Men's Hoops Lifts Lid on Season Tuesday at 5 p.m. vs. Portland
NEW FACES, BUT NOT YOUNG: The 2021-22 Sun Devil men's basketball season tips on Tuesday, Nov. 9, against the Portland Pilots at 5 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network with Daron Sutton and Sed Bonner on the call, as the Sun Devils have many new faces and a trio of solid returners. ASU coach Bobby Hurley is in his seventh year as the Nov. 9 opener vs. Portland will match the third-earliest season opener. How has college hoops changed in the past 30 years? Bobby Hurley's junior season in 1991-92 Duke's first game was Nov. 25. The 2021-22 season marks the 30-year anniversary of Coach Hurley earning 1992 Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors.
ASU'S EARLIEST SEASON OPENERS
Nov. 6, 2018: ASU 102, Cal State Fullerton 94, 2 OT
Nov. 8, 2013: ASU 96, UMBC 61
Nov. 9, 2021: Portland vs. ASU
Nov. 9, 2019: Colorado 81, ASU 71 in Shanghai/Pac-12 China game
ONE YEAR AGO THIS WAS THE NOTE: 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. Kimani Lawrence went to the Dance in each of his first two seasons (2018 and 2019) and was on way to a third in 2019-20 before COVID hit, which would have been ASU's first three-year NCAA streak since the early 1960s.
NOVEMBER HAS BEEN GOOD: The Sun Devils have been super good in November under Coach Hurley -- 18-3 (.857) the past four seasons -- as they have jumped out of the gates as well as anyone in college hoops the past few years. The program captured titles in Las Vegas at the 2017 Continental Tire Invitational and at the 2018 MGM Resorts Main Event. It has posted wins vs. Rhode Island and St. John's in Connecticut, Utah State, Mississippi State, Xavier and Kansas State in Las Vegas, Tulane in Orlando and North Carolina State in Brooklyn.
MEET MARREON JACKSON (SAY IT MAR - LIKE CAR - REON): Toledo graduate transfer Marreon Jackson enters the 2021-22 season with 1,817 career points, 573 career assists and averaged 14.3 points. The 2020-21 MAC Player of the Year who posted two triple doubles last season and made a school record 41 straight free throws to open the 2020-21 season. He has five 30-point games in career and in the final 10 games of 2020-21 he averaged 19.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists. He shot .904 from the free throw line in 2020-21, eighth-best in the nation as he was 103-of-114 and is a career .824 free throw shooter (346-of-420).
WILD STAT: Marreon Jackson averaged 18.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 2020-21 for Toledo. Since 2009-10, the only other two players to that are Michigan State's Denzel Valentine (2015-16) and Ohio State's Evan Turner (2009-10).
WILD STAT II FROM 2020-21: Marreon Jackson had two triple-doubles 18 days apart in the 2020-21 season. He 18 points, 10 boards and 11 assists vs. Miami of Ohio on Feb. 16 and then had 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists vs. Ball State on March 5. He also just missed another chance on Jan. 16 at Akron with 24 points, nine boards and 10 assists at Akron. How rare is two triple-doubles 18 days? ASU has had two...in its history.
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).
LET'S GET THOSE PEOPLE BACK: Everyone knows 2019-20 and 2020-21 hit the Sun Devil program hard in terms of momentum. In addition to a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance getting canceled in 2020 -- which would have been a first for the program since the early 1960s -- the Sun Devils had turned the corner on attendance. Desert Financial Arena had averaged 10,140 fans in the previous three years starting with the 2017-18 season, with 496,872 fans attending 49 Sun Devil home games, as ASU racked up a 39-10 record. In the three previous seasons in 51 home games ASU averaged 6,087 fans (310,459).
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES: Arizona State has won over 70 percent of its two-possession contests in the past two years, which is third-best in the Pac-12. No one has been in more games of six points or less than ASU (24), and its 17-7 mark is behind only UCLA and Oregon.
PAC-12 TWO POSSESSION GAMES (2019-21)
UCLA, 18-6 (.750)
Oregon, 14-4 (.778)
Arizona State, 17-7 (.708)
USC, 9-6 (.600)
Oregon State, 13-11 (.542(
Washington State, 7-6 (.538)
California, 10-10 (.500)
Utah, 9-9 (.500)
Colorado, 8-8 (.500)
Arizona, 8-12 (.400)
Stanford, 5-10 (.333)
Washington, 5-16 (.238).