Men's Hoops Faces Delaware State At 7 p.m.
Nov. 23, 2004
ASU PLAYING SEVEN GAMES IN 16 DAYS TO GET STARTED: The Arizona State men's basketball team is opening the year with seven games in 16 days. ASU topped Jackson State on Nov. 21 79-48 and meets Delaware State Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Tempe as part of the Las Vegas Invitational. ASU travels to Las Vegas to play UTEP on Friday, Nov. 26, at Valley High School at 7:30 p.m. PT/8:30 MST and then takes on either Vanderbilt or Southern Illinois on Saturday. UTEP, Southern Illinois and Vanderbilt all made the 2004 NCAA Tournament, and UTEP (24-8 last year) is picked to win the WAC and Southern Illinois (25-5) is picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference. ASU then goes straight from Las Vegas to Temple, where it takes on Hall of Fame coach John Chaney on Nov. 30.
LAST TIME OUT: ASU beat Jackson State 79-48 on Nov. 21, 2004, to win its 15th straight home opener. The last time ASU lost a home opener was on Dec. 5, 1989, when ASU fell to BYU 65-64. Rob Evans is now 11-2 in overall season lid-lifters in his 13 seasons (6-1 at ASU). Ike Diogu led the way with 24 points, his 60th straight game in double digits and his 30th 20-point game. ASU held the Tigers to just 16-of-60 (.267) from the floor, the fifth-best defensive effort by any Rob Evans-coached team (347 games overall) and the third-best mark in his ASU tenure (180 games). The Sun Devils posted 13 steals, their most since they had 14 vs. Prairie View A & M on Dec. 1, 2001, a span of the past 84 games.
ACADEMICALLY: Despite published reports that say 'the state's three public universities have graduated only two male basketball players in the past five years' and '...not a single men's basketball player graduated from the three institutions last year' ASU has had success in the classroom recently. Here's a look at scholarship players already earning degrees who have played for Rob Evans: Kenny Crandall (B.I.S., Business and Communications, 2004), Justin Allen (B.S., Justice Studies, 2003), Tyson Johnston (B.A., Sociology 2003), Chad Prewitt (B.I.S., Business and Communications, 2002), Awvee Storey (B.I.S., Sociology, 2001), Okeme Oziwo (B.S.W., Social Work, 1999) and Bobby Lazor (B.S., Marketing, 1998).
DIOGU AMONG TOP SCORERS: Ike Diogu averaged 22.8 points per game in 2003-2004, which not only led the Pac-10 but was ninth in the nation. Diogu enters the 2004-2005 season as the nation's third-leading returning scorer and is the first Pac-10 scoring leader to be back on campus the following season since Reggie Miller won the honors in 1985-86 and returned in 1986-87.
VS. LAS VEGAS INVITATIONAL FIELD: ASU is 1-0 against Delaware State (123-85 on Dec. 1, 1997), with the 123 points still ranking as the fourth-highest in school history and the most by a Sun Devil team since 1971. ASU is 51-44 against UTEP but has not played the Miners since Dec. 3, 1984, when UTEP topped ASU 68-57. ASU is 2-0 against Vanderbilt (65-53 in 1981-82 and 67-61 in 1994-95) and is 2-1 against Southern Illinois. ASU beat the Salukis 79-78 in 1965-66, lost 62-59 in 1967-68 and won 92-74 in 1979-80.
VS. TEMPLE: The first four games between the Owls and Sun Devils have been at neutral sites, as ASU leads the series 3-1, with the last meeting a 70-66 win on Dec. 9, 2003, at Phoenix's America West Arena. Prior to that, the previous meeting was 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 2-1 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. ASU made a 15-4 run in the final four minutes and Ike Diogu had nine of his 23 points in the final 3:09 in last year's Sun Devil win. ASU held Temple to 33.8 field goal shooting and just nine assists, both opponent season-lows, in a game that had 43 fouls. Steve Moore added 15 points.