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Men's Hoops Hosts Ducks Thursday at 7 p.m.

Feb 16, 2022
Jalen Graham is averaging 13.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in the past 10 tilts.

DUCKS AND BEAVERS IN TEMPE: The Sun Devil men's basketball squad (8-15; 4-9) plays host to the Oregon Ducks for a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN on Thursday (Feb. 17) before hosting the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday (Feb. 19) at 6 p.m. (ESPN2). Dave Pasch and Bill Walton have the call Thursday. ASU fell behind early and never caught Washington in an 87-64 loss on Thursday in its first game against an unranked team since Jan. 22, and then bounced back with solid 58-55 road win over Washington State, holding the Cougars to just .305 shooting (18-of-59) and making eight of its final 11 shots from the field. ASU has won two of the past three in Tempe against the Ducks and the teams have split the past four overall.
WILD NOTE AS OF FEB. 15: ASU is tied with Stanford for second-most Quad 1 wins in the Pac-12 (4-7), as Arizona is 6-2 and Stanford also is 4-7. ASU strength of schedule is fourth-best, and its non-conference slate is currently No. 23. ASU is 4-7 against Quad 1 and 4-8 vs. the others. The Sun Devil Quad 1 wins are at Oregon (59), at Creighton (70), UCLA (14) and at Washington State (46).
JALEN SOLID: One good thing that came out of the Colorado Jan. 15 loss was the play of Jalen Graham, who had a then career-high 16 points in just over 19 minutes, including 6-of-7 from the free throw line. He then had 12 points in just 14:23 (foul trouble) in the Jan. 17 win over Utah including the game-winner with four seconds left. On Jan. 22 at Stanford he was 8-of-13 from the floor and again had 16 points and tied the game at 76 with under seven seconds left. After averaging 4.8 points in his first 11 games this year (and 5.2 points in first 60 games of career) he is averaging 13.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in the past 10. The USC (19 points at home and 15 points on road), UCLA (16 points and career-best six assists), Stanford (16 points) and Colorado (16 points) are the top five scoring games of his career. After starting season 7-of-23 from the foul line, he has made 17-of-24 (.708) in those 10 games. 
PPG: 4.8/13.9
RPG:  3.0/6.2
FG-A: 23-55 (.418)/61-122 (.500)
FT-A: 7-23 (.304)/17-24 (.708)
WHAT HAPPENED RECENTLY WASN'T NORMAL: ASU competed a five-game stretch prior to the Washington game where it played at #16 USC, at #3 Arizona and then at home vs. #19 USC, vs. #3 UCLA and vs. #4 Arizona in 15 days. It marked the first time a Pac-12 team had played five straight ranked teams since the 2001-02 Sun Devil squad played six straight.
ASU 69, @OREGON 67, OT (DEC. 5, 2021): ASU snapped a five-game losing streak with the help of Jay Heath's game-winning three with 11 seconds left in overtime to seal 69-67 win, and DJ Horne's three pointer was a huge help for the Sun Devils to get into overtime. Although the Ducks would lead for almost the entire second half, the Sun Devils never let the lead go beyond four. A basket by Jalen Graham, followed by a stop on the defensive end, led to Horne's three that sent the game to overtime. Horne led the Sun Devils with 23 points, while Kimani Lawrence added 13 points and six boards. Heath added 14 points off the bench, as ASU was able to overcome a 42-22 points in the paint margin. ASU held Oregon to 4-of-22 from the three-point stripe, including 1-of-13 after halftime. There were 12 lead changes and 11 ties.
ASU 58, @WASHINGTON STATE 55 (FEB. 12, 2022): Arizona State held Washington State to just .305 (18-of-59) from the field and 10-of-33 (.303) from the three-point stripe and used a 33-14 bench points advantage to top the Cougars 58-55 in Pullman late Saturday (Feb. 12) . WSU cut the lead to two at 41-39, 43-41, 45-43, 47-45, 51-49 and 53-52 but each time the Sun Devils came back with a bucket. In the final 7:37, ASU made eight of its final 11 field goalS, with four players getting at least one bucket. ASU got solid games from Jalen Graham (14 points) and reserves Marreon Jackson (14 points) and Luther Muhammad (12 points and eight rebounds) while shooting 14-of-25 (.560) from the field in the second half. Muhammad's 12 points matched a season high and his eight rebounds set a career-high in his 86 career games (64 at Ohio State). Freshman Jamiya Neal played 11:38 and made his only shot -- a three-pointer -- and had one rebound, one block and one steal. In under 12 minutes, he was +16, including +10 in 4:20 of game time in the second half.
DEFENSE: ASU is holding opponents to .405 shooting (550-1358), its best defensive effort since 2009-10 (.402/678-of-1687), fifth best in school history. ASU has held 12 opponents under 40 percent shooting.
