Men's Hoops Plays Again On Saturday At 1 p.m.
Nov. 26, 2003
ASU 2-0 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1997-98: The Arizona State men's basketball team (2-0), coming off its first 20-win season since 1995 and just its second in the past 12 seasons, plays its third home games in eight days when it hosts the UC Riverside Highlanders (0-2) on Saturday, Nov. 29. It then plays on Dec. 3 at Nebraska and on Dec. 9 vs. Temple at Phoenix's America West Arena before taking an eight-day break for final exams. ASU is 2-0 with wins over Arkansas-Little Rock (89-76) and Cal State Fullerton (83-76). The Sun Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995 last year, the second time in the past 12 seasons and for the third time in 22 seasons last year. ASU advanced to the West Region and topped No. 19 Memphis 84-71 in Oklahoma City on March 20 before falling to sixth-ranked and second-seeded Kansas 108-76 on March 22.
QUICK NOTES THROUGH TWO GAMES: Jamal Hill now has 12 double-digit scoring games in his 34-game career and is 26-of-36 (.722) from the free throw line...Ike Diogu is now 205-of-274 (.748) from the free throw line in his career. He has 14 20-point games and has scored in double digits in all 34 games...ASU is 18-3 (.857) in the past two years when it outrebounds its opponent and 31-4 (.886) in the past three years when it leads at the half...in his past 16 games (14 to finish last year and two this year), Ike Diogu is averaging 20.3 points and 9.4 rebounds...ASU is 14-3 (.824) at home in the past two seasons. The Sun Devils are 24-8 (.750) in the past three seasons and are 57-29 (.663) under Evans in his six years in Wells Fargo Arena.
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 20-12 (.625) record last year. Overall, Evans is 104-125 (.454) in his first four years of building a program and is now 64-28 (.696) after the rebuilding process.
VS. CAL STATE FULLERTON: ASU had four players in double digits and got 31 points and 15 rebounds from its bench in an 83-76 win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 24. Ike Diogu led ASU with 22 points and nine boards, while Steve Moore had 14 points and nine boards. Jamal Hill had 13 points off the bench while Wilfried Fameni had 11 points in 10 minutes also off the padded chair. ASU shot just 37.5 percent (24-of-64) from the field and just 28-of-47 (.596) from the free throw line, including 16-of-30 (.533) in the second half. ASU led 41-31 at the half and had 20 offensive rebounds in the game, matching last year's season-high.
FRESHMEN STARTING NOTES: When Tron Smith and Keith Wooden started the opening game vs. Arkansas-Litte Rock, it marked the first time two Sun Devil freshmen had started the opening game in the past 13 seasons. The last time ASU had two freshman in the starting lineup on opening night was on Nov. 23, 1990, when Jamal Faulkner and Stevin Smith started against Kansas. It also marked only the third and fourth time a freshman had started in the opening game in the past 11 years at ASU. Prior to Donnell Knight (1999-2000), Ike Diogu (2002-2003), Smith and Wooden, the last freshman to start a season opener at ASU was Ron Riley in 1992-93.
VS. ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK: ASU beat Arkansas-Little Rock 89-72 on Nov. 23, 2003, to win its 14th straight home opener. Steve Moore had 26 points to lead ASU, the most by a Sun Devil newcomer in the first game since junior college transfer Isaac Burton had 28 on Nov. 27, 1993, in a 106-95 win over BYU. Ike Diogu added 26 points, eight boards and a career-high five blocks. ASU led 40-39 at the half but outscored UA-LR 49-33 in the second stanza. Junior Jason Braxton matched a career-high with seven assists. Diogu made 13-of-14 (.929) from the free throw line, the most free tosses made since Chad Prewitt made 13 against Oregon on Jan. 6, 2002. The last time ASU lost a home opener was on Dec. 5, 1989, when ASU fell to BYU 65-64. Rob Evans is 10-2 in overall lid-lifters in his 12 seasons (5-1 at ASU), with the ASU loss to Tulsa 69-67 on Nov. 10, 2000, in the NABC Classic at North Carolina.
VS. UCR: The Sun Devils are 2-0 against UC Riverside with a 73-64 win under Rob Evans on Nov. 27, 2001. It also beat UCR 96-87 on Dec. 4, 1971. In 2001, ASU had a 17-point first-half lead but UCR came back and had a 10-point lead in the second half. Jason Braxton hit a game-clinching three-pointer at the 2:44 mark as ASU got 27 bench points. Kenny Crandall (25 minutes), Braxton (25 minutes) and Justin Allen (two minutes) were the only current Sun Devils in that game.
Rob Evans: Rob Evans (168-153/.523) is in his sixth season at Arizona State (12th 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 57-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 82-72 (.532) at ASU. Evans' Ole Miss squads were known as tough man-to-man teams which ranked 13th in the nation 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 124-86 (.590) in the past seven seasons.
FREE THROWS: Steve Moore went 10-of-10 from the line and Ike Diogu was 13-of-14 as the Sun Devils made 35-of-43 (.814) free throws vs. Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 22. The 35 free throws was the most by the Sun Devils since they went 38-of-49 vs. BYU on Nov. 27, 1993. It is tied for the fourth-most in ASU history.
ASU FREE THROWS MADE1. 46 vs. Arizona, Jan. 29, 19552. 39 vs. Boston College, Dec. 29, 19773. 38 vs. BYU, Nov. 27, 1993T4. 35 vs. Arkansas-Little Rock, Nov. 22, 2003 35 vs. San Diego State, Dec. 4, 1987 35 vs. Oklahoma, Dec. 20, 1963
ALL UNDERCLASS LINEUP: ASU did not have a senior in the lineup vs. Arkansas-Little Rock for the first time since Jan. 20, 2000, when senior Eddie House sat the first three minutes of an overtime loss at USC after missing the flight to Los Angeles the previous night. The only previous all-underclass lineup was on Dec. 28, 1992, when ASU topped Duqesne 103-81. The Nov. 22 game was the first in the previous 107 and just the second in the previous 326 contests where no senior Sun Devil started.