Men's Hoops Travels To Stanford And California
Feb. 14, 2006
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University men's basketball team(9-13; 3-10) takes on two teams in the NCAA Tournament picture as itplays at Stanford Thursday, Feb. 16 (7 p.m. PT) and at California onSaturday, Feb. 18 (5 p.m PT/6 p.m. MST). The California game will bebroadcast by Fox Sports Net with Barry Tompkins and Dan Belluominicalling the action. ASU freshmen Jeff Pendergraph and Sylvester Seayhave stepped up in the past few weeks, as Saturday they each scored21 points in a 98-87 loss to Oregon, the first time in school historytwo freshmen have scored 20 points in the same game. ASU also toppedOregon State 76-59 last Thursday behind Pendergraph's 18 points and11 rebounds, as he is averaging 18 points in the past three games.ASU advanced to the postseason for the third time in the past fourseasons last year under Rob Evans as it finished 18-14 behind Pac-10Player of the Year and consensus second-team All-American Ike Diogu.ASU swept Stanford last year for the first time since 1993-94 andswept the Bay Area road trip for the first time since 1984-85, justthe fourth Bay Area road sweep in its 27 Pac-10 seasons. ASU alsoleads the Pac-10 in three-point percentage at 39.2 percent(122-of-311).
BIG-TIME FROSH: Jeff Pendergraph, a leading candidate for Pac-10All-Freshman honors, is finding himself in good shape after missingall of the fall conditioning and most of November due to surgery toremove a benign tumor in his left leg. Against Stanford on Jan. 21,he looked every bit of the part of a future big-time player with 14points (on 7-of-8 shooting), three rebounds and two blocks in just 10minutes. On the defensive end, Stanford senior Matt Haryasz, theconference's fourth-best scorer and second-best rebounder, was 1-of-4from the floor and had 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 theinjury) and 10 boards (nine after the injury) as Stanford won 70-64.Pendergraph is third in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage in leaguegames, shooting 52.6 percent (60-of-114). Among Pac-10 freshman, heis second in the league in points per game (10.3), third in reboundsper game (5.5), third in field goal percentage (.509) and first inblocks per game (0.9). Pendergraph has 10 double-figure scoring gamesand is averaging 15.2 points and 6.8 boards in the past six contests.Since the calendar turned to 2006, Pendergraph is averaging 12.4points and 5.7 rebounds in those 11 games and is shooting 52.8percent (56-of-106).
Pac-10 Freshman Scoring LeadersRk. Freshman, School PPG1. Marcus Williams, UA 11.82. Jeff Pendergraph, ASU 10.33. Jon Brockman, UW 9.3T4. LR Mbah a Moute, UCLA 8.6T4. Justin Dentmon, UW 8.6
Pac-10 Freshman Rebounding LeadersRk. Freshman, School RPG1. LR Mbah a Moute, UCLA 8.62. Jon Brockman, UW 7.33. Jeff Pendergraph, ASU 5.54. Marcus Williams, UA 4.5
ASU FRESHMAN REBOUNDINGRk. Name, Season RPG1. Ike Diogu, 2002-03 7.82. Mario Bennett, 1991-92 6.83. Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91 6.24. Johnny Nash, 1976-77 5.85. Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06 5.56. Chris Sandle, 1984-85 5.2
KRUGER LEADING: Junior Kevin Kruger is among the Pac-10 leaders inminutes per game (38.45/first), three-point field goals made per game(2.82/first), free throw percentage (.798/tenth), assist-to-turnoverratio (1.52/fourth), steals (1.36 pg/eighth), assists (3.73pg/tenth), three-point percentage (.419/eighth) and scoring (14.6ppg./ninth). Kruger is the only player to be ranked in the top ten ineight of the Pac-10's 13 individual statistical categories. He hasplayed eight 40-minute games on the year, including four of the pastfive contests, and is averaging 39.9 minutes in his past eight games.He is 12-of-19 (.632) from the three-point stripe in the past threegames and his 38.5 minutes per game is fourth in the nation (as ofFeb. 12).
IRON MAN: Kevin Kruger's 38.5 minutes per game is tied for the topmark 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 MPGT1. Kevin Kruger, 2005-06 38.5T1. Stevin Smith, 1993-94 38.53. Fat Lever, 1981-82 38.24. Freddie Lewis, 1965-66 38.15. Alex Austin, 1989-90 37.9
HOGGING MINUTES: Kevin Kruger has played 846 out of a possible 910minutes this year, tied for the third-most percentage-wise in thenation.
Rk. Player, School Pct. of Minutes1. Jared Jordan, Marist 97.12. Whit Holcomb-Faye, Radford 95.2T3. Kevin Kruger, Arizona St. 95.1T3. Keydren Clark, St. Peter's 95.15. James Holmes, South Florida 94.6
MORE MINUTE STUFF: Kevin Kruger is averaging 38.5 minutes per game,fourth-most in the nation (numbers as of Feb. 12).
Rk. Player, School MPG1. Chris Quinn, Notre Dame 38.52. Jared Jordan, Marist 38.83. James Holmes, South Florida 38.74. Kevin Kruger, Arizona St. 38.5T5. Keydren Clark, St. Peter's 38.4T5. Quinton Day, UMKC 38.4
OTHER FRESHMAN: Sylvester Seay also has been getting in on thefreshman-does-well act, as in the past seven games he is averaging10.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 21.6 minutes. In that time he isshooting 28-of-51 (.549) from the field, 10-of-24 (.417) from thethree-point stripe and 6-of-7 (.857) from the free throw line andalso has nine blocks and six steals. He played a season-high 30minutes vs. Oregon on Feb. 11 and had 21 points and five boards andwas 8-of-13 (.615) from the floor. In the past three games, Seay isaveraging 14 points and 24 minutes and is 15-of-25 (.600) from thefloor.
