Men's Hoops Hosts Huskies Twice in Three Days; Tips Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Pac-12 Network
HUSKIES UP NEXT TWICE: The Sun Devil men's basketball team (7-11; 4-8) hosts the Washington Huskies on Tuesday (Feb. 23) at 7 p.m. on Pac-12 Network with Roxy Bernstein and Bill Walton on the call (eighth time in 19 games for Bill). ASU has yet to play a game with its full team but hopefully gets closer this week. ASU is coming off a trip to LA where it played well, but couldn't get a win. Both Marcus Bagley (ankle) and Josh Christopher (back) have missed the past three games. The game is the makeup for the Jan. 2 game in Seattle, but with the Huskies coming to Tempe and time running out to play games, play ball in Tempe. ASU will then host the Huskies on Thursday (Feb. 25) at 5 p.m. on FS1.
QUICK NOTES: Holland Woods is the only Sun Devil to play in every game...ASU is 15-7 in games of six points or less past two seasons...ASU leads the league in turnover margin (+4.72)...Jalen Graham's .616 field goal mark (53-of-86) is second-best in the Pac-12...ASU is 73-of-90 (.811) from the free throw line in the past five games...Sun Devils have been ready to play the past three games, as they are averaging 42 points in the first half, while shooting 45-of-92 (.489) from the floor and 13-of-24 (.542) from three and only has 10 turnovers...Kimani Lawrence started the year 3-of-9 from the foul line but is 18-of-22 (.818) since (past eight games).
REMY QUICK NOTES: Remy Martin is averaging 24.9 points in his past seven games...has 1,638 career points and 443 assists. The only other Sun Devil who reached those combined marks is Tra Holder, who had 1,797 points and 448 career assists...nine 20-point games this year (second in the league) and leads the league with three 30-point games...in his first eight games Remy was 8-of-37 (.216) from the three-point stripe, he is 23-of-51 (.451) in his past eight...averaging 15.3 points in first half of the past three games.
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 have missed the past three games.
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 and the losses at USC (Feb. 17) and UCLA (Feb. 20).
JALEN: 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 UW/WSU) and then mononucleosis (UCLA/USC). His return has been solid, 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 had 12 points and five boards vs. Stanford. In his final nine games last year he scored 25 points, he has scored 89 points in his past nine games.
JALEN GRAHAM PRE-MONO (7 GAMES) AND POST-MONO (7 GAMES)
FGS: 17-32 (.531)/36-54 (.667)
GAME 18 (FEB. 20, 2021) -- @UCLA 80, ASU 79: One of the toughest losses in recent Sun Devil history happened as UCLA rebounded its own shot with less than two seconds left, was fouled and made one free throw as the Bruins led for one second the whole game. ASU led 41-34 at the half and made 10-of-20 (.500) from three and was 13-of-17 (.765) from the free throw line. There was just one tie as ASU led for 37:48 behind Remy Martin's 25 points, which included five three-pointers. Alonzo Verge Jr. and Kimani Lawrence each added 18 points, while Lawrence had nine rebounds. ASU again was without Marcus Bagley (ankle) and Josh Christopher (back).
REMY: Remy Martin became the 38th member of the ASU 1,000-point club on Jan. 11, 2020. He now has 1,613 career points (110 games/14.7 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. 1,638 – 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. 443 – Remy Martin, '17-20
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.
GAME 17 (FEB. 17, 2021) -- @#17 USC 89, ASU 71: ASU held up against the Trojans for 35 minutes behind Remy Martin's 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting (4-of-5 threes), but the Mobley brothers combined for 42 points and 21 rebounds. ASU trailed by nine with under four minutes left but USC stopped and then scored in the final minutes to put the game away. ASU shot .563 (18-of-32) from the field in the first half and trailed 46-44, but the Trojans ended up shooting .545 (36-of-66) and outscored ASU 44-24 in the paint while notching 21 assists and just 10 turnovers. Kimani Lawrence added 12 points and six rebounds while Jalen Graham added 10 points in just 18 minutes due to foul trouble. ASU again was without Marcus Bagley (ankle) and Josh Christopher (back).
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
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
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.
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.
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
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'S PROGESS
SUN DEVIL 2020-21 STARTING LINEUPS (8)
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 (1-3)
SUN DEVIL PAC-12 SCORING LEADERS
20.1--James Harden (2008-2009)
22.6--Ike Diogu (2004-2005)
22.8--Ike Diogu (2003-2004)
23.0--Eddie House (1999-2000)
20.8--Jeremy Veal (1997-1998)
21.6--Byron Scott (1982-1983)