Men's Hoops Faces Ducks At Mac Court Saturday Night

Jan. 21, 2005

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SUN DEVILS GO TO MAC COURT: The Arizona State men's basketball team (13-5; 2-4 in the Pac-10 Conference), 4-3 in games away from Tempe, takes on the Oregon Ducks on Saturday, Jan. 22 (7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MST). The game will be broadcast by Fox Sports Arizona, with Tom Dillon and Tim Kempton calling the action. After sweeping the Bay Area road trip Jan. 6-8 for the first time since 1984-85, the Sun Devils have dropped three straight high-scoring games with home losses to UCLA (86-82) and USC (98-94) last weekend and an 88-66 loss at OSU Thursday. ASU is 3-2 in road games on the year with wins at Temple, Stanford and Cal. ASU has had some success at Mac Court, as it is 3-3 under Rob Evans, but has given up 90.7 points per game in the past three losses and has allowed its opponents to shoot 56 percent from the field (98-of-175) in those three games.

VS. OREGON STATE THURSDAY: Oregon State shot 62.5 percent from the field, the third-highest field goal percentage against a Rob Evans' coached-team (364 games), and broke open a three-point halftime lead to top ASU 88-66 on Thursday. Ike Diogu was the only Sun Devil in double digits, as he posted 27, including 22 in the first half. The Beavers became the fifth straight team to outrebound the Sun Devils (35-30) and shot 65.4 percent in the first half (17-of-26). Kevin Kruger added nine points and eight assists for ASU.

RECORD AT MAC COURT: Although it is considered one of the tougher places to play in the nation, Oregon's McArthur Court has actually been a decent place to play for ASU recently. ASU is 5-5 in Eugene in the past 10 seasons, (3-3 under Rob Evans). A look at the Pac-10 records of teams at Mac Court beginning with the 1994-95 season, as the Ducks already have topped USC and OSU at home and fell to UCLA and Arizona.

Team	W-L	.PctArizona	7-4	.636Stanford	6-4	.600Arizona State	5-5	.500Washington	4-6	.400UCLA	4-7	.364California	3-7	.300USC	3-8	.272Washington State	1-9	.100Oregon State	0-11	.000

VS. OREGON: ASU is 5-4 against the Ducks in the past nine meetings and leads the overall series 32-26. In his five games against Oregon, Ike Diogu is averaging 23.6 points and 12.2 rebounds, including a Pac-10 Tournament and ASU freshman record 18 boards on March 13, 2003. Last year in Eugene, ASU played its most impressive game of the year from start to finish in an 86-75 win on Feb. 21, its third win at McArthur Court in the past six years. ASU shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded the Ducks 40-27. Ike Diogu (23 points and 12 boards), Kevin Kruger (17 points) and Jamal Hill (18 points) all started and played 40 minutes, while Serge Angounou had season-highs in points (12) and minutes (32). The Ducks took an ASU opponent's record 38 three-point field goal attempts, including 21 in the second half.

PAC-10 NOTE: Ike Diogu leads the Pac-10 in both scoring (22.6 ppg.) and rebounding (9.9 rpg.). Only A.C. Green of Oregon State (1984-85) and Mark McNamara of California (1981-82) have led the Pac-10 in both categories. Diogu also leads the league in blocks at 2.77 per game. Since blocks became an official statistic in 1977-78, no player has led the league in all three categories.

IKE'S NUMBERS: Ike Diogu has posted a Pac-10 leading eight double-doubles and leads the nation in free throws made (149) and attempted (181). His national-best consecutive games in double-figures scoring streak is up to 77 games (every game of his career). He has eight 30-point games (three this year), 41 20-point games (12 this year), 23 double-doubles (eight this year) and 13 other games with nine rebounds. He also leads the Pac-10 in blocks (2.77 per game). He is 572-of-724 (.790) from the free throw line in his career, and both marks are sixth on the Pac-10 career charts.

HELP FOR IKE: ASU has established some balance in its six Pac-10 games, as four players are averaging double-digit scoring, including sixth-man Kevin Kruger who is scoring at a 12.7 points per game clip and has nine double-digit scoring games overall. Sophomore Serge Angounou posted his best scoring game with 20 points vs. USC on Saturday and is averaging 10.4 points and 6.9 boards in his past 15 games.

MORE EXPERIENCE: Last year at this time Rob Evans was 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 45.3 minutes in games played this year with two senior starters and two-time All-Pac-10 honoree Ike Diogu.

KRUGER, THEN AND NOW: Sophomore Kevin Kruger has notched double digits in nine games. After shooting 4-of-27 (.148) from the three-point stripe in the first 18 games of his career, he is 62-of-152 (.408) in his past 27 contests. He posted a season-high 18 points vs. UCLA and had a career-high 22 at Arizona last year. He had 20 in his first career start last year at Oregon State on Feb. 19.

THREE-DOT DATA: ASU has outrebounded 11 of 17 opponents on the year and is 10-1 in those games, but has been outrebounded in the past five games. ASU was outrebounded last year for the first time in Rob Evans six years...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 is 9-2 at home after going 7-8 at Wells Fargo Arena last year...ASU's 11 wins non-conference wins is the most in the regular-season since the 1975-76 squad was 12-1 in non-conference play before going 5-9 in the WAC...ASU is 10-1 when it outrebounds its opponents and 11-1 when it leads at the half.

MORE DIOGU: Ike Diogu's national-best double figure scoring streak of 77 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.

COACH EVANS: Rob Evans (189-175/.519) 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 a 1968 graduate of New Mexico State, where he captained two NCAA Tournament teams and is a 1989 inductee of the Athletic Hall of Fame. He is 103-94 (.523) 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.

KRUGER STARTING: Sophomore Kevin Kruger was in the starting lineup for the sixth time in his career on at Arizona on Jan. 2 with the ankle injury to Bryson Krueger, which statistically is certainly not a bad thing. In his six career starts, Kevin Kruger is averaging 16.0 points in 33.7 minutes and is shooting 21-of-43 (.488) from the three-point stripe. He posted career highs in points (22) and three-pointers made (six) in his start last year at Arizona on March 7.


#1 Jason Braxton: Has played in all 106 games in career and started in 88...27-of-53 (.509) from the field in the past nine games...has four 10-point games on the year (at Arizona, vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, vs. Northwestern and vs. USC) shooting 84.6 percent (11-of-13) from the free throw line in Pac-10 play...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...32-of-55 (.582) from the floor and 18-of-32 (.563) from the three-point stripe in his past 11 games...five double-digit scoring games on the year...13-of-22 (.591) from the field and 8-of-13 (.615) from three-point stripe in past four 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.

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