Men's Hoops Travels To Cal for 9 p.m. MST game Saturday on Fox Sports Arizona.
Jan. 7, 2005
SUN DEVILS VS. BEARS: The Arizona State men's basketball team (12-2 overall and 1-1 in the Pacific-10 Conference), winners of 10 of its past 11, plays at California on Saturday, Jan. 8 (8 p.m. PT/Fox Sports Arizona). The Sun Devils ended Stanford's 18-game home win streak and ended a streak of 13 straight Cardinal wins over ASU dating to Jan. 31, 1998, with an 81-69 win on Thursday. ASU jumped out to a 39-31 halftime lead and stretched the lead to 19 (68-49) in the second half. Ike Diogu made his first six shots from the field and finished with 28 points and 15 rebounds, his eighth double-double in the past 11 games and fifth straight 20-point game. Steve Moore posted 19 points, including three three-pointers, while three other Sun Devils notched eight points, including Allen Morill who had eight points in nine minutes off the bench. Jason Braxton added eight points and seven assists. ASU will try and sweep the Bay Area road trip for the first time since 1985, as it has done it just three times (1984-85, 1980-81, 1979-80) in 26 Pac-10 seasons. ASU has not even been in a situation to sweep the Bay Area road trip since 1992-93, as Thursday's win marks the first time ASU had won the initial game of this road trip since a 75-71 win at Stanford on March 4, 1993.
MORE EXPERIENCED: ASU's experience and depth this year are a lot better, as last year at this time the Sun Devils were trying to play up to eight newcomers (including six freshman) without a senior starter. ASU's eight newcomers combined to average 118.1 minutes per game they played in last year, compared to four newcomers averaging 47.6 minutes in games played this year with two senior starters.
IKE NUMBERS: ASU is led by junior Ike Diogu, who is averaging 23.1 points and 10.6 rebounds. He has posted a double-double eight times in the past 11 games and five straight 20-point games. Diogu leads the nation in free throws made (129) and attempted (151). His national-best consecutive games in double-figures scoring streak is up to 73 games (every game of his career). He now has eight 30-point games (three this year), 39 20-point games (10 this year), 23 double-doubles (eight this year, which leads the Pac-10) and 12 other games with nine rebounds. He also has posted 39 blocks. Diogu is 552-of-694 (.795) from the free throw line in his career and entered 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. He also averaged a Pac-10 best 36.9 minutes per game and grabbed 8.9 rebounds per game (second in the Pac-10) last year. The Garland, Texas, native averaged 11.03 free throw attempts per game last year and broke the 40 year-old Pac-10 season record for free throws made with 243.
MORE DIOGU: Ike Diogu's national-best double figure scoring streak of 73 games still has a ways to go until it reaches NCAA-record levels. The NCAA record is 115 set by La Salle's Lionel Simmons from 1987-90. Diogu's lowest point total in his career was 10 against Morehead State on Nov. 22, 2003, the first game of his career.
KRUGER, THEN AND NOW: Sophomore Kevin Kruger is 29-of-62 (.468) from the three-point stripe and has notched double digits in six games. He provided a spark in the final nine games last year, averaging 29.0 minutes, 12.4 points and shooting 27-of-59 (.448) from the three-point stripe. He was the team's second-leading scorer in those nine games. After shooting 4-of-27 (.148) from the three-point stripe in the first 18 games of his career, he is 56-of-120 (.467) in his past 23 contests. He posted a season-high 17 points vs. Valparaiso and had a career-high 22 at Arizona last year. His 46.8 percent from the three-point stripe is currently second in ASU history for a single-season.
VS. CALIFORNIA: The ASU-California series has been predictable recently, with the home team winning 21 of the past 26 games. ASU leads the overall series 30-27, but Cal has won seven of the past eight. Ike Diogu is averaging 21.3 points and 11.0 rebounds against the Bears and is 23-of-35 (.657) from the floor. In last year's Jan. 5 game in Tempe, ASU shot a season-low 30.9 percent from the field (17-of-55) from the floor in a 74-62 Bear win in which Cal led by as many as 20. ASU made a season-high 12 three-pointers in an 85-83 loss in Berkeley on Feb. 7, as Cal attempted 42 free throws and ASU shot just 21.
