Men's Hoops Hosts Oregon Schools
Feb. 7, 2006
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University men's basketball team(8-12; 2-9) plays host to the Oregon State Beavers on Thursday, Feb.9 (7 p.m. MST) and the Oregon Ducks on Saturday, Feb. 11 (6 p.m. MST)after splitting a pair in Los Angeles last weekend. ASU fell toPac-10 leading UCLA 69-60 on Thursday but came back to top USC 68-65.ASU has had recent success in Tempe against the Oregon schools, as ithas won seven straight against the Beavers and has won four of thepast five against the Ducks at Ned Wulk Court. Since joining thePac-10, ASU is 17-11 (.607) against Oregon State in Tempe and is 18-9(.667) against the Ducks. ASU is coming off a weekend where itoutrebounded both the Bruins and Trojans and placed five players indouble figures at USC on Saturday, the first time that has happenedin 35 games (Jan. 15, 2005, also at USC). ASU advanced to thepostseason for the third time in the past four seasons last yearunder Rob Evans as it finished 18-14 behind Pac-10 Player of the Yearand consensus second-team All-American Ike Diogu. The Oregon Stategame will not be televised, while the Oregon game will be on FoxSports Net Arizona with Trey Bender and Tim Kempton calling theaction.
KRUGER LEADING THE WAY: Junior Kevin Kruger is among the Pac-10leaders in minutes per game (38.35/first), three-point field goalsmade per game (2.65/second), free throw percentage (.794/ninth),assist-to-turnover ratio (1.49/fifth), steals (1.35 pg/eighth),assists (3.80 pg/ninth) and scoring (14.5 ppg./ninth). Kruger andAyinde Ubaka of California are the only players in the league to beranked in the top ten in seven of the league's 13 individualstatistical categories. Kruger has played seven 40-minute games onthe year, including the past three contests, and is averaging 39.4minutes in his past eight games.
FROSH COMING ON STRONG: Freshman Jeff Pendergraph, an earlycandidate for Pac-10 All-Freshman honors as his 1.00 blocks per gameleads all Pac-10 freshman, is finding himself in better shape as theseason goes on after missing all of the fall conditioning and most ofthe November practices due to surgery to remove a benign tumor in hisleft leg. Against Stanford on Jan. 21, he looked every bit of thepart of a future big-time player with 14 points (on 7-of-8 shooting),three rebounds and two blocks in just 10 minutes of action. On thedefensive end, Stanford senior Matt Haryasz, the conference'sthird-best scorer and second-best rebounder, was 1-of-4 from thefloor and had just one rebound, but at the 7:44 mark of the firsthalf Pendergraph sprained his right ankle and would be done for thenight. Haryasz went on to finish with 27 points (8-of-12 after thePendergraph injury) and 10 boards (nine after the injury) as Stanfordwon 70-64. Pendergraph is fourth in the Pac-10 in field goalpercentage in league games, shooting 51.8 percent (44-of-85). AmongPac-10 freshman, he is third in the league in points per game (9.4),third in rebounds per game (5.3), third in field goal percentage(.500) and first in blocks per game (1.0).
Pac-10 Freshman Scoring LeadersRk. Freshman, School PPG1. Marcus Williams, UA 11.72. Jon Brockman, UW 9.73. Jeff Pendergraph, ASU 9.4
Pac-10 Freshman Rebounding LeadersRk. Freshman, School RPG1. LR Mbah a Moute, UCLA 8.82. Jon Brockman, UW 7.53. Jeff Pendergraph, ASU 5.3
MORE PENDERGRAPH: Pendergraph became just the fourth ASU freshman inthe past nine years to notch 20-points when he posted 20 against UtahValley State on Dec. 10. Only Ike Diogu (12 in 2002-03), Kevin Kruger(two as a redshirt freshman in 2003-04) and Tanner Shell (one in1999-2000) have notched that number since the 1997-98 season in theirfreshman season. Pendergraph now has eight double-figure scoringgames on the year, including a 15-point, seven-rebound performance atUSC on Feb. 6. He is averaging 13.0 points and 6.5 boards in his pastfour contests. Since the calendar turned to 2006, Pendergraph isaveraging 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in those nine games and isshooting 51.9 percent from the floor (40-of-77).
