Men's Hoops Travels To Iowa To Face No. 22 Hawkeyes Saturday
Dec. 15, 2005
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University men's basketball team(4-2) travels to Iowa City to take on the 22nd-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes(7-3), who were 21-12 last year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.Iowa is 6-0 this year and 19-3 (.864) in the past two seasons athome. ASU advanced to the postseason for the third time in the pastfour seasons under Rob Evans last year as it finished 18-14 behindPac-10 Player of the Year and consensus second-team All-American IkeDiogu. The Sun Devils, second in the nation in three-point shootingpercentage at .467, have nine players averaging at least nine minutesper game and eight players are averaging at least five points pergame, as ASU is using balanced scoring to make up for Diogu's 22.6points per game last year, which was tied for fifth in the nation.Although it is early in the year, the statistics show that ASU willprobably be a strong outside shooting team, as through games of Dec.12 the Sun Devils were leading the Pac-10 in three-point percentage(.467) and free throw percentage (.758). Newcomer Chad Goldstein alsowill see his first action, as he becomes eligible for the Iowa gameafter transferring from UC Davis last December.
ONE GAME, SOME GREAT SUN DEVIL NAMES: The Sun Devils will meet Iowafor just the second time in school history, with unranked ASU winning96-88 against the 12th-ranked Hawkeyes on Dec. 6, 1980. ASU was ledby a trio of future NBA players, as Fat Lever led ASU with 21 pointswhile Byron Scott and Sam Williams added 20. The Sun Devils ended theseason 24-4 and ranked third in the nation that season and won attop-ranked Oregon State 87-65 on the final day of the regular season.Third-ranked ASU lost to fifth-ranked Kansas 88-71 in its openingNCAA Tournament game that year. Iowa is scheduled to return the tripon Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006.
SERIES NOTES: ASU is 4-2 against Big Ten teams under Rob Evans, as itbeat Penn State (93-85 on Dec. 29, 1999), Northwestern (77-60 on Dec.29, 2001, and 90-55 on Dec. 20, 2004) and Purdue (70-53 on Dec. 21,2002, in Las Vegas), but lost at Northwestern (63-61 on Dec. 17,2003) and this year against Minnesota (85-79 in overtime on Dec. 5).The Iowa contest is just ASU's second game at a Big Ten school sincean 88-77 defeat at Ohio State on Dec. 18, 1982, joining the defeat atNorthwestern on Dec. 17, 2003...ASU is the first Pac-10 team to visitIowa since the Hawkeyes defeated UCLA 88-71 on Dec. 22, 1990...ASUhead coach Rob Evans is 1-1 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, but did not faceIowa. His 1995 Ole Miss team lost to Colgate 53-51 and then beat EastTennessee State 65-50 in the Hawkeye Challenge.
HIT THE FREEBIES: ASU made free throws at a 73.5 percent rate in2003-2004, the fifth-best mark in ASU history and the second-best inthe previous 17 seasons, and then came back with the tenth-besteffort last year. Through six games it is shooting 135-of-178(.758), tops in the Pac-10 and tied for 17th in the nation. Leadingthe way are Bryson Krueger (18-of-22/.818), Kevin Kruger(29-of-36/.806), Jeff Pendergraph (15-of-20/.750) and Tyrone Jackson(19-of-25/.760). A look at the best free throw teams in ASU annals,and note that ASU's current clip (.758) is on par for a school record.
ASU TOP SEASON FREE THROW PERCENTAGE1. 75.6 - 1978 6. 73.0 - 19572. 75.4 - 1955 7. 72.9 - 20003t. 74.6 - 1998 8. 72.1 - 19893t. 74.6 - 1987 9. 72.0 - 19825. 73.5 - 2004 10. 71.6 - 2005
IN THE PAC-10 RANKINGS: Junior Kevin Kruger is among the Pac-10leaders in minutes per game (39.2/first), steals (2.5 pg/second),three-point field goals made per game (2.5/fourth), scoring (16.3ppg./sixth) and assists (4.33 pg/sixth).
