Fifth-year senior Desmond Cambridge has been named the Pac-12 men’s basketball player of the week for a league-leading third time.
Cambridge scored 19 points with four rebounds and four assists in Saturday’s 89-88 upset of No. 7 Arizona at McKale Center. The difference in the game was his shot from halfcourt at the buzzer to win the matchup.
The Nashville, Tennesee native scored nine of his 19 points – on a trio of threes – inside the final five minutes as the Sun Devils erased an 80-72 deficit.
It marked the first top-10 road win since knocking off No. 2 Kansas in 2017, and the first win in Tucson as an unranked team in 30 tries (1-29).
Other nominees included N’Faly Dante of Oregon; Brandon Angel of Stanford; Jaime Jaquez Jr., of UCLA; Boogie Ellis of USC and Mouhamed Gueye, Washington State.
Read more: How much will ASU’s win over UA help postseason bid?
Arizona State athletes Emilio Ysaguirre, Jordyn VanHook earn weekly Pac-12 honors
Arizona State athletes Emilio Ysaguirre and Jordyn VanHook have earned Pac-12 Athlete of the Week honors in their respective sports.
In wrestling, 141-pounder Emilio Ysaguirre, a native of Eloy, earned Pac-12 Wrestler of the Week honors after a solid debut in the varsity lineup. The true freshman filled in against CSU Bakersfield and No. 2 Nebraska and collected both a major decision and an upset over No. 4 Brock Hardy.
He is ASU’s fifth WOTW honor this year.
The Sun Devils finished the regular season 7-5 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-12. The Pac-12 Wrestling Championships are coming up on March 5 in Palo Alto, California, hosted by Stanford. The NCAA Championships kick off March 16 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In softball, VanHook earns the first weekly award of her career. The senior from Woodland Hills, California led the Sun Devils to a 4-1 showing at the Littlewood Classic.
He had a hit in all five games and finished 9-of-14 (.643) with two doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs. She homered in the first four games of the weekend and finished the week with a career-best five-game hitting streak.
Two weeks into the season, VanHook is tied for tops in the country with six home runs and at 0.60 home runs per game. She can also be found 70th nationally with a .483 batting average and 33rd with 14 hits.
The Sun Devils will travel to Cathedral City, Calif., this weekend to participate in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. They will open the event by facing Loyola Marymount on Friday at 9 p.m. MST.
Arizona State gymnastics knocks off No. 4 Utah
With the 11th-best team score in program history, No. 22 Arizona State edges No. 4 Utah at Desert Financial Arena on Monday 197.550 to 197.500 for the first win over the Utes since 2003. For coach Jay Santos, it was the highest ranked team his ASU teams have defeated, and the 19th win of his tenure over ranked opponents.
On her birthday, senior Hannah Scharf set a personal high score in all-around, 39.675, which ranks as 10th-best all around in Sun Devils history. Her best score was a 9.975 on bars, a new career high not only on that event, but in any event.
“I was not expecting that score at all,” Scharf said. “I had a shaky warmup. I was falling on handstands, which is a little bit out of the normal. I did not want to shy away from the routine. It feels good, really good.”
ASU won three other events in the team win: junior Anaya Smith in vault (9.900), Scharf and Clark tied on bars (9.975) and Scharf won on floor (9.900).
ASU softball opens season with two wins in California
The ASU softball team opened the season at the SDSU Season Kickoff with two victories.
No. 22 Arizona State woke up late to rally past CSUN 6-3 in eight innings to start the festivities. The Sun Devils (2-0) then spoiled San Diego State’s party with an 8-2 win to close the day and give Megan Bartlett a 2-0 start as head coach at ASU.
In the opener against CSUN (0-1), the Sun Devils overcame a 3-0 deficit with six unanswered runs to win in extras. Makenna Harper had two triples and drove in four runs, with Marissa Schuld allowing just one hit in 3.1 innings of relief to earn the win.
