Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats vs. Long Beach State: Former ASU player not with 49ers


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Former ASU and Long Beach State guard Keala King, a one-time UA recruiting target, now plays for NAIA school Pikeville (Ky.)

Former ASU and Long Beach State guard Keala King, a one-time UA recruiting target, now plays for NAIA school Pikeville (Ky.)

You don’t always get what you want. Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star writes that former ASU player Keala King, a one-time Arizona Wildcats recruiting target, was kicked off the Long Beach State team after last spring semester for not being a team player.

Long Beach State coach Dan Monson deserves credit for making this decision — also booting Tony Freeland and Deng Deng off the team — in this era of win-at-all-costs or lose your job. King and Freeland were starters and Deng was a key reserve for the 49ers who went 19-14 last season.

ASU coach Herb Sendek dismissed King from the Sun Devils’ program for conduct detrimental to the team in January 2012. King was ASU’s starting point guard and leading scorer at the time.

King comes from the heralded Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei program, where he was teammates with Tyler Lamb and Gary Franklin in the Class of 2010. All three started at Pac-12 programs (Lamb with UCLA and Franklin with Cal) but now play elsewhere: Lamb, ironically with Long Beach State, and Franklin with Baylor.

King now plays for NAIA powerhouse Pikeville (Ky.). He scored 21 points in Pikeville’s 90-61 loss at Louisville last week.

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Arizona (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12) vs.
Long Beach St. (1-0, 0-0 Big West)
Nov. 11, 2013 • 8 p.m. MST • Tucson, Ariz. • McKale Center (15,545)
Tip: 8:06 p.m. MST
Television: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro/Matt Muehlebach).
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach/Ryan Hansen).
Satellite Radio: Sirius 93; XM 190.
Rankings: Arizona – No. 6 AP/No. 5 USA Today Coaches Pol; Long Beach State – NR/NR.

Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon

Double vision. Arizona freshman forward Aaron Gordon recorded a double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds) in his debut against Cal Poly last Friday. The Wildcats had only four double-doubles last year, two each by Solomon Hill and Brandon Ashley. Hill, who had 14 double-doubles in his career, did not record his second last season until the Harvard game in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

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Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson

In the Nick of time. Arizona junior guard Nick Johnson needs only 274 points to reach 1,000 for his career. He would become the 48th Arizona Wildcats player to reach that level.

The player who has scored the most points after a three-year period is Chase Budinger, who had 1,697 before foregoing his senior season for the NBA in 2009. The most for only a two-year career is Derrick Williams with 1,227 points from 2009-11. Jerryd Bayless’ 592 points in 2007-08, as a freshman at Arizona before leaving to the NBA, stands as the top one-year mark.

Miller is not concerned with Johnson scoring an abundance of points. He’s of the mind that Johnson can create scoring swings for the Arizona Wildcats with his defense on the other end. Johnson went without a steal Friday against Cal Poly, a minor upset. He has 94 for his career.

Johnson is 70 steals away from reaching the Top 10 steals chart in Arizona Wildcats history. Mike Bibby is at No. 10 with 164. Jason Terry holds the school record with 245.

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WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report, Lindy’s College Sports and TucsonCitizen.com.

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