Greg Hansen: Carson must beat Cats to secure place in Sun Devils lore

2014-02-13T00:00:00Z 2014-02-13T00:02:28Z Greg Hansen: Carson must beat Cats to secure place in Sun Devils loreGreg Hansen Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Every school has its basketball Mount Rushmore, even Arizona State, although the chiseling isn’t quite complete in Tempe.

Joe Caldwell, Lafayette Lever and James Harden are works of basketball art. Their jerseys hang in the rafters. They are endeared by their nicknames: Pogo Joe, Fat and The Beard.

There is room for a fourth and, as always, the ball is in Jahii Carson’s hands. Does he belong? Not yet.

Incredibly, indelibly, Caldwell, Lever and Harden went 20-1 against Arizona. They were never better than against the Wildcats.

Caldwell, 6-0 against Arizona, completed his UA-ASU days by leaving Bear Down Gym with a 28-point, 16-rebound exclamation mark in 1964.

Lever was 9-1 against his hometown Wildcats. His series exit was an everlasting 38-point, 13-rebound masterpiece in 1982.

Harden was 5-0 against the Wildcats, beating up on Lute Olson’s transitional replacements. In a three-game sweep over Arizona in his final college season, 2009, Harden scored 66 points.

Carson’s Sun Devils are 0-3 against Arizona, but if it’s any consolation, Carson’s Mesa High Jackrabbits whipped Tucson High twice in 2010-11, and Carson scored 67 points.

No?

That’s why Friday’s game at Wells Fargo Arena will be a significant part of Carson’s Sun Devil legacy. He has averaged 19 points in three Territorial Cup games but none of them have been close.

If you don’t beat the Wildcats, you don’t nudge ahead of Byron Scott on the school’s basketball mural.

ASU has seven remaining regular-season games and unless the Sun Devils make a surprising burst into the NCAA tournament, that’ll be it for Carson, who famously dispatched a “this is my last go round” twitter message a few months ago.

Had he chosen to stay, Carson could’ve rewritten ASU’s record books.

Given the culture of 21st century college basketball, it’s likely ASU will never have anyone stay in uniform long enough to challenge Eddie House’s career scoring total, 2,044 points, just as Sean Elliott’s 2,555 Arizona record seems as secure as a lion’s den.

House, a fabulous college scorer whose jersey was put on permanent display last month, went 0-8 against Arizona. His Sun Devil teams never played in the NCAA tournament. In a sense, it was as if he didn’t exist during a period rival Arizona won a national title and 104 games.

Even though he is generously listed at 5 feet 10 inches, Carson has much more of a presence. His timing is better. The Sun Devils have benefited greatly from the improvement of 7-2 center Jordan Bachynski, making the Big and Small Show at Wells Fargo Arena compelling theater.

If they beat Arizona on Friday, they will put themselves in position to re-enter the Top 25, challenge seriously for the Pac-12 tournament championship and climb safely into NCAA Bracketology.

How’s that for a Big Game?

But they won’t do it unless Carson takes command the way Caldwell did in his final Sun Devil home game, March 1964, scoring 24 points to beat Arizona and annex a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Some of the chatter about Carson’s place in school history is premature. It’s not much different than that of Arizona’s Jerryd Bayless of Phoenix St. Mary’s High School, who, with Carson, is one of the two best high school players in Arizona this century.

Bayless played one season at Arizona, never beat the Sun Devils, and his 39-point outburst against Arizona State in 2008 wasn’t romanticized for even a 24-hour news cycle.

Bayless was gone almost as soon as he arrived. He played on the least successful Arizona team in 20 years. Carson can avoid having a Bayless-type college career if he can make his final month at ASU his best month.

Some Sun Devils followers insist Lionel Hollins is the school’s closest match to Carson. In two ASU seasons, Hollins averaged 17 points and led the Sun Devils to the 1975 Elite Eight, where it lost to UCLA, finishing 25-4 and being ranked No. 8 in the final AP poll.

But Hollins wasn’t a ball-handler, a let’s-get-the-party-started player like Carson. Additionally, Hollins was surrounded by a more skilled cast, including Scott Lloyd, Mike Moon and Rudy White.

Carson was more of a One Man Gang until Bachynski emerged as a possible all-conference player.

But one thing Hollins accomplished was to sweep Arizona in Tempe, winning epic games 107-92 and 108-95, and, by beating the Wildcats in ’74-75, annexing the WAC championship and knocking Arizona out of the NCAA tournament.

No wonder the school retired Hollins’ jersey.

Until now, until Friday’s tipoff in Tempe, Carson’s career achievement remains his 58-point outburst in his final high school game. Alas, Brophy Prep eliminated Carson’s Jackrabbits in the state semifinals that night.