IMMEDIATE IMPACT: Jeff Pendergraph has 19 blocks, already thesixth-most in Sun Devil history by a freshman, and is 50.0 percentshooting from the floor ranks among the best in ASU freshman history.A look at Pendergraph on those lists:
ASU FRESHMAN BLOCKS (1978-79 to present)Rk. Name, Season Blocks1. Mario Bennett, 1991-92 552. Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91 333. Ike Diogu, 2002-03 314. Shawn Redhage, 1999-2000 245. Tommy Smith, 1999-2000 216. Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06 197. Ron Riley, 1992-93 178. Jim Deines, 1981-82 139. Chris Sandle, 1984-85 12T10. Alex Austin, 1985-86 11T10. Mark Becker, 1986-87 11
ASU FRESHMAN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE (minimum 100 attempts)Rk. .Pct. Name, Season (FGM-FGA)1. .608 - Ike Diogu, 2002-03 (209-of-344)2. .574 - Mario Bennett, 1991-92 (159-of-277)3. .570 - Dwayne Fontana, 1990-91 (102-of-179)4. .568 - Eric Holloway, 1983-84 (79-of-139)5. .520 - Shawn Redhage, 1999-2000 (103-of-198)T6. .500 - Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06 (69-of-138)T6. .500 - Byron Scott, 1979-80 (66-of-132)8. .492 - Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91 (189-of-384)9. .487 - Mark Carlino, 1985-86 (55-of-113)10. .479 - Steve Beck, 1983-84 (116-of-242)
FREEBIES: ASU made free throws at a 73.5 percent rate in 2003-2004,the fifth-best mark in ASU history and the second-best in theprevious 17 seasons, and then came back with the tenth-best effortlast year. It is shooting 310-of-427 (.726), currently theeighth-best mark in school history. A look at the best free throwteams in ASU annals.
ASU TOP SEASON FREE THROW PERCENTAGE1. 75.6 - 19782. 75.4 - 19553t. 74.6 - 19983t. 74.6 - 19875. 73.5 - 20046. 73.0 - 19577. 72.9 - 20008. 72.6 - 2006 (current)9. 72.1 - 198910. 72.0 - 198211. 71.6 - 2005
IRON MAN: Kevin Kruger's 38.3 minutes per game is one of the topmarks on the ASU single-season chart. Here's a look at ASU's topsingle-season minutes per game numbers.
ASU MINUTES PER GAME (1962-63 to present)RK. Player, Season MPG1. Stevin Smith, 1993-94 38.52. Kevin Kruger, 2005-06 38.33. Fat Lever, 1981-82 38.24. Freddie Lewis, 1965-66 38.15. Alex Austin, 1989-90 37.9T6. Jeremy Veal, 1997-98 37.5T6. Paul Williams, 1981-82 37.58. Dwayne Fontana, 1993-94 37.3T9. Eddie House, 1999-2000 37.2T9. Seabern Hill, 1969-70 37.211. Fat Lever, 1980-81 37.1
HOGGING MINUTES: Kevin Kruger has played 767 out of a possible 810minutes this year, fifth-most percentage-wise in the NCAA.
National Leaders/Percentage of Minutes (through Feb. 5)Rk. Player, School Pct. of Minutes1. Jared Jordan, Marist 96.82. Whit Holcomb-Faye, Radford 95.93. Quinton Day, UM-Kansas City 95.84. James Holmes, South Florida 95.05. Kevin Kruger, Arizona St. 94.7
THREE TOUGH LOSSES: After playing (but losing) back-to-back one-pointgames for the first time since 1982-83 Jan. 5-7, ASU got in the wincolumn in a tight game with its 65-63 overtime win at Oregon State onJan. 14, as Rob Evans is now 6-4 in road overtime games at ASU. TheSun Devils lost 66-65 to USC on Jan. 5 as Lodrick Stewart's onlybucket of the game was when he hit a three-pointer with secondsremaining to give the Trojans the win. ASU then was leading UCLA60-59 with under 10 seconds left on Jan. 7, but Jordan Farmar hit arunner to give the No. 17 Bruins the 61-60 win. ASU's lastback-to-back one-point games came on Jan. 10, 1983, (87-86 loss tosixth-ranked UCLA) and Jan. 13, 1983, (75-74 at Washington State).
AT OSU (JAN. 14): ASU started 1-of-15 from the floor but never letOSU get out of site and took a 27-25 lead at the half in Corvallis,and then Antwi Atuahene hit the game-winner with eight seconds leftin overtime for the 65-63 win. ASU held the Beavers, the top shootingteam in the Pac-10, to just 39.3 percent (22-of-56) and outreboundedthem 42-37. Bryson Krueger led ASU with 18 points, while SergeAngounou added 10. Atuahene posted eight assists in 42 minutes. ASUhad just 13 turnovers and got 20 points and 52 minutes from itsfour-man bench.
OSU SERIES: ASU has won 11 of the past 14 against OSU, while theBeavers lead the overall series 35-30...ASU has won seven straightagainst Oregon State in Tempe and Rob Evans is 11-4 overall againstthe Beavers...Bryson Krueger had a Pac-10 season-high 21 points(including 16 in the first half) in the last meeting in Tempe, a75-73 ASU win on Feb. 17, 2005. ASU led 42-26 at the half but OSUtook the lead with under 10 minutes left.
AT UO (JAN. 12): Oregon jumped out to a 25-17 halftime lead and neverlet ASU get within six after the 15:00 minute mark in a 67-53 Duckwin. ASU cut the lead to 48-42 at the 8:19 mark, but the Ducks hitseven straight free throws in their next three possessions and ASUnever got within six after the 6:02 mark. Antwi Atuahene had aseason-high 21 points for ASU in his third start (34 minutes), whileKevin Kruger had 13. ASU had a season-low 11 turnovers but forcedjust seven turnovers and the Ducks had six blocks, who got 61 pointsfrom its starters. Atuahene was 7-of-11 from the field and added sixboards.
