Men's Hoops Faces Two Styles In Washington Schools
Jan. 25, 2005
ASU COMING HOME FOR FOUR STRAIGHT: The Arizona State men's basketballteam (14-5; 3-4 in the Pac-10 Conference) takes on the WashingtonState Cougars on Thursday, Jan. 27 (7 p.m. MST) and then hosts thetenth-ranked Washington Huskies on Sunday, Jan. 30 (1:45 p.m. MST).Sunday's game will be broadcast by CBS, with Craig Bolerjack and JimSpanarkel calling the action. After sweeping the Bay Area trip Jan.6-8 for the first time since 1984-85, ASU dropped three straightbefore winning its third Pac-10 road game with a convincing 64-51 winat Oregon on Saturday. After allowing UCLA, USC and Oregon State anaverage of 90.7 points and 56 percent field-goal shooting, ASU heldthe Ducks to 28.6 percent from the field (20-of-70) and to theirfewest points (51) at McArthur Court since March 6, 1993 (54-48 lossto Oregon State). ASU is 16-10 (.615) against Washington State inTempe and is 20-7 (.741) against the Huskies, its second-best markagainst a Pac-10 opponent. Under Rob Evans in Tempe, ASU is 4-2 vs.the Cougars and 5-1 against the Huskies. No Sun Devil opponent hasscored 100 points in Wells Fargo Arena since Feb. 27, 1988, whenthird-ranked Arizona topped ASU 101-73, a span of the past 277 games,a mark that Washington could threaten as it ranks second in thenation in scoring at 88.1 points per game and has reached tripledigits four times. Only five teams have reached triple digits againsta Rob Evans' coached team in regulation in his 13 years (365 games).ASU has won 15 of the past 17 against Washington in Tempe.
PAC-10 NOTE: Ike Diogu leads the Pac-10 in both scoring (21.9 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 bothcategories. Diogu also leads the league in blocks at 2.84 per game.Since blocks became an official statistic in 1977-78, no player hasled the league in all three categories.
IKE'S NUMBERS: Ike Diogu's play this year has been among the best inthe nation, as he is seventh nationally in points per game at 21.9(as of Jan. 25) and 14th with 9.9 rebounds per contest. He has posteda Pac-10 leading nine double-doubles and leads the nation in freethrows made (154) and attempted (187) and is eighth in the Pac-10 infree throw percentage (.824). His 154 made free throws is more thanall but seven players in the nation have attempted, while the nextcloset player to his 154 makes is Juan Mendez of Niagara with 122.His national-best consecutive games in double-figures scoring streakis up to 78 games (every game of his career). He has eight 30-pointgames (three this year), 41 20-point games (12 this year), 24double-doubles (nine this year) and 13 other games with ninerebounds. He also leads the Pac-10 in blocks (2.84 per game),offensive boards (3.37), defensive boards (6.53), minutes per game(34.95) and field goal percentage (.593). He is 577-of-730 (.790)from the free throw line in his career.
HELP FOR IKE: ASU also has established some balance in its sevenPac-10 games, as three players are averaging double-digit scoring,including sixth-man Kevin Kruger who is scoring at a 12.0 points pergame clip and has nine double-digit scoring games overall, along with29 assists and just nine turnovers in Pac-10 play. Sophomore SergeAngounou also has posted his best scoring game twice in the pastthree outings, as he scored 20 vs. USC on Jan. 15 and at Oregon onJan. 22. He is averaging 11.0 points and 7.6 boards in his past 16games and played a career-high 35 minutes at Oregon. Angounou isshooting 24-of-40 (.600) from the floor in the past four games andand has four double-doubles on the year. Sophomore newcomer BrysonKrueger, who played for assistant coach Brooks Thompson at YavapaiC.C. last year, is 20-of-37 (.541) from the three-point stripe in hispast 12 games and 10-of-18 (.556) in the past five contests.
TOP OF THE LEAGUE: Ike Diogu is one of six players who leads hisconference in both rebounding and scoring. Here are the others:
Player, Team League PPG RPGTaylor Coppenrath, Vermont America East 24.4 8.7Harding Nena, Delaware Colonial 20.2 10.2Omari Westley, Cleveland St. Horizon 16.9 9.0Thurman Zimmerman, SC State MEAC 17.9 7.4Andrew Bogut, Utah Mountain West 19.7 12.3Ike Diogu, Arizona State Pac-10 21.9 9.9
MORE EXPERIENCE: Last year at this time Rob Evans was trying to playup to eight newcomers (including six freshman) without a seniorstarter. ASU's eight newcomers combined to average 118.1 minutes pergame they played in last year, compared to four newcomers averaging46.9 minutes in games played this year with two senior starters andtwo-time All-Pac-10 honoree Ike Diogu.
