Diogu On Several First-Team All-American Lists
Oct. 31, 2003
Arizona State's Ike Diogu, the 2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a 2003 Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, has caught the attention of the men's college basketball world and has been named a first-team All-American by Street & Smith's, Basketball News, Dick Vitale and Sporting News in their preseason issues.
Basketball News, Sporting News and Athlon's have Diogu as their preseason Pac-10 Player of the Year.
Diogu led ASU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1995 last year, which included a first-round win over Memphis in Oklahoma City. ASU finished 20-12 and 11-7 in the Pac-10 (tied for fourth).
Diogu and Carmelo Anthony were the only freshmen to receive 2003 All-American votes by the 72 Associated Press media members who picked the 2002-2003 weekly top 25. None of the AP'S first-, second- or third-team All-Americans return this year, as Diogu is joined by Gregory Burks (Prairie View A&M), Taylor Coppenrath (Vermont), Luis Flores (Manhattan), Branduinn Fullove (UC Santa Barbara), Mike Helms (Oakland, Mich.), Ricky Minard (Morehead State), James Moore (New Mexico State), Jameer Nelson (Saint Joseph's), Emeka Okafor (Connecticut), Blake Stepp (Gonzaga), Chris Thomas (Notre Dame) and Patrick Whearty (Holy Cross) as returning honorable mention All-Americans.
A look at various magazines and their first-team All-America picks:
Sporting News First-Team All-Americans: Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph's), Raymond Felton (North Carolina), Rickey Paulding (Missouri), Emeka Okafor (UCONN), Ike Diogu (Arizona State).
Basketball News First-Team All-Americans: Ike Diogu (Arizona State), Ben Gordon (UCONN), Julius Hodge (North Carolina State), Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph's), Emeka Okafor (UCONN).
Street & Smith's First-Team All-Americans: Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph's), Raymond Felton (North Carolina), Rickey Paulding (Missouri), Ike Diogu (Arizona State), Emeka Okafor (UCONN).
Some other quick notes on Diogu include:
*On 38 occasions he was fouled while making a shot and he made the ensuing free throw 28 times.
*He notched double digits in all 32 games and had less than 15 points just six times.
*Improved as the year progressed, as he averaged 19.9 points and 9.6 rebounds in the final 14 games.
*Made more free throws than any Pac-10 player had attempted except Luke Ridnour, who had 184 attempts, four more than Ike's 180 made.
*His 19.0 points per game is the third-best freshman mark in Pac-10 history. Only Shareef Abdur-Rahim (21.1 points per game in 1995-96) and Harold Miner (20.6 in 1989-90) posted better scoring numbers in their initial seasons.
*Diogu spent the better part of July and the first week of August competing at the Pan American Games. Coached by Tom Izzo, Diogu 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 10.4 minutes per game of action in the five contests. He shot 61.1 percent from the floor (11-of-18) and led the team with eight boards in the opening game, an 80-79 win over Argentina, as he posted 11 points in 12 minutes. Since 1951, Diogu is one of 10 Pac-10 players to compete in the Pan-American Games. Diogu roomed with Stanford's Josh Childress, while Oregon's Luke Jackson also was on the squad. Diogu was the youngest player on the team.