Men's Hoops Faces Memphis In NCAAs At 5:10 p.m. (Arizona Time) Thursday
March 16, 2003
ASU IN WEST REGION AT NCAAs: The 10th-seeded Arizona State men's basketball team (19-11; 11-7 and fourth in the Pac-10 Conference) takes on the Memphis Tigers on Thursday, March 20, in NCAA Tournament West Region first round action at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City at 6:10 p.m. (5:10 MST). The winner will face the Kansas/Utah State winner at approximately 7 p.m. (6 p.m. MST) on Saturday.
Arizona State went 6-3 in the second half of Pac-10 play to clinch the fourth spot in the standings. The Sun Devils will try to notch their first 20-win season since 1995 and their second in the past 13 seasons. ASU is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995, the second time in the past 12 seasons and for just the third time in 22 seasons. Its only NCAA appearances in the previous 21 seasons were in 1994-95 and 1990-91.
MEET IKE DIOGU: Ike Diogu, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and the only freshman to earn All-Pac-10, is averaging 20.3 points and 10.2 rebounds in the past 12 games and has 11 20-point games. Diogu, Cal senior Joe Shipp and Oregon junior Luke Ridnour are the only Pac-10 players who have posted double digits in every game. Diogu is the only Pac-10 player who ranks in the league's top five in scoring and rebounding as he is third in scoring (19.1 ppg.) and fourth in rebounding (7.9 rpg.).
The Garland, Texas, native also has set the ASU freshman record for starts (30), points (572), field goals made (195), rebounds (237) and minutes (966). He has set school records for free throws made (175) and attempted (238) and his 18 rebounds vs. Oregon in the Pac-10 Tournament set the ASU freshman single-game mark and is a Pac-10 Tournament record. The 18 rebounds is the most by a Sun Devil since Mike Batiste had 18 in a triple-overtime game at Texas A & M on Dec. 18, 1998, a span of the past 141 games.
NCAA HISTORY: This year marks ASU's 12th NCAA appearance and first since 1995. ASU is 11-12 in the previous 11 appearances and has reached the Final Eight on three occasions. The Sun Devils did it in 1961, 1963 and 1975 -- all under coach Ned Wulk. Utah, Oregon State and UCLA eliminated ASU in those years. In 1995, ASU (the No. 5 seed in the Southeast), beat Ball State 81-66 and topped Manhattan 64-54 in Memphis to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, where it fell to second-ranked Kentucky 97-67 in Birmingham.
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 with a program that had been to just one NCAA Tournament. Before those two 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 19-11 (.655) record this year. Overall, Evans is 104-125 (.454) in his first four years of building a program and is 61-27 (.693) after the rebuilding process.
MILLAGE HEATING UP: Curtis Millage has made 55-of-63 (.873) free throws in the past 14 games and is 113-of-226 (.500) from the field in the past 18 games. He averaged 17.4 points per game in Pac-10 play, tied for fifth in the loop, and his 16.1 points per game is currently eighth in the league. Millage has 13 20-point games in his career, including 27 vs. USC on Feb. 13 and 27 vs. Oregon on March 6 which matched his career high. He also has made 42-of-46 (.913) free throws in the past eight games and is averaging 21.6 points in that span, tied with Diogu for the team leader.
AWAY FROM TEMPE: ASU opened Pac-10 play with five of its first seven and seven of its first 11 on the road and played 15 games away from Tempe and is 7-8, including neutral site wins over Mountain West top-seed Utah (Maui Invitational) and Purdue (Las Vegas Showdown). ASU played 15 home games and 15 games away from Tempe.
RPI CHATTER: ASU finished the season with an RPI of No. 32, according to collegeRPI.com (Mar. 16). Others in the Pac-10 include Arizona (2), Stanford (20), California (33), Oregon (50), USC (111), UCLA (136), Oregon State (157), Washington (161), and Washington State (232). ASU was 5-10 against the top 100.
IN THE PAC-10: ASU ranks first in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.484) and blocks per game (4.33), second in fewest turnovers per game (13.9), and is third in scoring defense (69.3 ppg), scoring offense (76.8), scoring margin (+7.5), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.14) and rebounding margin (+4.8). Tommy Smith has posted a Pac-10 leading 64 blocks (2.13 per game) while Kyle Dodd leads the loop with a 4.54 assist-to-turnover ratio (100 assists and 22 turnovers).
