Men's Hoops Hosts Northwestern Monday At 7 p.m.
Dec. 16, 2004
SUN DEVILS CONTINUE HOMESTAND: The Arizona State men's basketballteam, 7-1 for the first time since the 1990-91 team started 9-1,hosts Big Ten member Northwestern on Mon., Dec. 20 (7 p.m.), andSanta Clara on Tues., Dec. 22 (6 p.m.) at Wells Fargo Arena/Ned WulkCourt. The Sun Devils played seven games in 16 days, including twogames in the Las Vegas Invitational and a contest at Temple, to startthe season but are now coming off a seven-day break after finalexams. ASU is led by junior Ike Diogu, who is averaging 24.3 points(third in the nation as of Dec. 16), 10.1 rebounds and has posted adouble-double four of the past five games, averaging 24.6 points and11.8 rebounds in that time. He is shooting 56-of-86 (.651) from thefield and is 82-of-91 (.901) from the free throw line, as he leadsthe nation in free throws made and attempted and is third inpercentage. Juan Mendez of Niagara (88 attempts) is the only playerin the nation who has attempted more free throws than Diogu has made.Diogu already is tenth on the Pac-10 career free throws made listwith 505 and is one of just 10 Pac-10 players to make 500 career freethrows.
OLD SCHOOL THREES: Ike Diogu has been fouled when making a shot 66times in his career and has made 48-of-66 (.727) of the free throwsthat followed.
HEATING UP: Sophomore newcomer Bryson Krueger, who played forassistant coach Brooks Thompson at Yavapai C.C. last year, is13-of-16 (.813) from the floor and 7-of-10 (.700) from thethree-point stripe in the past two games. He had a season-high 23points against UC Riverside on Dec. 12 after posting 14 pointsagainst Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 6 and 12 vs. UTEP on Nov. 26.
FREE THROWS: ASU shot 73.5 percent at the free throw line last year,the fifth-best mark in school history and second-best in the past 17seasons. It is shooting 72.3 percent this year, including 61-of-76(.803) in the past three games. Ike Diogu leads the way as he is82-of-91 (.901) from the line, including 37-of-39 (.949) in the pastfour games. ASU was third in the nation last year in free throwattempts at 27.56 per game, behind only Texas Southern (28.3) andNiagara (28.2). It is averaging 26.6 attempts per game this year.
MORE DIOGU NOTES: Ike Diogu averaged 22.8 points per game in2003-2004, which not only led the Pac-10 but was ninth in thenation...has scored in double digits in all 67 career games, the bestactive streak in the nation...in his career he now has eight 30-pointgames (three this year), 34 20-point games (five this year), 19double-doubles (four this year) and 12 other games with ninerebounds...is 505-of-634 (.797) from the free throw line in hiscareer...entered 2004-2005 season as the nation's third-leadingreturning scorer and is the first Pac-10 scoring leader to be back oncampus the following season since Reggie Miller won the honors in1985-86 and returned in 1986-87...also averaged a Pac-10 best 36.9minutes per game and grabbed 8.9 rebounds per game (second in thePac-10) last year...Garland, Texas, native averaged 11.03 free throwattempts per game last year and broke the 40 year-old Pac-10 seasonrecord for free throws made with 243.
KRUGER, PART II: Sophomore Kevin Kruger is making a difference on theperimeter as well, as he is 15-of-33 (.455) from the three-pointstripe and has notched double digits in three games. He provided aspark in the final nine games last year, averaging 29.0 minutes, 12.4points and shot 27-of-59 (.448) from the three-point stripe. He wasthe team's second-leading scorer in those nine games. After shooting4-of-27 (.148) from the three-point stripe in the first 18 games ofhis career, he is 42-of-92 (.457) in his past 17 contests.
ABOUT THE RECENT WINS: ASU enters the Northwestern game on afive-game win streak. ASU has posted just one six-game win streak inthe past 10 years, as the Sun Devils won six straight from Dec. 5-29,1998, before losing its Pac-10 opener to USC 72-70 on Jan. 2, 1999.The Sun Devils have posted four six-game win streaks in the past 24seasons (1990-91, 1992-93, 1994-95 and 1998-99), but have not wonseven straight since they won their first seven games in 1980-81 andthen won 11 straight that same year.
