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Top-25 Men's Hoops Tilt in Tempe: Sun Devils Host Aztecs Thursday at 8 p.m. on FS1

Dec 9, 2020

PDF: ASU Notes vs. SDSU | Sun Devil Men's Basketball Series vs. San Diego State | 2020-21 Sun Devil Men's Basketball Recaps | Sun Devil Hoops Wins Vs. Ranked Teams Out of Conference (Pac-10/12 Era) | Sun Devil Men's Basketball Recent Out of Conference Regular Season Records

BIG GAME: The No. 23 Sun Devil men's basketball team (3-1) tries to schedule hard in the non-conference, and along comes always good San Diego State for a FS1 tilt on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. MT at Desert Financial Arena. Daron Sutton and Corey Williams are on the call for FS1 while Tim Healey and Kyle Dodd are on the call for the Sun Devil Radio Network. ASU hosts a team that won its first 26 games last year and finished sixth in the final AP poll with a 30-2 record. SDSU enters 2020-21 having won an average of 24.9 games the last 15 seasons (including eight NCAA Tournaments that would have been nine in 2019-20) and has won the Mountain West Championship regular season title four of the past seven years. ASU is 40-10 (.88) in the past 50 games at Desert Financial Arena, tied for the third-best mark in the Pac-12 in that time.

BEST PAC-12 HOME MARKS PAST 50 GAMES (AS OF DEC. 6)
Oregon (43-7/.860)
Colorado (42-8/.840)
Arizona State (40-10/.800)
Arizona (40-10/.800)

THROUGH FOUR: Freshman Josh Christopher is leading the Sun Devils at 17.5 ppg. and is shooting 24-of-35 (.686) inside the three-point arc...Remy Martin is shooting 20-of-28 (.714) inside the arc...Marcus Bagley leads the team in rebounding at 5.8 per game...Jaelen House has made four three-pointers after hitting 16 all last year...ASU is +6.03 in turnover margin this year after leading the league at +3.19 last season.
 
GAME 4: #25 ASU 70, @CAL 62 (DEC. 3, 2020): With Alonzo Verge Jr. back in Tempe, Remy Martin (22 points) and Josh Christopher (14 points) led the scoring while Holland Woods hit a trio of three-pointers off the bench to help the Sun Devils top pesky Cal at Haas Pavilion in the earlier-than-usual Pac-12 opener. ASU shot 50 percent from the floor (26-of-52), 12-of-16 (.750) from the free throw line (making all six in the second half) and forced 20 Cal turnovers. The Sun Devils got 22 points from their bench (Cal had six) and Martin's efficiency (8-of-11 from field and 6-of-7 from free throw line) led the Sun Devils to notching a Pac-12 opening win for just the 12th time in 43 seasons. Some other hidden numbers from the win: ASU has now won six straight vs. Cal, four straight at Haas and is 11-4 vs. the Bears since January of 2013...ASU opened Pac-12 play on the road for the tenth time in the past 14 seasons...Marcus Bagley had a team-high seven rebounds...ASU held Matt Bradley to 1-of-9 from three...Taeshon Cherry had +9 in under 20 minutes despite scoring just three points...Remy Martin drew seven fouls...Cal was just 1-of-11 from three in the second half.
 
SUN DEVILS VS. SDSU: ASU leads the series 18-10, with the last Tempe meeting a 90-68 Sun Devil win on Nov. 14, 2017 when ASU fell behind 40-34 at the half before outscoring SDSU 56-28 in the second half. The 90 points was the most the Aztecs have given up in regulation since February of 2006 (100-90 at BYU.)
 
QUICKIES ON LAST YEAR: ASU (20-11 last year), the highest scoring squad in the Pac-12 over the past three seasons (78.1 ppg.) has posted three straight 20-win seasons under sixth-year head coach Bobby Hurley and has shown toughness (Pac-12 best 17-5 after a loss past three seasons and 26 halftime comeback wins under CBH, the best mark in the Pac-12 in his tenure). It is coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournaments for the first time since 1980-81 and remains the only Pac-12 team to make the NCAAs the past two chances. It 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 last spring. ASU led the league in overall games in steals (249 for 8.03 pg), turnover margin (+3.19) and turnovers forced (16.42 pg).
NCAAS: ASU had been to four NCAA Tournaments (1995, 2003, 2009 and 2014) in 26 seasons (1992-2017) and had not been back-to-back since 1980-81. Remy Martin and Kimani Lawrence went to the Dance in each of their first two seasons and were on way to a third last year.
 
ROAD REMY: AP Preseason All-American 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 in his sophomore 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 11 games of 24+ points in his career, seven of them have been on the road, as have four of his top five scoring games. Other solid note 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. Martin shot better on the road than at home (.450/.426) and from the three-point stripe (.391/.303) last year and averaged five more points in road games.
 
MORE REMY ON THE ROAD: Remy is very comfortable on the road. He is 22.6 point per game in the 11 road games last year was 13th-best in the nation, and he is the fifth-highest road scorer returning in college hoops this season.