ALL OF THEM LIKE IKE: ESPN.com asked seven of its college basketballexperts (Andy Katz, Pat Forde, Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla, DougGottlieb, Joe Lunardi and Andy Glockner) to pick a five-man midseasonAll-American team the first week of January. Only one player in thenation was a unanimous pick on each ballot--Ike Diogu. In addition,Jay Bilas selected Ike as his preseason Player of the Year.
KRUGER, THEN AND NOW: Sophomore Kevin Kruger is 37-of-97 (.381) fromthe three-point stripe and has notched double digits in nine games.He provided a spark in the final nine games last year, averaging 29.0minutes, 12.4 points and shooting 27-of-59 (.448) from thethree-point stripe. He was the team's second-leading scorer in thosenine games. After shooting 4-of-27 (.148) from the three-point stripein the first 18 games of his career, he is 64-of-156 (.410) in hispast 28 contests. He posted a season-high 18 points vs. UCLA and hada career-high 22 at Arizona last year. He had 20 in his first careerstart last year at Oregon State on Feb. 19. He has 24 assists andjust six turnovers in his past four games.
MORE DIOGU: Ike Diogu's national-best double figure scoring streak of78 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 MoreheadState the first game of his career on Nov. 22, 2003, and then he hittwo free throws with 21 seconds left to reach 10 points at Oregon onJan. 22, 2005. The next longest active streak in the Pac-10 belongsto Dan Grunfeld of Stanford with 11 straight games in double digits.
NEED MOORE AT THE LINE: Three times this season Steve Moore has iceda close game with his late-game free throw shooting. On Nov. 30 atTemple, ASU led 61-60 when Moore made to free throws to make it 63-60with 30 seconds left, and then hit two more to make it 65-62 withseven seconds left as ASU topped Temple. Against Cal State Northridgeon Dec. 4, Moore was fouled while shooting a three-pointer with 14seconds left and ASU down 66-64, but he sank all three to give ASU a67-66 win. At California on Jan. 8, Moore hit two free throws with 46seconds left and ASU leading 75-70 to give ASU a seven-point cushionas it would win 79-70.
VS. WASHINGTON STATE: ASU has won four of the past six against theCougars and 10 of the past 14, but the Cougars swept ASU last year.WSU won a 63-56 contest in Pullman on Jan. 29 as the Sun Devilscommitted a season-high 24 turnovers, its most since Dec. 29, 2001.ASU had season lows in field goals made and attempted (16-of-36) andassists (five). ASU then had a season-low 22 rebounds in an 83-70loss to the Cougars in Tempe on Feb. 26, 2004 in a game that had 14lead changes and 10 ties. ASU matched a season-low with 29second-half points. Ike Diogu is averaging 21.0 points on 28-of-45(.622) shooting against the Cougars, while Jason Braxton is shooting50 percent from the field (12-of-24). ASU leads the series 30-25 andRob Evans is 8-4 against WSU. ASU also is 5-1 in six overtime gamesagainst the Cougars.
VS. WASHINGTON: ASU leads the series 33-22 and has won three of thepast five, six of the past 10 and eight of the past 13 againstWashington, but the Huskies won a 90-81 contest on Jan. 31 last yearin Seattle and then completed the sweep with a 96-72 win in Tempe onFeb. 28. In Seattle last year, Washington was in control afterjumping out to a 12-0 lead and never trailing. Washington had 49first-half points (an opponent's season high) and 31 bench points. InTempe on Feb. 28, UW jumped out to a 44-29 halftime lead and got 41bench points in the win. Rob Evans is 7-5 against Washington, whileIke Diogu is averaging 20.3 points and seven boards per game vs. theHuskies and is shooting 59.4 percent (19-of-32) from the floor. ASU's20-7 mark against the Huskies in Tempe is its second-best markagainst any Pac-10 foe.
AT OREGON: ASU held Oregon to 28.6 percent from the field (20-of-70)and topped the Ducks 64-51 on Jan. 22, the lowest Duck point total atMcArthur Court since March of 1993. Oregon was 4-of-34 ( .118) fromthe three-point stripe, including 2-of-23 (.087) in the second half.Serge Angounou posted 20 points and 10 boards while Ike Diogu added10 points and 10 boards in a 40-minute game, as ASU used eightplayers. ASU jumped out to a 33-19 halftime lead and won despiteposting season-lows in points (64) and field goals made (19). ASUwent on a 13-2 run in the final 6:58 of the first half and had justthree-first half turnovers and then made 13-of-17 (.764) free throwsin the final three minutes to seal the win.
AT OREGON STATE: Oregon State shot 62.5 percent from the field, thethird-highest field goal percentage against a Rob Evans-coached team(365 games), and broke open a three-point halftime lead to top ASU88-66 on Jan. 20. Ike Diogu was the only Sun Devil in double digits,as he posted 27, including 22 in the first half. The Beavers becamethe fifth straight team to outrebound the Sun Devils (35-30) and shot65.4 percent (17-of-26) in the first half. Kevin Kruger added ninepoints and career-high eight assists, as ASU had season-lows in freethrows made and attempted (6-of-12) and percentage (.500).