The long ball returned in the win against San Diego State (1-1) as ASU hit four home runs in one of the deepest parks in the country. The pitching was just as solid in holding SDSU to only three singles.
Arizona State women’s golfer Ashley Menne invited back to Augusta
Sun Devil Women’s Golf standout Ashley Menne has accepted an invitation to return to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.The 2023 edition will once again give female amateur golfers the opportunity to play the iconic Augusta National Golf Course. This is the second consecutive year Menne has qualified for this prestigious event, doing so based on her standing in the United States amateur rankings.”Going back is a dream come true once again,” Menne reflected. “I look forward to this event every year and getting to play in it is special.”In the 2022 edition, Menne was one of 30 golfers to make the initial cut after two rounds and earn the opportunity to play Augusta National Golf Course for a third round, which was broadcasted worldwide on NBC.
Arizona State’s Nesta Jade Silvera gets invite to NFL Combine
Defensive lineman Nesta Jade Silvera will be Arizona State’s lone representative at the NFL combine to be held Feb. 28-March 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, home of the Indianapolis Colts.
The 6-foot-2, 315-pound nose tackle spent one season in Tempe. He registered 56 tackles, three breakups, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. His season high of 12 came in a loss to Utah.
Silvera, a graduate transfer from the University of Miami (Fla.), also represented ASU at the Reese’s Senior Bowl earlier this month in Mobile, Alabama.
A total of 319 athletes earned invites, 51 of those defensive linemen.
ASU defensive lineman Nesta Jade Silvera to compete in Reese’s Senior Bowl
The next senior all-star game on the college football schedule is the prestigious Reese’s Senior Bowl to be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. It will air on the NFL Network.
This is the most highly regarded game and serves as a precursor to the NFL draft. Representatives from every NFL organization are in attendance for the weeklong festivities.
Nose tackle Nesta Jade Silvera will represent the Arizona State Sun Devils. He played just one year for the Sun Devils, transferring from the University of Miami. The 6-foot-2, 315-pounder tallied 56 tackles, three breakups, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble in his lone season in Tempe.
Linebacker Kyle Soelle and running back Xazavian Valladay participated in the East-West Shrine Game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Thursday night. The West, which included Valladay, defeated the East 12-3 in a game in which all the scoring came on field goals.
Valladay led all ball carriers with 76 yards on 13 tries. He also had a pass reception for four yards.
Kyle Soelle, Xazavian Valladay to represent Arizona State football at Shrine Bowl
Linebacker Kyle Soelle and running back Xazavian Valladay will participate in the 98th annual East-West Shine Bowl to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Valladay, a native of Chicago who transferred to ASU from Wyoming, was the catalyst of the offense, chalking up 1,192 yards and 16 touchdowns on 215 tries. He rushed for more than 100 yards in seven games with a best of 134 yards coming late in the season against Washington State, which helped earn him second-team All-Pac 12 honors. He also had 37 receptions for 289 yards and two touchdowns.
Soelle, a product of Saguaro High School, posted a team-leading 110 tackles, 56 of those solo. In 11 games he also registered two interceptions, two breakups and two quarterback hurries. His tackle total led the Pac-12 and his 10 per game ranked him 11th among all FBS defenders.
The two will be on opposite teams in this one. Soelle will play for the East which will be coached by Marquise Williams, special teams coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. Valladay will play for the West which will be headed by Troy Brown, wide receivers and kick return coach for the New England Patriots.
The game will air on the NFL Network.
Sun Devils add DL prospect from New Orleans Kyran Bourda
A successful official visit over the weekend resulted in a 20th commitment for the 2023 signing class and it comes from 6-foot-3, 285-pound defensive lineman Kyran Bourda out of St. Augustine High School in New Orleans.
Bourda entertained offers from 14 other schools including Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Texas and Arkansas. His only other Pac-12 offer was from Colorado. He is the ninth defensive line addition and was recruited by new line coach Vince Amey.
ASU currently has 15 high school athletes who have already signed with Bourda one of five who have pledged but not yet signed. Wednesday marks the annual National Signing Day for football players.
