Men's Hoops Travels To Corvallis On Saturday
Jan. 13, 2006
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University men's basketball team (6-8; 0-5) plays at Oregon State (Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MST) to finish its second Pac-10 road trip. ASU hopes recent strong play against OSU continues, as the Sun Devils are 10-4 under Rob Evans against the Beavers. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Northwest and on a tape-delay basis on Fox Sports Net Arizona at 10 p.m. MST Saturday. ASU will get the longest two road trips out of the way before mid-January (it went to Seattle and Pullman Dec. 29-31) and now will play host to California (Jan. 19), Stanford (Jan. 21) and Arizona (Jan. 25) in its next three games.
VS. OREGON THURSDAY: Oregon jumped out to a 25-17 halftime lead and never let ASU get within six after the 15:00 minute mark in the second-half in a 67-53 Duck win. ASU cut the lead to 48-42 at the 8:19 mark, but the Ducks hit seven straight free throws in their next three possessions and ASU never got within six after the 6:02 mark. Antwi Atuahene had a season-high 21 points for ASU in his third start and played 34 minutes, while Kevin Kruger had 13. ASU forced just seven turnovers and the Ducks had six blocks. Atuahene was 7-of-11 from the field and added six boards and four assists.
A REMINDER ABOUT LAST WEEKEND: The Sun Devils played back-to-back one-point games for the first time since 1982-83 Jan. 5-7. ASU lost 66-65 to USC on Jan. 5 as Lodrick Stewart's only bucket of the game was when he hit a three-pointer with seconds remaining to give the Trojans the win. ASU then was leading UCLA 60-59 with under 10 seconds left on Saturday, but Jordan Farmar hit a runner in the final seconds to give the No. 17 Bruins the 61-60 win. ASU's last back-to-back one-point games came on Jan. 10, 1983, (87-86 loss to sixth-ranked UCLA) and Jan. 13, 1983, (75-74 at Washington State).
LAST YEAR IN A SENTENCE: ASU advanced to the postseason for the third time in the past four seasons last year under Rob Evans as it finished 18-14 behind Pac-10 Player of the Year and consensus second-team All-American Ike Diogu.
THIS YEAR'S LEADER: Junior Kevin Kruger leads the way for this year's team as he is among the Pac-10 leaders in minutes per game (37.76), three-point field goals made (2.86), steals (1.71 pg), assists (4.21 pg) and scoring (15.1 ppg.).
AMONG PAC-10 LEADERS: Two Sun Devils are knocking down free throws at a rapid pace, as Serge Angounou is at 88.9 percent (24-of-27) while Bryson Krueger, after going to the line just 28 times all of last year, is at 87.1 percent (27-of-31). ASU hitting on 73.9 percent of its freebies (227-of-307), currently the fifth-best mark in school history. Dating to last year, Angounou is now 42-of-47 (.894) from the free throw line in his past 27 games.
OSU SERIES: ASU has won 10 of the past 13 against OSU, while the Beavers lead the overall series 34-29. Bryson Krueger had a Pac-10 season-high 21 points (including 16 in the first half) in the last meeting, a 75-73 ASU win in Tempe on Feb. 17, 2005. ASU led 42-26 at the half but OSU took the lead with under 10 minutes left. Oregon State had just seven assists in the game.
LAST TIME IN CORVALLIS (JAN. 20, 2005): Oregon State shot 62.5 percent from the field, the fourth-highest field goal percentage against a Rob Evans-coached team, and broke open a three-point halftime lead to top ASU 88-66. Ike Diogu was the only Sun Devil in double digits, as he posted 27, including 22 in the first half. The Beavers became the fifth straight team to outrebound the Sun Devils (35-30) and shot 65.4 percent (17-of-26) in the first half. Kevin Kruger added nine points and career-high eight assists, as ASU had season-lows in free throws made (six) and percentage (.500). OSU also had ASU opponent season highs in field goals made (35) and assists (21).
BAD LUCK: Senior Allen Morill is now out for the year after having microfracture surgery on his left knee on Dec. 19. Morill had played in the first seven games, starting in two, and averaged 15.7 minutes before his injury. He posted a career-high 14 points against Alcorn State on Nov. 26 and had 10 points and nine boards in 29 minutes vs. Minnesota on Dec. 5. At the time of the injury, Morill was the second-most experienced Sun Devil (57 career games), as ASU now has just one senior (Tyrone Jackson).
THAT IS NOT ALL: In addition to Morill's season-ending injury, others have missed games and many practices. Serge Angounou, a two-year starter, suffered a bone bruise on his left knee in practice on Dec. 4 and missed the next two games (both losses) and is practicing on a limited basis to rest the knee for games. Freshman Jeff Pendergraph had a benign tumor removed in the fall from his left femur and did not get any conditioning or practice until November, as he missed both exhibitions and the first game of the season and is still working to get strength in the leg. Sophomore Antwi Atuahene has not missed a regular season game due to a nasal fracture suffered in November, but he missed the second exhibition game and some practices and had to wear a mask until mid-January. And while freshman Chad Goldstein could not play in in the first six games after transferring last year from UC-Davis, it didn't stop him from catching the injury bug. He broke his nose in the fall and wore a mask in practice and in his first game at Iowa on Dec. 17. Two days later, in his first practice, his nose was broken again.
QUICK NOTES: Junior college transfer Antwi Atuahene is averaging 35.5 minutes in the past two games, including a season-high 37 vs. UCLA on Jan. 7. He is shooting 40-of-73 (.548) from the floor...Jeff Pendergraph has five double-figure scoring games on the year...Kevin Kruger (15.1 ppg. in 2005-06) has made 186-of-230 (.809) free throws in his 73-game career.
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 the previous 17 seasons, and then came back with the tenth-best effort last year. Through 14 games it is shooting 227-of-307 (.739), currently the fifth-best mark in school history. Leading the way are Serge Angounou (24-of-27/.889), Bryson Krueger (27-of-31/.871), Kevin Kruger (56-of-69/.797), Jeff Pendergraph (26-of-37/.703) and Tyrone Jackson (26-of-34/.765). A look at the best free throw teams in ASU annals.
ASU TOP SEASON FREE THROW PERCENTAGE1. 75.6 - 19782. 75.4 - 19553t. 74.6 - 19983t. 74.6 - 19875. 73.9 - 2006 (current)6. 73.5 - 20047. 73.0 - 19578. 72.9 - 20009. 72.1 - 198910. 72.0 - 198211. 71.6 - 2005
IRON MAN: Kevin Kruger's 37.76 minutes per game is one of the top marks on the ASU single-season chart. Here's a look at ASU's top single-season minutes per game numbers.
ASU MINUTES PER GAME (1962-63 to present)1. Stevin Smith, 1993-94, 38.52. Fat Lever, 1981-82, 38.23. Freddie Lewis, 1965-66, 38.14. Alex Austin, 1989-90, 37.95. Kevin Kruger, 2005-06, 37.76T6. Jeremy Veal, 1997-98, 37.5T6. Paul Williams, 1981-82, 37.58. Dwayne Fontana, 1993-94, 37.3T9. Eddie House, 1999-2000, 37.2T9. Seabern Hill, 1969-70, 37.211. Fat Lever, 1980-81, 37.1