EVERYONE LIKES IKE: Freshman Ike Diogu leads the team at 19.1 points and 7.9 rebounds. The Garland, Texas, native has already been to the line a Pac-10-leading 238 times and is shooting .735 percent from the charity stripe (175-of-238). He also is shooting 60.7 percent from the field (195-of-321), second in the Pac-10, and finished at 63.8 percent (120-of-188) in Pac-10 games, first in the league.
ALL-PAC HONORS: Diogu became just the ninth freshman to earn all-league honors since Arizona and Arizona State joined the loop in 1978-79 (25 seasons ago) and just the fourth to earn All-Pac-10 in the past seven seasons. Before Diogu, no freshman had earned All-Pac-10 since Jason Gardner (Arizona), Casey Jacobsen (Stanford) and Jason Kapono (UCLA) in 1999-2000. 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 is Arizona State's third Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, joining Jamal Faulkner in 1990-91 and Byron Scott in 1979-80.
ROB EVANS: Rob Evans (165-152/.521) 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 79-71 (.527) 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 121-84 (.590) in the past seven seasons.
ROB EVANS VS. THE FIELD: Arizona State coach Rob Evans has never faced Memphis, Kansas or Utah State in his 11-year head coaching career.
EVANS IN THE NCAA: Rob Evans took Ole Miss to NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons, a first in school history, in 1997 and 1998. Ole Miss had been to just one NCAA Tournament before Evans arrived (1981).
Evans and eighth-seeded Ole Miss fell to ninth-seeded Temple 62-40 in the first round on March 14, 1997, in Kansas City.
In 1998, fourth-seeded Ole Miss fell to 13th-seeded Valparaiso 70-69 in Oklahoma City on March 13, 1998. Valparaiso then beat Florida State 83-77 in overtime to advance to the Sweet Sixteen where it fell to Rhode Island.
DODD PLAYING WELL: Point guard Kyle Dodd has 54 assists and just nine turnovers in the past 11 games. He posted a season-high 14 points vs. UCLA on Feb. 16. Dodd leads the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.54 and also had 76 assists and just 13 turnovers in the 18 league games, a league-leading 5.85 ratio in the loop.
AT THE LINE: Ike Diogu's 238 free throw attempts (7.93 per game) broke the ASU record of 234 (7.09 pg) set by Mario Bennett in 1994-95. He would crack the Pac-10 single-season list and would register the most free throws in the loop since Harold Miner attempted 286 in 1991-92, which is third on the Pac-10 single-season list, if he reaches 265.
REDHAGE SOLID: 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 has 12 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 nine of the past 13 games. His 29 points is the most by a Sun Devil off the bench in school history. In the past five games, including the past four games in which he started, Redhage is averaging 13.0 points.
IKE ON PAC-10 LIST: Ike Diogu's 19.1 points per game is currently the third-best mark in Pac-10 history by a freshman. Only Shareef Abdur-Rahim (21.1 points per game in 1995-96) and Harold Miner (20.6 in 1989-90) have posted better scoring numbers in their initial seasons.
Pac-10 CAREER Freshman Scoring LeadersRk. Player, School, Year PPG1. Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Cal, 1995-96 21.12. Harold Miner, USC, 1989-90 20.63. Ike Diogu, Arizona State, 2002-03 19.14. Don McLean, UCLA, 1988-89 18.65. Cliff Robinson, USC, 1977-78 18.46. Tom Lewis, USC, 1985-86 17.67. Todd Lichti, Stanford, 1985-86 17.28. Jason Kapono, UCLA, 1999-2000 16.09. Sean Elliott, Arizona, 1985-86 15.610. Jamal Faulkner, Arizona State, 1990-91 15.4
SERIES HISTORY: ASU and Memphis have split a pair of games, with the last meeting in 1992-93. Memphis and ASU met in Oklahoma City on Dec. 26, 1969, in the All-College Tourney in the first round. Memphis won 67-62. ASU topped Memphis 89-76 on Feb. 21, 1993, at Phoenix Veteran's Coliseum.
VS. KANSAS AND UTAH STATE: ASU is 4-4 vs. Kansas, with the last meeting taking place in the preseason NIT with Kansas winning 90-88 at Madison Square Garden. ASU is 5-8 against Utah State, with ASU winning the last meeting 78-71 in 1976-77.
