Men's Hoops Recap: Trojans Win Despite Remy Martin's 30 Points
ASU vs. USC Series History | Sun Devil Men's Basketball Career Records | PDF: Sun Devil (7-10; 4-7) Full Statistic Package | PDF: Every Sun Devil Box Score in 2020-21 | PDF GAME BOOK: AT USC 89 ASU 71, FEB. 17 2021 | Boxscore
by Hunter Shulman, Sun Devil Communications Student Intern
Wednesday night the Sun Devil men's basketball team traveled to Galen Center in Los Angeles to face off against No. 17 USC, who had won 12 of its past 13 and has 7-0 freshman Evan Mobley, potentially the No. 1 pick in next year's draft.
ASU fell 89-71 in a game that was a lot closer than the final score would show. The Sun Devils trailed 76-67 with 6:15 remaining and got a good look but couldn't convert. With under four minutes left and USC ahead 78-69, Mobley hit a 20-footer with shot clock winding down and USC rode that momentum the rest of the way.
The Sun Devils (7-10; 4-7) came into the game shorthanded with starters Marcus Bagley (ankle) and Josh Christopher (back) out, but came out firing and trailed 46-44 at the half, as USC shot .576 (19-of-33) from the field in the first half and ASU close to equaled it with 18-of-32 (.563). Remy Martin was solid from the start and ended with 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting including hitting 4-of-5 from the three-point stripe.
"Remy played like an all-league player," USC coach Andy Enfield said. "He was hot and it's very hard to guard him one-on-one because when he's making his step-back shots he's very quick with the ball."
It marked the sixth 30-point game for Martin and his fourth on the road, as six of his top eight scoring games have come in opponent arenas.
REMY MARTIN TOP SCORING GAMES
33 at Princeton (11/26/19)
31 at Grand Canyon (12/13/20)
31 vs. Arizona (1/31/19)
30 at USC (2/17/21)
30 vs. Oregon (2/11/21)
30 at UCLA (2/27/20)
29 at Oregon (1/11/20)
27 at Arizona (3/9/19)
The second half it was a just too much of the large Mobley brothers, as Coach Hurley pointed out in postgame.
"USC is a good team first of all. Looking at the box score I think between the two Mobley brothers they scored 42 points, grabbed 21 rebounds, had nine assists, four blocks, and a couple steals," said Coach Hurley. "Anytime you have those type of numbers it doesn't bode well for your chances."
"I thought we handled ourselves well, I told the guys at halftime that this is not what I envisioned based on how well they defend. Their whole team defends at 36 percent on the season and look at the box score, you got 44 points and they scored a bunch too. It was a clean game, a well-played game the first 20 minutes."
ASU got a solid game from senior Kimani Lawrence, who battled the Trojans and ended with 12 points, six boards and four assists. Jalen Graham added 10 points, and Jaelen House had six points and five rebounds.
Arizona State next plays at UCLA Saturday at 7 p.m. PT at Pauley Pavilion as Dave Pasch and Bill Walton have the call for ESPN2.
QUOTING HEAD COACH BOBBY HURLEY
"USC is a good team first of all, looking at the box score I think between the two Mobley brothers they scored 42 points, 21 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 blocks, and a couple steals. Anytime you have those type of numbers it doesn't bode well for your chances. Some regrets in the game is just not starting a little better in the second half, we had possession; we did a good job in the last three minutes to cut it to two and we didn't start the half well and got down seven and started chasing them. We had the chance to maybe take the lead or at least keep it at a close margin. Again, I loved the will we showed, they're a good basketball team, they can really shoot and have really great front-court players. [Tahj] Eaddy was very good in the first half for them, he's been playing well the past couple games, a lot of confidence out there. Bright side for us is our offense, our numbers were very good, especially in the first half; we didn't score quite as well in the second half and I told the team at the six – seven minute mark that there was still a realistic chance to win. I think the final score doesn't reflect how close the game was. Great game by Remy, he's really put the team on his back."
ON USC'S THREE POINT SHOOTING
"I told the coaching staff that anytime you have a player of Mobley's caliber everyone's shoot attempts get better and better. When you have a guy like that, and even Isaiah Mobley, that they can throw the ball to and they have to demand attention that we needed to give them it's going to improve the quality of shots for Peterson, Eaddy, and Anderson and all the guys that they have that are making shots. I don't know the type of team that's going to have the chance to beat USC that I've seen in our league unless you have a flush on the court with big guys that could deal with those two under the basket."
ON CHRIS OSTEN'S CONDITION
"Chris is not 100%, I don't even know what number to put, I would say 50 – 60 %. He's a tough kid, he's a Louisiana kid, he's tough as nails just to go out there and give us what he's got. His game is predicated on getting off his feet; there was a play where I had to get him out of the game when Mobley missed a layup, and he couldn't get off his feet to get the rebound and then Mobley laid it in. We have a couple days to keep working with Chris but I admire his courage to be there for his teammates and to gut it out and play even though he's got some injuries going on right now."
ON ASU'S STAMINA AND CONDITION
"I thought we handled ourselves well, I told the guys at halftime that this is not what I envisioned based on how well they defend. Their whole team is 36% on the season and look at the box score, you got 44 points and they scored a bunch too. It was a clean game, a well-played game the first 20 minutes. Again, we had our chances to keep it within six-seven-or-eight and try to put some game pressure on them at the under four, but they hit their shots and we didn't. I'm sure we wore down, when you're playing guys these kinds of minutes and you don't have a lot of options that's what happens."
ON OPTIMISM FOR REST OF SEASON
"It would be nice if we got healthy, there's no guarantee on that so I'm not banking on that today. We'll see what the rest of the week looks like but we're going to try to lock into each opportunity and I thought we did tonight outside of the first two or three minutes of the second half and then once they got it to double digits, they broke us, and they extended the lead at that point. We will keep competing, keep battling and well see what happens each night."
JALEN GRAHAM PRE-MONO (7 GAMES) AND POST-MONO (7 GAMES)
FGS: 14-32 (.531)/36-52 (.692)
TRA AND REMY: Remy Martin has 1,613 career points and 440 assists. The only other Sun Devil who reached those combined marks is Tra Holder, who had 1,797 points and 448 career assists.
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. 1,613 – Remy Martin, '17-present
8. 1,588 – Jeff Pendergraph, '05-09
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. 440 – Remy Martin, '17-20
JALEN GRAHAM TOP SCORING GAMES
14 vs. Oregon State/Feb. 14, 2021
14 at Arizona/Jan. 25, 2021
12 vs. Stanford/Jan. 30, 2021
12 vs. California/Jan. 28, 2021
10 at USC/Feb. 17, 2021
10 vs. Arizona/Jan. 21, 2021
10 vs. San Diego State/Dec. 10, 2020
10 vs. Central Connecticut St./Nov. 14, 2019
SUN DEVIL 2020-21 STARTING LINEUPS
Bagley, Christopher, Graham, Martin, Verge (1-1)
Bagley, Cherry, Christopher, Graham, Martin (2-0)
Cherry, Christopher, Graham, Martin, Verge (0-1)
Christopher, Graham, Lawrence, Martin, Verge (2-2)
Bagley, Christopher, Osten, Verge, Woods (0-2)
Bagley, Christopher, Martin, Osten, Verge (0-3)
Bagley, Christopher, Graham, Martin, Verge (1-0)
Graham, Lawrence, Martin, Woods, Verge (1-1)
JALEN GRAHAM'S PROGESS