UTEP Visits @SunDevilHoops For Wednesday 7 p.m. Tip-Off
NEXT UP: The Sun Devil men's basketball team (4-2; 1-0) hosts UTEP (Dec. 16) and Utah (Dec. 22) before taking a break for the holidays. Pac-12 Network has the call at Desert Financial Arena for both games. ASU is 40-11 (.785) in the past 51 games at Desert Financial Arena. On Tuesday ASU will try and go 2-0 in the Pac-12 for just the fifth time (also 1979-80 at 5-0, 1987-88 and 2007-08 at 4-0 and 2012-13 at 2-0.
THROUGH SIX: Freshman Josh Christopher is averaging 15.7 ppg. and is shooting 22-of-25 (.880) from the free throw line...Remy Martin is shooting 27-of-70 (.529) from the field...Marcus Bagley leads the team in rebounding at 5.8 per game in his four games...Jaelen House has made five three-pointers after hitting 16 all last year...ASU is +5.00 in turnover margin this year after leading the league at +3.19 last season...Jalen Graham has 41 blocks in 34 career games.
BOUNCING BACK: ASU is now 18-5 after a loss the past three seasons, including 2-0 this year with the win at Grand Canyon on Sunday, which is the best mark in the Pac-12 in that time.
LAST TIME VS. UTEP (NOV. 30, 2008): James Harden scored 40 points, eclipsing the tournament record he set the game before, as the No. 14 Sun Devils took down UTEP 88-58 for third place at the 76 Classic in Anaheim. The Beard went 14-for-25 from the floor, including 6-of-7 from beyond the arc, while adding eight rebounds and four assists. ASU 51-45 vs. the Miners, as both were members of the Border Conference (1935-1961) and the Western Athletic Conference (1969-1978).
GAME 6: #23 ASU 71, @GRAND CANYON 70 (DEC. 13, 2020): Grand Canyon led 30-29 at the half and recaptured the lead 70-68 on a three-pointer with 30 seconds remaining, but they got "Remy-ed" as Remy Martin hit the game winning three with nine seconds remaining. ASU defended the final shot to run its non-conference road record to 8-2 under Bobby Hurley, the second-best mark in the nation. Martin led ASU with 31 points, including 23 in the second half when he was 9-of-13 from the floor and made all three of his three-pointers. Josh Christopher added 11 points while Holland Woods had 10 off the bench. ASU shot .548 (17-of-31) from the field in the second half including 6-of-10 from the three-point stripe.
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. He dropped 22 at Cal on Dec. 3 and then had 31 (23 in the second half) and the game-winning three pointer at Grand Canyon. In his past 13 road games he is averaging 23.2 points per game and five of his top six scoring games have been road games.
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
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.
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 (entering this season a 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).
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 is 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
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
AP PRESEASON AA: Remy Martin 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).
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 27 wins (12 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.
REMY: Remy Martin became the 38th member of the ASU 1,000-point club on Jan. 11, 2020. He now has 1,423 career points (101 games/14.1 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
10. 1,539 – Seabern Hill, '67-70
11. 1,515 – Joe Caldwell, '61-64
12. 1,455 – Paul Williams, '79-83
13. 1,423 – 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)
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: 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 entered the rotation. He averaged 17.7 points to rank fifth in the Big Sky, along with 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.
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)
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
43 vs. St. Mary's (12/18/19)
26 vs. #14 Oregon (2/20/20)
26 vs. UCLA (2/6/20)
25 vs. #24 San Diego State (12/10/20)
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)