Men's Hoops Opens Season A Week Early

Oct. 26, 2000

EARLIEST START... ASU opens its 2000-2001 exhibition season on Nov. 1 and then opens its regular season on Nov. 10 in the NABC Classic against Tulsa, and yes those dates are very early. ASU has never had an exhibition game before Nov. 5 and has never had its first regular season game before Nov. 13. As recently as 1992-93, ASU had its first exhibiton game on November 20 and its first game on Dec. 1. Also, the preparation time between the first exhibition game and the first regular season game isn't as long as it used to be. In 1989-90, ASU played its first exhibition game on Nov. 10 but did not open the regular season until November 30. A look at the earliest season lid-lifters in Sun Devil history:

Year Head Coach Regular Season Opener Exhibition Opener
2000-2001 Rob Evans Nov. 10 Nov. 1
1998-1999 Rob Evans Nov. 13 Nov. 5
1997-1998 Don Newman Nov. 16 Nov. 5
1999-2000 Rob Evans Nov. 20 Nov. 10
1994-1995 Bill Frieder Nov. 21 Nov. 13
1996-1997 Bill Frieder Nov. 22 Nov. 12

How impressive was ASU's 3-1 record in road overtime games last year? ASU just missed matching the NCAA record for road overtime wins, which is four. Four schools notched 4-0 marks in road overtime games in one season, including Arizona State in 1980-81. Others were Delaware (1972-73), Cal State Fullerton (1988-89) and New Mexico State (1993-94). ASU won road overtime games at California, Washington State and Oregon State and fell at USC after going just 1-3 in overtime in 1998-99.

ASU's six true freshmen combined for 39.8 percent of the scoring (31.5 ppg.), 38.6 percent of the rebounding (14.9 rpg.), 37.6 percent of the steals (3.2 spg.) and 44.7 percent of the assists (7.2 apg.) last year.

ASU is scheduled to return 56.3 points per game after averaging a league-best 79.3 points, which accounts for 71 percent of the scoring. ASU was scheduled to return just 32.1 points per game from a 74.5 points per game mark in 1999-2000 (43.1 percent) after losing All-Pac-10 players Bobby Lazor (18.0 ppg.) and Mike Batiste (16.7 ppg.). But led by Eddie House's 23.0 scoring mark and five players averaging more than six points per game ASU led the league in scoring last year and was 17th in the nation. It marked just the third time in school history ASU led the Pac-10 in scoring (also in 1992-93 and 1980-81).

Since 1990, 38 of 39 Pac-10 teams who have won at least 11 conference games have been selected to the NCAA Tourney. The exception? ASU in 1992-93, when it was 11-7 and tied for third. Also, 42 of 44 teams since 1990 who have posted 18 overall wins and 10 Pac-10 wins have qualified for the NCAA. Again, the odd teams out were ASU in 1992-93 and 1999-2000.

ASU enters the 2000-2001 season with a 10-game home win streak over California, the longest win streak over a conference opponent at home in Sun Devil history. Cal has not won in Tempe since the 1989-90 season.

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