TOP RETURNING ROAD SCORERS IN 2019-20
26.9--Jhivan Jackson, UTSA
26.2--Luke Garza, Iowa
24.2--Loren Cristian Jackson, Akron
24.1--Antoine Davis, Detroit
22.6--Remy Martin, Arizona State

ABOUT THAT RANKING: The Sun Devils were ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press preseason poll, just the second time in the past 29 seasons and fifth overall for the program to be ranked before the season tips. It was preseason No. 15 in 2008-09, James Harden's sophomore and final season, as it never fell out of the rankings en route to a 24-9 record and a NCAA Tournament win over Temple.
 
MOST POINTS IN FIRST HALF BY PAC-12 TEAM (SINCE 1996-97)
70, Utah vs Mississippi Valley State (Nov. 8, 2019)
67, Oregon State vs. UC San Diego (Nov. 25, 1997)
65, Arizona State vs. Houston Baptist (Nov. 29, 2020)
65, Washington vs. Loyola Marymount (Nov. 25, 2005)
65, Stanford vs. New Hampshire (Dec. 29, 1999)
65, Arizona vs. Robert Morris (Dec. 28, 1996)
 
MICKEY D NEWS: How big is it that freshman Josh Christopher is a McDonald's All-American? He is just the sixth Sun Devil to earn the honor, and the first since James Harden in 2007. Josh will be one of just three 2020 McDonald All-Americans in the Pac-12 this year, joining Evan Mobley of USC and Ziaire Williams of Stanford.
 
SUN DEVIL McDONALD ALL-AMERICANS
Josh Christopher, 2020
James Harden, 2007
Eric Boateng, 2005 (transferred from Duke)
Jamal Faulkner, 1989
Chris Sandle, 1984
Byron Scott, 1979

AP PRESEASON AA: Remy Martin has earned Associated Press Preseason All-America honors, just the second Sun Devil to earn the honor joining Ike Diogu (2003-04). Remy becomes just the fourth Pac-12 player to earn the honor in the past dozen seasons. He is joined on the team by Luke Garza (Iowa), Jared Butler (Baylor), Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois) and Corey Kispert (Gonzaga).
 
FINAL FOUR TRIVIA: Coach Hurley is one of three current head coaches who earned Final Four MOP, joined by Juan Dixon (2002) and Patrick Ewing (1984). He is one of nine current head coaches who won the NCAA title as a player, and is the only one to win it twice.
 
CURRENT HEAD COACHES TO WIN NCAA TITLE AS PLAYER
Steve Alford, Indiana (1987) — Nevada
Kenny Blakeney, Duke (1992) — Howard
Juan Dixon, Maryland (2002 MOP) — Coppin State
Patrick Ewing, Georgetown (1984 MOP) — Georgetown
Bobby Hurley, Duke (1991,1992 MOP) — Arizona State
Steve Masiello, Kentucky (1998) — Manhattan
Wes Miller, North Carolina (2005) — UNC Greensboro
Josh Pastner, Arizona (1997) — Georgia Tech
Mark Pope, Kentucky (1996) — BYU 
 
VERGE SURGE: Alonzo Verge Jr., the 2020 Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year, averaged 16.8 points per game off the bench (19 games) last year which led the nation. 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. In ASU's 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.
 
THIS IS US: ASU has 26 wins (11 on the road) when trailing at the half under Bobby Hurley in six 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. In 2019-20 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.
 
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 last year, 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.

ASU ASSOCIATED PRESS PRESEASON RANKINGS
2020-21: 18
2008-09: 15
1991-92: 24
1975-76: 18
1963-64: 6
 
KIMANI NOTES: Long-armed and mobile swingman guards multiple positions...good mid-range jumper and helps in any and all rebounding and defensive categories...posted double digits in 14 games in 2018-19 and team was 5-0 when he scored 15...best game was 22-point effort vs. Mississippi State in Las Vegas on Nov. 19, 2018, which included the game-winning three-pointer with the scored tied and 29 seconds left...had 11 off the bench vs. Georgia on Dec. 14, 2019.
 
HOLLAND WOODS: We weren't sure Holland Woods would play this year after transferring from Portland State with just one year to play, but when the NCAA allowed a "free" year, the first team All-Big Sky Conference guard has now entered the rotation. He averaged 17.7 points to rank fifth in the Big Sky, along wiht 5.2 assists (second) and 2.1 steals (first). He shot .842 from the free throw line and led team in scoring 14 times and assists 25 times. He posted 13 20-point games and dropped 30 twice. 
 
REMY: Remy Martin became the 38th member of the ASU 1,000-point club on Jan. 11, 2020. He now has 1,361 career points (98 games/13.8 pg) and had 18 20-point games last year. He posted seven straight - averaging 24.3 points - before posting 15 at WSU on Jan. 29. The seven matched the best by a Sun Devil since Eddie House had eight in 1999-2000. Remy averaged 19.1 ppg last after averaging 11.3 in his first two years.