STANFORD SERIES: Stanford leads the overall series 33-26, but ASUnotched its first sweep of the Cardinal since 1993-94 last year witha 74-67 win on Feb. 3, 2005, behind Ike Diogu's career-high 39 points(tied for sixth-best in ASU history). ASU shot 13-of-24 (.542) in thesecond half while forcing Stanford into 20 turnovers and just sevenassists, matching the fewest by an ASU opponent since Purdue had fouron Dec. 21, 2002. ASU hit a season-high 90.9 percent from the foulline (20-of-22), including 11-of-12 in the final 1:08, which tied forthe third-best percentage in school history with a minimum of 20attempts. ASU broke Stanford's 18-game home winning streak and endeda streak of 13 straight Cardinal wins over ASU dating to Jan. 31,1998, with an 81-69 win on Jan. 6, 2005. ASU jumped out to a 39-31halftime lead and led by as many as 18 (68-49) in the second half.ASU shot 52.7 percent (29-of-55) from the field and held Stanford tojust 39.1 percent (27-of-69).
VS. STANFORD (JAN. 21): Freshman Jeff Pendergraph had 14 points (on7-of-8 shooting), three rebounds and two blocks in 10 minutes but atthe 7:44 mark of the first half he sprained his right ankle and wouldbe done for the night. Matt Haryasz went on to finish with 27 points(8-of-12 after the Pendergraph injury) and 10 boards (nine after theinjury) as Stanford won 70-64 as it shot 23-of-25 (.920) from thefree throw line. Kevin Kruger added 13 points while Antwi Atuaheneposted 11. ASU was just 13-of-20 (.650) from the free throw line inthe loss.
CAL SERIES: ASU leads the Cal series 31-29 as the home team has won21 of the past 29 games, but the Golden Bears won in Tempe on Jan. 1988-58 in a game that was somewhat closer than the final score wouldindicate. A close game went bad in the final 6:23, as Cal led 64-56at the 6:23 mark but went on a 24-2 run to finish the game. Cal made31-of-38 (.816) from the free throw line, 7-of-14 (.500) from thethree-point arc, outrebounded ASU 42-30 and committed just nineturnovers. Kevin Kruger led ASU with 18 points while freshmanSylvester Seay had a then season-high 13 off the bench.
VS. OREGON STATE (FEB. 9): ASU topped Oregon State 76-59 behind aseason-low eight turnovers and made a season-high nine three-pointersin beating the Beavers in Tempe for the eighth straight time. ASUheld the Beavers to just 37.7 percent shooting (20-of-53), and JeffPendergraph led the way with his second double-double with 18 pointsand 11 boards, while Kevin Kruger added 17 points (including fivethree-pointers). Bryson Krueger had 14 and Sylvester Seay 10 whileAntwi Atuahene added nine points, seven boards and seven assists, asASU improved its record to 12-4 against OSU under Rob Evans.
VS. OREGON (FEB. 11): ASU posted several offensive numbers that wouldhave been good enough to win a lot of games, but Oregon's offense waseven better as the Ducks topped ASU 98-87. ASU shot 55.7 percentfrom the field, including better than 70 percent in the second half(24-of-34), posted 58 second-half points (its most points in a halfsince it led USC 58-30 on Feb. 13, 2003) and had a season-high 21assists, but it wasn't enough as the Ducks were 11-of-21 (.524) fromthe three-point stripe and shot 59.2 percent from the field. FreshmenJeff Pendergraph and Sylvester Seay both scored career-highs of 21points, while Kevin Kruger added 14 and Antwi Atuahene 12 points and10 assists, the most by a Sun Devil since Jason Braxton had 12 at USCon Jan. 17, 2004 (a span of the past 67 games).
MAKING SHOTS: ASU ranks first in the league in three-pointpercentage, hitting 122-of-311 (.392), bolstered by Sylvester Seay's16-of-38 (.421), Kevin Kruger's 62-of-148 (.419) and Bryson Krueger's37-of-93 (.398). The Sun Devils are also knocking down free throws ata good pace, as Kevin Kruger is at 79.8 percent (83-of-104), SergeAngounou is at 74.5 percent (38-of-51) while Bryson Krueger, aftergoing to the line just 28 times all of last year, is at 87.2 percent(34-of-39). ASU is fifth the Pac-10 in free throw percentage, hittingon 71.9 percent of its freebies (335-of-466), currently thetenth-best mark in school history.
POINT MAN: Sophomore Antwi Atuahene is averaging 7.5 points, 3.8boards and 4.2 assists in 26.3 minutes per game (third-most on theteam). His past 10 games point to him becoming a key for the next twoseasons. In the past eight games he is averaging 33.0 minutes (secondon the team), 9.2 points and 5.7 assists, with a career-high 21points at Oregon on Jan. 12 and a career-high in minutes (42) atOregon State on Jan. 14, including the game-winning shot with eightseconds left in OT. He also had a career-high five steals againstArizona on Jan. 25 and posted 10 assists vs. Oregon on Feb. 11, themost by a Sun Devil in the previous 67 games (Jason Braxton had 12 atUSC on Jan. 17, 2004).