.391 -- 1962-63 (791-2024)
.399 -- 1971-72 (797-of-1997)
.401 -- 1967-68 (834-2078)
.402 -- 2009-10 (678-1687)
.405 -- 2021-22 (550-1358)
.410 -- 2012-13 (861-2098)
.410 -- 2007-08 (718-1752) 
THREE DOTS ON DUDES: Kimani Lawrence is averaging 10.5 points and 7.0 rebounds with six double-doubles and enters Oregon game with 913 career points...Jay Heath and Jalen Graham each missed the first two games -- and many practices -- because of COVID protocols...Alonzo Gaffney leads team with 32 blocks and posted 10 points in the triple overtime win over UCLA...Marreon Jackson's 90 assists is team best and he has played in 150 games and is 391-of-473 (.827) at the free throw line with 2,036 career points (13.6 ppg.). He is averaging 16.5 points in the past four...Luther Muhammad started 54 games in his first two years at Ohio State before sitting last year at ASU with a shoulder injury. After scoring seven points in the previous five games, he matched a season-high with 12 at Wazzu. He is a .804 career free throw shooter (127-of-158)...Enoch Boakye has made 6-of-7 from field the past three games
1. 132 – Jon Gilling, '11-15
2. 131 – Derek Glasser, '06-10
3. 130 – Eric Jacobsen, '12-16
3. 130 – Ty Abbott, '07-11
5. 129 – Tra Holder, '14-18
5. 129 – Jerren Shipp, '06-10
7. 128 – Kimani Lawrence, '17-22
CRAZY NOTE FROM USC FEB. 3: ASU lost a tough one to #19 USC on Feb. 3 58-53 despite holding USC to 30 percent shooting (18-of-60), the first time since 1996-97 it held an opponent to 30 percent or less shooting and lost (27 times). ASU fell behind 14-2 but led 40-32 with under 12 minutes but USC outscored ASU 26-13 to close the game.
FT LINE STATS: ASU's backcourt of Marreon Jackson (45-of-53), DJ Horne (24-of-25 and made his first 22 on the season), Jay Heath (33-of-38) Luther Muhammad (20-of-24) and Jamiya Neal (10-of-14) is a combined 132-of-154 (.857) at the free throw line. 
ABOUT FEB. 5, 2022: The Sun Devils topped No. 3 UCLA 87-84 in triple overtime on Feb. 5 and now have eight wins over Associated Press top three teams in their history, four in the past 41 years (1981-92 to present). Two of them were by a Bobby Hurley-coached squad over Kansas and then the UCLA win on Saturday. Random note: Bill Walton was the color commentator for all four of them in past 41 years.
ASU 87, #3 UCLA 84 3 OT (Feb. 5, 2022)
#18 ASU 80, #1 Kansas 76 (Dec. 22, 2018)
#16 ASU 95, at #2 Kansas 85 (Dec. 10, 2017)
ASU 69, #2 Arizona 66 (2 OT) (Feb. 14, 2014)
#5 ASU 87, #1 Oregon State 67 (Mar. 7, 1981)
ASU 95, #3 USC 78 (Dec. 1, 1971)
ASU 68, @#2 USC (Dec.12, 1970)
ASU 89, #3 Michigan 87 (Dec. 27, 1965 at Portland/Far West Classic)
CLOSE: Coach Hurley's Sun Devils have done a good job of winning close games through the years. It got some fast on Dec. 5 at Oregon (69-67), followed it up with a 67-62 win over 2021 WAC Champion Grand Canyon on Dec. 9, added a 58-57 win at Creighton on Dec. 14 and then a 64-62 win over Utah on Jan. 17. ASU's first two losses were by three points total, losing on a 65-footer to UC Riverside (66-65 on Nov. 11) and a tough 65-63 game at San Diego State (Nov. 18) that had 10 lead changes and six ties. ASU is 17-8 in Pac-12 two-possession games the past three years and 23-12 overall. Its 23 wins in that time is the most in the league.
Oregon, 19-7 (.731)
UCLA, 20-9 (.690)
USC, 16-8 (.667)
Arizona State, 23-12 (.657)
TIMELINE ON LONG PAUSE: Here is how one-game in 27 days happened prior to ASU losing to Colorado (Jan. 15) and then topping Utah (Jan. 17)...ASU fell to San Francisco 66-65 on Dec. 19 on three USF free throws in the final seconds...ASU then played once prior to Jan. 15 Colorado game...on Dec. 21, ASU had its Florida A&M home game canceled due to campus power outage that affected Desert Financial Arena and other broke for holiday break only to learn its Dec. 30 at USC and Jan. 1 at UCLA games were postponed due to protocols with both the Trojans and ASU scrambled and moved its Jan. 19  tilt California road game to Jan. 2...upon returning, ASU had to enter a pause due to COVID protocols, which meant it couldn't play a Jan. 5 game at UCLA (rescheduled from Jan. 1), its Jan. 8 Arizona game (since played Feb. 7) and its Jan. 13 Utah game (since played Jan. 17). How weird is one game from Dec. 20-Jan. 14? Using 2016-17 as an example, ASU played seven games in that time frame.
