@SunDevilHoops Preview: Notes, Numbers and Things To Know For 2020-21
It has been way too long since we saw Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge Jr. dropping buckets and dimes, but the 2020-21 Sun Devil hoops season is getting closer. Everyone knows what the Corona Virus stopped, delayed and canceled, but now is the time to talk about the 2020-21 Sun Devil team. The team (20-11; 11-7 in 2019-20) -- coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournaments for the first time since 1980-81 and the only Pac-12 team to make the NCAAs the previous two seasons -- was on the doorstep of three straight for the first time since the early 1960s prior to the cancellation of the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals and the NCAA Tournament. ASU had a NET of 54, a SOS of 12, had five Quad 1 wins (5-8), four Quad 2 wins (4-3) and was undefeated in Quads 3 and 4 (11-0) and had a 6-5 road record.
QUICK STAT ON BUCKETS: ASU is highest scoring squad in the Pac-12 over the past three seasons (78.05 points per game).
Bobby Hurley: Ceiling for ASU basketball team in 2020-21 is 'limitless' https://t.co/G9j84pgQNe
— azcentral (@azcentral) October 9, 2020
QUICK STAT ON SOME TOUGHNESS: The Sun Devils are now 16-5 after a loss the past two seasons, the best mark in the Pac-12.
With the plethora of talent on the roster, which has been projected as a preseason top-15 team by some national college basketball analysts, Bobby Hurley has more than enough reasons to feel that the ceiling for this year's squad is limitless https://t.co/Q8YtyfOYH6
— DevilsDigest.com (@DevilsDigest) October 9, 2020
QUICK STAT ON NOT QUITTING: The Sun Devil have 26 halftime comeback wins under Coach Hurley, the best mark in the Pac-12 in his tenure.
Today Bobby Hurley said "I just like what the gym looks like right now." A pair of much heralded freshmen in @Jaygup23 and @bagleymarcus23 are certainly a significant reason for the high level of enthusiasm ASU's head coach has this season https://t.co/NgmmzqNI8v
— DevilsDigest.com (@DevilsDigest) October 8, 2020
NOTES ON RANDOM STATS: Prior to its past two NCAA appearances under Bobby Hurley, ASU had made the NCAA Tournament three times in previous 22 seasons (1996-2017), but the Sun Devils were going to make a run at a third straight for the first time since the early 1960s as it was 9-4 since Jan. 18, with two of the losses (75-72 at UCLA Feb. 27 and 67-65 at WSU on Jan. 29) decided by three-pointers in the final seconds. ASU had its seven-game Pac-12 win streak -- an ASU first since the 1980-81 team won 11 straight -- ended in the 75-72 great tilt at UCLA on Feb. 27. The Tempe has been a resilient bunch recently: the Sun Devils are 16-5 (.762) in the past two seasons after a loss, the best mark in the Pac-12.
SUN DEVIL BASKETBALL 2020-21 PRESEASON PREDICTIONS AND RANKINGS
--No. 18 by Dick Vitale (Oct. 12, 2020)
--Jon Rothstein picks Remy Martin as Pac-12 Player of the Year (Oct. 12, 2020)
--No. 24 by Blue Ribbon Yearbook (Sept. 17, 2020)
--No. 14 by Andy Katz/NCAA.com (Sept. 22, 2020)
--No. 13 by Jeff Goodman (Sept. 17, 2020)
--No. 14 by Jon Rothstein (August 3, 2020)
--No. 15 by 24/7Sports.com (June 22, 2020)
QUICK REVIEW FROM LAST SEASON
Bobby Hurley's fifth squad in 2019-20 won 20 games for the third straight season for just the third time in school history and posted a seven-game Pac-12 win streak in February, the program's longest since it won 11 straight in 1980-81. The team's 11-7 record marked just the second time it posted back-to-back winning seasons in Pac-12 play in the past 25 years. Remy Martin earned Pac-12 first-team honors, while Alonzo Verge Jr. claimed the league's Sixth Man of the year Award. Verge led the nation in off-the-bench scoring at 16.8 points per game in 19 games, while the team led the league in steals (249/8.03 per game), turnover margin (+3.19) and turnovers forced (16.42). The Sun Devils averaged 9,251 fans on the, sixth on the all-time Sun Devil list. ASU defeated two ranked teams at home (No. 22 Arizona on Jan. 25 and No. 14 Oregon on Feb. 20), as the Sun Devils came back from 22 down (37-15) to beat the Wildcats.
GOOD NOTE: ASU has defeated eight ranked teams in Bobby Hurley's five seasons, but it trailed at the half in five of the wins, including both wins over Kansas.
