Evans Says Team is Focused Following USC Loss

In this fairly young Basketball season, the Sun Devils find themselves in a familiar position again. A disappointing loss to Oregon was quickly shaken off when ASU rattled off three consecutive wins. Following a bitter loss to USC last Saturday; the perseverance of Rob Evans' team will again be tested when they faced archival Arizona in Tucson tomorrow. The ASU head coach says that loss to the Trojans doesn't diminish from his team's preparation for their toughest opponent to date.

"Our focus is on winning the next basketball game - Whether we would have beaten USC or didn't." says Evans, "It's a long season, and there's a lot of land mines. A lot of things can change as we go through. It's a big Basketball game in the sense that it's our next Basketball game." In general, the Sun Devils coach would rather keep the past in its proper place. "I don't worry about the games in the past, I don't remember what happened then. We don't get high on wins and low on losses. I think we're playing really well. We played especially well in the second half against USC. I like the way we're playing."

Evans calls the Wildcats a tremendous Basketball team, and says that their athleticism, depth, and senior leadership are the prevalent reasons to their top ranking in the country. . ASU is 1-4 against #1 teams, with their lone win coming 22 years ago (March 7, 1981) against then #1 Oregon State. Nevertheless, he's anxious to see how some of the matchups, namely at the center and guard positions, unfold. "(Arizona's) Frye is really long. He's a great shot blocker and has experience. Ike has played extremely well to this point. It will be a great match up not only with Frye, but also with all the other big kids they'll bring on him…we have pretty good guard play, and they have excellent guard play. I think it will be a great Basketball game. They have experience at the guards, Stoudamire is playing well. Gardner has been playing well for 3-4 years." When asked about the perception that Arizona is a much younger team year, Evans was quick to dismiss that notion. "They don't have any youth. They have a lot of players who already played a lot of games over the course of their career."

From ASU's perspective, it will take a monumental effort from it first year players like Diogu and Jamal Hill, as well as seniors Tommy Smith and Curtis Millage, to try and dethrone the newly ranked top team in the country.

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