This time, the ball is in Carson’s hands, on his court, one final showcase for those sculpting Sun Devil basketball history.

Arizona and Arizona State basketball's head-to-head history

DateWinnerLoserScoreLocationArizona coachASU coach
3/9/13ArizonaASU73-58TucsonSean MillerHerb Sendek
1/19/13ArizonaASU71-54TempeSean MillerHerb Sendek
3/4/12ASUArizona87-80TempeSean MillerHerb Sendek
12/31/11ArizonaASU68-51TucsonSean MillerHerb Sendek
2/13/11ArizonaASU67-52TempeSean MillerHerb Sendek
1/15/11ArizonaASU80-69TucsonSean MillerHerb Sendek
2/21/10ASUArizona73-69TucsonSean MillerHerb Sendek
1/23/10ArizonaASU77-58TempeSean MillerHerb Sendek
3/11/09ASUArizona68-56Los AngelesRuss PennellHerb Sendek
2/22/09ASUArizona70-68TempeRuss PennellHerb Sendek
1/21/09ASUArizona53-47TucsonRuss PennellHerb Sendek
2/10/08ASUArizona59-54TucsonKevin O'NeillHerb Sendek
1/9/08ASUASU64-59 (OT)TempeKevin O'NeillHerb Sendek
2/25/07ArizonaASU61-58TempeLute OlsonHerb Sendek
1/24/07ArizonaASU71-47TucsonLute OlsonHerb Sendek
2/25/06ArizonaASU68-47TucsonLute OlsonRob Evans
1/25/06ArizonaASU80-70TempeLute OlsonRob Evans
3/5/05ArizonaASU70-68TempeLute OlsonRob Evans
1/2/05ArizonaASU97-79TucsonLute OlsonRob Evans
3/7/04ArizonaASU106-81TucsonLute OlsonRob Evans
1/3/04ArizonaASU93-74TempeLute OlsonRob Evans
2/22/03ArizonaASU92-72TempeLute OlsonRob Evans
1/22/03ArizonaASU71-63TucsonLute OlsonRob Evans
3/7/02ArizonaASU73-56Los AngelesLute OlsonRob Evans
2/20/02ArizonaASU83-75TucsonLute OlsonRob Evans
1/23/02ASUArizona88-72TempeLute OlsonRob Evans
2/21/01ArizonaASU88-58TempeLute OlsonRob Evans
1/24/01ArizonaASU86-75TucsonLute OlsonRob Evans
2/26/00ArizonaASU89-82TucsonLute OlsonRob Evans
1/26/00ArizonaASU86-55TempeLute OlsonRob Evans
2/10/99ArizonaASU86-80TucsonLute OlsonRob Evans
1/14/99ArizonaASU74-73TempeLute OlsonRob Evans
2/14/98ArizonaASU83-82TempeLute OlsonDon Newman
1/15/98ArizonaASU127-99TucsonLute OlsonBill Frieder
2/5/97ArizonaASU87-71TucsonLute OlsonBill Frieder
1/11/97ArizonaASU92-84TempeLute OlsonBill Frieder
2/7/96ArizonaASU71-69TempeLute OlsonBill Frieder
1/10/96ArizonaASU108-76TucsonLute OlsonBill Frieder
3/11/95ASUASU103-98 (2OT)TucsonLute OlsonBill Frieder
1/5/95ASUArizona53-52TempeLute OlsonBill Frieder
3/12/94ASUArizona94-87TempeLute OlsonBill Frieder
1/5/94ArizonaASU98-81TucsonLute OlsonBill Frieder
2/18/93ArizonaASU116-80TucsonLute OlsonBill Frieder
1/20/93ArizonaASU91-87TempeLute OlsonBill Frieder
2/20/92ASUArizona77-74TempeLute OlsonBill Frieder
1/22/92ArizonaASU92-65TucsonLute OlsonBill Frieder
2/13/91ArizonaASU71-50TucsonLute OlsonBill Frieder
1/17/91ArizonaASU74-71TempeLute OlsonBill Frieder
2/15/90ArizonaASU71-50TucsonLute OlsonBill Frieder
1/17/90ArizonaASU70-61TempeLute OlsonBill Frieder
2/23/89ArizonaASU109-74TucsonLute OlsonSteve Patterson Bob Schermerhorn
1/26/89ArizonaASU96-71TempeLute OlsonSteve Patterson
2/27/88ArizonaASU101-73TempeLute OlsonSteve Patterson
1/28/88ArizonaASU99-59TucsonLute OlsonSteve Patterson
1/31/87ArizonaASU66-54TucsonLute OlsonSteve Patterson
1/29/87ArizonaASU82-67TempeLute OlsonSteve Patterson
3/9/86ASUArizona70-63TempeLute OlsonSteve Patterson
1/4/86ArizonaASU62-53TucsonLute OlsonSteve Patterson
3/9/85ArizonaASU68-48TucsonLute OlsonBob Weinhauer
1/5/85ArizonaASU61-60TempeLute OlsonBob Weinhauer
2/17/84ArizonaASU65-64TempeLute OlsonBob Weinhauer
1/20/84ArizonaASU71-49TucsonLute OlsonBob Weinhauer
2/19/83ASUArizona77-70TucsonBen LindseyBob Weinhauer
1/22/83ASUArizona82-69TempeBen LindseyBob Weinhauer
2/20/82ASUArizona82-56TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
1/23/82ASUArizona55-54TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
2/21/81ASUArizona71-66TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
1/24/81ASUArizona83-65TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
2/23/80ASUArizona78-72TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
1/26/80ASUArizona97-72TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
12/27/79ASUArizona85-78TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
2/24/79ArizonaASU85-80TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
1/27/79ASUArizona76-68TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
11/24/78ASUArizona84-82TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
3/4/78ArizonaASU88-75TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
2/4/78ASUASU69-64 (OT)TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
11/26/77ArizonaASU72-70TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
3/5/77ASUASU95-89 (OT)TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
2/5/77ArizonaASU99-83TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
11/26/76ArizonaASU92-91TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
3/6/76ArizonaASU77-72TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
2/7/76ASUArizona67-63TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
3/8/75ASUArizona107-92TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
2/1/75ASUArizona83-81TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
3/2/74ASUArizona108-95TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
2/2/74ArizonaASU98-90TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
