Men's Hoops Plays At Nebraska Dec. 3
Dec. 1, 2003
ASU 3-0 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1997-98: The Arizona State men's basketball team (3-0), coming off its first 20-win season since 1995 and just its second in the past 12 seasons, plays at Nebraska Dec. 3 and vs. Temple on Dec. 9 at Phoenix's America West Arena before taking an eight-day break for final exams. ASU is 3-0 with wins over Arkansas-Little Rock (89-72), Cal State Fullerton (83-76) and UC Riverside (77-68). The Sun Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995 last year, the second time in the past 12 seasons and for the third time in 22 seasons. Tenth-seeded ASU topped seventh-seeded and No. 19 Memphis 84-71 in Oklahoma City on March 20 before falling to sixth-ranked and second-seeded Kansas 108-76 on March 22.
VS. NEBRASKA: ASU leads the series with Nebraska 3-1 after a 75-63 win in Tempe last year in the championship game of the azcentral.com Holiday Classic on Dec. 28. ASU is 0-1 in Lincoln, losing 80-67 on Dec. 23, 1985, its only trip to Nebraska. ASU jumped out to a 40-25 halftime lead last year and had a season-low seven turnovers in the win, as the Sun Devils were 16-of-18 (.889) from the free throw line, including 10-of-11 (.909) in the second half. ASU's bench outscored Nebraska's bench 19-5. Ike Diogu led ASU with 21 points, including 7-of-7 from the foul line.
FAMENI UPDATE: Wilfried Fameni became just the third Sun Devil freshman in the past 12 seasons to register a double-double with his 16-point, 13-rebound performance vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29. Chad Prewitt posted one double-double in 1998-99 and Ike Diogu had seven last year, but prior to that duo Mario Bennett's 15 points and 11 boards in a 63-62 overtime loss to Louisville on Feb. 22, 1992 is the most recent double-double by a Sun Devil freshman. Fameni is shooting 61.3 percent from the floor (11-of-18), is 9-of-11 (.818) from the free throw line and is averaging 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game. His 13 rebounds vs. UCR is tied for the sixth-most by a freshman in ASU history.
IKE UPDATE: Sophomore Ike Diogu, ASU's first Associated Press preseason All-American, is now 215-of-289 (.744) from the free throw line in his 35-game career. With his career-high 31 points vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29, he now has 15 games of at least 20 points and has scored in double digits in all 35 contests. In his past 17 games (14 to finish last year and three this year), he is averaging 20.9 points and 9.4 rebounds. Diogu's 31 points vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29 is the most by a Sun Devil since Chad Prewitt had 33 vs. Washington on Feb. 9, 2002, a span of the past 42 games.
QUICK NOTES THROUGH THREE GAMES: Steve Moore's 26 points vs. Arkansas Little Rock on Nov. 22 is best Sun Devil debut since junior college transfer Isaac Burton scored 28 on Nov. 27, 1993, in a 106-95 Sun Devil win over Brigham Young...ASU is 15-3 (.833) at home in the past two seasons, 25-8 (.756) in the past three seasons and 58-29 (.667) under Rob Evans in his six years...ASU's top three scorers (Ike Diogu, Steve Moore and Wilfried Fameni) are shooting 60-of-74 (.811) from the free throw line...ASU went 46-45 (.505) in the three years prior to junior point guard Jason Braxton joining the program and is 37-27 (.578) in the three years since...ten players are seeing at least seven minutes a game for the Sun Devils, including six players in their first year of Division I hoops.
FRESHMEN STARTING NOTES: When Tron Smith and Keith Wooden started the opening game vs. Arkansas-Litte Rock, it marked the first time two Sun Devil freshmen had started the opening game in the past 13 seasons. The last time ASU had two freshman in the starting lineup on opening night was on Nov. 23, 1990, when Jamal Faulkner and Stevin Smith started against Kansas. It also marked only the third and fourth time a freshman had started in the opening game in the past 11 years at ASU. Prior to Donnell Knight (1999-2000), Ike Diogu (2002-2003), Smith and Wooden, the last freshman to start a season opener at ASU was Ron Riley in 1992-93.
PATIENCE: When Rob Evans arrived at ASU in the spring of 1998, many talked about his final two years at Ole Miss when he went 42-16 (.724) and won two SEC West titles with a program that had been to just one NCAA Tournament. Before those two seasons, Evans took a program many called 'below ground' and had a 44-65 (.403) mark in his first four seasons. At ASU, Evans was 60-60 in his first four years before the 20-12 (.625) record last year. Overall, Evans is 104-125 (.454) in his first four years of building a program and is now 65-28 (.699) after the rebuilding process.
VS. UCR (NOV. 29): ASU fell behind 37-31 at the half but outscored UC Riverside 46-31 in the second half to top the Highlanders 77-68. Ike Diogu had a career-high 31 points while freshman Wilfried Fameni had 16 points and 13 rebounds. ASU shot 19-of-22 (.864) from the free throw line in the second half to seal the victory. Steve Moore added 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor.