The Sun Devils also have 25 Division I transfers coming who they have acquired through the transfer portal.
That means ASU should surpass the number of newcomers they added last year which was 40, with more additions likely added between the end of spring practice and the start of fall camp.
Sun Devils land commitment from LB K’Vion Thunderbird
The Arizona State football program landed it 19th commitment of the 2023 class and it comes in the form of linebacker K’Vion Thunderbird out of Kenwood Academy in Chicago.
He made the announcement today at his school, picking ASU over a final five that also included Colorado, Purdue, Oregon and Tennessee. He had 20 offers with Penn State, Auburn, Missouri, Michigan State and Nebraska among the others. Thunderbird, a 6-foot-1, 215-pounder, visited Tempe last weekend.
Thunderbird was All-State selection the past fall. As a senior he racked up 109 tackles, three forced three fumbles and recovered two others. He is regarded as a three-star prospect by both 247Sport and Rivals.
He is pegged as the No. 72 linebacker nationally, the No. 20 player out of the state of Illinois by 247Sports.
Thunderbird is expected to sign on Wednesday which is the annual National Signing Day. He helps with a position group much in need of help as all three starters from last year are gong with Merlin Robertson and Kyle Soelle graduating and Connor Soelle hitting the transfer portal.
Thunderbird is the only linebacker in this signing class although the Sun Devils have three Division I transfers expected to contribute immediately
Former ASU football standout signs with European Football League team
Former Arizona State linebacker Khaylan Kearse-Thomas has signed with the Stuttgart Surge entry of the European Football League.
Kearse-Thomas, 25, played for the Sun Devils from 2015 to 2019. In 2019 as a senior he helped the squad to an 8-5 record, registering 66 tackles with two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
He was not drafted but did sign with the Tennessee Titans as a free agent, going to the team’s mini-camp in 2020.
Most recently, he played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.
The Stuttgart franchise is one of the eight founding members of the European League of Football (ELF), established in 2020. The entry was supposed to start go by the Stuttgart Scorpion, adopting the name of Stuttgart’s German Football League franchise. The member’s assembly of the Stuttgart Scorpions decided to disallow the use of the name, the team formed as Stuttgart Surge reviving the World League of American Football (WLAF) “Surge” franchise of the 1992 World Bowl champion Sacramento Surge.
Arizona State football gets commitment from California offensive lineman Sean Na’a
The Arizona State Sun Devils may have 25 Division I transfers set to join the fold, but that doesn’t mean they are not on the lookout for high school prospects, too.
New head coach Kenny Dillingham just landed a commitment from offensive lineman Sean Na’a, who started at tackle for St. John Bosco, which went 13-1 and finished as the nation’s top-ranked high school team in multiple rankings.
Na’a, who was recruited by new ASU offensive line coach Saga Tuitele, visited Tempe last weekend. Tuitele had also been recruiting Na’a in his previous position at Fresno State before coming over to ASU.
Na’a had also visited San Jose State and canceled an upcoming visit to Weber State after pledging to the Sun Devils. Among the 10 schools extending offers were Hawaii, Fresno State, Louisville, Nevada and Utah State.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder was tabbed a three-star prospect by multiple recruiting services. He is pegged as the No. 76 interior lineman in the country the No. 117 prospect out of California in the 247Sports Composite ranking. Rivals also has him rated as the No. 90 prospect out of California.
ASU currently has 15 additions coming from either high schools or community colleges who have already signed.
Na’a is one of three who have not yet signed. The National Signing Day for those that didn’t already sign in December is Feb. 1.
St. John Bosco’s only loss this season was to another national private school power in Mater Dei during the regular season. The teams ended up playing again in the postseason and Bosco won the rematch in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship Thanksgiving weekend.
ASU basketball’s Desmond Cambridge named Pac-12 Player of the Week
Arizona State basketball standout Desmond Cambridge Jr. is this week’s Pac-12 Player of the Week.
