Men's Hoops Signs Two High Schoolers

Nov. 18, 2003

The Arizona State men's basketball program has signed two high school seniors in the early signing period, head coach Rob Evans has announced. The duo includes Tim Pierce (Hercules High School/Oakland, Calif.) and Craig Austin (El Camino High School/San Diego, Calif.). Both are expected to join the Sun Devil program in the fall of 2004.

'We are extremely pleased and excited about our fall signees. We have again recruited top-100 players, which is important at the Pac-10 level,' notes ASU head coach Rob Evans, who led ASU to the NCAA Tournament last year with a 20-12 record.' Each year for the past four fall signing periods, a top-100 player has signed with Arizona State and that is a tribute to our staff. We have signed several good players during our time at Arizona State and Tim and Craig will be able to help us immediately.'

Pierce, a 6-7, 190-pound wing, averaged 28.9 points per game for Fremont High School last year and will play at Hercules High School this year. He is ranked seventh in California and is the top forward according to CalHiSports.com. Ranked No. 70 by School Sports, a publication of Sporting News, and No. 77 by Clark Francis of Basketball Times, he visited Arizona State in mid-September. Hoopmasters.com has him as No. 100, and he is ranked 122nd by RivalsHoops and is No. 37 on the website's forwards list. He played AAU ball with Oakland Slam and Jam and is a multi-year invitee to the ABCD Camp.

'Tim Pierce is athletic and can score,' adds Evans. 'When we recruited Tim, we knew that he was an instant impact player who has the ability to put points on the board both inside and outside and has the athletic ability to defend both guards and forwards. He also can shoot it from distance. We have had some good success with players from Oakland like Eddie House and Jamal Hill, and we are confident Tim will be the next Oakland product to have a successful career as a Sun Devil.'

Austin averaged 14.2 points in the regular season and 19.5 in the playoffs for Carlsbad last year before transferring to El Camino for his senior year.

'Craig Austin is fundamentally sound and at 6-10 can be very efficient offensively,' added Evans. 'He is very skilled. Like any young player, he will need to gain experience on this level and understand how hard you have to play to be successful, but his skill level at 6-10 will give him a chance to make an immediate impact for us.

'Once again, recruiting has been a great experience with our current team. Visitors understand and believe in our program and because of that the student-athletes that visit our campus walk away impressed.'

The recruitment of Tim Pierce marks the fourth straight fall in which ASU has signed a top-100 player. Current junior Jason Braxton was ranked 47th by Clark Francis of the HoopScoop three years ago and current sophomore and preseason All-American Ike Diogu checked in at No. 21 on ESPN.com after his senior season. Freshman Tron Smith was ranked No. 26 by ESPN.com.

ASU opens its season Saturday, Nov. 22, at 1 p.m. at Ned Wulk Court against Arkansas-Little Rock, who went 18-12 last year.

2003 Arizona State Men's Basketball Fall SigneesCraig Austin		6-10	El Camino High School		San Diego, Calif.Tim Pierce		6-7/190	Hercules High School		Oakland, Calif.
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