Men's Hoops Travels To L.A. For Games With UCLA And USC
Jan. 13, 2004
ASU OFF TO LOS ANGELES: The Arizona State men's basketball team (6-6 and 0-3 in the Pac-10), coming off its first 20-win season since 1995 and just its second in the past dozen years, travels to Pauley Pavilion for a 7:30 PT/8:30 MST game against the UCLA Bruins on Jan. 15 and then takes on the USC Trojans on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MST at the Sports Arena. The Sun Devils, with six first-year players currently in the rotation and another out with injury, are led by preseason All-American Ike Diogu, who is averaging a Pac-10 best 23.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game (third in Pac-10) and has scored in double digits in all 44 games of his career, the best active streak in the nation. The sophomore is averaging 11.2 free throw attempts per game on the year and is now 291-of-379 (.768) from the free throw line in his career. He has 20 career 20-point games and 11 career double-doubles (four this year) and eight other games with nine rebounds. This season, he has four 30-point games, eight 20-point games and 30 blocks after posting 31 in 32 games last year. The sophomore leads the league with 3.92 offensive boards per game, is second in the league in blocks at 2.5 per contest and seventh in the league in free throw percentage at .828 (111-of-134).
A MIXED BUNCH: Nine players getting a starting nod through 12 games, seven newcomers playing significant minutes, a player who has played in 15 months notches 50 minutes in his first two games last week and a starting freshman guard who was averaging 21.6 minutes per game breaking his nose has contributed to ASU's early season struggles. ASU lost 477 games of experience from last year when its six seniors graduated, as those players accounted for 117 minutes per game and Ike Diogu is the only returning starter from the NCAA win over Memphis. Tron Smith, a guard who had started six of the first seven games, broke his nose in practice over the holiday break and had surgery on Jan. 6 and is likely out until at least February. Serge Angounou, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, returned for his first game action on Jan. 8 vs. Stanford after rehabbing since his injury on Nov. 13, 2002, in an exhibition season.
OLD SCHOOL THREES: Ike Diogu has been fouled when making a shot 43 times in his career and has made 31-of-43 (.721) of the free throws that followed.
VS. UCLA: UCLA leads the series 47-13, but ASU has won three straight for the first time since 1979-81 and its two straight wins at Pauley Pavilion is a first in school history. UCLA had won 22 straight before ASU ended the streak with a 104-75 win on Feb. 17, 2000, in Tempe. ASU swept the Bruins last year for just the second time in school history (the other was in 1979-80) as Ike Diogu averaged 21 points in the two games. ASU matched a season-high with 50 second-half points in the 85-69 win on Feb. 15 in Tempe and also was 20-of-22 (.909) from the free throw line, but had a season-low one three-pointer in the 75-64 win at Pauley on Jan. 16. ASU shot 53.8 percent from the field last year against UCLA (57-of-106), including 59.6 percent (28-of-47) at Pauley.
VS. USC: USC leads the ASU series 39-27 and has won nine of the past 11, but ASU played one of best games in the past decade in the last meeting. ASU jumped out to a 46-12 lead at the 4:20 mark of the first half en route to a 58-30 halftime lead on Feb. 13, 2003, and cruised to a 108-78 win in Tempe. ASU posted season-highs for points (108), free throws (32), first half points (58) and matched its season-high with 50 second-half points. Ike Diogu is 17-of-21 (.810) from the floor against USC and 15-of-18 (.833) from the free throw line and is averaging 25 points. ASU's last win at USC came on Feb. 15, 1996, as it has lost seven straight to the Trojans at the Sports Arena, its second longest drought against Pac-10 foes as it has lost eight straight in Tucson.
L.A. ROAD TRIP: The Los Angeles road trip has been the toughest for ASU, as it has swept it just twice in 25 years of Pac-10 play, in 1986-87 and in 1979-80. Last year ASU won 75-64 at UCLA but fell 76-74 at USC as Ike Diogu was 13-of-17 (.765) from the floor on the trip and averaged 20 points per game. The Sun Devils shot 52.5 percent from the field (52-of-99) on the trip, but committed a season-high 20 turnovers in each game.
VS. STANFORD (JAN. 10): ASU rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit to take a late lead but fell 63-62 to unbeaten and fourth-ranked Stanford. ASU was just 7-of-28 (.250) from the floor in the first half but shot 15-of-24 (.625) in the second half, including 6-of-7 (.857) from the three-point stripe. Stevie Moore had 16 points and six boards while Ike Diogu had 13 points, six boards and a career-high six assists. Jason Braxton added 13 points, all of them in the second half.
VS. CAL (JAN. 10): ASU fell behind 42-26 at the half and fell to California 74-62 to fall to 0-3 in the Pac-10. Ike Diogu had 31 points and 13 boards, including 15-of-17 from the free throw line, while Stevie Moore had 10 points. ASU had just 17 field goals, its fewest since it was just 13-of-52 (.250) in a 65-48 loss to Utah in the 1998 Maui Invational on Nov. 23, a span of the past 161 games. ASU shot a season-low 30.9 percent (17-of-55) from the field.
PROGRAM BUILDER: 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 68-33 (.673) after the rebuilding process.