NIGHTMARE FOR OPPONENTS: Kevin Kruger (16.3 ppg. in 2005-06) was oneof three Sun Devils who averaged double-digit points in Pac-10 play(11.8 ppg.) and he has picked up where he left off from last year. Heaveraged 12.2 points in the final 13 games and has made 160-of-197(.812) free throws in his 65-game career. Kruger has started 21 gamesin his career and was second on the team in minutes per game lastyear, averaging 29.8 per game. He is averaging 39.2 minutes per gamethis year, tops in the Pac-10. He also is averaging 2.50 steals pergame, second in the league.
WELCOME ADDITIONS: Junior college transfer Antwi Atuahene is off to asolid start, as the sophomore has come off the bench to average 8.7points, 3.8 boards and 3.3 assists in 22.2 minutes per game(fourth-best on the team). He is shooting 20-of-34 (.588) from thefloor and has notched double-digits in three of the past four games,averaging 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists in that time. His.619 field goal percentage is tops in the Pac-10. Freshman JeffPendergraph became just the fourth ASU freshman in the past nineyears to notch a 20-point game when he posted 20 against Utah ValleyState on Dec. 10. Only Ike Diogu (12 in 2002-03), Kevin Kruger (twoas a redshirt freshman in 2003-04) and Tanner Shell (one in1999-2000) have notched that number since the 1997-98 season in theirfreshman season.
QUICK NOTES: ASU has committed less turnovers than its opponent inall six games...ASU started 4-0 this year for the first time since1994-95...sophomore Craig Austin's 21 points vs. Southern Utah notonly was a career-high, it was four more points than he scored all oflast season. As a freshman the San Diego, Calif., native scored 17points in 17 games last year. He is averaging 7.5 points and 3.5rebounds...ASU had 13 steals vs. SUU, matching last season'sseason-high set in the first game against Jackson State...ASU forced27 turnovers against SUU, tied for the seventh-most by a Rob Evans'team in his career and the most forced by ASU since Dec. 22, 2003 (31against McNeese State)...Tyrone Jackson is averaging 27.3 minutesthis year after averaging 15.1 minutes per contest last year...ASUtied the school record for three-point percentage by hitting 8-of-11(.742) against North Texas, led by Bryson Krueger who was perfect infive attempts...ASU made 32-of-40 (.800) free throws against AlcornState on Nov. 26, its most made free throws since it hit 35 in theseason opener against Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 22, 2003 (past 60games)...ASU made 24-of-27 (.880) free throws against Southern Utah,the sixth-best mark in school history with a minimum of 20 attempts.
NO EASY OPENERS: With Arizona winning the 2005 Pac-10 title, lastyear marked the fourth time in the previous six years that ASU openedthe season with an eventual Pac-10 champion, as ASU faced theeventual Pac-10 champion three straight years in its Pac-10 openerfrom 2000-2002, facing Stanford in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 and thenopening with Oregon in 2001-2002. ASU opens at 2005 Pac-10 Tournamentchampion and undefeated Washington on Dec. 29, 2005. Last year alsomarked the fifth time in his seven years Rob Evans opened Pac-10 playon the road, and the two home games were against top-five teams. ASUlost to second-ranked Stanford on Jan. 4, 2000, in Tempe, and tofourth-ranked Arizona 93-74 on Jan. 3, 2003.
ASU PAC-10 OPENERS UNDER Rob EvansDate Score Site NoteDec. 29, 2005 ASU at Washington Seattle, Wash. UW a NCAA No.1 seed in '05Jan. 2, 2005 #14 Arizona 97, ASU 79 Tucson, Ariz. Arizona winsPac-10 at 14-4Jan. 3, 2004 #4 Arizona 93, ASU 74 Tempe, Ariz. Arizona goes 20-10Jan. 2, 2003 ASU 67, OSU 47 Corvallis, Ore. ASU finishes 20-12 and in NCAAsDec. 20, 2001 Oregon 103, ASU 90 Eugene, Ore. UO winsPac-10, goes 26-9Jan. 4, 2001 #2 Stanford 94, ASU 77 Tempe, Ariz. Stanford winsPac-10, goes 31-3Jan. 6, 2000 #1 Stanford 86, ASU 67 Palo Alto, Calif. Stanford wins Pac-10, goes 27-4Jan. 2, 1999 USC 72, ASU 70 Los Angeles, Calif. USC ends ASU6-game win streak