DEVIL DATA: Jason Braxton is averaging 7.7 rebounds and 5.3 assistsin the past three games. He tied a career-high with eight boardsagainst both UC Riverside and Cal State Northridge and has 31 assistsand just 11 turnovers on the year. His 131 career steals is tenth onthe ASU career chart...sophomore Serge Angounou is averaging 9.6points and 7.6 rebounds in the past five games. He already has posted12 more rebounds (51) than he did in 15 games last year (39) and hasmore field goals through eight games (25) as he did last year(24)...Steve Moore has two 20-point games on the year and is shooting79.6 percent (109-of-137) from the free throw line in his 35-gamecareer...the Sun Devils are 34-16 (.680) in the past four seasons andare 67-37 (.644) under Evans in his seven years in Wells FargoArena....ASU has outrebounded seven of eight opponents on the yearand is 7-0 in those games. It has outrebounded its past fiveopponents by 11.4 boards per game...only two Sun Devils have finishedin the nation's top-10 in scoring. Eddie House was fourth in1999-2000 (23.0 points per game), while Ike Diogu was ninth last yearat 22.8.
NEWCOMERS: ASU's experience (and depth) this year is a lot better, aslast year at this time Rob Evans was trying to play up to sevennewcomers. ASU's seven newcomers combined to average 118.1 minutesper games played last year, compared to just 46.4 minutes this year.
NORTHWESTERN SERIES: ASU is 3-2 against the Wildcats with all of thegames except last year's contest taking place in Tempe, including a77-60 Sun Devil victory on Dec. 29, 2001, in the final of ASU'sholiday tournament. ASU forced 24 turnovers in that game and had 14offensive rebounds. ASU is 3-1 against Big Ten teams under Rob Evans,as it beat Penn State in 1999-2000, Northwestern in 2001-2002 andPurdue in 2003-2004.
AT NORTHWESTERN (DEC. 17, 2003): ASU trailed at the half for thefourth straight game and fell behind by as many as 13 before takingthe lead, but a T.J. Parker jump shot with no time remaining gaveNorthwestern a 63-61 win in Evanston on Dec. 17, 2003. Ike Diogu ledASU with 23 points and 14 rebounds and was the only Sun Devil indouble digits. ASU matched a season-low with eight turnovers,outrebounded Northwestern 43-35 and had 15 more field goal attemptsthan the Wildcats but made just one of its first 10 three-pointers.Northwestern had 20 assists and led 40-27 early in the second half.ASU was just 5-of-22 (.227) from the three-point stripe. Diogumatched season-highs with 17 field goal attempts and seven offensiveboards. Northwestern had ASU opponent lows in fouls (13) and benchpoints (six).
RECRUITS GET HIGH MARKS: ASU's recruiting class was ranked 14th (tiedwith Indiana) by Clark Francis of Hoop Scoop. ASU has added TyroneJackson (Fresno C.C.), Bryson Krueger (Yavapai C.C.), Tim Pierce(Hercules High School/Oakland) and Craig Austin (El Camino HighSchool/San Diego), while others ranked in the top 15 from the Pac-10included Oregon (eighth) and USC and UCLA (tied for ninth). Therankings were in the June issue of Basketball Times.
Rob Evans: Rob Evans (183-171/.517) is in his seventh season atArizona State (13th overall) after being hired on April 7, 1998. The1997 SEC Coach of the Year spent six seasons at Ole Miss, compilingan 86-81 (.515) record. He led the Rebels to a 42-16 record in hisfinal two seasons after going 44-65 (.403) in his first four, winningtwo SEC West titles, and led Ole Miss to back-to-back 20-win seasonsfor the first time since 1937-38. The 58-year old Evans is a 1968graduate of New Mexico State, where he captained two NCAA Tournamentteams and is a 1989 inductee of the Athletic Hall of Fame. He is97-90 (.519) at ASU and has led the Sun Devils to three postseasonappearances, including a 2003 NCAA appearance that was the school'sfirst since 1995. He is 140-102 (.579) in the past nine seasons.
GET TO 50 PERCENT: ASU is 20-0 in the past three seasons when itshoots 50 percent from the field.
PAC-10 CAREER FREE THROWS MADE1. 711 - Don MacLean, UCLA, 1988-922. 652 - Adam Keefe, Stanford, 1989-923. 625 - Sean Elliott, Arizona, 1985-894. 591 - Brevin Knight, Stanford, 1993-975. 584 - Todd Lichti, Stanford, 1985-896. 543 - Mel Counts, Oregon St., 1961-647. 532 - John Revelli, Stanford, 1980-848. 516 - Jason Gardner, Arizona, 1999-20039. 506 - Luke Jackson, Oregon, 2000-0410. 505 - Ike Diogu, Arizona St., 2002-pres.<.pre>
MORE DIOGU: Ike Diogu's national-best double figure scoring streak of67 games still has a ways to go until it reaches NCAA-record levels.The NCAA record is 115 set by La Salle's Lionel Simmons from 1987-90.Diogu's lowest point total in his career was 10 against MoreheadState on Nov. 22, 2003, the first game of his career. Nate Robinsonof Washington is second in the Pac-10 with 13 consecutive games indouble digits.
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TOMORROW | 7:00pm PTLive