Men's Hoops Hosts Games Saturday And Monday

Dec. 3, 2004

ASU PLAYING SEVEN GAMES IN 16 DAYS TO GET STARTED: The Arizona State men's basketball team (4-1) finishes a seven-game in 16 days schedule to open the season with home games against Cal State Northridge (1-4) on Dec. 4 at 12:30 p.m. and Fairleigh Dickinson (2-3) on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. ASU fell to WAC favorite UTEP 66-65 on Nov. 26 in the Las Vegas Invitational, came back to beat Vanderbilt on Nov. 27 and then won at Temple 65-62 on Nov. 30. Ike Diogu his continued his great play for ASU (23.2 points and 9.8 rebounds) and is 33-of-50 (.660) from the floor and 50-of-57 (.877) from the free throw line through the first five games, but has received solid contributions from the supporting cast, including Steve Moore (15.0 points per game), Kevin Kruger (11-of-22 from three-point range and 9.8 points per game off the bench) and Serge Angounou (13.0 points and 8.9 rebounds in past two contests). ASU is holding its opponents to 37.1 percent from the floor and 27.7 percent from the three-point stripe. The Sun Devils have led at the half in all five games and have outrebounded four of their five opponents.

DIOGU NOTES: Ike Diogu averaged 22.8 points per game in 2003-2004, which not only led the Pac-10 but was ninth in the his career he now has seven 30-point games, 32 20-point games, 17 double-doubles and 11 other games with nine 473-of-600 (.788) from the free throw line in his career...entered 2004-2005 season as the nation's third-leading returning scorer and is the first Pac-10 scoring leader to be back on campus the following season since Reggie Miller won the honors in 1985-86 and returned in 1986-87...also averaged a Pac-10 best 36.9 minutes per game and grabbed 8.9 rebounds per game (second in the Pac-10) last year...has scored in double digits in all 64 career games, the best active streak in the nation...Garland, Texas, native averaged 11.03 free throw attempts per game last year and broke the 40 year-old Pac-10 season record for free throws made with 243.

AT TEMPLE (NOV. 30): Ike Diogu scored 15 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and Serge Angounou had 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to lead ASU to a 65-62 win at Temple. Diogu grabbed nine offensive caroms, a career-high, while Angounou played a career-high 34 minutes. It marked the first time two Sun Devil grabbed at least 10 boards in a game since March 6, 2003, when Diogu (14) and Tommy Smith (10) notched the feat against Oregon. Steve Moore scored 13 points and Kevin Kruger had 12 as the Sun Devils outrebounded Temple 55-38 and grabbed 25 offensive rebounds, the most since it had 25 at UNLV on March 12, 2002, in the first round of the NIT. ASU held the Owls to just 32.3 percent field goal shooting, including just 9-of-33 (.273) in the second half.

VS. VANDERBILT (NOV. 27): ASU had one of its better outings in the past few years with a convincing 87-68 win over 2004 NCAA Tournament member Vanderbilt on Nov. 27 in the Las Vegas Invitational. Ike Diogu posted his seventh 30-point game with a 30-point, 11-board effort, including 14-of-16 from the free throw line. Steve Moore posted his first 20-point game (and fourth of his career) since Jan. 3, 2003, with 20 points, Kevin Kruger added 15 off the bench and Serge Angounou had a career-high 13 points. ASU shot 58.3 percent from the field (28-of-48) and was 8-of-12 (.667) from the three-point stripe, tied for the fifth-best effort in ASU history (minimum 10 attempts). ASU also hit 16-of-20 (.800) free throws in the second half to stop any Vanderbilt runs.

VS. UTEP (NOV. 26): ASU had a 41-36 halftime lead against the Miners on Nov. 26 but shot just 9-of-22 (.409) from the field in the second half and fell 66-65. Uncharacteristic foul trouble on Ike Diogu had him on the bench for much of the second half, as he played just 25 minutes. Diogu had four fouls early in the second half (he has fouled out of just five games in his career), but Steve Moore (16 points) and Bryson Krueger (12 points) picked up the slack offensively. ASU was 8-of-21 (.381) from the three-point stripe, including 7-of-15 (.467) in the first half. UTEP grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and outrebounded ASU 42-31. Diogu's 25 minutes because of foul trouble was the fifth-fewest in his career and was his fewest since his freshman year when he played 24 minutes vs. Washington State on Jan. 11, 2003.

