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Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Wooden had up-and-down season at ASU

March 31, 2004

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Like many freshman college basketball players, Free State High product Keith Wooden had a spotty first season at Arizona State.

Wooden averaged 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game while spending an average of 9.4 minutes on the floor. Wooden compiled a glossy 54 percent field-goal percentage (34-of-63), but made only half of his free-throw attempts (12-of-24).

"He's a young kid trying to learn the game," ASU coach Rob Evans said about the former Firebirds' standout.

Wooden, a 6-foot-8 forward, played in 24 of the Sun Devils' 27 games, starting nine. At times, he was in Evans' doghouse, but Wooden kept battling for playing time.

"I just need to come with a consistent effort and positive effort every day and take the criticism," Wooden said.

Arizona State was one of the most disappointing teams in the country. After advancing last season to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they bowed to eventual national runner-up Kansas University, the Sun Devils slipped to 10-17 overall and 4-14 in the Pac-10 Conference.

Despite having one of the nation's leading scorers in Ike Diogu (24.7 points per game), the Sun Devils failed to qualify for the Pac-10 postseason tournament.

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