The Sun Devil men's hoops team, averaging 77.2 points in its 13-4 start, heads about 100 miles on I-10 East to take on the top-ranked Arizona Wildcats on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. MT with Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery on the call for FOX Sports 1. ASU split a pair in Los Angeles last weekend, defeating USC 79-60 on Jan. 9 and then losing to UCLA 87-72 on Jan. 12. One peek at the Sun Devil schedule shows tons of big opportunities, as ASU has 14 conference games left with RPI heavy teams Arizona (6), Colorado (12), Oregon (22) and California (34). The Sun Devils are the only Pac-12 school with those four on their schedule twice, and no one else even has UA, UO and CU twice.
--ASU is 3-1 on the road this year, and Jahii Carson is averaging 21.3 points in 15 career road games.
--As of close of business Tuesday, Jordan Bachynski's NCAA-best 78 blocks was more than 274 Division I teams and 10 more than current silver medal blocks guy Michale Kyser of Louisiana Tech.
ASU will have an opportunity to play the top-ranked team in the nation for the ninth time overall on Thursday. ASU is 1-7, with the win coming in Corvallis on March 7, 1981, in probably the greatest win in Sun Devil history. ASU, coached by 2003 Pac-10 Hall of Honor inductee Ned Wulk, travelled to Corvallis and led 40-20 at the half against top-ranked and undefeated Oregon State and won 87-67 on the final day of the regular season. All five ASU starters (Sam Williams, Paul Williams, Alton Lister, Byron Scott and Fat Lever) in that game were future NBA first- or second-round draft picks. A look at ASU vs. No. 1, and note that all the games were on the road but one:
@SUNDEVILHOOPS VS. NO. 1
#1 Arizona 92, Arizona State 72 in Tempe (Feb. 22 2003)
#1 Arizona 71, Arizona State 63 in Tucson (Jan. 22, 2003)
#1 Stanford 99, Arizona State 75 in Palo Alto, Calif. (Mar. 8, 2001)
#1 Stanford 86, Arizona State 67 in Palo Alto, Calif. (Jan. 6, 2000)
#1 Arizona 99, Arizona State 59 in Tucson (Jan. 28, 1988)
#5 Arizona State 87, #1 Oregon State 67 in Corvallis (Mar. 7, 1981)
#1 UCLA 89, #7 Arizona State 75 in Portland (Mar. 22, 1975)
#1 UCLA 98, #16 Arizona State 81 at Los Angeles/NCAA West Regional (Mar. 15, 1973)
TWO WINS FOR COACH
Coach Sendek has two wins vs. the No. 1 team in his 21-year coaching career. His NC State squad beat Duke 78-74 on Feb. 15, 2004, while NC State also won at North Carolina on Feb. 21, 1998.
COACH SENDEK'S SEVEN WINS VS. AP TOP-FIVE TEAMS
NC State 81, #3 Wake Forest 65 (March 11, 2005/ACC Tournament)
NC State 78, #1 Duke 74 (Feb. 15, 2004)
NC State 80, #3 Duke 71 (Jan. 22, 2003)
NC State 86, #2 Maryland 82 (Mar. 9, 2002/ACC Tournament)
NC State 81, @#4 Virginia 74 (Jan. 5, 2002)
NC State 86, @#1 North Carolina 71 (Feb. 21, 1998)
NC State 60, #4 Wake Forest 59, OT (Feb. 17, 1997)
Jordan Bachynski needs just 19 blocks to tie the Pac-12 career record of 278 held by Arizona's Anthony Cook from 1985-89.
PAC-12 CAREER BLOCKED SHOTS
1. 278 – Anthony Cook (Arizona), ’85-89
2. 259 – Jordan Bachynski (Arizona State), ’10-present
Coach Sendek is 7-8 vs. the Wildcats, including a 3-4 mark in Tucson and 3-4 in Tempe...UA has won 30 of the past 38, ASU has won seven of the past 13...ASU swept UA in the regular season for the second straight time in 2008-09 and then topped the Wildcats in the Pac-10 Tournament for a five-game win streak for the first time since a nine-game streak from 1979-83 prior to the 77-58 loss in Tempe on Jan. 23, 2010...prior to the five-game Sun Devil streak, UA had won 24 of 25 over the Sun Devils, with two 12-game Wildcat win streaks sandwiched around a Jan. 23, 2002, Sun Devil win in Tempe...in its seven wins over UA under Herb Sendek ASU has trailed at the half in five of the games...ASU had won three straight in Tucson prior to an 80-69 defeat on Jan. 15, 2011...ASU won four games over Arizona in Tempe in a 21-year period (4-17 from 1986-87 through 2006-07). It has won three in the series in Tempe in the past five years...UA leads the series 144-80.
CARSON SHOW TRAVELS WELL
Games in opposing arenas have been a good thing for Jahii Carson, who has averaged 21.3 points in 15 true road games. His top four scoring games are all away from Tempe and he has averaged 21.0 points in 20 road/neutral games. Last year he averaged 20.8 points in 38.4 minutes, shot .514 (75-of-146) from the floor and had six 20-point games in nine Pac-12 road tilts.
JAHII CARSON'S FOUR 30-POINT GAMES
40 at UNLV (11/19/13)
34 vs. Stanford at Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas (3/13/13)
32 at Washington (2/2/13)
30 vs. #14 Creighton in Las Vegas (11/24/12)
SHAQ IN PAST EIGHT
Senior transfer Shaquielle McKissic has one year to play and is making the most of it in an efficient manner. In the past seven games, he is averaging 12.3 points and six rebounds while shooting .552 from the field (32-of-58). In those tilts he is 27-of-37 (.729) from the free throw line and has 18 assists and just six turnovers. On the year he has 36 assists and just seven turnovers and leads the team with 23 steals.
MANY SHOTS, MANY MAKES
Heading into Pac-12 play this week, 20 league players have taken at least 62 three-pointers. Jermaine Marshall's .460 (46-of-100) shooting is the best by any of them. Marshall also ranks tied for sixth in the league in three-point percentage, but none of the top five have taken more than 60 three pointers.
JON GILLING ON SUN DEVIL CAREER THREE-POINT LIST
1. 323, Stevin Smith, ’90-94
2. 280, Rihards Kuksiks, ’07-11
3. 273, Ty Abbott, ’07-11
4. 263, Ron Riley, ’92-96
5. 250, Eddie House, ’96-2000
6. 224, Jeremy Veal, ’94-98
7. 169, Jon Gilling, ’11-present