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Let's Play Two! @SunDevilHoops Faces Arizona Thursday and Monday

Jan 19, 2021

2020-21 Sun Devil Men's Basketball Recaps | PDF: Every Sun Devil Box Score from 2020-21 Season | 2020-21 Sun Devil Men's Basketball Links and Features | Sun Devil Men's Basketball vs. Arizona Series History

LET'S PLAY TWO: The Sun Devil men's basketball team (4-6; 1-3) plays host to the Arizona Wildcats on Thursday, Jan. 21 for 7 p.m. ESPN tip with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton on the call...and then in the crazy world of college basketball scheduling will also play in Tucson on Monday (Jan. 25), switching its March 6 game to open up March 1-6 to play makeup games. ASU has played 10 games, but has yet to have its full team in uniform for any of them. It has had five games missed due to COVID protocols (three of them due to opponent issues). At tip off on Thursday ASU will have played three games in past 35 days, and Remy Martin will have played one.
THROUGH 10: Freshman Josh Christopher is averaging 16.5 ppg. and is shooting 36-of-42 (.857) from the free throw line. He has made 26-of-29 free throws over his last six games...Remy Martin is shooting 40-of-46 (.870) from the free throw line...Marcus Bagley leads the team in rebounding at 7.0 per game in his seven games...Jaelen House has made five three-pointers after hitting 16 all last year...ASU is +6.1 in turnover margin this year after leading the league at +3.19 last season...Jalen Graham has 42 blocks in 35 career games...junior Chris Osten is averaging 7.7 ppg., five boards and is shooting 11-of-14 (.790) from the field in his three straight starts.
QUICK SERIES NOTES: ASU swept the series from Arizona in 2018-19 for the first time since 2008-09 and then the teams each won at home last season...the March of 2019 win in Tucson was ASU's first since 2010...ASU is 12-15 vs. Arizona in past 13 seasons...Sun Devils have won past two in Tempe vs. UA...ASU is 4-3, 5-4 and 7-6 vs. Arizona in Tempe recently.
REMY VS. UA: In ASU's three wins over Arizona in the past four games, the difference has been Remy Martin as he is averaging 27.3 points in those victories and is 28-of-48 (.583) from the field and 19-of-25 (.760) from the free throw line.
LAST MEETING: ASU 66, #22 ARIZONA 65 (JAN. 25, 2020): In one of the wildest Sun Devil games one can remember, ASU fell behind 37-15 with under six minutes left in the first half, went on a 15-6 run to close the half, scored the first 10 points of the second half and rode Remy Martin's 24 points to its 24th halftime deficit comeback under Bobby Hurley. Rob Edwards added 15 points while Alonzo Verge Jr. added 13 off the bench, including the game-winning drive with about 10 seconds remaining. ASU got 20 points off 18 Wildcat turnovers and won despite shooting .389 from the field (28-of-72), 6-of-29 (.207) from three and 4-of-9 (.444) from the free throw line.
GAME 10 (JAN. 16, 2021) -- AT OREGON STATE 80, ASU 79: In a game that had 20 lead changes and 17 ties, Oregon State got the last one as a bucket with four seconds left gave it the win. ASU outscored OSU 46-28 in the paint, shot 50 percent (28-of-56) from the field, posted a season-high 22 assists, only had four turnovers and made 18-of-23 (.783) of its free throws. Marcus Bagley led the way with 19 points, while Remy Martin and Josh Christopher added 14 each with Martin matching a career-high with eight assists. Chris Osten added 12 points and seven rebounds while Alonzo Verge Jr. had a career-best eight assists. 
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.

CRAZY STATS FROM A LOSS: ASU's four turnovers at Oregon State tied for the second-fewest by a Sun Devil squad in the past 25 seasons. The loss at Oregon State on Jan. 16 was just the second time in the Bobby Hurley era ASU had shot 50 percent from the field and lost (32-2).

3, vs. Colorado at Pac-12 Tournament (Las Vegas)/Mar. 7, 2018
4 at Oregon State/Jan. 16, 2021
4 at Washington State/Jan. 31, 2013
4 vs. USC, Feb. 15, 2009
PEOPLE ASK, SO HERE ARE THE DETAILS: ASU has not had its full roster for any game this year. Kimani Lawrence missed the first two games after having knee surgery in the fall. Alonzo Verge Jr. missed the next two games (COVID-19 protocol). In that second game, a win at Cal on Dec. 3, Marcus Bagley inured his lower leg and then missed the next four games, returning to action -- after four other games were canceled/postponed -- on Jan. 7 vs. UCLA. Against UCLA and USC, Jalen Graham was out for mononucleosis, Jaelen House and Taeshon Cherry (COVID-19 protocols) and Remy Martin (grandfather funeral and then COVID-19 protocols) would also miss those tilts. Up in Corvallis on Jan. 16, the team didn't have Jalen Graham (mono) and Taeshon Cherry (personal reasons).
WHY THE BIG GAP IN GAMES?: ASU already knew its Dec. 18 game with Incarnate Word was off but then had Utah postpone a Tempe game (Dec. 22) and the road trip to WSU (12/31) and UW (1/2) was called off due to ASU COVID reasons before hosting UCLA and USC Jan. 7-9. No one is keeping score, but to simply get the facts correct the first two games were because of opponent reasons and the UW/WSU games were Sun Devil reasons. Then last week Oregon paused its program so the Jan. 14 game in Eugene vs. ASU was postponed.
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 Bobby Hurley. 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 cancellations last March. ASU led the league in overall games in steals (249 for 8.03 pg), turnover margin (+3.19) and turnovers forced (16.42 pg).
ROAD REMY: Remy Martin's 22.6 ppg. 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 true road games.

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 
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. In the Remy Martin-era it did it seven times in 2017-18 six times in 2018-19 and five times last year. ASU trailed UA 37-15 last season with just over five minutes remaining 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 the biggest in Pac-12 history.
FINAL FOUR TRIVIA: Coach Hurley is one of three current head coaches who earned Final Four MOP. 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.

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 
PRESEASON AA: Remy Martin earned Associated Press Preseason All-America honors, the second Sun Devil to earn the honor (Ike Diogu in 2003-04). He is just the fourth Pac-12 player to earn the honor in the past dozen seasons. Also named were Luke Garza (Iowa), Jared Butler (Baylor), Cade Cunningham (OSU), Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois) and Corey Kispert (Gonzaga).
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.

Josh Christopher, 2020
James Harden, 2007
Eric Boateng, 2005 (transferred from Duke)
Jamal Faulkner, 1989
Chris Sandle, 1984
Byron Scott, 1979
VERGE SURGE: Alonzo Verge Jr., the 2020 Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year, averaged 16.8 ppg. 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 11-of-45 (.244) from the field in his first five Pac-12 games, Verge averaged 17.3 ppg., was 87-of-176 (.494) from the field and 37-of-52 (.712) from the foul line in the final 13. 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.
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 1,446 career points (103 games/14.0 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.
10. 1,539 – Seabern Hill, '67-70
11. 1,515 – Joe Caldwell, '61-64
12. 1,455 – Paul Williams, '79-83
13. 1,446 – Remy Martin, '17-present
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)
QUICK STATS: Prior to its past two NCAA appearances under Bobby Hurley, ASU had made the NCAA Tournament three times in 22 seasons (1996-2017), but the Sun Devils made a run at a third straight for the first time since the early 1960s. 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.
PRESEASON 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 ASU was ranked before the season tipped. 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 NCAA Tournament win over Temple.

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 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 guard 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.