Skip to main content
Original Issue

A House Afire Arizona State's high-scoring Eddie House is up, after some downs

In one of the worst shooting performances in college basketball
history, Arizona State senior guard Eddie House launched 16
field goal attempts in a game at Brigham Young on Dec. 7 and
made none of them. The BYU band--in that compassionate way that
college bands will--punctuated House's day of infamy by
repeatedly playing the old Commodores' song, Brick House. In the
Sun Devils' next game, against San Diego State, House sank 16
shots in the first half alone on his way to a school-record 46
points. Three games later, on Dec. 29 against Penn State, House
nailed all six of his three-point attempts while scoring 42
points. No Arizona State player had ever scored 40 twice in one
season; House did it twice in 12 days. "The last month is really
a microcosm of Eddie's career," his coach, Rob Evans, says. "He
has had ups and downs so extreme, I've never seen anything like
it in all my years of coaching."

House has a tattoo reading LETHAL WEAPON on his left arm, and
those words have taken on different connotations during his four
years in Tempe. In his first two seasons House exchanged punches
with Arizona center A.J. Bramlett in an Oregon restaurant where
both teams were dining, and later he engaged in a shouting match
with teammate Bobby Lazor on the Sun Devils' bench. In the
summer of 1997 House was arrested for allegedly helping a
teammate steal a CD player, the last in a series of incidents
that brought on the forced resignation of coach Bill Frieder,
who was replaced on an interim basis by Don Newman. While the
charges against House were dropped, the incident further
tarnished an already sullied reputation. "Everybody makes
mistakes, and I made a lot of bad decisions," House says. "It
made me look like a bad person, and I blame myself."

When Evans was hired after the 1997-98 season, he thought his
reputation as a disciplinarian would cause House to transfer.
Soon after, House skipped a summer school class and Evans
sentenced him to a "5 at 5," a five-mile run at 5 a.m. Evans was
surprised when House arrived at 4:30. Eventually House began to
remind Evans of an undisciplined player at Lubbock Christian
Junior College in the mid-1960s, a guy named Rob Evans. "People
said I was a bad kid, but I wasn't. I just got away with
whatever I could," Evans recalls. "Eddie needed structure in his
life. His competitiveness causes him trouble, but I like the way
he answers adversity."

In 1996 House chipped several teeth in a game, but he came back
to play the next day after three root canals. Last season House
was advised to sit out a month after breaking his jaw in a
practice, but he came back four days later and averaged 19
points in six games with the jaw wired shut. This summer, after
hearing about a lapse in House's schoolwork, Evans wouldn't let
him accept an invitation to try out for the World University
Games, and House has responded with his finest season. In the
four games after the BYU debacle he averaged 35 points. At
week's end he led the Pac-10 in scoring average, with 20.6
points a game. "It has been a hard-fought climb to the top,"
House says. "Maybe this season is finally my redemption."

--Tim Crothers