NOTES PAC-12: Thirty-nine Pac-12 games have been decided by single digits, ASU has been involved in six of them and is 4-2…17 games have been decided by a single possession (three points or less), ASU has been involved in five of them and is 4-1…there have been four overtime games and seven total overtime periods, ASU has been in two of them (wins over Oregon and UCLA) and in five of the seven periods (triple-overtime win vs. UCLA)…four games decided on team's final possession, ASU has been involved in three of them and is 2-1 (wins at Oregon, vs. Utah and loss at Stanford).
WILD STAT: ASU held Washington State to 18-of-59 (.305) shooting in both games this year. It won the road tilt (58-55) and lost the one in Tempe by 22 (51-29). It also held USC to 18-of-60 (.300), which means ASU is 1-2 in games it has held opponents to under .310 shooting.
NOTES ON COACH HURLEY AT ASU: Posted third straight 20-win season in 2019-20 for just the third time in program two average attendance marks in ASU history, including ASU-best 10,603 in 2017-18...2019-20 COVID-shortened season saw ASU (20-11) post its first seven-game Pac-12 win streak since the 1980-81 team won 11 straight...entered season with 28 halftime comebacks in his six years, tops in the Pac-12...11-7 in the Pac-12 in 2019-20 after going 12-6 in 2018-19, just the second time in the previous 25 seasons the Sun Devils posted back-to-back winning Pac-12 two non-conference wins in school history vs. No. 1 Kansas on Dec. 22, 2018 and at No. 2 Kansas on Dec. 10, 2017...reached NCAA Tournament for just fourth time in 23 seasons in 2018 and then followed it with back-to-back appearances for the first time since 1980-81 in November of 2017, defeated two eventual 2018 NCAA Tournament No. 1 seeds in a span of a two weeks (Kansas and Xavier)...matched the highest Associated Press ranking in school  history (third) in December of 2017...9-3 in out of conference regular season road games, second-best in nation.
WEIRD NOTES: ASU had 12 more made field goals at Stanford on Jan. 22, but lost the game. How freakin' weird is that? That is the first time that has happened since April 1, 2016, when Morehead State had 14 more made field goals in an 85-82 loss at Nevada in overtime. The last time it happened in a regulation game was when East Tennessee State had 12 more made field goals than Tennessee Tech on Dec. 2, 2015. ASU also held USC to 18-of-60 (.300) on Feb. 3 and lost, the first time that has happened in 27 Sun Devil games dating to 1996-97.
JAY HEATH: After missing the first two games due to COVID, Jay Heath averaged six points and was 5-of-20 from the field in his first three games. Since that time in his past 17 games he is averaging 11.6 points with season-high 16 points vs. Loyola, USF and No. 4 Arizona. He has made 17-of-42 (.404) threes in the past nine games. He is 33-of-38 (.868) from the free throw line on the year after entering the year 71-of-114 (.623). He is averaging 12.6 points per game in 70 career games.
SCHEDULE: By playing Baylor, Syracuse and Loyola in the Battle 4 Atlantis, ASU had a nine-game stretch where it faced seven 2021 NCAA Tournament teams (Washington State and San Francisco the others). In that stretch ASU played at last year's MWC champion (San Diego State), defending NCAA champ (Baylor), Syracuse (Sweet 16), Loyola (Sweet 16), at Pac-12 champion (Oregon), WAC champion (GCU) and at Creighton (Sweet 16) in 32 days.
DJ: DJ Horne hit a career-high six threes on Nov. 24 vs. Baylor. He averaged 15.1 ppg. last year at Illinois State and is a .853 career free throw shooter (81-of-95). He sent the Dec. 5 Oregon game into overtime with a three with under four seconds left, as he had season-high 23 points, six rebounds and three assists. He has 920 career points in 78 games (11.8 ppg.).
RESET: The Sun Devils have many new faces and a trio of returners -- like a lot of college basketball teams. Bobby Hurley is in his seventh year and returned "super" senior Kimani Lawrence for a fifth year, junior Jalen Graham and sophomore Marcus Bagley. Luther Muhammad sat last year to get a shoulder healthy after transferring from Ohio State. The Sun Devils added graduate transfer Marreon Jackson from Toledo (2020-21 MAC Player of the Year now in his fifth year of college hoops), along with DI transfers DJ Horne (Illinois State) and Jay Heath (Boston College) and added junior college transfer Alonzo Gaffney, who started his career at Ohio State. Add in freshman Jamiya Neal and Enoch Boakye and ASU started the season with a 10-man rotation. 
