Men's Hoops Hosts Oregon Schools

March 4, 2003

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The Arizona State men's basketball team (17-10; 9-7) closes its regular season with home games against the Oregon Ducks (Thursday, March 6 at 8:30 p.m. MST) and the Oregon State Beavers (Saturday, March 8 at 4 p.m. MST). Both games are televised on Fox Sports Net. Arizona State is 4-3 in the second half of Pac-10 play and has clinched at least at least a fifth-seed in the Pac-10 Tournament. ASU will meet Oregon again in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament at Staples Center at 3:50 p.m. PT/4:50 p.m. MST next Thursday, March 13.

ASU 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 20.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in the past nine games and has 10 20-point games on the year. Senior Philip Ricci of Oregon State and Diogu are the only players in the Pac-10 ranked in the top five in scoring and rebounding as Diogu is third in scoring at 18.9 points per game and fifth in rebounding at 7.4 boards per contest.

ASU opened Pac-10 play with five of its first seven and seven of its first 11 on the road and has played 14 games away from Tempe this year and is 7-7 in those games, including neutral site wins over Mountain West leading Utah (Maui Invitational) and 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.

ASU enters this week's game with an RPI of No. 35, according to collegeRPI.com (Mar. 3). Others in the Pac-10 include Arizona (1), Stanford (16), California (29), Oregon (48), USC (121), Washington (141), Oregon State (154), UCLA (162) and Washington State (200).

ASU ranks first in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.483), fewest turnovers per game (13.8) and blocks per game (4.41), and is third in scoring defense (68.7 ppg), scoring (76.2), scoring margin (+7.5) and rebounding margin (+4.1). Tommy Smith has posted a Pac-10 leading 59 blocks on the year.

Diogu will tie the ASU record for freshman starts at tip-off, as he has started all 27 games. Shawn Redhage (1999-2000) and Jamal Faulkner (1990-91) each started 28 games in their freshman seasons.

Freshman Ike Diogu leads the team at 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds. The Garland, Texas, native has already been to the line a Pac-10-leading 221 times and is shooting .738 percent from the charity stripe (163-of-221). He also is shooting 60.9 percent from the field (170-of-279), second in the Pac-10, and is at 64.2 percent (106-of-165) in Pac-10 games, first in the league. Diogu already has set the ASU freshman record for points in a season with 510, as he topped Jamal Faulkner's 1990-91 mark of 462.

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).

MILLAGE HEATING UP: Curtis Millage has made 37-of-43 (.860) from the free throw line in the past 11 games and is 90-of-182 (.495) from the field in the past 15 games. He is averaging 16.8 points per game in Pac-10 play, seventh in the league. Millage has 11 20-point games in his career, including 27 vs. USC on Feb. 13 which matched his career high. He also has made 24-of-26 (.923) free throws in the past five games and is averaging 20.8 points in that span.

DODD PLAYING WELL: Point guard Kyle Dodd is shooting 39-of-75 (.520) from the field this year and has 40 assists and just five turnovers in the past eight games. He posted a season-high 14 points vs. UCLA on Feb. 16. Dodd leads the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.78 and has 65 assists and just 10 turnovers in the 16 league games.

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 17-10 (.630) record this year. Overall, Evans is 104-125 (.454) in his first four years of building a program and is 59-26 (.694) after the rebuilding process.

REDHAGE CONTINUES SOLID PLAY: 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 nine 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 and has posted double digits in six of the past 10 games. His 29 points is the most by a Sun Devil off the bench since at least the 1979-80 season. He is 52-of-104 (.500) from the field in the past 19 games and started at Cal on March 1 and had 16 points.

AT THE LINE: Ike Diogu's 221 free throw attempts (8.19 per game) is on pace to break the ASU single-season mark of 234 (7.09 pg) set by Mario Bennett in 1994-95. 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.

AT UO (JAN. 4): ASU led by 10 early and took a 39-33 lead at the half, but ninth-ranked Oregon shot 21-of-26 (.808) from the field in the second half for the 94-73 win. Ike Diogu had a season-high 27 points and eight rebounds while Curtis Millage added 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Oregon got 30 points from its bench, outrebounded ASU 33-27 and shot 11-of-21 (.524) from the three-point stripe, including 7-of-12 (.583) in the second half. ASU had a season-low 27 rebounds while the Ducks had ASU opponent season-highs for points (94), three-point goals (11), and points in a half (61), as the 61 second-half points was the most given up in any half by ASU under Evans.

