-to-1 ratio...has seven dunks in four-year career.
#4 TOMMY SMITH: Posted 16 points and eight boards vs. UCLA on Feb. 15...had season-high 17 points (7-of-10 shooting) in Feb. 6 win at Washington State...14 points, seven boards and zero turnovers vs. WSU on Jan. 11...career-high 16 boards, 13 points, six bocks and five assists vs. Washington on Jan. 9...16 points, seven boards and six assists vs. Nebraska on Dec. 28...career-high seven assists vs. Bucknell on Dec. 27...six career doubles-doubles...13 points and eight boards vs. BYU on Dec. 4...eight points, 11 boards and six blocks vs. Utah on Nov. 27.
#5 IKE DIOGU: Has scored in double digits in all 24 games...nine 20-point games...26 points vs. both USC and UCLA on Feb. 13-15 and was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for his efforts...just the third freshman to be named Pac-10 Player of the Week in the past six seasons...26 points (11-of-15 shooting) and 10 boards at Washington State on Feb. 6...16 points and 14 boards vs. Stanford on Feb. 1...18 points and 13 rebounds vs. No. 20 California...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: Averaging 12.3 minutes in his past six games, but did not play at Washington on Feb. 8...played 20 minutes at top-ranked Arizona on Jan. 22 and made 4-of-7 three-pointers and had season-high 12 points...15-of-16 (.938) free throws on the year...five assists vs. Morehead State on Nov. 22...broke right fibula on April 17 in a dirt-bike accident and is still recovering...has played double-digit minutes eight times this year...shot 21-of-46 (.457) from the three-point stripe in Pac-10 games last year.
#14 CURTIS MILLAGE: Has nine 20-point games in his career...70-of-137 (.511) from field in past 12 games...averaging 16.5 points per game in Pac-10 play, seventh-best in the league...34-of-41 (.829) from the free throw line in the past eight games...22 points vs. UCLA on Feb. 15...27 points vs. USC on Feb. 13...21 points vs. No. 20 Cal on Feb. 3...led team with 20 points at top-ranked Arizona 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.
#21 DONNELL KNIGHT: Four career double-doubles...22-of-44 (.500) from the floor in his past nine games...10 points in 26 minutes vs. No. 20 California on Jan. 30...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...12 points vs. USC on Feb. 13...averaged 12.5 points on the Washington road trip and played 31 minutes without a turnover in the overtime win at Washington...19-of-25 (.760) 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 nine 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 68 games in three-year career...has played in 15 games this season...missed Washington home series (Jan. 9-11) with sprained right ankle...hit first-half three-pointer at Washington on Feb. 8...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 who has a 3.61 GPA in construction science...2001 and 2002 Pac-10 All-Academic pick...16 points and matched a career-high with 12 boards vs. USC on Feb. 13...had one of the best days off the bench in college basketball this year with career-high 29 points, eight rebounds and five assists at Washington on Feb. 8...42-of-81 (.519) from the field in the past 16 games...10 points in 17 minutes vs. No. 20 California on Feb. 3...10 points and six boards at top-ranked Arizona on Jan. 22...seven points and six boards at No. 9 Oregon on Jan. 4...seven double-figure scoring games this year after having three 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...has made 220-of-280 (.786) free throws in his four-year career...also has 72 blocks in his career, ninth-best in ASU history...matched the ASU freshman record with 28 starts in 1999-2000.
HISTORY LESSON: ASU will have an opportunity to play the top-ranked team in the nation for the eighth time overall. ASU is 1-6, 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 Poll
Score Date Site#1 Arizona 71, Arizona State 63 Jan. 22, 2003 Tucson, Ariz.#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 89, #7 Arizona State 75 Mar. 22, 1975 Portland, Ore.#1 UCLA 98, #16 Arizona State 81 (West Regional) Mar. 15, 1973 Los Angeles, Calif.
WULK HALL INDUCTEE: ASU has announced that the Sun Devil family will induct Ned Wulk into the 2003 Pac-10 Hall of Honor. Byron Scott was ASU's initial inductee last year while Wulk will be inducted on March 12, 2003. The Hall of Honor was created to recognize athletes and coaches who have made significant contributions to the tradition and heritage of the Pac-10. ASU 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 his honor as he won 406 games from 1958-82. Wulk was 406-272 (.599) in his 25-year run as Sun Devil head coach and was honored at a banquet on March 5, 1999, which was held on the floor of Wells Fargo Arena.