PEEPS IN SEATS: 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 -- ASU had turned the corner on attendance. Desert Financial Arena averaged 10,140 fans in the three years starting with 2017-18, with 496,872 fans attending 49 Sun Devil games, as ASU racked up a 39-10 record. In the three previous seasons in 51 games ASU averaged 6,087 fans (310,459).
20: One can't take for granted what ASU did from 2017-20. Coming off records in of 23-11 (2018-19) and 20-12 in 2017-18, ASU notched its third straight 20-win season in the COVID cut 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. 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.
MARREON (SAY IT MAR (LIKE CAR) - REON): Toledo graduate transfer Marreon Jackson entered 2021-22 with 1,817 career points (14.3 ppg.) and 573 career assists. The 2020-21 MAC Player of the Year posted two triple doubles last season and made a school record 41 straight free throws to open the 2020-21 season. He posted five 30-point games at Toledo and in the final 10 games of 2020-21 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 entering this year a career .824 free throw shooter (346-of-420).
GOOD NOTE: ASU has defeated nine ranked teams in Bobby Hurley's seven seasons, but it trailed at the half in five of the wins, including both wins over Kansas.
ASU 87, #3 UCLA 84 3 OT (Feb. 5, 2022)
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 40, #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) 
KIMANI: Kimani Lawrence had 21 points and 20 rebounds on Feb. 25, 2021, vs. Washington which was the first 20/20 outing by a Sun Devil since Nov. 19, 1997 (Mike Batiste gave Wagner 36/20) and the only 20/20 by a Sun Devil in a Pac-12 game. The 21 rebounds is second-most by a Sun Devil in a Pac-12 game. He also matched a career highs in points (22) in the Feb. 23 win over Washington. He posted double digits in 14 games in 2018-19 and his best game was 22-point effort vs. Mississippi State in Las Vegas on Nov. 19, 2018, including the game-winning three-pointer with the scored tied and 29 seconds left.
PAC-12 20/20 GAMES (1996-97 TO PRESENT)
Kimani Lawrence, ASU vs. Washington (Feb. 25, 2021) -- 21/20
Deandre Ayton, Arizona vs. California (Mar. 3, 2018) – 26/20
Noah Dickerson, UW vs. E. Washington (Nov. 12, 2017) – 28/22
Josh Hawkinson, WSU vs. Washington (Jan. 6, 2016) -- 21/20
Matt Maryasz, Stanford vs. Oregon (Jan. 20, 2005) – 20/20
Mike Batiste, ASU vs. Wagner (Nov. 19, 1997) – 36/20
Tim Young, Stanford vs. Oregon (Jan. 16, 1997) – 20/21
Todd MacCullouch, UW vs. UCLA (Jan. 31, 1999) – 26/21
Todd MacCullouch, UW vs. ASU (Jan. 8, 1998) – 30/21
Curtis Borchardt, Stanford vs. Arizona (Feb. 2, 2002) – 25/21
GOOD EARLY: Coach Hurley's Sun Devils have been good in November. The program captured Las Vegas titles 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.
FINAL FOUR: Coach Hurley is one of three current head coaches who earned Final Four MOP, one of 10 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 (1991) — Howard
Juan Dixon, Maryland (2002 MOP) — Coppin State
Patrick Ewing, Georgetown (1984 MOP) — Georgetown
Bobby Hurley, Duke (1991,1992 MOP) — Arizona State
Nate James, Duke (2001) — Austin Peay
Steve Masiello, Kentucky (1998) — Manhattan
Wes Miller, North Carolina (2005) — Cincinnati
Josh Pastner, Arizona (1997) — Georgia Tech
Mark Pope, Kentucky (1996) — BYU
GSR: Sun Devil Athletics has earned a new all-time high of 92 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for its student-athletes, announced by the NCAA on Dec. 2. Sun Devil Athletics has either maintained or surpassed its all-time best GSR every year since 2008 and is tied for third in the Pac-12 Conference. The men's basketball team was one of 10 Sun Devil teams that posted GSR scores at 100 percent. Here are the Sun Devils who contributed to the perfect score.
Zylan Cheatham, B.A., Liberal Studies (2019)
Tra Holder, B.S., Sociology (2018)
Shannon Evans II, B.S., Communication (2017)
Torian Graham, B.A., Liberal Studies (2017)
Kodi Justice, B.S., Sociology (2017)
Obinna Oleka, B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies (2017)
Maurice O'Field, B.S., Sociology (2017)
Eric Ja cobsen, B.S., Communication (2016)
Gerry Blakes, B.S., Communication (2016)
Willie Atwood, B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies (2016)
Jon Gilling, B.A., Communications (2015)
Savon Lloyd-Goodman, B.S., Sociology (2015)
Sai Tummala, B.S., Biological Sciences, Animal Physiology and Behavior/Honors College (2015)