AT OSU (JAN. 2): ASU held OSU to just 17-of-51 (.333) from the field, including 7-of-30 (.233) in the second half, and topped the Beavers 67-47 on Jan. 2. ASU allowed just 18 second-half points and outrebounded the Beavers 42-27. Curtis Millage had 16 points to lead the Sun Devils while Ike Diogu posted his first double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. ASU had just 11 turnovers and its bench outscored the Beaver subs 16-6. Tommy Smith added eight points, eight boards and three blocks. The 47 points is the fewest allowed in a road game since a 58-47 win at Stanford on Jan. 27, 1991. It also matched the fifth-lowest opponent point total in ASU's 25 years of Pac-10 play. The win was the Sun Devils first Pac-10 road opening win since 1991-92, which snapped a 10-game Pac-10 road opening skid. ASU had a season-low 15 fouls and posted defensive bests in opponents points (47), field goals (17) and second-half points (18).

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 seven of the top 12 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 at #19 Stanford, Feb. 27, 2003 Ike Diogu vs. UCLA, Feb. 15, 2003 Ike Diogu vs. USC, Feb. 13, 2003 Ike Diogu at Washington State, Feb. 6, 200312. 25 Ike Diogu vs. Nevada, Dec. 10, 2002

ROB EVANS: Rob Evans (163-151/.519) 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 77-70 (.524) 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 119-83 (.589) in the past seven seasons.

PLAYER QUICK NOTES/SEASON AND CAREER HIGHS

#1 JASON BRAXTON: Has 13 assists and just four turnovers in the past five 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.

#3 KYLE DODD: Shooting 39-of-75 (.520) from the field this year...10 turnovers in the past 17 games (334 minutes)...40 assists and just five turnovers in past eight games...six assists and one turnover at No. 23 California on March 1...six assists and no turnovers vs. top-ranked Arizona on Feb. 22...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 117-game career, he has 288 assists and just 101 turnovers, a 2.85-to-1 ratio...has seven dunks in four-year career.

#4 TOMMY SMITH: Season-high 18 points and eight boards vs. top-ranked Arizona on Feb. 22...16 points and eight boards vs. UCLA on Feb. 15...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 27 games...10 20-point games...five double-doubles...a NABC District 15 First-Team Selection...18 points and nine boards at No. 23 California on March 1...26 points and nine boards at No. 19 Stanford on Feb. 27...15 points and 10 boards vs. top-ranked Arizona on Feb. 22...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 11.0 minutes in his past eight games, but did not play at Washington on Feb. 8 and at California on Mar. 1...played 20 minutes at top-ranked Arizona on Jan. 22 and made 4-of-7 three-pointers and had season-high 12 points...16-of-18 (.889) 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 10 times this year...shot 21-of-46 (.457) from the three-point stripe in Pac-10 games last year.

#14 CURTIS MILLAGE: Has 11 20-point games in two-year career...24-of-26 (.923) free throws in the past five games and is averaging 20.8 points in that span...90-of-182 (.495) from field in past 15 games...averaging 16.8 points per game in Pac-10 play, seventh-best in the league...37-of-43 (.860) from the free throw line in the past 11 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...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...solid game vs. top-ranked Arizona with 12 points, including three three-pointers...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...20-of-27 (.741) 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 10 games and in four of the past seven 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 70 games in three-year career...has played in 17 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...a 2003 Verizon Academic All-District VIII pick...2001 and 2002 Pac-10 All-Academic pick...16 points and five boards in starting role at No. 23 California on March 1...10 points and seven boards at No. 19 Stanford on Feb. 27...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...52-of-104 (.500) from the field in the past 19 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...nine 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 227-of-291 (.780) 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.

WULK HALL INDUCTEE: The Sun Devil family will induct Ned Wulk into the 2003 Pac-10 Hall of Honor on March 12, 2003. Byron Scott was ASU's initial inductee last year. 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 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.

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