Sun Devils take on Undefeated BYU Wednesday Night
Dec. 3, 2002
ASU FACES UTAH FOES: The Arizona State men's basketball team (4-1) plays host to the Brigham Young Cougars (4-0) on Wednesday (Dec. 4) and then travels for a rematch with Utah on Saturday (Dec. 7) in Salt Lake City. Both games will tip at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast by Fox Sports Arizona, with Tom Dillon and Tim Kempton calling the action. ASU is 4-1 for just the third time in the past 10 seasons, as the Sun Devils started the 1994-95 and 2000-2001 seasons 5-1. ASU has won its past three with wins over Chaminade (101-72) and Utah (83-79 in overtime) in the Maui Invitational and an 85-62 win over Lafayette on Saturday.
WE LIKE IKE: Freshman Ike Diogu has been quite impressive in his first five games, as he leads the team with 18.2 points and 30.6 minutes per contest. Diogu became just the second ASU freshman to start in the the season opener in the past 10 years (Donnell Knight also started the opener in 1999-2000) when he took the court on Nov. 22 against Morehead State. The Garland, Texas, native already has been to the line 48 times and is shooting 68.8 percent from the charity stripe (33-of-48). He has increased his scoring in each of the five games, as he posted 10 points vs. Morehead State, 13 points against No. 15 Kentucky, 19 points vs. Chaminade, 22 vs. Utah and 27 vs. Lafayette. The 27 points against Lafayette matches the fourth-best scoring mark by an ASU freshman and Diogu is the first Sun Devil freshman to post back-to-back 20-point games since Mario Bennett in 1991-92. It is the most points by an ASU freshman since Mario Bennett set the freshman school mark with 35 against Arizona in 1992.
QUICK NOTES ON ASU: Junior college transfer Jamal Hill has just two turnovers through five games (142 minutes) and is third on the team with 11.0 points per game. He is shooting 7-of-14 (.500) from the three-point stripe...Jason Braxton leads the team in assists (18) and steals (9) and is averaging 8.6 points in the 11 games against ranked opponents in his two-year career...Tommy Smith leads the team with 18 blocks on the season...Donnell Knight leads the team with 7.2 rebounds per game...Shawn Redhage is averaging seven points in 13.4 minutes per contest...in the past two seasons, ASU is 17-3 (.850) when it leads at the half, 0-11 when it trails and 1-2 when tied...ASU is 28-4 (.875) under Evans when it shoots at least 50 percent, including an 18-2 (.900) mark in the past three seasons.
VS. BYU: BYU leads the series 25-21 with ASU last winning in Tempe on Dec. 2, 2000, 80-52. Last year in Provo, BYU jumped out to a 39-27 halftime lead but needed a 9-0 run to close the 82-70 win on Nov. 24, 2001. BYU had a 42-26 rebounding edge against ASU, the fourth-best rebounding edge against any Rob Evans-coached team in his 292 games as a head coach. BYU's 15 offensive rebounds matched an opponent season-high against ASU. Tommy Smith had 19 points and nine boards in the loss. In his three career games against BYU, Smith is averaging 10.7 points and is shooting 13-of-15 (.867) from the free throw line. On Dec. 2, 2000, ASU jumped out to a 37-22 halftime lead, led by as many a 44 in the second half and at one point had a 60-13 run in probably its best game of the season. The Cougars had just eight field goals in the first 30 minutes. ASU held BYU to just 15-of-59 (.254) from the floor, which is the second-best defensive effort by any Evans-coached team (292 games).
SHOOTING IT: The 63.3 percent field goal shooting (38-of-60) against Chaminade in Maui on Nov. 26 was the best shooting night by a Sun Devil team since March 9, 1990, when ASU was 30-of-45 (.667) against Oregon State in the Pac-10 Tournament. It marks the best shooting night by an Evans-coached team (292 games) and ASU's best in the past 368 games. It is the eighth-best shooting night in school history.