He scored 21 points in each of ASU’s road wins last week, one at Oregon and the other at Oregon State. He shot 53 percent from the field, 7-of-15 behind the arc. His contribution helped the Sun Devils (15-3, 6-1) to their first road sweep of the Oregon schools in 13 years.
It is his second weekly honor. He also was honored after being named MVP at the Legends Classic in which ASU beat Michigan in November.
ASU returns home this week with first pace on the line in Thursday’s 8:30 p.m. showdown against UCLA. The Sun Devils will host USC on Saturday.
Sun Devils continue pursuit of players through the transfer portal
When Kenny Dillingham took over the Arizona State football program in December he vowed to attack the transfer portal. He has done exactly that.
The Sun Devils landed commitments from four more transfers over the weekend giving them a total of 23 which leads all Division I programs. ASU’s transfer class is ranked No. 6 by 247Sports. On3 Transfer Portal at one time had ASU at No. but now has it at No. 7 although two players are not yet listed on that ranking.
Those added to the mix over the weekend include wide receiver Troy Omeire (Texas), safety Xavion Alford (USC), defensive lineman Dashaun Mallory (Michigan State) and kicker Dario Longhetto (Cal).
Longhetto is the third player ASU has gotten from Cal and fills the void left when true freshman Carter Brown decided to leave. Longhetto was the Bears primary kicker the last three years, making 26 of 36 field goal attempts with his career best coming from 54 yards out.
Others also fill significant voids. Mallory was a started 27 games at Michigan State, including a career-high 10 in 2021 in which he managed 44 tackles, five tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
Omerie is one of the more intriguing prospects. He was a four-star recruit out of high school but has dealt with season-ending injuries in fall camp the last two years.
As far as ASU players transferring out, two today indicated they are headed to Cincinnati. That duo includes Brown and defensive back-kick return specialist D.J. Taylor. They join quarterback Emory Jones who committed there late last month giving the Bearcats three former Sun Devils.
Saguaro High School product Connor Soelle, who started alongside brother Kyle and Merlin Robertson when the Sun Devils played with three linebackers, is headed to Oregon.
The Sun Devils got some added good news late today as Gharin Stansbury withdrew his name from the portal, becoming the third defensive lineman to do so. He missed the balance of last season with a pulled hamstring.
Kicker Carter Brown the latest ASU football player to hit transfer portal
True freshman placekicker Carter Brown is the latest Arizona State football player to enter the transfer portal.
The Pearland, Texas native made 11 of 14 field goal tries last season as well as all 33 extra-point kicks. He was an upgrade over kickers the previous seasons with a best of 53 yards that is the best kick in school history from a true freshman. The year before he arrived the longest field goal ASU managed was just 40 yards
Brown also earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors twice, including the first week of the season after he made four field goals in his Sun Devil debut.
Brown’s departure means there will be a complete turnover on the special teams unit for ASU next season. Punter Eddie Czaplicki transferred to USC while Jace Feely, who lost the kicking battle to Brown, also is in the portal, along with ASU’s top two long snappers.
While ASU has lost a lot of talent in the portal, presumably a lot of that coming with the coaching change, the Sun Devils have landed 19 Division I transfers, most of any other Power 5 program. Some of the specialist spots already seem to have been addressed. Among the incoming players are punter Josh Carlson (New Mexico State) and long snapper Slater Zellers (California).
Arizona State sports digest: ASU names J.J. Van Niel volleyball head coach
J.J. Van Niel has been named the head volleyball coach at Arizona State, as announced by Vice President of University Athletics Ray Anderson.
“We are excited to welcome J.J. to Tempe,” Anderson said. “His background is fantastic on so many levels and he has been a part of building a program and getting it back to where it belongs. His work in the USA volleyball community, his tremendous Pac-12 knowledge and his understanding of what we aspire to achieve with our volleyball program makes him the ideal fit for ASU.”
