January 5, 2004
Former Arizona State guard Tron Smith finally has a home. UC Riverside announced Monday the Moreno Valley, Calif., native will join the team immediately and be eligible to play for the Highlanders at the end of the fall quarter.
He will have at least two years of eligibility remaining. Smith began attending classes at Riverside on Monday.
Rated the sixth-best shooting guard recruit in the nation by ESPN.com in 2003, Smith shot just 31.6 percent from the floor in 17 games last season at ASU. With so much depth in the backcourt this season, Smith had fallen out of the Devils’ playing rotation and requested a transfer a few days before the season opener against Jackson State on Nov. 21.
ASU point guard Tyrone Jackson called his Stanford counterpart, Chris Hernandez, a few days ago to talk a little smack.
"I just wanted to be sure to tell him we’re going to beat them," said Jackson, whose team plays the Cardinal Thursday in Palo Alto, Calif.
Jackson and Hernandez were teammates on the same AAU team in Fresno, Calif., from fifth grade through high school.
KRUEGER STILL TENDER
Bryson Krueger still expects to play this weekend in the Bay Area, but the ankle he sprained Dec. 28 vs. Long Island is still tender.
"Jumping is the biggest thing," Krueger said. "When I come down I can’t jump high to get rebounds. I’m still trying to favor it."
Krueger appeared to tweak it at one point in Tuesday’s practice when he landed awkwardly. He took several moments to shake it off and is hoping it won’t be an injury that lingers through lack of rest.
"That’s one of the things I was questioning, but they know what they’re doing here," Krueger said of the team’s training staff.
Coach Rob Evans still determines his rotation on feel and the flow of the game. But one player who appears to have worked his way into the rotation is freshman Craig Austin, a 6-foot-10 forward who had a block in four minutes against Arizona Sunday.
Evans likes Austin’s skills, work ethic and coachability. He also got a good tip from Austin’s mother, Jamie, when considering redshirting Austin.
"She told me, ‘My son will work hard as long as he has something to work toward like a couple of minutes a game,’ " Evans said. "She was absolutely correct."