MAKING HIS MARK: Ike Diogu's 27-points vs. Oregon on March 13 in the Pac-10 Tournament, 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 eight of the top 13 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 vs. Oregon (Pac-10 Tournament), March 13, 2003 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, 19799. 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, 200313. 25 Ike Diogu vs. Nevada, Dec. 10, 2002
MAKING HIS MARK, II: Ike Diogu's set the ASU freshman record and the Pac-10 Tournament record with 18 rebounds vs. Oregon on March 13. His 14 rebounds vs. Oregon on March 6 and vs. Stanford on Feb. 1 are tied for the third-best freshman rebounding mark in ASU history. In the past 12 seasons, only two ASU freshmen have posted double-doubles (eight occasions). In addition to his 27-point, 18-rebound effort vs. Oregon in the Pac-10 Tournament, Diogu had 14 points and 10 boards at Oregon State on Jan. 2, 18 points and 13 boards vs. No. 20 California on Jan. 30, 16 points and 14 rebounds vs. Stanford on Feb. 1, 26 points and 10 boards at Washington State on Feb. 6, 15 points and 10 boards vs. top-ranked Arizona on Feb. 22 and 17 points and 14 boards vs. Oregon on March 6. Chad Prewitt had 15 points and 10 boards vs. Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 8, 1998. When you tally it, the feat has been accomplished by a Sun Devil frosh just eight times in the past 336 games and just seven times (all by Ike Diogu) in the past 142 games. A look at the top freshman rebounding games at ASU:
ASU FRESHMAN SINGLE-GAME REBOUNDS (13 or more)Rk. Rbs. Player1. 18 Ike Diogu vs. Oregon (Pac-10 Tournament), Mar. 13, 20032. 17 Mario Bennett vs. Oregon, Feb. 1, 19923. 14 Ike Diogu vs. Oregon, Mar. 6, 2003 14 Ike Diogu vs. Stanford, Feb. 1, 2003 14 Mario Bennett vs. Lamar, Nov. 26, 19916. 13 Ike Diogu vs. California, Jan. 30, 2003 13 by three others on four occasions
PLAYER QUICK NOTES
#1 JASON BRAXTON: Has 15 assists and seven turnovers in the past eight 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: Has 14 turnovers in the past 20 games (448 minutes)...54 assists and just nine turnovers in past 11 games...had 76 assists and just 13 turnovers in 18 Pac-10 games (5.85-to-1 ratio)...eight assists and two turnovers in March 8 win over Oregon State...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 119-game career, he has 299 assists and just 104 turnovers, a 2.9-to-1 ratio...has seven dunks in four-year career.
#4 TOMMY SMITH: Pac-10 Player of the week for games March 6-8 as he had 24 points (matched career-high), 11 boards and four blocks vs. Oregon on March 6 and 17 points and 11 boards vs. Oregon State on March 8...an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection...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...nine 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: Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and an All-Pac-10 selection...has scored in double digits in all 29 games...11 20-point games...seven double-doubles...a NABC District 15 First-Team Selection...earned selection to the USBWA District 9 10-man team...honorable mention All-American by FoxSports.com...27 points and Pac-10 Tournament record 18 rebounds vs. Oregon on March 13...18 points on 9-of-10 shooting vs. Oregon State on March 8...17 points and 14 boards vs. Oregon on March 6 and was 7-of-8 from the line...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...just the second ASU freshman to start in the season opener in the past 10 years.
#12 KENNY CRANDALL: Averaging 8.5 minutes in his past 11 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 in 10 games this year...shot 21-of-46 (.457) from the three-point stripe in Pac-10 games last year.
#14 CURTIS MILLAGE: Has 13 20-point games in two-year career...42-of-46 (.913) free throws in the past eight games and is averaging 21.6 points in that span...113-of-226 (.500) from field in past 18 games...averaged 17.4 points per game in Pac-10 play, tied for fifth in the league...55-of-63 (.873) from the free throw line in the past 14 games...honorable mention All-Pac-10...25 points vs. Oregon in Pac-10 Tournament on March 13...17 points vs. Oregon State on March 8...27 points vs. Oregon on March 6...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...22-of-29 (.759) 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...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 71 games in three-year career...has played in 18 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...averaging 13.0 points in the past five games...12 double-figure scoring games this year after having three last year...has made 231-of-299 (.773) free throws in his four-year career...also has 75 blocks in his career, ninth-best in ASU history...11 points vs. Oregon on March 13 in Pac-10 Tournament...16 points and nine boards vs. Oregon State on March 8...12 points vs. Oregon on March 6...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...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...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...matched the ASU freshman record with 28 starts in 1999-2000.