2/17/73ASUArizona110-105TucsonFred SnowdenNed Wulk
1/13/73ASUArizona63-60TempeFred SnowdenNed Wulk
3/4/72ASUArizona83-75TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/5/72ASUArizona91-78TucsonBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/20/71ASUArizona95-83TucsonBruce LarsonNed Wulk
1/16/71ASUArizona112-83TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
3/4/70ArizonaASU90-89TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/7/70ArizonaASU97-75TucsonBruce LarsonNed Wulk
3/1/69ArizonaASU90-73TucsonBruce LarsonNed Wulk
1/11/69ArizonaASU81-80TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/17/68ASUArizona78-61TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
1/6/68ArizonaASU74-69TucsonBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/25/67ArizonaASU92-65TucsonBruce LarsonNed Wulk
1/7/67ASUArizona73-67TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/26/66ArizonaASU91-80TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
1/22/66ASUArizona68-65TucsonBruce LarsonNed Wulk
3/3/65ArizonaASU97-87TucsonBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/13/65ASUArizona76-69TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
3/4/64ASUArizona72-69TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/8/64ASUArizona67-66TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
3/4/63ASUArizona58-53TucsonBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/9/63ASUArizona73-54TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/27/62ASUArizona67-53TempeBruce LarsonNed Wulk
1/20/62ASUArizona73-67TucsonBruce LarsonNed Wulk
2/25/61ASUArizona94-75TucsonFred A. EnkeNed Wulk
2/4/61ASUArizona94-78TempeFred A. EnkeNed Wulk
3/5/60ASUArizona76-71TempeFred A. EnkeNed Wulk
1/23/60ASUArizona71-61TucsonFred A. EnkeNed Wulk
2/7/59ASUArizona85-62TucsonFred A. EnkeNed Wulk
1/24/59ASUArizona88-72TempeFred A. EnkeNed Wulk
3/3/58ASUArizona78-76TempeFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/22/58ASUArizona70-66TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
3/4/57ArizonaASU77-70TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/16/57ArizonaASU96-90TempeFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/25/56ASUArizona96-88TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
1/18/56ArizonaASU89-76TempeFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
3/2/55ASUArizona104-103 (OT)TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
1/29/55ASUArizona92-74TempeFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/8/54ArizonaASU82-75TempeFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
1/22/54ArizonaASU79-65TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/12/53ArizonaASU65-60TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
1/31/53ASUArizona75-73TempeFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/28/52ASUArizona87-59TempeFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/11/52ArizonaASU77-69TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
3/5/51ArizonaASU71-59TempeFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/9/51ArizonaASU87-66TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/4/50ArizonaASU73-51TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
1/16/50ArizonaASU81-61TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/19/49ArizonaASU63-60TucsonFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
1/24/49ArizonaASU45-44TempeFred A. EnkeBill Kajikawa
2/21/48ArizonaASU61-58TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/24/48ArizonaASU47-46TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
2/1/47ArizonaASU63-41TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/25/47ArizonaASU61-50TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/26/46ArizonaASU44-27TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/25/46ArizonaASU45-35TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/11/46ArizonaASU60-37TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/10/46ArizonaASU58-30TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/20/45ArizonaASU39-37TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/19/45ArizonaASU39-36TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
12/16/44ASUArizona48-41TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
12/15/44ASUArizona52-44TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/23/43ArizonaASU43-29TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/22/43ArizonaASU63-40TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/15/43ASUArizona41-39Tucson (at Tucson High Bear Down Gym in use by the U.S. Navy)Fred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/14/43ArizonaASU49-35Tucson (at Tucson High Bear Down Gym in use by the U.S. Navy)Fred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/27/42ASUArizona42-41TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/17/42ArizonaASU59-45TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
3/5/41ASUArizona51-34TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/11/41ArizonaASU51-38TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/10/41ArizonaASU55-40TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
