Men's Hoops Heads North To Face Washington Duo

Feb. 22, 2005

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ASU HEADS NORTH: The Arizona State University men's basketball team(18-9; 7-8 in the Pac-10 Conference) makes arguably the toughest trip in the Pac-10 as it plays the high-scoring and 13th-rankedWashington Huskies on Thursday, Feb. 24 (7:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. MST)in Seattle and then makes the trek to Pullman to face the WashingtonState Cougars on Saturday, Feb. 26 (2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MST). Thursday'sgame will be broadcast by Fox Sports Net. ASU won two in Tempe lastweekend, topping Oregon State 75-73 and then completing a seasonsweep of Oregon with a come-from-behind 66-56 win as ASU trailed by13 in the second half. After being picked for last in the league inthe preseason poll, ASU is in fifth-place at 7-8, a half-game aheadof Oregon State (6-8) and the seven Pac-10 wins is the most by a teampicked for last since the 1998-99 Beaver team won seven. ASU is 4-4on the road this year with wins over Temple, Stanford, Cal andOregon. One more win will give ASU its sixth 19-win season in thepast 22 seasons (and third under Rob Evans) while two more wins willmark 20 wins for just the fourth time in 20 years (second time underEvans). ASU has swept Oregon and Stanford (first time since 1994-95)and has a chance to sweep WSU for the fifth time under Evans. Ittopped the Cougars 68-62 on Jan. 27 but fell to the tenth-rankedHuskies 79-70 on Jan. 30. ASU enters this week tied for 15th in thenation at 17.0 assists per contest.

PAC-10 NOTE: Ike Diogu leads the Pac-10 in both scoring (22.2 ppg.)and rebounding (9.7 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 2.33 per game.Since blocks became an official statistic in 1977-78, no player hasled the league in all three categories. He also leads the Pac-10offensive boards (3.56), defensive boards (6.19) and minutes per game(35.89) and is second in field goal percentage (.571). Diogu leadsthe league in Pac-10 games only in points (21.7), blocks (2.33) andminutes (37.60) per game and has played 10 40-minute games this year.

IKE'S NUMBERS: Ike Diogu's play this year has been among the best inthe nation, as he is tied for seventh nationally in points per gameat 22.2 (as of Feb. 22) and 15th at 9.7 rebounds per contest. He hasposted a Pac-10 leading 12 double-doubles and leads the nation infree throws made (205) and attempted (262). His 205 made free throwsis more than all but 10 players have attempted, while the next closetplayer to his 205 makes is Juan Mendez of Niagara with 195. Hisnational-best consecutive games in double-figures scoring streak isup to 86 games (every game of his career). He has 10 30-point games(five this year), 46 20-point games (17 this year), 27 double-doubles(12 this year) and 15 other games with nine rebounds.

NEED MOORE OF THIS: Senior Steve Moore gave ASU a huge second-halflift in Saturday's 66-56 win over Oregon, as he posted 17 second-halfpoints (7-of-10 from the field) en route to a 22-point game, hisfourth 20-point game of the season. He posted 50 points on the LosAngeles road trip Feb. 10-12, including a 31-point outing at UCLAwhen he hit eight three-pointers, the most by a Sun Devil sinceStevin Smith tied his own school record with 10 vs. Oregon on Jan.27, 1994. Moore had 19 vs. USC on Feb. 12, as he was 16-of-29 (.551)from the field and 12-of-18 (.667) from the three-point stripe inthose two games. Moore is shooting 26-of-51 (.510) from the field and15-of-31 (.484) from the three-point stripe and is averaging 18.8points, second on the team, in the past four games, as he now comesoff the bench after starting the first 23 games. Moore is averaging12.3 points in 54 career games and has made 100 three-pointers, themost by a two-year player in ASU history.

Kevin Kruger: Sophomore Kevin Kruger is one of four Sun Devils who isaveraging double-digit scoring in ASU's Pac-10 contests (11.7 ppg.)and has 14 double-digit scoring games overall. He is averaging 11.4points in the past eight games, has made 120-of-147 (.816) freethrows in his 54-game career and is 60-of-68 (.882) from the foulline in Pac-10 games this year, third in the loop. Kruger provided aspark in the final nine games last year, averaging 29.0 minutes, 12.4points (the team's second-leading scorer) and shooting 27-of-59(.448) from the three-point stripe. He posted a season-high 18 pointsvs. UCLA on Jan. 13 and had a career-high 22 at Arizona last year. Hehas 55 assists and just 17 turnovers in the past 12 games.

