Men's Basketball Plays At Northwestern Dec. 17
Dec. 15, 2003
SUN DEVILS GO TO WINDY CITY: The Arizona State men's basketball team (4-1), coming off its first 20-win season since 1995 and just its second in the past dozen years, travels to Evanston, Ill., to take on Northwestern after an eight-day break for final exams. ASU is 4-1 with wins over Arkansas-Little Rock (89-72), Cal State Fullerton (83-76), UC Riverside (77-68) and Temple (70-66), but fell 66-60 at Nebraska on Dec. 3. Last season, the Sun Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995 and for the third time in 22 seasons. Tenth-seeded ASU topped seventh-seeded and No. 19 Memphis 84-71 in Oklahoma City before falling to sixth-ranked and second-seeded Kansas 108-76.
ASU has two scorers averaging over 18 points, as sophomore preseason AP All-American Ike Diogu is at 22.6 while junior college transfer Stevie Moore is averaging 18.6. Moore is 15-of-36 (.417) from the three-point stripe through the first five games. Through five games last year, ASU as a team was 16-of-59 (.271). ASU also has been solid at the free throw line, as it is shooting 72 percent from the charity stripe (126-of-175). The Sun Devils are averaging 35 free throw attempts per game, including Diogu's 11.6 per contest.
ASU is 3-1 against the Wildcats with all of the games taking place in Tempe, including a 77-60 Sun Devil victory on Dec. 29, 2001, in the finals of ASU's holiday tournament. ASU forced 24 Wildcat turnovers in that game and had 14 offensive rebounds. ASU is 3-0 against Big Ten teams under Rob Evans, as it beat Penn State in 1999-2000, Northwestern in 2001-2002 and Purdue last season. It marks ASU's first game at a Big Ten school since an 88-77 defeat at Ohio State on Dec. 18, 1982.
VS. TEMPLE (DEC. 9): ASU never led until 31 seconds remained, but topped Temple 70-66 at America West Arena in Phoenix. Ike Diogu led ASU with 23 points, including 9-of-10 from the free throw line, while Steve Moore added 15 points. Allen Morill added eight points and eight boards in 23 minutes off the bench. Temple led by as many as nine, but ASU held the Owls to just 23-of-68 (.338) field goal shooting, including 8-of-32 (.250) in the second half as it outscored the Owls 41-32 in the second stanza and was 29-of-36 (.806) from the free throw line for the game.
IKE UPDATE: Sophomore Ike Diogu, ASU's first Associated Press Preseason All-American, is now 226-of-303 (.746) from the free throw line in his 37-game career. Including his career-high 31 points vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29, he now has 16 games of at least 20 points and has scored in double digits in all 37 contests. In his past 18 games (14 to finish last year and five this year), he is averaging 20.6 points and 9.0 rebounds. Diogu's 31 points vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29 is the most by a Sun Devil in the past 44 games, as Chad Prewitt had 33 vs. Washington on Feb. 9, 2002, the most. He has four 20-point games on the year. Diogu also has seven career double-doubles and seven other games with nine rebounds.
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 12-of-15 (.800) from the free throw line and is averaging 8.0 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game. His 13 rebounds vs. UC Riverside is tied for the sixth-most by a freshman in ASU history.
QUICK NOTES: ASU hit 10 three-pointers against Nebraska for the first time in 57 games. The last time ASU hit 10 three-pointers was on Dec. 20, 2001, at Oregon. Its 25 three-point attempts vs. the Cornhuskers is the most since it took 27 vs. UCLA on Jan. 17, 2002...Allen Morill is averaging 19.5 minutes in the past two games...Steve Moore had 20 second-half points at Nebraska on Dec. 3. His five three-pointers made is the most by a Sun Devil since Chad Prewitt hit five at UCLA on Feb. 16, 2002...ASU is averaging 5.8 three-pointers made per game. It was last in the league last year at 4.09...Steve Moore's 26 points vs. Arkansas Little Rock on Nov. 22 is the best Sun Devil debut since junior college transfer Isaac Burton scored 28 on Nov. 27, 1993, in a 106-95 Sun Devil win over BYU...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 84-of-107 (.785) from the free throw line...ASU went 46-45 (.505) in the three years prior to Jason Braxton joining the program and is 38-28 (.576) in the three years since...five players are seeing at least 20 minutes a game for ASU, including three in their first year of Division I hoops.
FRESHMEN STARTING: 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 an opener in the past 13 seasons. The last time ASU had two freshmen in the lineup on opening night was 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 an opener 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 66-29 (.695) after the rebuilding process.