2/6/40ASUArizona39-37TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
2/5/40ArizonaASU51-40TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/13/40ASUArizona39-37TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/12/40ArizonaASU37-35TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
2/25/39ArizonaASU48-44TucsonFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
2/24/39ASUArizona50-43TucsonFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
1/7/39ASUArizona40-36TempeFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
1/6/39ASUArizona35-33TempeFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
3/1/38ASUArizona44-38TempeFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
2/28/38ASUArizona49-31TempeFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
1/8/38ASUArizona37-34TucsonFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
1/7/38ASUArizona52-41TucsonFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
1/16/37ASUArizona44-27TucsonFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
1/15/37ArizonaASU37-36TucsonFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
1/9/37ArizonaASU51-33TucsonFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
1/8/37ArizonaASU38-27TucsonFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
2/8/36ArizonaASU38-34TempeFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
2/7/36ASUArizona43-41TempeFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
1/14/36ArizonaASU40-39TucsonFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
1/13/36ArizonaASU34-27TucsonFred A. EnkeEarl Pomeroy
2/2/35ArizonaASU49-39TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
2/1/35ASUArizona40-33TempeFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/19/35ArizonaASU40-35TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/18/35ArizonaASU36-30TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
2/3/34ArizonaASU52-26TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
2/2/34ArizonaASU39-24TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/20/34ArizonaASU34-26TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
1/19/34ArizonaASU33-22TucsonFred A. EnkeRudy Lavik
2/4/33ArizonaASU21-16TempeFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
2/3/33ArizonaASU35-21TempeFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
1/14/33ArizonaASU30-29TucsonFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
1/13/33ArizonaASU32-30TucsonFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
2/2/32ArizonaASU36-26TempeFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
2/1/32ArizonaASU51-24TempeFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
1/16/32ArizonaASU50-38TucsonFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
1/15/32ArizonaASU39-20TucsonFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
2/4/31ArizonaASU28-23TempeFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
2/3/31ASUArizona38-20TempeFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
1/24/31ArizonaASU26-24TucsonFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
1/23/31ASUArizona28-20TucsonFred A. EnkeTed Shipkey
2/4/30ASUArizona34-31TempeFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
2/3/30ArizonaASU48-40TempeFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/11/30ArizonaASU54-23TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/10/30ArizonaASU50-40TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
2/5/29ArizonaASU43-21TempeFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
2/4/29ArizonaASU56-22TempeFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/19/29ArizonaASU54-20TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/18/29ArizonaASU36-18TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
2/1/28ArizonaASU30-23TempeFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/30/28ASUArizona47-27TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/14/28ArizonaASU38-24TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/13/28ArizonaASU39-32TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
2/1/27ArizonaASU43-25TempeFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/31/27ArizonaASU36-29TempeFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/22/27ArizonaASU32-25TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/21/27ArizonaASU29-18TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
2/2/26ArizonaASU32-21TempeFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
2/1/26ASUArizona25-19TempeFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/16/26ASUArizona23-18TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
1/13/26ArizonaASU30-24TucsonFred A. EnkeAaron McCreary
2/4/25ArizonaASU17-16TempeWalter DavisAaron McCreary
2/2/25ArizonaASU40-17TempeWalter DavisAaron McCreary
1/24/25ArizonaASU42-16TucsonWalter DavisAaron McCreary
1/26/24ArizonaASU39-24TempeBasil StanleyAaron McCreary
1/31/23ArizonaASU31-22TempeJames H. PierceErnest C. Wills
1/13/23ArizonaASU29-20TucsonJames H. PierceErnest C. Wills
1/10/14ArizonaASU13-9TempeRaymond L. Quigley
12/13/13ArizonaASU41-17TucsonRaymond L. Quigley

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