Men's Hoops Travels To Bay Area
Jan. 4, 2005
SUN DEVILS PLAY AT STANFORD AND CAL: The Arizona State men's basketball team (11-2 overall and 0-1 in the Pacific-10 Conference), will try to rebound from its only loss in the past 10 games when it plays at Stanford on Thursday, Jan. 6 (7 p.m. PT/no television) and at California on Saturday, Jan. 8 (8 p.m. PT/Fox Sports Arizona). ASU had a nine-game win streak, its best since the 1980-81 team won 11 straight, snapped on Sunday at No. 14 Arizona 97-79. ASU's experience and depth this year are a lot better, as last year at this time Rob Evans was trying to play up to eight newcomers (including six freshman) without a senior starter. ASU's eight newcomers combined to average 118.1 minutes per game they played in last year, compared to four newcomers averaging 47.8 minutes in games played this year with two senior starters.
IKE NUMBERS: ASU is led by junior Ike Diogu, who is averaging 22.8 points (sixth in the nation as of Jan. 4) and 10.3 rebounds (tied for 12th). He has posted a double-double seven times in in the past 10 games and four straight 20-point games. Diogu leads the nation in free throws made (122) and attempted (140) and is seventh in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.871), and his 122 made free throws is more than all but one player in the nation has attempted (Glen McGowan of Pepperdine has attempted 130). His national-best consecutive games in double-figures scoring streak is up to 72 games (every game of his career). He now has eight 30-point games (three this year), 38 20-point games (nine this year), 22 double-doubles (seven this year) and 12 other games with nine rebounds. He also is tenth in the nation with 36
KRUGER, THEN AND NOW: Sophomore Kevin Kruger is 28-of-61 (.459) from the three-point stripe (tied for fifth in the league) and has notched double digits in six games. He provided a spark in the final nine games last year, averaging 29.0 minutes, 12.4 points and shooting 27-of-59 (.448) from the three-point stripe. He was the team's second-leading scorer in those nine games. After shooting 4-of-27 (.148) from the three-point stripe in the first 18 games of his career, he is 55-of-119 (.462) in his past 22 contests. He posted a season-high 17 points vs. Valparaiso and had a career-high 22 at Arizona last year.
ASU SEASON THREE-POINT PERCENTAGE(minimum one made per game)Rk. Name, Season 3M-A/.Pct1. Matt Anderson, 1988-89 41-80/.5132. Kevin Kruger, 2004-05 28-61/.4593. Bryson Krueger, 2004-05 16-35/.4574. Tarence Wheeler, 1987-88 58-128/.4535. Bobby Thompson, 1986-87 31-69/.4496. Jeremy Veal, 1996-97 58-131/.4437. Alex Austin, 1988-89 49-112/.4388. Kenny Crandall, 2001-02 35-83/.4229. Jeremy Veal, 1997-98 56-133/.42110. Chad Prewitt, 2001-02 34-83/.410
BLOCK PARTY: ASU has posted 39 blocks in its past five games (7.8 per game), including nine vs. Northwestern (Dec. 20) and Valparaiso (Dec. 29). The nine blocks are the most since ASU had 13 vs. Washington on Jan. 9, 2003. Ike Diogu has 36 blocks to lead the Pac-10 (2.77 per game), while Serge Angounou has 10 blocks through 13 games after posting just two in 15 games last year. Diogu had a career-high seven blocks against Santa Clara, the most by a Sun Devil since Rodger Farrington tied the school record with eight vs. Houston Baptist on Dec. 10, 1996.
THREE-DOT DATA: Jason Braxton is averaging 6.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists in the past eight games. He has posted 10 points in three games. He has 52 assists and just 20 turnovers on the year. His 138 steals and 321 assists are both ninth on the ASU career chart...sophomore Serge Angounou is averaging 10.3 points and 7.1 rebounds in the past 10 games...Steve Moore has two 20-point games on the year and is shooting 78.2 percent (115-of-147) from the free throw line in his 40-game career...sophomore newcomer Bryson Krueger, who played for assistant coach Brooks Thompson at Yavapai C.C. last year, is 18-of-28 (.643) from the floor and 10-of-16 (.625) from the three-point stripe in his past six games, but sprained his ankle in the Dec. 28 Long Island game. He missed the Dec. 29 game at Valparaiso and played just eight minutes at Arizona on Jan. 2. He had a season-high 23 points against UC Riverside on Dec. 12.
DEVIL THREE-DOT TEAM DATA: ASU was third in the nation last year in free throw attempts at 27.56 per game, behind only Texas Southern (28.3) and Niagara (28.2). It is averaging 26.2 attempts per game this year. ASU has made 237 free throws while its opponents have attemped 234...the Sun Devils are 38-16 (.703) in the past four seasons and are 71-37 (.657) under Evans in his seven years in Wells Fargo Arena....ASU has outrebounded 11 of 13 opponents on the year and is 10-1 in those games. ASU was outrebounded last year for the first time in Rob Evans six years...ASU was 13-of-20 (.650) from the three-point stripe vs. Northwestern on Dec. 20, its most three-pointers since it hit 13 at Oregon on Jan. 27, 1996 (tied for fifth in school history). The 65 percent three-point shooting is a school record (minimum 20 attempts), topping the 60 percent mark set at Stanford on Feb. 28, 1987 (12-of-20)...ASU was 11-1 before falling at Arizona on Jan. 2, something it has done just twice, as both the 1974-75 and 1962-63 Sun Devils went 15-1...ASU is 9-0 at home after going 7-8 at Wells Fargo Arena last year.
