Select-A-Seat Held Tuesday During Men's Hoops Exhibition Game
Nov. 3, 2006
SELECT-A-SEAT HELD TUESDAY DURING EXHIBITION GAME: Sun Devil fans who are interested in purchasing tickets for the upcoming men's basketball season are encouraged to attend Tuesday night's exhibition game at 7 p.m., against the University of Victoria Vikes at Wells Fargo Arena/Ned Wulk Court. Admission to the game is free, and the Sun Devil ticketing and marketing staff will be hosting a Select-A-Seat event where fans can view seat locations and purchase both season and single-game tickets. For more information, contact Mike Boswell at 480-727-6970.
TIP-OFF: Arizona State University returns six lettermen for the 2006-2007 season and opens the Herb Sendek era on Nov. 7 against the University of Victoria Vikes in an exhibition contest. The Sun Devils then open the regular season on Nov. 13 against Big Sky favorite and 2006 regular season champion Northern Arizona followed by a Nov. 15 game against Cal State San Bernardino. Both games are scheduled for 8 p.m. and are part of the the Hispanic College Fund Classic. ASU opens its season with six straight home games, including a visit by Big Ten Tournament champion Iowa on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m., broadcast by Fox Sports Net.
NEW COACH: Coach Herb Sendek takes over the Sun Devils in 2006-07, as the former NC State and Miami (Ohio) mentor has 13 seasons of head coaching experience and led the Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06. Sendek is 254-158 (.617) in 13 seasons and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 43-year old Pittsburgh, Pa., native is the second-youngest coach in the Pac-10 next year behind only first-year head coach Tony Bennett of Washington State, yet his 254 careers wins is fourth in the league.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: With ASU losing its top two scorers from last season in guards Kevin Kruger (15.0 ppg.) and Bryson Krueger (12.3 ppg.), look for ASU's four freshmen to get their chances for quality playing time early. Should a freshman earn a starting nod in the opener on Nov. 13 against Northern Arizona, he would become just the fifth freshman to start a season opener in 14 seasons, joining Tron Smith and Keith Wooden (2003-2004), Ike Diogu (2002-2003) and Donnell Knight (1999-2000). Should two rookies earn starts in the opener, it would mark just the second time two Sun Devil freshmen had started an opener in the past 16 seasons. Prior to Smith and Wooden earning opening-day starts in 2003-2004, the last time ASU had two freshmen in the opening day lineup was Nov. 23, 1990 (Jamal Faulkner and Stevin Smith).
NOTES ON THE OPENER: Herb Sendek is 42-8 (.840) in November games in his 13-year career and is 13-0 in season openers...ASU beat Southern Utah 82-62 on Nov. 23, 2006, to win its 16th straight home opener last season. The last time ASU lost a home opener was on Dec. 5, 1989, when ASU fell to BYU 65-64.
SUN DEVIL REWIND: Arizona State (11-17; 5-13 in the Pac-10 Conference) closed its 2005-06 season on March 8 with a 71-68 loss to Oregon State in the Pac-10 Tournament. After starting Pac-10 play 1-9, ASU went 4-5 in its final nine games as freshman Jeff Pendergraph continued to impress and improve. The Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honoree averaged 14.7 ppg. (second on team) and led ASU in rebounding (8.0 rpg.) and double-doubles (four) in that time. ASU finished first in the Pac-10 in three-point percentage for just the second time in school history at 37.8 percent (158-of-418), its best mark since the 1988-89 squad set the school mark with a .430 clip and also led the league. It also allowed 69.9 points per game, its best defensive mark since the 1991-92 team gave up 69.1 points per game.
MORE PENDERGRAPH: Last season, Jeff Pendergraph worked himself into shape after missing all of the fall conditioning and most of November due to surgery to remove a benign tumor in his left leg. Pendergraph finished fourth in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage in league games shooting 51.5 percent (87-of-169). Among Pac-10 freshman, he was second in the league in points per game (10.9), third in rebounds (6.1), third in field goal percentage (.494) and first in blocks (0.85). Pendergraph had 15 double-figure scoring games (eight of final nine) and averaged 13.0 points and 8.3 boards in the final six games.