RECRUITS GET HIGH MARKS IN SUMMER: ASU's incoming recruiting class is ranked 14th (tied with Indiana) in the nation by Clark Francis of Hoop Scoop. ASU added guard Tyrone Jackson of Fresno City College, wing Bryson Krueger of Yavapai College, wing Tim Pierce of Hercules High School in Oakland and forward Craig Austin of El Camino High School in San Diego to its roster. Others ranked in the top 15 from the Pac-10 include Oregon (eighth) and USC and UCLA (tied for ninth). The rankings were in the June issue of Basketball Times.

DEVIL DATA: ASU was third in the nation in free throw attempts at 27.56 per game, behind only Texas Southern (28.3) and Niagara (28.2)...ASU shot 73.5 percent from the free throw line, the fifth-best mark in school history, second-best in the past 17 seasons and fourth in the Pac-10...ASU went 19-of-20 (.950) from the free throw line against UCLA on Feb. 12, which set the school single-game mark for 20 attempts...Kevin Kruger provided a spark in the final nine games, averaging 29.0 minutes, 12.4 points and shot 27-of-59 (.448) from the three-point stripe. He was the team's second-leading scorer in those nine games...the Sun Devils are 31-16 (.660) in the past four seasons and are 64-37 (.634) under Evans in his seven years in Wells Fargo Arena.

ACADEMICALLY: Despite published reports that say 'the state's three public universities have graduated only two male basketball players in the past five years' and '...not a single men's basketball player graduated from the three institutions last year' ASU has had success in the classroom recently. Here's a look at scholarship players already earning degrees who have played for Rob Evans: Kenny Crandall (B.I.S., Business and Communications, 2004), Justin Allen (B.S., Justice Studies, 2003), Tyson Johnston (B.A., Sociology 2003), Chad Prewitt (B.I.S., Business and Communications, 2002), Awvee Storey (B.I.S., Sociology, 2001), Okeme Oziwo (B.S.W., Social Work, 1999) and Bobby Lazor (B.S., Marketing, 1998).

#45 Serge Angounou QUICK NOTES: Serge Angounou is working his way back into shape after missing all of 2002-2003 with a knee injury suffered on Nov. 13, 2002...missed the first 12 games last year and his first game back from injury was Jan. 8 against fourth-ranked Stanford...did not score in the first two contests this year but posted 13 points vs. Vanderbilt on Nov. 27 and then had 13 points and 14 boards in 34 minutes at Temple on Nov. 30.

Rob Evans: Rob Evans (180-171/.513) is in his seventh season at Arizona State (13th 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 94-90 (.511) at ASU and has led the Sun Devils to three postseason appearances, including a 2003 NCAA appearance that was the school's first since 1995. He is 137-102 (.573) in the past eight seasons.

SERIES VS. NEXT THREE OPPONENTS: ASU is 3-0 against Cal State Northridge with all the games taking place in Tempe. ASU won 62-53 on Dec. 23, 1982, 100-81 on Dec. 17, 1993, and 97-91 on Nov. 16, 1997. It has never played Fairleigh Dickinson and is 3-0 against UC Riverside, who it plays on Dec. 12. ASU beat UC Riverside 96-87 on Dec. 4, 1971, and has played them twice in the Rob Evans era. ASU won 73-64 on Nov. 27, 2001, and 77-68 on Nov. 29, 2003. In last year's game ASU trailed 37-31 at the half as Ike Diogu had 31 points and nine boards while Wilried Fameni had 13 rebounds. In the 73-64 win on Nov. 27, 2001, ASU took a 17-point first-half lead but UCR cut it to three at the half and led by 10 in the second half. Freshman Jason Braxton came off the bench and played 27 minutes and had eight points in 29 minutes.