ASU WINS VS. RANKED TEAMS UNDER BOBBY HURLEY (ASU DEFICIT AT HALF)
ASU 77, #14 Oregon 72 (Feb. 20, 2020)
ASU 66, #22 Arizona 65 (Jan. 25, 2020)--Arizona 43, ASU 30
#18 ASU 80, #1 Kansas 76 (Dec. 22, 2018)--Kansas 39, #18 ASU 31
ASU 72, #15 Mississippi State 67 (Nov. 19, 2018/Las Vegas)
#16 ASU 95, at #2 Kansas 85 (Dec. 10, 2017)--Kansas 4 0, #16 ASU 37
ASU 102, #15 Xavier 86 (Nov. 24, 2017/Las Vegas)-- Xavier 46, ASU 44
ASU 74, #23 USC 67 (Feb. 12, 2016)-- USC 30, ASU 27
ASU 67, #18 Texas A&M 54 (Dec. 5, 2015)
20: While the creation of exempt tournaments and more games has given teams a better chance to reach 20 wins, we won't take for granted what ASU has done. Coming off records in of 23-11 in 2018-19 and 20-12 in 2017-18, ASU notched its third straight 20-win season in 2019-20, something it had done just twice. In James Harden's two seasons ASU went 21-13 (2007-08) and 25-10 (2008-09) and then went 22-11 in 2009-10. You have to go back to 1960-63 for the only other time in ASU history for it to happen, as ASU went 23-6 in 1960-61, 23-4 in 1961-62 and 26-3 in 1962-63, led by another Olympic gold medalist, Jumpin' Joe Caldwell.
CLOSE GAMES: ASU was 9-3 in games of 5 points or less in 2019-20 and 8-2 in Pac-12 two-possession tilts (six points or less).
ROAD REMY: Remy Martin, who earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors last season, averaged 22.6 ppg. and had eight 20-point games in ASU's 11 true road contests (6-5) last year. He led the team last year in road scoring at 15.0 ppg and in his freshman season was 11-of-23 (.478) from three and 24-of-29 (.828) from free throw line in road games. Solid stat: He has posted 10 games of 24+ points in his career, seven of them have been on the road. Other solid note on Remy is his progression: Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year in freshman season, All-Pac-12 Second-Team in 2018-19 and first-team honors in 2019-20.
VERGE NOTES: When ASU was great --- its first Pac-12 seven game win streak since 1980-81 -- Alonzo Verge Jr. was fantastic. In the seven-game win streak he averaged 20.6 ppg., was 53-of-100 (.530) from the field, 7-of-18 (.389) from three and 31-of-43 (.721) from the free throw line. He earned Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year as he averaged 16.8 points per game off the bench (19 games) which led the nation. But it wasn't all easy. After averaging 6.2 points, going 1-of-9 from the three-point stripe and shooting 11-of-45 (.244) from the field in his first five Pac-12 games, Verge after that five-game span averaged 17.3 points, was 87-of-176 (.494) from the field and 37-of-52 (.712) from the foul line in the final 13 games.
GOOD COMPANY, COACH IS ALONE AT THE TABLE IN ONE AREA: There are nine current DI head coaches who have won a NCAA title, but Coach Hurley (1991 and 1992 at Duke) is the only one to do it twice. Others to get one title are Steve Alford (Nevada) at Indiana in 1987, Kenny Blakeney (Howard) at Duke in 1992, Juan Dixon (Coppin State) at Maryland (2002), Geogetown's Patrick Ewing in 1984, Manhattan's Steve Masiello at Kentucky in 1998, UNC Greensboro's Wes Miller at North Carolina (2005), Georgia Tech's Josh Pastner at Arizona (1997) and BYU's Mark Pope (Kentucky in 1996).
THIS IS US: ASU has 26 wins (11 on the road) when trailing at the half under Bobby Hurley in five seasons, after going 12-64 (.157) the previous five seasons. It did it seven times in 2017-18 and did it in 2018-19 at Georgia, vs. No. 1 Kansas, at California, at UCLA, vs. Cal and at Oregon State. Last season it had halftime comeback wins over St. John's in Connecticut, at Princeton, vs. No. 22 Arizona, vs. USC and vs. Oregon State. ASU trailed Arizona 37-15 with just over five minutes remaining in the first half before closing the gap to 43-30 at the half and then scored the first 10 points of second half. The 22-point comeback matches what is believed to the biggest in Pac-12 history. On Feb. 8 ASU trailed USC by 13 with 5:34 left in the first half before cutting the gap to 40-32 at the half and then winning 66-64 despite leading for just 5:57 of the game.
ALONZO VERGE TOP SCORING GAMES (12-3 WHEN HE SCORES 13/6-1 WHEN SCORES 20)
43 vs. St. Mary's (12/18/19)
26 vs. #14 Oregon (2/20/20)
26 vs. UCLA (2/6/20)
23 vs. Texas Southern (12/28/19)
22 at California (2/16/20)
20 vs. Washington State (3/7/20)
20 vs. Prairie View A&M (12/11/19)
19 vs. Washington (3/5/20)
19 at Stanford (2/13/20)
19 vs. Creighton (12/21/19)
18 at Washington (2/1/20)
17 vs. Oregon State (2/22/20)
16 vs. USC (2/8/20)
15 vs. Georgia (12/14/19)
13 vs. Arizona (1/25/20)