SURGING: Sophomore Serge Angounou scored a career-high 20 vs. USC onJan. 15 and at Oregon on Jan. 22. Angounou is averaging 10.3 points,8.2 rebounds, is shooting 52-of-111 (.468) from the floor and18-of-20 (.900) from the free throw line in the past 12 games and hasfive double-doubles on the year and eight double-figure reboundinggames, including his 18-point, 10-rebound game against WashingtonState on Jan. 27 when he was perfect in seven field goal attempts.

ANOTHER KRUEGER: Sophomore newcomer Bryson Krueger, who played forassistant coach Brooks Thompson at Yavapai C.C. last year, is30-of-56 (.536) from the three-point stripe in his past 20 games and22-of-40 (.550) in the past 13 contests. He has eight double-digitscoring games on the year and posted his Pac-10 high with 21 pointsagainst Oregon State on Feb. 17, including five three-pointers. Heranks third in the Pac-10 in three-point percentage at 48.7 percent(38-of-78).

VS. OREGON STATE (FEB. 17): Bryson Krueger had 16 first-half pointsand Ike Diogu posted 25 points and nine boards to lead ASU to a 75-73win over Oregon State. Krueger ended with a Pac-10 season-high 21points, while Jason Braxton scored a season-high 11 points, including5-of-6 (.833) from the free throw line. ASU shot 16-of-30 (.533) fromthe field in the first half and raced to a 42-26 lead and held on bymaking 6-of-8 free throws in the final 1:48. Krueger ended with 21points, including 5-of-6 from the three-point stripe. ASU held theBeavers to just seven assists as they are now 7-0 under Rob Evansagainst OSU in Tempe.

VS. OREGON (FEB. 19): Steve Moore had 17 second-half points en routeto 22 for the game and Ike Diogu had 23 as ASU came back from a13-point second-half deficit to top Oregon 66-56 on Feb. 19. ASUscored on 20 of their final 28 possessions and held the Ducks to justthree points in the final 7:20. Serge Angounou added 12 boards, asASU forced 19 turnovers and tied a season-low by committing just six.ASU won the game despite shooting 23-of-61 (.377) from the field,including just 9-of-32 (.281) in the first half.

VS. WASHINGTON: ASU leads the series 33-23 but the Huskies have wonthe past three. 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.Rob Evans is 7-6 against Washington, while Ike Diogu is averaging19.0 points and 8.2 boards per game vs. the Huskies and is shooting57.8 percent (26-of-45) from the floor. In the Jan. 30 game thisyear, ASU held a 43-41 lead at the 14:05 mark of the second half butthe tenth-ranked Huskies went on an 11-0 run in racing to a 79-70win. Diogu led ASU with 14 points and 13 boards, while Kevin Krugeradded 12 points off the bench. Steve Moore and Bryson Krueger eachadded 11, as ASU committed 21 turnovers to the Huskies' 11. UW hit22-of-25 (.880) free throws in the game, including 15-of-17 (.882) inthe second half. Nate Robinson had 23 to lead all scorers

VS. WASHINGTON STATE: ASU has won five of the past seven against theCougars and 11 of the past 15. WSU won a 63-56 contest in Pullman onJan. 29 last year as the Sun Devils committed a season-high 24turnovers, its most since Dec. 29, 2001. ASU had season lows in fieldgoals made and attempted (16-of-36) and assists (five). Ike Diogu isaveraging 19.8 points on 32-of-55 (.582) shooting against theCougars, while Jason Braxton is shooting 48.1 percent from the field(13-of-27). ASU leads the series 31-25 and Rob Evans is 9-4 againstWSU. ASU also is 5-1 in six overtime games against the Cougars. Inthe Jan. 27 game this year, ASU jumped out to a 33-23 halftime leadand led by as many as 13 in the second half in topping WSU 68-62. ASUtied a season high by making 81.8 percent of its free throws(18-of-22). The Sun Devils outrebounded the Cougars 37-23 and posted20 assists on 22 made field goals. Ike Diogu added 15 points and 13boards while Bryson Krueger had 13 points, all of them in the secondhalf. Kevin Kruger has 12 of his 14 points in the first half,including four three-pointers.

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 averaging48.6 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.