VS. STANFORD: The Sun Devils have lost 13 straight to Stanford and 17 of the past 18. ASU's last win was a 90-87 overtime win at fourth-ranked Stanford on Jan. 31, 1998. Ike Diogu is averaging 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds against the Cardinal, including 25-of-48 (.521) shooting from the floor, but the remaining Sun Devils are just 65-of-184 (.353). Last year, ASU rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to take a late lead but fell 63-62 to fourth-ranked Stanford on Jan. 8 in Tempe. In the Feb. 5 game at Maples, ASU led 11-10 before Stanford went on a 23-4 run as ASU scored a season-low 51 points in an 81-51 loss.VS. CALIFORNIA: The ASU-Cal series had been predictable the past decade, with the home team winning 21 of the past 26 games. ASU leads the overall series 30-27. Ike Diogu is averaging 21.3 points and 11.0 rebounds and is 23-of-35 (.657) from the floor against California. In last year's Jan. 5 game in Tempe, ASU shot a season-low 30.9 percent from the floor (17-of-55) in a 74-62 Bear win in which Cal led by as many as 20. ASU made a season-high 12 three-pointers in an 85-83 loss in Berkeley on Feb. 7, as the Bears attempted 42 free throws and ASU shot just 21. The game had eight lead changes and four ties.
AT #14 ARIZONA (JAN. 2): A close first half turned into an 18-point Arizona win as the Wildcats topped Arizona State 97-79 in the Pac-10 opener. ASU led 27-18 at the 10:59 mark of the first half and led 36-30 at the 5:31 mark before Arizona went on a 16-5 run to close the half. ASU placed five players in double figures, led by Ike Diogu with 23 points and 11 boards. The Sun Devils outrebounded Arizona (38-37) and shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the field, but the Wildcats set ASU opponent highs in points (97), assists (21), field goals made (34) and attempted (69), first half points (46), second-half points (51), three-point goals (11) and three-point field goal percentage (.550) as it was 11-of-20. Arizona also committed just 10 turnovers.
Rob Evans: Rob Evans (187-172/.521) 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 58-year old Evans is a 1968 graduate of New Mexico State, where he captained two NCAA Tournament teams and is a 1989 inductee of the Athletic Hall of Fame. He is 101-91 (.526) 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 144-103 (.583) in the past nine seasons. He reached his 100th win at ASU against Long Island on Dec. 28, becoming just the third coach in ASU history to top the century mark, joining Ned Wulk (406-272 from 1957-82) and Bill Frieder (132-108 from 1989-97).
RECRUITS GET HIGH MARKS: ASU's recruiting class was ranked 14th (tied with Indiana) by Clark Francis of Hoop Scoop. ASU has added Tyrone Jackson (Fresno C.C.), Bryson Krueger (Yavapai C.C.), Tim Pierce (Hercules High School/Oakland) and Craig Austin (El Camino High School/San Diego), while others ranked in the top 15 from the Pac-10 included Oregon (eighth) and USC and UCLA (tied for ninth). The rankings were in the June issue of Basketball Times.
KRUGER STARTING: Sophomore Kevin Kruger was in the starting lineup for the sixth time in his career on Sunday at Arizona with the ankle injury to Bryson Krueger, which statistically is certainly not a bad thing. In his five career starts, Kevin Kruger is averaging 16.4 points in 34.2 minutes and is shooting 18-of-37 (.486) from the field. He posted career highs in points (22) and three-pointers made (six) in his start last year at Arizona on March 7.
MORE 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 nation. Only two Sun Devils have finished in the nation's top-10 in scoring, as Eddie House was fourth in 1999-2000 (23.0 points per game)...is 545-of-683 (.798) 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...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.
ACADEMICALLY: Despite erroneous reports (since corrected) that said '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. Here's a look at scholarship players already earning degrees under 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). In addition, senior Jason Braxton will earn his B.I.S. in business and psychology in May of 2005, graduating in four years.
PLAYER QUICK NOTES
#1 Jason Braxton: Has played in all 101 games in career and started in 83...16-of-26 (.615) from the field in the past five games...has three 10-point games on the year (at Arizona, vs. Fairleigh Dickinson and vs. Northwestern)...seven points and eight boards vs. CS Northridge on Dec. 4...4.8 assists per game last year was fourth in Pac-10...2.04 steals per game and 2.06 assist-to-turnover ratio were second in the league...averaged 28.7 minutes per game last year after averaging 21.5 his first two seasons...will earn his B.I.S. degree in four years in business and psychology in May of 2005.