Van Niel comes to Tempe after five seasons at USC, most recently as the associate head coach. While with the Trojans, he helped the team to three NCAA Tournament appearances (2018, 2019, 2022), advancing to the second round in each of those.
ASU men’s swim team earns first No. 1 ranking
The Arizona State men’s swimming and diving team has received its first No. 1 ranking in school history.
The Sun Devils are No. 1 in the country in the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America poll that was released Thursday, going up from No. 5, where it had been ranked for the first two polls of the season.
In November, ASU won the seven-team NC State Invite to surge in the poll.
ASU is scheduled to return to action on Friday, Jan. 20 against Stanford at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center.
Super Bowl Experience, Opening Night event tickets on sale Saturday
Tickets for the Super Bowl Experience, NFL’s interactive football theme park tied to Super Bowl 57, go on sale Saturday. The same day, tickets will also be available for Super Bowl Opening Night, set for 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at Footprint Center.
The Super Bowl Experience is taking place in two different downtown Phoenix locations. The traditional experience set-up will be at the Phoenix Convention Center, complete with autograph sessions with NFL players, interactive games, youth football clinics and more. It will be open Feb. 4-5 and again Feb. 9-11. Tickets are $20 for adults; children 12 and under are free.
The other location is at Hance Park Feb. 9-12, and will be a free outdoor festival featuring live music and entertainment, local cuisine and multicultural celebrations. It culminates with Super Bowl watch party starting at 11 a.m. on game day, Feb. 12.
Super Bowl Opening Night is the official kickoff to Super Bowl week, as players and coaches from both teams will be interviewed by hundreds of media members. There will be live entertainment, special appearances and autographs by NFL Legends and more. Tickets are $20.
Tickets for both paid events are available at SuperBowl.com/ExperienceTickets; they also will be available at the convention center during days of operation.
The NFL OnePass app is required for entry into Super Bowl Experience at the convention center. For more information, a complete schedule of events and to download the app, visit SuperBowl.com. Fans who download and register for the app will also be entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Super Bowl.
QB Emory Jones decides to transfer for final year
Quarterback Emory Jones only has one more season to make an impression on NFL scouts. After losing the starting spot at Arizona State this season, there was no guarantee he’d be the first-teamer next season. So, it isn’t surprising he has entered the transfer portal.
It will be the second time in the portal for Jones who played three years at the University of Florida before going to the portal for the first time in the spring and winding up in Tempe.
Jones was not in Arizona here for the spring but arrived over the summer and eventually won the starting job in fall camp. He started the first seven games of the season but was knocked out of the game against Washington in the first half and it was backup Trenton Bourguet igniting the team to victory.
Jones started the following game against Stanford but struggled so interim coach Shaun Aguano opted to start Bourguet against Colorado and he delivered a career-best performance. That led to him holding down the starting job the rest of the season.
Jones, a native of LaGrange, Georgia, completed 125 of 199 passes for 1,533 yards and seven touchdowns with four interceptions.
Jones is the second ASU quarterback to enter the portal following Paul Tyson who saw mop-up duty in only one game. That leaves Bourguet as the incumbent with true freshman Bennett Meredith and red-shirt sophomore Daylin McLemore on the roster.
The Sun Devils also have a commitment from BYU transfer Jacob Conover as well as a commit in the next high school signing class in Israel Carter of Corona Centennial.
While ASU lost another player to the portal there was a small victory of sorts for the newly appointed coaching staff as defensive lineman Anthonie Cooper decided to return after originally putting his name in the portal. That looms large because ASU graduate three defensive linemen and have had three others go to the portal.
Punter Eddie Czaplicki headed to rival USC
For two straight seasons ASU has lost a player to its South Division rival USC. Last season it was linebacker Eric Gentry. This season it is sophomore punter Eddie Czaplicki who put the word out on his social media accounts today.
Czaplicki led the Pac-12 with 45.98 average on 50 punts with a long of 75 yards. He set 15 punts inside the 20 and had 16 kicks of 50 or more yards. He also handled kickoff duties for the 3-9 Sun Devils.