THREE-DOT DATA: Jason Braxton has posted double-digit points in sixgames and has 100 assists and just 41 turnovers on the year, a 2.44ratio which is second in the league. His 155 steals is tied for fifthon the ASU career charts and his 369 assists is ninth. He posted aseason-high 11 points in the Feb. 17 75-73 win over OregonState...Tyrone Jackson is averaging 16.8 minutes in the past ninegames and has 27 assists and just 10 turnovers in that time,including a career-high six on Feb. 5 vs. California. He posted eightpoints at Oregon (Jan. 22) and vs. Stanford (Feb. 3). A high schoolteammate of Stanford's Chris Hernandez, he is 14-of-21 (.667) fromthe free throw line in the past nine games...ASU was third in thenation last year in free throw attempts at 27.56 per game, behindonly Texas Southern (28.3) and Niagara (28.2). It is averaging 24.37attempts per game this year...ASU was 11-1 before falling at Arizonaon Jan. 2, something it has done just twice, as both the 1974-75 and1962-63 Sun Devils went 15-1...ASU's 11 non-conference wins is themost in the regular-season since the 1975-76 squad was 12-1 innon-conference play...ASU held Oregon to 28.6 percent from the field(20-of-70) and to their fewest points (51) at McArthur Court sinceMarch 6, 1993 (54-48 loss to Oregon State) when it topped Oregon64-51 on Jan. 22. ASU is 4-3 at Oregon's McArthur Court under RobEvans...ASU posted 13 three-pointers at UCLA (Feb. 10) and vs.Northwestern (Dec. 20), its most three-pointers since it hit 13 atOregon on Jan. 27, 1996 (tied for fifth in school history). The 65percent three-point shooting against Northwestern (13-of-20) also isa school record for at least 20 attempts, topping the 60 percent markset at Stanford on Feb. 28, 1987 (12-of-20).

MORE DIOGU: Ike Diogu's national-best double figure scoring streak of86 games still has a ways to go until it reaches Pac-10 andNCAA-record levels. The NCAA record is 115 set by La Salle's LionelSimmons from 1987-90, while Sean Elliott of Arizona (1985-89) scoredin double digits in the final 108 games of his career. Diogu's lowestpoint total in his career was 10 against Morehead State the firstgame of his career on Nov. 22, 2003, and then he hit two free throwswith 21 seconds left to reach 10 points at Oregon on Jan. 22, 2005.Two Pac-10 notables never reached 70 games, as Lew Alcindor posteddouble digits in 69 straight games while Don MacLean, the Pac-10'scareer scoring leader, had his streak stopped at 68.

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. In its past five wins, ASU is 74-of-96 (.771)from the free throw line in the second half as it has sealed all fivegames (@Oregon, WSU, Stanford, Oregon State and Oregon) with solidefforts at the line. At Oregon on Jan. 22, ASU made 13-of-17 (.764)in the final three minutes, it made 13-of-16 (.813) againstWashington State on Jan. 27 (including four straight in the final 50seconds) and was 18-of-20 (.900) in the second half against Stanfordon Feb. 3. ASU's 20-of-22 (.909) mark for the game against Stanfordis tied for the third-best mark in school history for a minimum of 20attempts. Against Oregon State on Feb. 17, ASU led 71-68 with 33seconds left but hit 5-of-6 to put the game away. Then on Feb. 19against Oregon, ASU led 61-56 with with 30 seconds left but hit sixstraight to finish the game.

Rob Evans: Rob Evans (194-179/.520) is in his seventh season atArizona State (13th overall) after being hired on April 7, 1998. The1997 SEC Coach of the Year spent six seasons at Ole Miss, compilingan 86-81 (.515) record. He led the Rebels to a 42-16 record in hisfinal two seasons after going 44-65 (.403) in his first four, winningtwo SEC West titles, and led Ole Miss to back-to-back 20-win seasonsfor the first time since 1937-38. The 58-year old Evans is a 1968graduate of New Mexico State, where he captained two NCAA Tournamentteams and is a 1989 inductee of the Athletic Hall of Fame. He is108-98 (.524) at ASU and has led the Sun Devils to three postseasonappearances, including a 2003 NCAA appearance that was the school'sfirst since 1995. He is 151-110 (.579) in the past nine seasons. Hereached his 100th win at ASU against Long Island on Dec. 28, becomingjust the third coach in ASU history to top the century mark, joiningNed Wulk (406-272 from 1957-82) and Bill Frieder (132-108 from1989-97).

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