ROTATION UPDATE: Two injuries have affected the ASU rotation, as highly touted 6-8 freshman Serge Angounou will miss all of the season after injuring his kneecap in the first exhibition. Angounou had surgery on Nov. 15 and will be out for three months and will apply for a medical redshirt. Also, reserve swingman Kenny Crandall is still recovering from a broken fibula suffered in April and is limited. Senior Curtis Millage, the team's leading returning scorer from last year, missed both exhibition games and the first three games due to an eligibility issue.
PAC-10 POLL: ASU was picked fourth by the Pac-10 Media, announced Nov. 6. It marks the highest preseason prediction for ASU since 1994-95 when it was picked fourth. Arizona was a unanimous choice for the top spot among the 27 media types. The poll: 1. UA; 2. UO; 3. UCLA; 4. ASU; 5. Cal; 6. USC; 7. Stanford; 8. OSU; 9. UW; 10. WSU.
SERIES VS. UTAH: Utah leads the series with ASU 24-17, but the teams will be meeting for the third time in just over a year on Saturday. The most recent meeting was in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 27. Senior guard Curtis Millage had 26 points but was just 8-of-20 from the free throw line as Utah came back from several deficits to take the lead in the closing seconds before a Jason Braxton put-back of a Millage miss tied the game at 71 at the end of regulation. Ike Diogu had 22 points, including 12-of-15 from the free throw line and Tommy Smith added eight points, 11 boards and six blocks. ASU outrebounded Utah 48-35.
ALREADY MAKING HIS MARK: Ike Diogu's 27-point performance against Lafayette on Nov. 30 tied for the fourth-best freshman scoring mark in ASU history. It marked the best scoring mark by a freshman since Mario Bennett set the mark with 35 against fifth-ranked Arizona on Feb. 20, 1992. A look at the top freshman scoring games in the ASU record books:
ASU FRESHMAN SINGLE-GAME POINTS1. 35 - Mario Bennett vs. #5 Arizona, Feb. 20, 19922. 31 - Byron Scott vs. #18 Arizona, Feb. 23, 19803. 29 - Jamal Faulkner vs. #2 Arkansas (NCAA), March 17, 19914. 27 - Ike Diogu vs. Lafayette, Nov. 30, 2002 27 - Jamal Faulkner at Oregon, Feb. 28, 1991 27 - Byron Scott vs. Arizona, Dec. 27, 1979
SOLID DEFENSE: BYU's 15-of-59 (.254) shooting at ASU on Dec. 2, 2000, is the second-best defensive effort by a Rob Evans-coached team, dating to when he took over Ole Miss in 1992-93 (a span of 292 games). A look at the top five defensive efforts by an Evans' squad in his 11 years, six at Ole Miss and now in his fifth at Arizona State:
Rk. Pct. FG-A Opponent/Evans' Team Date1. .200 13-65 Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Ole Miss Nov. 24, 19972. .254 15-59 Brigham Young at Arizona State Dec. 2, 20003. .258 16-62 Alabama vs. Ole Miss Feb. 12, 19974. .265 13-49 Washington State at Arizona State Feb. 7, 2002T5. .271 13-48 Canisius at Arizona State Dec. 28, 2001T5. .271 16-59 Delaware State at Ole Miss Dec. 20, 1994
ON THE LIST: ASU's 63.3 percent shooting against Chaminade was the eighth-best in school history. Here is a look at the top shooting games in ASU history.
BEST FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE IN ASU HISTORY1. .756 (34-of-45) vs. Oregon St., Feb. 10, 19792. .714 (40-of-56) vs. Santa Clara, Dec. 14, 19793. .679 (36-of-55) vs. Stanford, Feb. 9, 19854. .673 (35-of-52) vs. California, Feb. 3, 19795. .667 (30-of-45) vs. Oregon St., Mar. 9, 19906. .652 (43-of-66) vs. Manhattan, Dec. 28, 19867. .650 (39-of-60) vs. New Mexico, Mar. 5, 19718. .633 (38-of-60) vs. Chaminade, Nov. 26, 2002