Men's Hoops Hosts Temple And John Chaney Tuesday At 8:30 p.m. At AWA
Dec. 8, 2003
SUN DEVILS MEET OWLS: The Arizona State men's basketball team (3-1), coming off its first 20-win season since 1995 and just its second in the past 12, plays Temple on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Phoenix's America West Arena on Fox Sports Net before taking an eight-day break for finals. ASU is 3-1 with wins over Arkansas-Little Rock (89-72), Cal State Fullerton (83-76) and UC Riverside (77-68), but fell 66-60 at Nebraska on Dec. 3. Last season, the Sun Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995 and for the third time in 22 seasons. Tenth-seeded ASU topped seventh-seeded and 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. Barry Tompkins and Dan Belloumini have the call for Fox Sports Net in ASU's first of eight broadcasts on FSN. ASU has two scorers averaging over 19 points, as sophomore Ike Diogu is at 22.5 while junior college transfer Steve Moore is averaging 19.5. Moore's perimeter game is obvious, as through four games he is 13-of-28 (.464) from the three-point stripe. Through four games last year, ASU as a team was 13-of-51 (.255).
AT AWA: ASU and America West Arena host the 2004 NCAA West Regional at America West Arena on March 25-27, 2004, and is required to play a game at America West Arena this season. ASU is 3-1 at America West Arena and has won three straight, all under Rob Evans, at the home of the Phoenix Suns. ASU beat Montana State 72-69 and Utah 71-62 in December of 2001 and beat UNLV 79-70 on Dec. 5, 1998, behind Eddie House's 39 points. ASU's only defeat was a 78-74 loss to Boston College on Dec. 5, 1993. Arizona State is 9-9 in neutral site games under Rob Evans, including last year's 4-3 record.
VS. TEMPLE: All three games between the Owls and Sun Devils have been at neutral sites, as ASU leads the series 2-1, with the last meeting a 73-65 Sun Devil win on Dec. 27, 1976, in the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. ASU also won 74-67 on Dec. 28, 1971, also in the Rainbow Classic. Temple's win over ASU was 82-63 on Dec. 28, 1966, in Oklahoma City. Rob Evans is 1-1 vs. Temple, as his Ole Miss Rebels fell to Temple 62-40 on March 14, 1997, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Kansas City. Ole Miss topped No. 18 Temple 87-74 the next season in Oxford.
FAMENI UPDATE: Wilfried Fameni became just the third Sun Devil freshman in the past 12 seasons to register a double-double with his 16-point, 13-rebound performance vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29. Chad Prewitt posted one double-double in 1998-99 and Ike Diogu had seven last year, but prior to that duo Mario Bennett's 15 points and 11 boards in a 63-62 overtime loss to Louisville on Feb. 22, 1992, is the most recent double-double by a Sun Devil freshman. Fameni is shooting 50 percent from the floor (13-of-26), is 9-of-11 (.818) from the free throw line and is averaging 8.8 points and 9.0 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per game. His 13 rebounds vs. UC Riversdide is tied for the sixth-most by a freshman in ASU history.
IKE UPDATE: Sophomore Ike Diogu, ASU's first Associated Press Preseason All-American, is now 217-of-293 (.741) from the free throw line in his 36-game career. With his career-high 31 points vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29, he now has 15 games of at least 20 points and has scored in double digits in all 36 contests. In his past 18 games (14 to finish last year and four this year), he is averaging 20.4 points and 9.2 rebounds. Diogu's 31 points vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29 is the most by a Sun Devil since Chad Prewitt had 33 vs. Washington on Feb. 9, 2002, the most in the past 43 games.
QUICK NOTES: ASU hit 10 three-pointers against Nebraska for the first time in 57 games. The last time ASU hit 10 three-pointers was on Dec. 20, 2001, at Oregon. Its 25 three-point attempts vs. the Cornhuskers is the most since it took 27 vs. UCLA on Jan. 17, 2002...Ike Diogu fouled out for just the third time in his 36-game career vs. Nebraska...Wilfried Fameni grabbed 11 rebounds at Nebraska, his second-straight double-figure rebounding game. He is averaging nine boards per game through four contests...Allen Morill played a season-high 16 minutes off the bench and grabbed five rebounds vs. the Cornhuskers...Steve Moore had 20 second-half points at Nebraska. His five three-pointers made is the most by a Sun Devil since Chad Prewitt hit five at UCLA on Feb. 16, 2002...ASU is averaging 6.5 three-pointers made per game. It was last in the league last year at 4.09...Steve Moore's 26 points vs. Arkansas Little Rock on Nov. 22 is the best Sun Devil debut since junior college transfer Isaac Burton scored 28 on Nov. 27, 1993, in a 106-95 Sun Devil win over BYU...ASU is 15-3 (.833) at home in the past two seasons, 25-8 (.756) in the past three seasons and 58-29 (.667) under Rob Evans in his six years...ASU's top three scorers (Ike Diogu, Steve Moore and Wilfried Fameni) are shooting 65-of-83 (.783) from the free throw line...ASU went 46-45 (.505) in the three years prior to Jason Braxton joining the program and is 37-28 (.569) in the three years since...six players are seeing at least 20 minutes a game for ASU, including three in their first year of Division I hoops.
FRESHMEN STARTING: 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 an opener in the past 13 seasons. The last time ASU had two freshmen in the 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 an opener was Ron Riley in 1992-93.
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 65-29 (.691) after the rebuilding process.
AT NEBRASKA (DEC. 3): ASU fell behind by 14 in the second half but battled back to take the lead, but Nebraska (3-0) had just seven turnovers and outrebounded ASU 39-38 to notch a 66-60 win in Lincoln. Steve Moore had 22 points, 20 of them in the second half, and hit five three-pointers. Ike Diogu had 13 points and six boards while Jamal Hill added 10 points off the bench. Nebraska's bench outscored ASU's reserves 21-12 and the Cornhuskers had 21 second-chance points on 16 offensive boards. ASU had 10 first-half turnovers, while Nebraska's seven miscues matches the fewest by any Rob Evans' opponent in his 323 career games (156 at ASU). ASU led 46-45 at the 10:03 mark but was whistled for 10 fouls in the final 10 minutes while Nebraska only had two, and as a result Nebraska hit 10-of-16 from the line.
TOP SCORER: This year marks the first time ASU has returned its top scorer since 1999-2000, after Eddie House averaged 18.9 points in 1998-99. House averaged a Pac-10 leading 23.0 points en route to earning Pac-10 Player of the Year. ASU is one of four Pac-10 teams who returns its top scorer, along with USC (Desmon Farmer/18.7), Washington St. (Marcus Moore/18.2) and Washington (Nate Robinson/13.0).
IKE IN 2002-2003: Ike Diogu, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and the only freshman to earn All-Pac-10, averaged 19.9 points and 9.6 rebounds in the final 14 games last year. Diogu was the only player who ranked in the Pac-10's top five in scoring (19.0 ppg./third) and rebounding (7.8 rpg./fifth). The Garland, Texas, native set ASU freshman records for starts (32), points (607), field goals made (209), rebounds (249) and minutes (1,030). He set school records for free throws made (180) and attempted (245). He shot 60.8 percent from the field (209-of-344), tied for first in the Pac-10, and finished at 63.8 percent (120-of-188) in the 18 Pac-10 games, first in the league. Diogu's 60.8 percent field goal shooting was the eighth-best mark in the nation.
Rob Evans: Rob Evans (169-154/.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 83-73 (.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 125-86 (.592) in the past seven seasons.