VS. CAL STATE FULLERTON (NOV. 24): ASU had four players in double digits and got 31 points and 15 rebounds from its bench in an 83-76 win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 24. Ike Diogu led ASU with 22 points and nine boards, while Steve Moore had 14 points and nine boards. Jamal Hill had 13 points and Wilfried Fameni had 11 points in 10 minutes off the bench. ASU shot just 37.5 percent (24-of-64) from the field and just 28-of-47 (.596) from the free throw line, including 16-of-30 (.533) in the second half. ASU led 41-31 at the half and had 20 offensive rebounds in the game, matching last year's season-high.
VS. ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK (NOV. 22): ASU beat Arkansas-Little Rock 89-72 on Nov. 23, 2003, to win its 14th straight home opener. Steve Moore had 26 points to lead ASU, the most by a Sun Devil newcomer in the first game since junior college transfer Isaac Burton had 28 on Nov. 27, 1993, in a 106-95 win over BYU. Ike Diogu added 26 points, eight boards and a career-high five blocks. ASU led 40-39 at the half but outscored UA-LR 49-33 in the second stanza. Junior Jason Braxton matched a career-high with seven assists. Diogu made 13-of-14 (.929) from the free throw line, the most free tosses made since Chad Prewitt made 13 against Oregon on Jan. 6, 2002. The last time ASU lost a home opener was on Dec. 5, 1989, when ASU fell to BYU 65-64. Rob Evans is 10-2 in overall lid-lifters in his 12 seasons (5-1 at ASU), with the ASU loss to Tulsa 69-67 on Nov. 10, 2000, in the NABC Classic at North Carolina.
TOP SCORER: This year marks the first time ASU has returned its top scorer since 1999-2000, after Eddie House averaged 18.9 points in 1998-99. House averaged a Pac-10 leading 23.0 points en route to earning Pac-10 Player of the Year. ASU is one of four Pac-10 teams who return its top scorer, along with USC (Desmon Farmer/18.7), Washington St. (Marcus Moore/18.2) and Washington (Nate Robinson/13.0).
IKE: Ike Diogu, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and the only freshman to earn All-Pac-10, averaged 19.9 points and 9.6 rebounds in the final 14 games. Diogu was the only player who ranked in the Pac-10's top five in scoring and rebounding as he finished third in scoring (19.0 ppg.) and fifth in rebounding (7.8 rpg.). The Garland, Texas, native set ASU freshman records for starts (32), points (607), field goals made (209), rebounds (249) and minutes (1,030). He set school records for free throws made (180) and attempted (245). He shot 60.8 percent from the field (209-of-344), tied for first in the Pac-10, and finished at 63.8 percent (120-of-188) in the 18 Pac-10 games, first in the league. Diogu's 60.8 percent field goal shooting was the eighth-best mark in the nation.
Rob Evans: Rob Evans (169-153/.525) is in his sixth season at Arizona State (12th overall) after being hired on April 7, 1998. The 1997 SEC Coach of the Year spent six seasons at Ole Miss, compiling an 86-81 (.515) record. He led the Rebels to a 42-16 record in his final two seasons after going 44-65 (.403) in his first four, winning two SEC West titles, and led Ole Miss to back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1937-38. The 57-year old Evans is a 1968 graduate of New Mexico State, where he captained two NCAA Tournament teams, is a 1989 inductee of the Athletic Hall of Fame and was named to the school's All-Time team. He is 83-72 (.535) at ASU. Evans' Ole Miss squads were known as tough man-to-man teams which ranked 13th in the nation in 1997-98 in rebounding at +6.6. Ole Miss held opponents to just 30 percent from the three-point stripe, best in the SEC, and to just 40.6 percent from the field. He is 125-86 (.592) in the past seven seasons.
FREE THROWS: Steve Moore went 10-of-10 from the line and Ike Diogu was 13-of-14 as the Sun Devils made 35-of-43 (.814) free throws vs. Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 22. The 35 free throws was the most by the Sun Devils since they went 38-of-49 vs. BYU on Nov. 27, 1993. It is tied for the fourth-most in ASU history.
ASU FREE THROWS MADE1. 46 vs. Arizona, Jan. 29, 19552. 39 vs. Boston College, Dec. 29, 19773. 38 vs. BYU, Nov. 27, 1993T4. 35 vs. Arkansas-Little Rock, Nov. 22, 2003 35 vs. San Diego State, Dec. 4, 1987 35 vs. Oklahoma, Dec. 20, 1963
ALL UNDERCLASS LINEUP: ASU did not have a senior in the lineup vs. Arkansas-Little Rock for the first time since Jan. 20, 2000, when senior Eddie House sat the first three minutes of an overtime loss at USC after missing the flight to Los Angeles the previous night. The only previous all-underclass lineup was on Dec. 28, 1992, when ASU topped Duquesne 103-81. The Nov. 22 game was the first in the previous 107 and just the second in the previous 326 contests where no senior Sun Devil started.