OREGON SERIES: ASU leads the Oregon series 34-27 and has won three ofthe past four...Serge Angounou is averaging 10 points and 9.3 boardsin the past three games against Oregon...ASU is 7-5 in the past 12meetings...in the last meeting in Tempe ASU came back from a 13-pointsecond-half deficit to top Oregon 66-56 Feb. 19, 2005. ASU scored on20 of their final 28 possessions and held the Ducks to just threepoints in the final 7:20. ASU forced 19 turnovers and tied aseason-low by committing just six. ASU won the game despite shooting23-of-61 (.377) from the field, including just 9-of-32 (.281) in thefirst half.
AT USC (FEB. 4): ASU outrebounded USC 37-21 and had 19 second-chancepoints (compared to USC's three) in topping the Trojans 68-65 at theSports Arena. ASU placed five players in double figures for the firsttime in 35 games as Jeff Pendergraph led the Sun Devils with 15points, while Serge Angounou had his first double-double of the yearwith 11 points and 10 boards. ASU fell behind 20-12 but went on a28-9 run to close the half in the final 10 minutes. ASU shot 55.6percent in the first half (15-of-27).
AT UCLA (FEB. 2): ASU was down 32-30 at the half but No. 14 UCLA shot11-of-18 (.611) in the second half and forced 18 ASU turnovers in the69-60 win. ASU cut the lead to 57-52 at the 3:51 mark but ArronAfflalo hit back-to-back jumpers, including one three-pointer, toseal the win. ASU outrebounded the Bruins 31-29 but UCLA had ninesteals. Bryson Krueger had 14 points off the bench to lead ASU.
MAKING SHOTS: The Sun Devils are knocking down free throws at a solidpace, as Kevin Kruger is at 79.4 percent (81-of-102), Serge Angounouis at 75.6 percent (34-of-45) while Bryson Krueger, after going tothe line just 28 times all of last year, is at 88.6 percent(31-of-35). ASU is second the Pac-10 in free throw percentage,hitting on 72.6 percent of its freebies (310-of-427), currently theeighth-best mark in school history. Dating to last year, Angounou isnow 52-of-65 (.800) from the free throw line in his past 33 games.ASU also ranks third in the league in three-point percentage, hitting104-of-274 (.380).
BAD LUCK: Senior Allen Morill is now out for the year after havingmicrofracture surgery on his left knee on Dec. 19. Morill had playedin the first seven games, starting in two, and averaged 15.7 minutesbefore his injury. He posted a career-high 14 points against AlcornState on Nov. 26 and had 10 points and nine boards in 29 minutes vs.Minnesota on Dec. 5. At the time of the injury, Morill was thesecond-most experienced Sun Devil (57 career games), as ASU now hasjust one senior on the roster, Tyrone Jackson.
THAT IS NOT ALL: In addition to Morill's season-ending injury, otherSun Devils have missed games and many practices. Serge Angounou, atwo-year starter, suffered a bone bruise on his left knee in practiceon Dec. 4 and missed the next two games (both losses) and ispracticing on a limited basis to rest the knee for games. FreshmanJeff Pendergraph had a benign tumor removed in the fall from his leftfemur and did not get any conditioning or practice until November, ashe missed both exhibitions and the first game of the season and isstill working to get strength in the leg. Sophomore Antwi Atuahenehas not missed a regular season game due to a nasal fracture sufferedin November, but he missed the second exhibition game and somepractices and had to wear a mask until mid-January to protect hisnose. And while freshman Chad Goldstein could not play in in thefirst six games after transferring last year from UC-Davis, it didn'tstop him from catching the injury bug. He broke his nose in the falland wore a mask in practice and in his first game at Iowa on Dec. 17.Two days later, in his first practice, his nose was broken again.
POINT MAN: Sophomore Antwi Atuahene is averaging 7.3 points, 3.8boards and 3.8 assists in 25.7 minutes per game (third-most on theteam). His past eight games point to him becoming a key for the nexttwo seasons. In the past eight games he is averaging 33.2 minutes,8.9 points and five assists, including a career-high 21 points atOregon on Jan. 12 and career-highs in minutes (42) and assists(eight) at Oregon State on Jan. 14, including the game-winning shotwith eight seconds left in OT. He also had a career-high five stealsagainst Arizona on Jan. 25.
NOT FAR AWAY: The Sun Devils, who tied Washington State for sixth inthe Pac-10 at 7-11, lost several tough games down the stretch lastyear, including back-to-back games which were decided by game-winningshots in the closing seconds (57-55 at Washington State on Feb. 26and 70-68 vs. #11 Arizona on March 5). ASU also lost a three-pointgame at the 1:00 mark at #13 Washington (a 90-82 loss on Feb. 24) andfinal close call was a 95-90 overtime loss in the Pac-10 Tournamentto #14 Washington on March 10, as the Huskies ended the year as a No.1 national seed and Pac-10 Tournament champions. ASU was 18-9 butfinished 18-14 overall.