DEVIL DATA: Jason Braxton is fourth in the Pac-10 with 5.08 assists per game and sixth in steals with 1.67...Stevie Moore is eighth in the league in free throw shooting at 81.6 and fourth in the loop in three-pointers made at 2.5 per game...ASU has held all but two opponents under 50 percent from the field this year...Steve Moore had 20 second-half points at Nebraska on Dec. 3, including five three-pointers, the most by a Sun Devil since Chad Prewitt hit five at UCLA on Feb. 16, 2002...ASU is averaging 6.0 three-pointers made per game. It was last in the league last year at 4.09...ASU's top two scorers (Ike Diogu and Steve Moore) are shooting 151-of-154 (.825) from the free throw line...this year marks the first time ASU has returned its top scorer in the past four seasons. ASU is one of four Pac-10 teams that returns its top scorer, along with USC (Desmon Farmer/18.7), Washington St. (Marcus Moore/18.2) and Washington (Nate Robinson/13.0).
FRESHMEN: When Tron Smith and Keith Wooden started the season opener 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 opening day lineup was Nov. 23, 1990 (Jamal Faulkner and Stevin Smith). It marked only the third and fourth time a freshman had started in the past 11 openers at ASU. Prior to Ike Diogu (2002-2003), Donnell Knight (1999-2000), Smith and Wooden, the last freshman to start an opener was Ron Riley in 1992-93.
IKE IN 2002-2003: 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 last year. Diogu was the only player who ranked in the Pac-10's top five in scoring (19.0 ppg./third) and rebounding (7.8 rpg./fifth). The Garland, Texas, native set ASU freshman records for starts (32), points (607), field goals made (209), rebounds (249) and minutes (1,030) and 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 (172-159/.520) 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 86-78 (.524) 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 129-90 (.589) in the past seven seasons.
PLAYER QUICK NOTES
#0 Allen Morill: Averaged 20 minutes in the five games against Nebraska, Temple, Northwestern, San Diego and Western Michigan but played just three minutes due to illness against McNeese State...17-of-25 (.680) from the free throw line...seven points vs. Western Michigan on Dec. 20...six points and five boards at Northwestern on Dec. 17...eight points and eight boards vs. Temple on Dec. 9...sophomore newcomer with a strong physical presence...one of three Texans on scholarship...five boards in 16 minutes at Nebraska on Dec. 3...played nine minutes in season opener vs. Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 22.
#1 Jason Braxton: Has played in all 73 games in career and started in 57...averaging 28.7 minutes per game this year after averaging 21.5 his first two seasons...13 points, all of them in the second half, vs. fourth-ranked Stanford on Jan. 8...seven assists vs. fourth-ranked Arizona on Jan. 3...15 points and 10 assists vs. San Diego on Dec. 29...10 assists vs. San Diego was the most by a Sun Devil since Alton Mason had 12 vs. Southern Utah on Nov. 17, 2000...10 points, seven assists and six boards vs. Arkansas-Little Rock in season opener on Nov. 22.
#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 in 17 minutes vs. San Diego on Dec. 29...six points vs. McNeese State on Dec. 22...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...31 points and 13 boards vs. California on Jan. 10...13 points, six boards and a career-high six assists vs. Stanford on Jan. 8...matched school records with 18 made free throws and 23 attempts vs. Western Michigan on Dec. 30...eight 20-point games on the year...2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and an All-Pac-10 selection...has scored in double digits in all 44 career games, the best current mark in the nation...20 20-point games and 11 career double-doubles...four 30-point games...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.
ASU CAREER FREE THROWS MADE1. 362 - Royce Youree, '55-582. 341 - Tom Futch, '53-563. 338 - Jeremy Veal, '94-984. 327 - Arthur Thomas, '85-885. 316 - Stevin Smith, '90-946. 301 - Lafayette Lever, '79-82 - Larry Armstrong, '59-628. 298 - Steve Beck, '84-879. 296 - Tony Cerkvenik, '60-6310. 293 - Joe Caldwell, '61-6411. 291 - Ike Diogu, '02-present
#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: Played season-high 29 minutes on Jan. 10 vs. California...11-of-14 (.786) from the free throw line on the year...increased his minutes in each of the first six games, beginning with one minute in the season opener and then playing 27 in the sixth game at Northwestern on Dec. 17...dependable and sturdy guard...six points and five assists vs. fourth-ranked Arizona in 17 minutes...27 minutes at Northwestern on Dec. 17 and had four assists...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 which led to game-winning shot...played 16 minutes in first four games.
#21 Stevie Moore: Sixteen points vs. fourth-ranked Stanford on Jan. 8...explosive wing who scored 20 second-half points at Nebraska and led ASU with 22 points...led Sun Devils with 23 points vs. fourth-ranked Arizona on Jan. 3...three 20-point games...15 points and seven boards vs. Western Michigan on Dec. 30...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 five games in 2003-2004...15 points vs. fourth-ranked Arizona on Jan. 3...18 points vs. San Diego on Dec. 29...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...34-of-44 (.772) 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 six games and is averaging 21.6 minutes per game, but is out until at least the end of January with a broken nose...had surgery on Jan. 6...posted eight points vs. McNeese State (Dec. 22), vs. Temple (Dec. 9) and vs. Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 24)...also had five boards vs. Temple.
#24 Justin Allen: Started against both Stanford on Jan. 8 and vs. California on Jan. 10...averaging 13.5 minutes in the past two games...five points and six rebounds in nine minutes vs. San Diego on Dec. 29...six points on two second-half three-pointers at Northwestern on Dec. 17...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 83 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 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...13 rebounds vs. UC Riverside is tied for the sixth-most by a freshman in ASU history...11 points vs. Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 24...opened year with 11 points and eight boards vs. Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 22 off the bench.