Game Notes: Men's Hoops at No. 17 USC Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN2
TROJANS AND BRUINS: The Sun Devil men's basketball team (7-9; 4-6) -- winners of three of its past four -- travels to the USC Trojans on Wednesday (Feb. 17) at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN2 with Roxy Bernstein and Adrian Branch on the call. ASU is the only school to do the Sunday-Wednesday routine in Pac-12 games this year, but it is coming off a Sunday win over Oregon State despite Marcus Bagley (ankle) and Josh Christopher (back) both missing the game, leaving Holland Woods as the only Sun Devil to play in all 16 games this year. How many starts and stops has ASU had? One way to describe it is California has played 16 Pac-12 games, ASU has played 16 total games. Random note: ASU is 15-6 in games of six points or less the past two seasons.
WE WERE FEELING GOOD: Coming off a home sweep of the Bay Area Schools (Jan. 28-30) where it had season-highs in blocks (seven vs. California), steals (12 vs. Stanford) and free throw percentage (.882/15-of-17 vs. Stanford), the Sun Devils were feeling decent after a 14-game schedule that had its fair share of hurdles and landmines but the Sun Devil rotation was somewhat getting into gear. A COVID pause canceled the Sun Devils trip to Colorado and Utah and then the afternoon prior to the Oregon game Thursday the injury took out Marcus Bagley (ankle), Chris Osten (ankle) and limited Josh Christopher (leg bruise) against the Ducks. Christopher injured his back on a high-flying block in the first half and played just under 17 minutes. Both Christopher and Bagley missed ASU's 75-73 win over Oregon State on Sunday.
JALEN PROGRESSING: Jalen Graham went from Dec. 17 to Jan. 21 without playing (35 days) due to opponent COVID protocols (Incarnate Word/Utah), ASU COVID protocols (at Washington/Washington State) and then mononucleosis (UCLA/USC). His five games back have been impressive, as he had 10 points in 24 minutes vs. Arizona (Jan. 21) and then had his first career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds (both career highs) at Arizona (Jan. 25). On Jan. 28 vs. California he had 12 points (6-of-8 FGs) and then he had 12 points and five boards vs. Stanford. In his final nine games last year he scored 25 points, he has scored 70 points in his past six games. He has 52 career blocks.
JALEN GRAHAM PRE-MONO (7 GAMES) AND POST-MONO (6 GAMES)
FGS: 14-32 (.531)/32-47 (.681)
PEOPLE ASK, HERE ARE 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 thre 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)...in the Arizona games and then vs. California/Stanford, only Taeshon Cherry remained out. Things were looking good after a two-game win streak against Cal and Stanford, but a COVID pause happened and the day prior to the Oregon Feb. 11 game both Marcus Bagley and Chris Osten sprained ankles while Josh Christopher only played 17 minutes vs. Oregon due to a leg bruise in that same practice and a back injury suffered in the first half. Christopher and Bagley then both sat the Feb. 14 win over Oregon State.
TRA AND REMY: Remy Martin has 1,583 career points and 437 assists. The only other Sun Devil who reached those combined marks is Tra Holder, who had 1,797 points and 448 career 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.
JOSH CHRISTOPHER THREE-DOT DATA: Josh Christopher -- the second-best freshman scorer in the Pac-12 entering the weekend who was the only Sun Devil to start in all 15 games before missing the Oregon State Feb. 14 tilt --is averaging 14.3 ppg...shooting .800 (44-of-55) from the free throw line...team's top scorer in three games and top rebounder in four...had season highs of 28 points vs. No. 3 Villanova and 11 rebounds vs. UCLA...12-of-27 (.444) from three past six games...has three 20-point games and one double-double.
SUN DEVIL FRESHMAN PPG
19.0, Ike Diogu, 2002-03
18.5, Jahii Carson, 2012-13
17.8, James Harden, 2007-08
16.1, Luguentz Dort, 2018-19
15.4, Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91
14.3, Josh Christopher, 2020-21
13.6, Byron Scott, 1979-80
QUICK NOTES: Remy Martin is shooting 81-of-99 (.818) from the free throw line...Marcus Bagley leads the team in rebounding at 6.1 per game in his 11 games...ASU is +4.9 in turnover margin this year after leading the league at +3.19 last season...Jalen Graham has 52 blocks in 41 career games...junior Chris Osten averaged 7.7 ppg., five boards and was 11-of-14 (.790) from the field in his three straight starts prior to the Arizona game Jan. 21...Holland Woods has four double-figure scoring games, including a season-high 18 vs. USC on Jan. 9.