The Charlotte, North Carolina native was a first-team All-conference selection twice this season, once in the balloting of conference coaches and also by the Associated Press in a balloting of the print media that cover the conference.
Sun Devils get two athletes on first-team All-Pac 12 team
The Sun Devils may have struggled in the win column but they had two players earn All-Pac12 honors for their showings the past football season. Sun Devils get two athletes on first-team All-Pac 12 team
Running back Xazavian Valladay and punter Eddie Czaplicki were first-team selections in the balloting of the media. Earlier this week the conference selections voted on by the coaches were released. Czaplicki was a first-team honoree in that one as well but Valladay was a second-team selection in that one.
Valladay, who transferred to ASU from Wyoming, led the conference in scoring with 16 touchdowns and was second in rushing with 1,192 yards on 215 tries (5.5 ypc). He rushed for more than 100 yards in seven games and was the career leader in rushing among all active FBS runningbacks.
Czaplicki, who announced he was entering the transfer portal earlier this week, averaged a conference-best 45.98 average on 50 punts with a long of 75 yards. He landed 15 punts inside the 20 and had 16 kicks of 50 or more yards.
Punter Eddie Czaplicki, running back Xazavian Valladay honored by Pac-12
Sophomore punter Eddie Czaplicki and senior running back Xazavian Valladay were named to the All-Pac-12 football team selected by member coaches and released by the conference Tuesday.
Czaplicki led the conference with 45.98 average on 50 attempts with a long of 75 yards. He dropped 15 punts inside the 20 and had 16 kicks of 50 or more yards. He also handled kickoff duties for the 3-9 Sun Devils.
Valladay settled for a second team with UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet and Oregon State’s Damien Martinez the first team backs. Valladay tallied 1,192 yards on 215 tries (5.5 ypc) with 16 touchdowns. He also factored into the passing game with 37 receptions for 289 yards and another two scores.
Valladay, who rushed for more than 100 yards in seven games, was second in the Pac-12 in rushing and led it in scoring.
Several ASU players made honorable mention. That group included wide receiver Elijhah Badger, defensive back Jordan Clark, tight end Jalin Conyers, running back and return specialist Daniyel Ngata, linebacker Merlin Robertson, defensive lineman Nesta Jade Slivera, linebacker Kyle Soelle and defensive back Ro Torrance.
The conference’s top honors went to:
Offensive Player of Year: QB Caleb Williams, USC
Pat Tillman Defensive Player of Year: Tuli Tuipulotu, USC
Freshman Offensive Player of Year: RB Damien Martinez, Oregon State
Freshman Defensive Player of Year: Lander Barton, Utah
Co-Coaches of the Year: Kalen DeBoer, Washington, Jonathan Smith, Oregon State
The lone representative on first or second team for University of Arizona was wide receiver Dorian Singer who was named second team. Honorable mention went to wide receiver Jacob Cowing, quarterback Jayden de Laura, kicker Tyler Loop and offensive linemen Jordan Morgan and Jonah Savaiinaea.
Running back Daniyel Ngata to be next Sun Devil to hit transfer portal
For two years, Daniyel Ngata waited his turn behind Rachaad White. Then last season the Northern California native had to watch Wyoming transfer Xazavian Valladay get the majority of the workload.
So after three years of hoping for the lead ball carrier role, Ngata is looking for a new opportunity and will reportedly enter the transfer portal when it opens on Monday.
Although the portal formally opens Monday, players who are graduate transfers can put their names in at any time. Ngata is the third ASU player to put his name in the portal following little-used quarterback Paul Tyson and defensive lineman Anthonie Cooper, both of who did so as grad transfers last week.
With White departing to the NFL, the 5-foot-10, 200-pounder was hoping his time would come but he actually saw fewer carries than he did the previous year when White was here. In the just-completed season, Ngata tallied 272 yards on 54 carries for an impressive 5 yards per carry with one touchdown.