Rob Evans: Rob Evans (170-154/.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 84-73 (.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 126-86 (.594) in the past seven seasons.
PLAYER QUICK NOTES
#0 Allen Morill: Has played 39 minutes the past two games...posted eight points and eight boards vs. Temple on Dec. 9...sophomore who sat last year to concentrate on academics...perfect in 12 free throw attempts on the year...strong physical presence...one of three Texans on scholarship...good court awareness and tough to move near the basket...five boards in 16 minutes at Nebraska on Dec. 3...made all four free throws in eight minutes vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29...played nine minutes in season opener vs. Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 22.
#1 Jason Braxton: Has played in all 66 games in career and started in 50...averaging 31.6 minutes per game this year after averaging 21.5 his first two seasons...10 points, seven assists and six boards vs. Arkansas-Little Rock in season opener on Nov. 22...posted a career high 17 points in NCAA loss to sixth-ranked Kansas on March 22, 2003.
#2 Keith Wooden: One of four Sun Devil freshmen to start the opening game of the season in the past 11 years, joining classmate Tron Smith (2003-04), Ike Diogu (2002-03) and Donnell Knight (1999-2000)...six points and six boards in 17 minutes in vs. UA-LR on Nov. 22.
#5 Ike Diogu: A 2004 Associated Press Preseason All-American, the first in Sun Devil history and just the 11th in Pac-10 history...has four 20-point games on the year...2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and an All-Pac-10 selection...scored in double digits in all 32 games in freshman year...16 20-point games in his career and seven career double-doubles...2002-2003 honorable mention All-American by Associated Press...27 points and Pac-10 Tournament record 18 rebounds vs. Oregon on March 13, 2003...26 points vs. both USC and UCLA on Feb. 13-15, 2003, and was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for his efforts, just the third freshman to be named Pac-10 Player of the Week in the past six seasons.
#12 Kenny Crandall: Has made 33-of-38 (.868) of his free throws in Pac-10 games in his three-year career and is 53-of-69 (.768) overall...averaged 7.5 minutes in his final 13 games last year...played 20 minutes at top-ranked Arizona on Jan. 22, 2003, and made 4-of-7 three-pointers and had season-high 12 points...17-of-20 (.850) free throws last year...broke right fibula on April 17, 2002, in a dirt-bike accident and played through pain all of 2002-2003.
#13 Kevin Kruger: Dependable and sturdy guard who can shoot from distance and from the free throw line...played 14 minutes, all in the second half, vs. Temple on Dec. 9 and had six points, two assists and zero turnovers...also had steal with under a minute to give ASU a chance to win the game while tied...played 16 minutes in first four games.
#21 Steve Moore: Explosive wing who scored 20 second-half points at Nebraska and led ASU with 22 points...already has two 20-point games...16 points in 33 minutes on 6-of-8 shooting vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29...14 points, nine boards and five assists in 30 minutes vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 24...southpaw who posted 26 points in season opener vs. Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 22, the most points by a Sun Devil in a his debut since Isaac Burton had 28 vs. BYU on Nov. 27, 1993...went 10-of-10 from the free throw line vs. UA-LR.
#22 Jamal Hill: Double-digit scorer in three games in 2003-2004...both a starter (four games) and first player off the bench in 2002-2003...averaged 12.5 points on the 2003 Washington road trip and played 31 minutes without a turnover in the overtime win at Washington...28-of-38 (.737) from the free throw line in his career...posted 14 points against both Washington (Jan. 9) and Washington State (Jan. 11)...was in double figures in 10 games last year.
#23 Tron Smith: Freshman who has started four games and is fifth on team at 23.6 minutes per game...posted eight points vs. Temple (Dec. 9) and vs. Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 24)...also had five boards vs. Temple.
#24 Justin Allen: Posted five points, six boards and 19 minutes, the most he has played since he learned he had Hodgkin's Disease in fall of 2000, vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 24...redshirted 2000-2001 season with Hodgkin's Disease...recipient of the 2003 V Foundation Comeback Award, given annually to someone in all of college basketball who embodies the spirit and courage of Jimmy Valvano...has played in 76 games in three-year career...played in 19 games last season.
#34 Wilfried Fameni: Posted 11 boards in 32 minutes at Nebraska on Dec. 3...yes, his first name is spelled with two 'i's', that is not a typo...became just third Sun Devil freshman in the past 12 seasons to notch a double-double with his 16-point, 13-board outing vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 29...had 11 points vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 24...opened year with 11 points and eight boards vs. Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 22.
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