WHY THE GAP?: ASU 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. No one is keeping score, but to simply know the facts the first two games were because of opponent reasons and the UW/WSU games were Sun Devil reasons. Oregon paused its program so the Jan. 14 game in Eugene vs. ASU also was postponed. ASU then paused and missed Feb. 4 (Colorado and Feb. 6 (Utah) scheduled games.
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).
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).
SUN DEVIL FEWEST TURNOVERS (1996-97 TO PRESENT)
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
FINAL FOUR: Coach Hurley is one of three current head coaches who earned Final Four MOP, one of nine 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
REMY: Remy Martin became the 38th member of the ASU 1,000-point club on Jan. 11, 2020. He now has 1,583 career points (109 games/14.5 pg) and had 18 20-point games last year, including seven straight (averaging 24.3 points in that span). 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
1. 2,044 – Eddie House, '96-2000
2. 1,984 – Jeremy Veal, '94-98
3. 1,946 – Ike Diogu, '02-05
4. 1,834 – Ron Riley, '92-96
5. 1,797 – Tra Holder, '14-18
6. 1,673 – Stevin Smith, '90-94
7. 1,588 – Jeff Pendergraph, '05-09
8. 1,583 – Remy Martin, '17-present
1. 551 – Derek Glasser, '06-10
2. 454 – Bobby Thompson, '83-87
3. 448 – Tra Holder, 14-18
4. 444 – Lafayette Lever, '78-82
5. 437 – Remy Martin, '17-20
MICKEY D: Josh Christopher is the sixth Sun Devil to earn McDonald's All-America honor, and the first since James Harden (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
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).
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.
ROAD REMY: Remy Martin's 22.7 road ppg. in the past two seasons is third-best in the nation. 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. Five of his top six scoring games have been true road games.
TOP ROAD SCORERS PAST TWO SEASONS
24.0--Antoine Davis, Detroit
23.9--Luke Garza, Iowa
22.9--Loren Cristian Jackson, Akron
22.7--Remy Martin, Arizona State
22.2--Jhivan Jackson, UTSA
TOP PAC-12 ROAD PPG. IN SEASON 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)
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 did the previous three seasons. 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
ASU ASSOCIATED PRESS PRESEASON RANKINGS
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)
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)
BEST OOC ROAD RECORD IN BOBBY HURLEY ERA (2015-16 TO PRESENT)
Miami (Fla.), 8-1/.889
Arizona State, 8-2/.800
Ohio State, 5-2/.714
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. Prior to Coach Hurley's five OOC wins vs. ranked teams in his first five season, ASU's had six...in...the...previous...wait for it....37 seasons. Yes. 3...7.
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
THOSE FIVE WINS OVER OOC RANKED TEAMS: Bobby Hurley's ASU tenure has been marked by some great play in non-conference action during the regular season. His five wins over ranked out of conference teams is tied for the league lead in his six years, and his 13 matchups also is the most in the league: Here is a breakdown of each team's record vs. OOC ranked teams (regular season) starting with the 2015-16 season: Oregon (5-2), Arizona State (5-8), UCLA (4-8), Colorado (3-5), Arizona (3-6), Utah (2-5), Washington (2-8), USC (1-3), Washington State (1-3), Oregon State (0-1), California (0-5), Stanford (0-11).
JALEN GRAHAM TOP MINUTES
33:00 vs. San Diego State/Dec. 10, 2020
29:50 vs. Oregon State/Feb. 14, 2021
28:54 at Arizona/Jan. 25, 2020
28:00 vs. Colorado (China)/Nov. 8, 2019
JALEN GRAHAM TOP REBOUNDING GAMES
11 vs. Oregon State/Feb. 14, 2021
11 at Arizona/Jan. 25, 2021
9 vs. Oregon/Feb. 11, 2021
7 at Washington/Feb. 1, 2020
7 vs. Arizona/Jan. 25, 2020
JALEN GRAHAM'S PROGESS