OLD SCHOOL THREES: Ike Diogu has been fouled when making a shot 75 times in his career and has made 57-of-75 (.760) of the free throws that followed.
BLOCK PARTY: ASU has posted 43 blocks in its past six games (7.2 per game), including nine vs. Northwestern (Dec. 20) and Valparaiso (Dec. 29). The nine blocks are the most since ASU had 13 vs. Washington on Jan. 9, 2003. Ike Diogu has 39 blocks to lead the Pac-10 (2.79 per game), while Serge Angounou has 11 blocks through 14 games after posting just two in 15 games last year. Diogu had a career-high seven blocks against Santa Clara, the most by a Sun Devil since Rodger Farrington tied the school record with eight vs. Houston Baptist on Dec. 10, 1996, and has 117 in his career.
DEVIL THREE-DOT TEAM DATA: ASU was third in the nation last year in free throw attempts at 27.56 per game, behind only Texas Southern (28.3) and Niagara (28.2). It is averaging 26.2 attempts per game this year. ASU has made 255 free throws while its opponents have attempted 251...ASU has outrebounded 11 of 14 opponents on the year and is 10-1 in those games...ASU was 13-of-20 (.650) from the three-point stripe vs. Northwestern on Dec. 20, its most three-pointers since it hit 13 at Oregon on Jan. 27, 1996 (tied for fifth in school history). The 65 percent three-point shooting is a school record (minimum 20 attempts)...ASU was 11-1 before falling at Arizona on Jan. 2, something it has done just twice, as both the 1974-75 and 1962-63 Sun Devils went 15-1...ASU has held eight opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting, including road wins against Temple (.323) and Stanford (.391).
Rob Evans: Rob Evans (188-172/.522) is in his seventh season at Arizona State (13th 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 58-year old Evans is 102-91 (.528) at ASU and has led the Sun Devils to three postseason appearances, including a 2003 NCAA appearance that was the school's first since 1995. He reached his 100th win at ASU against Long Island on Dec. 28, becoming just the third coach in ASU history to top the century mark, joining Ned Wulk (406-272 from 1957-82) and Bill Frieder (132-108 from 1989-97).
GET TO 50 PERCENT: ASU is 23-1 in the past three seasons when it shoots 50 percent from the field. ASU had won its previous 24 games when shooting 50 percent before its Jan. 2 loss at Arizona as it was 29-of-57 (.509) from the floor. ASU is 49-5 (.907) under Rob Evans when it shoots 50 percent.
ADDITIONAL QUICK PLAYER QUICK NOTES
#1 Jason Braxton: Averaging 6.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in the past nine games and is shooting 23-of-41 (.561) from the field...has 59 assists and just 23 turnovers on the year...has played in all 102 games in career and started in 84...19-of-31 (.613) from the field in the past three games...has three 10-point games on the year...will earn his B.I.S. degree in four years in business and psychology in May of 2005.
#12 Bryson Krueger: Sophomore played for current ASU assistant coach Brooks Thompson at Yavapai C.C. for one season before arriving at ASU...19-of-33 (.576) from the floor and 10-of-19 (.526) from the three-point stripe in his past seven games...injured ankle on Dec. 28 vs. Long Island, missed Dec. 29 win over Valparaiso and played just eight minutes at Arizona on Jan. 2...had a season-high 23 points against UC Riverside on Dec. 12...posted 14 points against Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 6...12 points vs. UTEP on Nov. 26.
#21 Steve Moore: Posted 20 points vs. Vanderbilt and vs. Cal State Northridge and had 19 at Stanford on Jan. 6...has been in double figures in 11 games on the year and in past six...led ASU with 18 points vs. Northwestern on Dec. 20...shooting 78.0 percent (117-of-150) from the free throw line in his 41-game career.
#45 Serge Angounou: Averaging 10.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in the past 11 games...has seven games in double digits in scoring and two double-doubles this year...had 11 points and 11 boards vs. Valparaiso on Dec. 30...posted 14 points vs. Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 6...posted 13 points vs. Vanderbilt on Nov. 27 and 13 points and 14 boards in 34 minutes at Temple on Nov. 30...missed the first 12 games last year and all of 2002-2003 with a knee injury.