Men's Hoops Hosts Boise State Wednesday, But Morill Out For Season
Dec. 20, 2005
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University men's basketball team(4-3) returns home to host its annual holiday tournament Dec. 21-22at Wells Fargo Arena. ASU will meet Boise State in its first roundgame at 7 p.m., while Northern Arizona and San Francisco meet at 4:30p.m. in the other first round contest. Early signs point to ASU beinga strong perimeter team, as through games of Dec. 17 the Sun Devilswere leading the Pac-10 in three-point percentage (.432) and weresecond in free throw percentage (.747). ASU advanced to thepostseason for the third time in the past four seasons under RobEvans last year as it finished 18-14 behind Pac-10 Player of the Yearand consensus second-team All-American Ike Diogu. Junior Kevin Krugeris among the Pac-10 leaders in minutes per game (38.7/first), steals(2.43 pg/third), assists (4.57 pg/third), three-point field goalsmade per game (2.43/fourth) and scoring (15.7 ppg./eighth). BrysonKrueger leads the Pac-10 in three-point percentage, shooting at a.583 clip (14-of-24).
BAD LUCK: ASU has been hit by the injury bug, as senior forward AllenMorill is now out for the year after having microfracture surgery onhis left knee on Dec. 19. Morill had played in all seven games thisyear, starting in two, and averaged 15.7 minutes. He posted acareer-high 14 points against Alcorn State on Nov. 26 and had 10points and nine boards in 29 minutes vs. Minnesota on Dec. 5. Morillis the second-most experienced Sun Devil, as his 57 career games issecond only to Kevin Kruger's 66, and leaves ASU with just one senioron the roster, Tyrone Jackson.
THAT IS NOT ALL: In addition to Morill's season-ending injury, otherSun Devils have missed games and many practices. Serge Angounou, atwo-year starter, suffered a bone bruise on his left knee in practiceon Dec. 4 and missed the next two games (both losses) and ispracticing on a limited basis to rest the knee for games. FreshmanJeff Pendergraph had a benign tumor removed in the fall from his leftfemur and did not get any conditioning or practice until November, ashe missed both exhibitions and the first game of the season and isstill working to get strength in the leg. Sophomore Antwi Atuahenehas not missed a regular season game due to a nasal fracture sufferedin November, but he missed the second exhibition game and somepractices and had to wear a mask the first seven games to protect hisnose. And while freshman Chad Goldstein could not play in in thefirst six games after transferring last year from UC-Davis, it didn'tstop him from catching the injury bug. He broke his nose in the falland wore a mask in practice and in his first game at Iowa on Dec. 17.
FREEBIES: ASU made free throws at a 73.5 percent rate in 2003-2004,the fifth-best mark in ASU history and the second-best in theprevious 17 seasons, and then came back with the tenth-best effortlast year. Through seven games it is shooting 139-of-186 (.747).Leading the way are Bryson Krueger (18-of-22/.818), Kevin Kruger(33-of-41/.805), Jeff Pendergraph (15-of-21/.714) and Tyrone Jackson(19-of-25/.760). A look at the best free throw teams in ASU annals,and note that the current clip (.747) is currently third-best.
ASU TOP SEASON FREE THROW PERCENTAGE1. 75.6 - 1978 6. 73.0 - 19572. 75.4 - 1955 7. 72.9 - 20003t. 74.6 - 1998 (.747 mark this year) 8. 72.1 - 19893t. 74.6 - 1987 9. 72.0 - 19825. 73.5 - 2004 10. 71.6 - 2005
HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT: The ASU holiday tournament is in its 39th year in2005, as ASU has won 28 of the 38 events (12 of the past 16)including championship victories against Georgia, Texas, Northwestern(twice), Detroit, Villanova, Vanderbilt, Eastern Michigan, PennState, Nebraska and Valparaiso. ASU has advanced to the championship30 of the past 31 years and 35 of 38 overall (exceptions in 1966,1969 and 2000). ASU's all-time record is 63-13 (.829) and is 12-2(.857) under Rob Evans.
NIGHTMARE FOR OPPONENTS: Kevin Kruger (15.7 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 164-of-202(.812) free throws in his 66-game career. Kruger has started 22 gamesin his career and was second on the team in minutes per game lastyear, averaging 29.8 per game. He is averaging 38.7 minutes per gamethis year, tops in the Pac-10.
ADDITIONS: Junior college transfer Antwi Atuahene is off to a solidstart, as the sophomore is averaging 8.0 points, 3.9 boards and 3.1assists in 22.6 minutes per game (fourth-most on the team). He isshooting 22-of-36 (.611) from the floor (second in Pac-10) and hasnotched double-digits in three of the past five games, averaging 9.0points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists in that time. Freshman JeffPendergraph became just the fourth ASU freshman in the past nineyears to notch 20-points when he posted 20 against Utah Valley Stateon Dec. 10. Only Ike Diogu (12 in 2002-03), Kevin Kruger (two as aredshirt freshman in 2003-04) and Tanner Shell (one in 1999-2000)have notched that number since the 1997-98 season in their freshmanseason.
QUICK NOTES: ASU has committed less turnovers than its opponent insix of its seven games...ASU started 4-0 this year for the first timesince 1994-95...sophomore Craig Austin's 21 points vs. Southern Utahnot only was a career-high, it was four more points than he scoredall of last season. As a freshman the San Diego, Calif., nativescored 17 points in 17 games last year. He is averaging 6.4 pointsand 3.4 rebounds...Tyrone Jackson is averaging 27.6 minutes this yearafter averaging 15.1 minutes per contest last year...ASU tied theschool record for three-point percentage by hitting 8-of-11 (.742)against North Texas, led by Bryson Krueger who was perfect in fiveattempts...ASU made 32-of-40 (.800) free throws against Alcorn Stateon Nov. 26, its most made free throws since it hit 35 in the seasonopener against Arkansas-Little Rock on Nov. 22, 2003...ASU made24-of-27 (.880) free throws against Southern Utah, the sixth-bestmark in school history with a minimum of 20 attempts...ASU had 13steals vs. SUU, matching last season's season-high set in the firstgame against Jackson State...ASU forced 27 turnovers against SUU,tied for the seventh-most by a Rob Evans' team in his career and themost forced by ASU since Dec. 22, 2003.
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. This year alsowill mark the sixth time in his eight years Rob Evans has openedPac-10 play on the road, and the two home games were against top-fiveteams. ASU lost to second-ranked Stanford on Jan. 4, 2000, in Tempe,and to fourth-ranked Arizona 93-74 on Jan. 3, 2003.
ASU PAC-10 OPENERS (1998-PRESENT)Date Score Site NoteDec. 29, 2005 ASU at #9 Washington Seattle, Wash.UW home streak at 30+
Jan. 2, 2005 #14 Arizona 97, ASU 79 Tucson, Ariz.Arizona wins Pac-10 at 14-4
Jan. 3, 2004 #4 Arizona 93, ASU 74 Tempe, Ariz.Arizona goes 20-10
Jan. 2, 2003 ASU 67, OSU 47 Corvallis, Ore.ASU finishes 20-12 and in NCAAs
Dec. 20, 2001 Oregon 103, ASU 90 Eugene, Ore.UO wins Pac-10, goes 26-9
Jan. 4, 2001 #2 Stanford 94, ASU 77 Tempe, Ariz.Stanford wins Pac-10, goes 31-3
Jan. 6, 2000 #1 Stanford 86, ASU 67 Palo Alto, Calif.Stanford wins Pac-10, goes 27-4
Jan. 2, 1999 USC 72, ASU 70 Los Angeles, Calif. USC ends ASU6-game win streak