In the 2021 campaign, he had 56 tries and 309 yards (4.2 ypg) with four touchdowns.
The one difference was this season he also saw some action on special teams as the primary kick return specialist where he had 18 returns for 411 yards (22.83 avg) with a long of 58 yards.
Ngata was a four-star prospect out of Folsom High School where he was a teammate of ASU’s Elijhah Badger. As a true freshman in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, he had 26 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown.
There had been speculation Ngata would do so because he was underutilized but he also voiced his frustration about losing earlier in the season. He has also wiped away any reference to ASU in social media accounts.
Defensive lineman Anthonie Cooper looking for new home
Red-shirt junior defensive lineman Anthonie Cooper has become the second Sun Devil to enter the transfer portal. The first was quarterback Paul Tyson who did so on Monday.
The transfer portal opens on Dec. 5 but grad transfers can put their names in at any time. Both Tyson and Cooper will be grad transfers.
Cooper, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive end is a product of Millennium High School in Goodyear. He registered 21 tackles, two sacks and had a team-high five quarterback hurries the past season. He started every game for the Sun Devils this season and had 16 career starts.
In 2021, his first season drawing significant playing time, Cooper chalked up 30 tackles, with five tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He played 262 snaps as a pass rusher, most on the team.
Little-used QB Paul Tyson enters transfer portal
The end of the regular season is just days old and the first Arizona State football player is in the transfer portal. That player is quarterback Paul Tyson, who saw action in just one game last season. Tyson’s father Marc confirmed the move.
Tyson was a newcomer to ASU this past season, transferring to the school in January from Alabama, but he played in just one game, getting a handful of snaps in the Sun Devils’ season-opening 40-3 win against Northern Arizona.
The move is not necessarily a surprise since ASU has five other quarterbacks on its roster and none of those are out of eligibility. They also have one quarterback commitment in its next high school signing class which gives the Sun Devils a lot of options at the position.
Tyson was one of five players competing for the starting spot during spring drills. He and Trenton Bourguet had been getting most of the first-team reps over those 15 practices. But when no quarterback separated himself from the rest of the competition, then-coach Herm Edwards added another over the summer in Emory Jones from Florida.
Jones was named the starter and got the call for the first seven games. When asked about the second-team quarterback when Jones was named the starter, Edwards didn’t single out one saying both Tyson and Bourguet would be ready if needed.
When Jones went down in the game against Washington it was Bourguet getting the call. And it was Bourguet starting the last five games of the regular season even after Jones was healthy so that seemed to indicate Tyson was low enough on the depth chart he wasn’t going to get playing time.
Tyson, the great-grandson of legendary coach Bear Bryant, was previously a backup at Alabama, appearing in 13 games for the Crimson Tide over three years. He saw mop-up duty in 12 games in 2021, completing 10-of-16 passes for 150 yards.
He ended up getting less playing time here than he did at his former school.
— Michelle Gardner
Cambridge Jr., Nunez sweep Pac-12 MBB Player of the Week honors
Two Arizona State men’s basketball players received Pac-12 Player of the Week awards, the conference announced on Monday.
Desmond Cambridge Jr. was named Pac-12 Player of the Week after an incredible week at the Legends Classic tournament. Austin Nunez was awarded Pac-12 Freshman of the Week following his performance coming off the bench in the Sun Devils’ two wins over Virginia Commonwealth and No. 20 Michigan. ASU won the Legends Classic Championship.
This marks the 11th and 12th time a Sun Devil has won a Pac-12 Player of the Week award under head coach Bobby Hurley. Cambridge Jr. is the first winner of Pac-12 Player of the Week from ASU for men’s basketball since 2020. Nunez becomes the first men’s basketball player to claim Pac-12 Freshman of the Week since Josh Christopher in 2020.
—Republic news sources
No. 5 wrestling upsets No. 3 Missouri in Mullett Arena opener
No. 5 ASU wrestling (2-0) opened its first dual Thursday at Mullett Arena in dramatic fashion, winning the final match of the night via major decision from heavyweight Cohlton Schultz as the Sun Devils won 19-17 over No. 3 Missouri.
