After running through their 12-game nonconference slate, beating the likes of Kansas State, Xavier and Kansas, and moving up all the way to No. 3 in the AP Poll, the Devils garnered some national notoriety.
Now, the player that helped them get that notoriety is getting some recognition of his own. On Thursday, Sun Devil senior guard Tra Holder was named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25.
The Wooden Award in college basketball’s version of the Heisman. It’s given out annually to the nation’s best D1 basketball player, and Holder is one of just five players who appear on the list after not being named to the Preseason Top 50.
The Los Angeles native is far and away having the most prolific season of his career. Averaging 21.4 points per game, Holder leads his team, the Pac-12 and ranks 24th in the country in scoring. He also ranks 6th in the Pac-12 and 46th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage, connecting on 43.5 percent of his attempts from beyond arc.
In his selection, Holder is joining some elite company in the Top 25. Oklahoma’s Trae Young – who leads the country in PPG and APG – is on the list along with the dynamic duo from Duke, Grayson Allen and Marvin Bagley II, just to name a few.
Also making the cut is three players hailing from the Pac-12: Deandre Ayton and Allonzo Trier from Arizona and UCLA’s Aaron Holiday.
When the Devils play Oregon Thursday night at “The Bank” there will be a few high-profile attendees in the stands.
First, Taeshon Cherry, a five-star recruit ranked 22nd in the country for 2018, according to ESPN, will be making his official visit.
COMING TO TEMPE THURSDAY!!! SHOW LOVE ASU FANS !! pic.twitter.com/CmO99jxyMy— Tae Cherry (@tcherry002) January 9, 2018
Cherry is the No. 1 player in his class in California. According to ESPN, Cherry does not yet hold an offer from the Sun Devils, but does have one from Arizona, USC, Gonzaga, SDSU and Texas A&M.
The next, and much more notable person in the stands, will be ASU alum and 5-time NBA All-Star James Harden.
Harden, who had his jersey retired in Wells Fargo Arena in February of 2015, is in town because his Houston Rockets play the Phoenix Suns on Friday.