SUN DEVIL CAREER SCORING CHART UPDATE
12. 1,455 – Paul Williams, '79-83
13. 1,393 – Larry Armstrong, '59-62
14. 1,383 – Remy Martin, '17-present
 
QUICK 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 made a run at a third straight for the first time since the early 1960s as it was 9-4 since Jan. 18 last year at season's end, 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. ASU has been a resilient bunch recently: they are 17-5 (.772) in the past three seasons after a loss, the best mark in the Pac-12.
 
TOP PAC-12 ROAD POINTS PER GAME SINCE 1996-97
24.0-Ed Gray, Cal (96-97)
23.6-Landry Fields, STAN (09-10)
23.5-Eddie House, ASU (99-2000)
23.0-Aaron Holiday, UCLA (17-18)
23.0-O.J. Mayo, USC (07-08)
22.9-Ryan Anderson, CAl (07-08)
22.6-Remy Martin, ASU (19-20)
 
GONNA' PLAY FOLKS: Bobby Hurley is going to play some folks as it has faced seven non-conference top-10 opponents at ASU, after ASU faced one in the previous 17 seasons.. In his first year after looking at a schedule he inherited that included tilts against NC State in Brooklyn, at Creighton, at UNLV and against eventual No. 18 Texas A&M, he put the wheels in motion to play at Kentucky and filled a holiday break hole that could have been a yawner with Stephen F. Austin. In 2016-17, the squad played No. 1 Kentucky in the Bahamas, Purdue in New York City, at San Diego State, and finished a series with No. 9 Creighton. Kansas returned a trip to Tempe in December of 2018 after ASU's win on Dec. 10, 2017. 
 
ASU REGULAR SEASON OOC GAMES VS. TOP-10 TEAMS (SINCE JOINING PAC-12) UNDER BOBBY HURLEY (7 IN SIXTH SEASON)
#3 Villanova 83, ASU 74 (Nov. 26, 2020)
#7 Virginia 48, ASU 45 (Nov. 24, 2019)
#18 ASU 80, #1 Kansas 76 (Dec. 22, 2018)
#16 ASU 95 @#2 Kansas 85 (Dec. 10, 2017)
#9 Creighton 96, ASU 85 (Dec. 20, 2016)
#1 Kentucky 115, ASU 69 (Nov. 28, 2016 at Bahamas)
@#5 Kentucky 72, ASU 58 (Dec. 12, 2015)
 
PRIOR TO BOBBY HURLEY (8 IN 37 SEASONS)
#7 Duke 64, ASU 53 (Nov. 25, 2009 at MSG)
#2 Kansas 90, ASU 88, OT (Nov. 26, 1997 at MSG)
ASU 97, #7 Maryland 90 (November 23, 1994 at Maui)
@#8 Oklahoma St. 87, ASU 69 (December 2, 1993)
@#9 Kentucky 94, ASU 68 (December 14, 1991)
@#2 Kansas 90, ASU 67 (December 22, 1989)
#10 North Carolina 85, ASU 66 (December 23, 1984 at Tokyo)
#6 Missouri 48, ASU 47 (December 27, 1982 at Honolulu)
 
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)
 
ALONZO VERGE TOP SCORING GAMES (12-4 WHEN HE SCORES 13/6-2 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 vs. #3 Villanova (11/26/20)
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) 
 
MOST POINTS IN SUN DEVIL HISTORY
61-Eddie House at California (2 OT), Jan. 8, 2000
46-Eddie House vs. San Diego State, Dec. 18, 1999
45-Paul Williams at USC, Mar. 10, 1983
43-Alonzo Verge Jr. vs. Saint Mary's, Dec. 18, 2019)
 
DOWN GOES RANKED TEAM: ASU has defeated eight ranked teams in Bobby Hurley's Sun Devil tenure, including five out of conference. The Nov. 24, 2017, Xavier win was the highest ranked non-conference team ASU had topped since it beat No. 7 Maryland in the 1994 Maui Invitational...until it won at #2 Kansas on Dec. 10...until it beat #1 Kansas on Dec. 22, 2018.
 
ASU OOC WINS VS. RANKED TEAMS PAC-10/12 ERA
#18 ASU 80, #1 Kansas 76 (Dec. 22, 2018)/Bobby Hurley
ASU 72, #15 Mississippi State 67 (Nov. 19, 2018)/Bobby Hurley
#16 ASU 95, @#2 Kansas 85 (Dec. 10, 2017)/Bobby Hurley
ASU 102, #15 Xavier 86 (Nov. 24, 2017 at Las Vegas)/Bobby Hurley
ASU 67, #18 Texas A&M 54 (Dec. 5, 2015)/Bobby Hurley
ASU 79, #25 Marquette 77 (Nov. 25, 2013)/Herb Sendek
ASU 77, #17 Xavier 55 (Dec. 15, 2007)/Herb Sendek
ASU 97, #7 Maryland 90 (Nov. 23, 1994 at Maui)/Bill Frieder
ASU 79, #13 Michigan 62 (Nov. 22, 1994 at Maui)/Bill Frieder
#14 ASU 71, #7 Ohio State 58 (Dec. 20, 1980)/Ned Wulk
ASU 96, #12 Iowa 88 (Dec. 6, 1980)/Ned Wulk