ASU went 12-0 to start the night and had upsets from Richard Figueroa at 125 and Jesse Vasquez at 141. Figueroa, who was unranked, won by a 6-4 decision over No. 14 Noah Surtin. No. 24 Vasquez won by a 3-2 decision over No. 6 Allan Hart.
Schultz, who is top-ranked in the nation at heavyweight, had to secure a win for ASU with Missouri up 17-15. Schultz had multiple takedowns before winning by a 12-4 major decision.
ASU recorded its second-largest attendance at a dual with 2,947 fans at Mullett Arena. ASU will alternate home duals between Desert Financial Arena and Mullett Arena. Its next dual at Mullett Arena will be on Feb. 3 against Little Rock.
-Republic news sources
Arizona State sports digest: Men’s basketball signs pair of four-star prospects
The Arizona State men’s basketball team announced the signing of a pair of four-star prospects that will join the roster for the 2023-24 season.ASU coach Bobby Hurley announced the signings of guard Braelon Green and forward Akil Watson on Monday.
The duo received a four-star rating and were tabbed as Top-100 prospects by at least one major national recruiting publication.”Akil and Braelon are both just quality kids and at one point super highly rated,” Hurley recently said. “I think both will have a chip on the shoulder getting here. Both have great families, so that’s a positive and they just bring different things to the table. Akil’s a versatile forward and Braelon could play multiple positions in the guard spot, so we’re super excited for those two guys.”
Green is a 6-3 guard with the ability to play either position in the backcourt. He is from Michigan, but moved to California to play for Southern California Academy.
Watson is a 6-9 forward from New York who plays for Roselle Catholic, the No. 1 team in the nation in the 2022-23 Max Preps Preseason Rankings.
—Republic news sources
ASU soccer’s Nicole Douglas honored
Sun Devil Soccer forward Nicole Douglas was named the Pac-12’s Forward of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday. Douglas was one of four Sun Devils – fellow fifth-year players Alexia Delgado (second-team All-Pac-12) and Eva van Deursen (third-team All-Pac-12) and freshman goalkeeper Pauline Nelles (third-team All-Pac-12, Pac-12 All-Freshman team) – to be recognized by the league’s head coaches who voted for the awards. All four players played significant roles in helping the Sun Devils qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons.
Douglas also earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors.
The program’s all-time career leader in goals (60), points (140) and game-winning goals (17), Douglas concluded the regular season ranked seventh nationally in goals per game (0.82), 11th in points per game (1.82), 25th in shots on goal per game (1.88) and 29th in game-winning goals (4).
ASU opens NCAA Tournament play on Saturday when it plays at No. 8 seed Portland.
—Republic news sources
Marcus Bagley, DJ Horne receive preseason Pac-12 recognition
ASU guard DJ Horne and forward Marcus Bagley were named to the Pac-12 men’s basketball preseason All-Conference second team on Monday.
This is the second consecutive year that Bagley, a sophomore, has been a Preseason All-Conference selection, previously landing on the First Team prior to last season. He has averaged 10.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game in his career, a career slowed by injuries.
Horne, a junior, is the fifth-leading returning scorer in the Pac-12. He averaged 12.5 points in 30 minutes per game last season, starting 28 of the 30 games he played in.
Five players were second-team All-Pac-12 preseason selections and 10 players were first-team choices.
The first-team picks were Tyger Campbell, UCLA; Branden Carlson, Utah; Boogie Ellis, USC; Mouhamed Gueye, Washington State; Harrison Ingram, Stanford; Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA; Spencer Jones, Stanford; Drew Peterson, USC; Will Richardson, Oregon and Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona.
Tristan da Silva of Colorado and Arizona’s Kerr Kriisa and Pelle Larsson joined Bagley and Horne as second-team selections.
—Republic news sources
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