#5 Ike Diogu: An ESPN.com third-team All-American in 2003-2004...set Pac-10 season record last year with 243 made free throws...a 2004 Associated Press Preseason All-American, the first in Sun Devil history and 11th in Pac-10 history...a 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American...averaged 37.5 minutes in the final 17 games last year...12-of-12 outing at the FT line at USC on Jan. 17, 2004, is the first time a Sun Devil was perfect in at least 12 free throws in a game since Arthur Thomas was 13-of-13 on Dec. 4, 1987, against San Diego State...2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and an All-Pac-10 selection in his first two seasons...Pac-10 Tournament record 18 rebounds vs. Oregon on March 13, 2003.
MORE DIOGU: Ike Diogu's national-best double figure scoring streak of 72 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 Morehead State on Nov. 22, 2003, the first game of his career.
#12 Bryson Krueger: Sophomore played for current ASU assistant coach Brooks Thompson at Yavapai C.C. for one season before arriving at ASU...18-of-28 (.643) from the floor and 10-of-16 (.625) from the three-point stripe in his past six games...injured ankle on Dec. 28 vs. Long Island, missed Dec. 29 win over Valparaiso and played just eight minutes at Arizona on Jan. 2...had a season-high 23 points against UC Riverside on Dec. 12...posted 14 points against Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 6...12 points vs. UTEP on Nov. 26.
#13 Kevin Kruger: Is 28-of-61 (.459) from the three-point stripe and has notched double digits in six games...after shooting 4-of-27 (.148) from the three-point stripe in the first 18 games of his career, he is 55-of-120 (.458) in his past 22 contests...63-of-84 (.750) from the free throw line in career...averaged 29.0 minutes, 12.4 points and shot 27-of-59 (.448) from three and was team's second-leading scorer in final nine games last year...had 22 points, including 6-of-10 from three, at No. 22 Arizona on March 7, 2004...17 points in career-high 40 minutes at Oregon on Feb. 21, 2004...20 points in first start at Oregon State on Feb. 19, 2004.
#21 Steve Moore: Posted 20 points vs. Vanderbilt and vs. Cal State Northridge...has been in double figures in 10 games on the year and in past five...led ASU with 18 points vs. Northwestern on Dec. 20...made 48 three-pointers last year, the most by a Sun Devil since Eddie House hit 73 in 1999-2000...finished eighth in the Pac-10 in free throw shooting (.814)...averaged 17 points on Los Angeles road trip and was 15-of-18 (.833) from the free throw line...had 20 second-half points at Nebraska on Dec. 3, 2003...posted three 20-point games last year.
#45 Serge Angounou: Working his way back into shape after missing all of 2002-2003 with a knee injury suffered on Nov. 13, 2002...averaging 10.3 points and 7.1 rebounds in past 10 games...has seven games in double digits in scoring and two double-doubles this year...had 11 points and 11 boards vs. Valparaiso on Dec. 30...posted 14 points vs. Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 6...did not score in the first two contests this year but posted 13 points vs. Vanderbilt on Nov. 27 and 13 points and 14 boards in 34 minutes at Temple on Nov. 30...missed the first 12 games last year.
PAC-10 POLL: ASU was picked tenth by the Pac-10 media, announced Nov. 4. UA was the choice for the top spot among the 26 media folks. The poll: 1. UA; 2. UW; 3. STAN; 4. UO; 5. UCLA; 6. USC; 7. CAL; 8. OSU; 9. WSU; 10. ASU.
NO EASY OPENERS: ASU has not had a lot of luck in Pac-10 openers recently, and a lot of that has to do with the schedule. This year marked the fifth time Rob Evans opened Pac-10 play on the road in his seven years at ASU, and the two home games were against top-five opponents. ASU lost to second-ranked Stanford on Jan. 4, 2000, in Tempe, and last year lost to fourth-ranked Arizona 93-74 on Jan. 3, 2003. ASU faced the eventual Pac-10 champion three straight years in its Pac-10 opener from 2000-2002, going against Stanford twice and Oregon once. Next year, ASU is scheduled to open on the road on Dec. 29 at Washington, a team many media types are picking to win the league title.
ONE FINAL NOTE ABOUT ITS STREAK: ASU's nine-game win streak in December was its best since 1980-81, and winning seven straight is something the Sun Devils could not accomplish in the previous 23 seasons as they posted four six-game win streaks (1990-91, 1992-93, 1994-95 and 1998-99). ASU had not won seven straight prior to this year, as it won 11 straight in 1980-81. Every other Pac-10 team had posted a seven-game win streak since the 1992-93 season. Washington, which had not won seven straight since 1990-91, currently has won eight straight. Stanford (2003-04, 26 straight wins), Arizona (2003-04, 9), California (2002-03, 8), USC (2001-02, 9) and UCLA (2001-02, 9) all have posted at least seven straight wins once in the past three seasons, with Oregon (1998-99, 7), Washington State (1993-94, 7) and Oregon State (1992-93, 7) all winning at least seven straight in the 1990s.
GET TO 50 PERCENT: ASU is 22-1 in the past three seasons when it shoots 50 percent from the field. ASU had won its previous 24 games when shooting 50 percent before its Jan. 2 loss at Arizona as it was 29-of-57 (.509) from the floor. ASU is 48-5 (.906) under Rob Evans when it shoots 50 percent.
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