Men's Hoops Hosts Northern Colorado At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Nov. 27, 2006
SUN DEVIL DATA: The young Arizona State University men's basketball team takes on the Northern Colorado Bears (1-5) on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 6:30 p.m. on FSN Arizona. ASU is coming off a solid come-from-behind win over defending Big Ten Tournament champion Iowa on Saturday, as the Sun Devils outscored the Hawkeyes 19-4 in the final 5:48 to win 67-64 on a three-pointer by Christian Polk with 12 seconds left. FSN Arizona will broadcast the Northern Colorado contest and the Minnesota road game on Sat., Dec. 2 (tip at noon central time/11 a.m. Arizona time). Trey Bender and Tom Kuyper will call the action on the tube, while Tim Healey and former ASU assistant coach Russ Pennell have the call for ESPN 860 AM for the pair. The Sun Devils are led by freshmen Christian Polk (17.2 points per game/27.6 minutes per game) and Jerren Shipp (12.8 ppg/32.4 mpg) as both topped 20 points in the first game of the season. Returning Pac-10 All-Freshmen team selection Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 11.0 points, 7.8 boards (best on team) and 28.2 minutes. ASU has won its past two games and was part of the Pac-10's 19-0 record last week.
HOW YOUNG, YOU ASK: ASU has six players averaging 20 minutes, and three of them are true freshmen. Christian Polk (27.6 mpg.), Jerren Shipp (32.4) and Derek Glasser (21.0) also started on Saturday vs. Iowa, the first time three ASU true freshmen have started since Feb. 12, 2000, (Kyle Dodd, Shawn Redhage and Tommy Smith started in a 81-67 win at Washington) and just the second time in the past 15 seasons. Of the remaining three players who are averaging 20 minutes, two of them (Jeff Pendergraph and Antwi Atuahene) are in just their second year of D-I hoops. ASU's four true freshmen are averaging 86.2 out of a possible 200 minutes per game.
SOLID NOTES ON IOWA WIN: ASU's 67-64 win showed the coaching staff some positive signs. Coming into this season, ASU was 21-30 in games decided by three points or less in the past 10 seasons and 8-13 in the past four years. Also, after preaching the importance of not fouling and keeping the opposing team off the free throw line after the Portland State game on Nov. 18 when ASU was whistled for 27 fouls and sent the Vikings to the line 36 times, the Sun Devils committed just 13 fouls against Iowa and the Hawkeyes shot just five free throws. In its 19-4 run that began at the 5:35 mark with a Jerren Shipp three-pointer, ASU had four players make a three-pointer (Polk, Shipp, Glasser and Serge Angounou) and manufactured two buckets by Jeff Pendergraph. On the final six buckets, ASU had four players notch an assist.
TAKINGS THREES: Herb Sendek's NC State squad last year averaged nine three-pointers made per game, the best mark in the ACC and the ninth-best in the nation. ASU has made 41 threes in its first five games (8.2 per game), topping its season-high of nine set three times last year by making 10 in three games already. ASU last made 10 three-pointers in a 95-90 overtime loss to 14th-ranked Washington in the Pac-10 Tournament on March 10, 2005. ASU's 36 three-point attempts vs. NAU on NAU is the most since it shot 36 against NAU on Dec. 21, 1992, and is tied for the third-most in school history. The school record is 51, set on Dec. 1, 1992, at Brigham Young.
TOO EARLY TO LOOK AT THIS, BUT WE WILL DO IT ANYWAYS: Jerren Shipp is averaging 32.4 minutes, as Byron Scott set the ASU freshmen record at 32.3 minutes per game in 1979-80. Other notable freshmen minutes per game include Ike Diogu (32.2 in 2002-03), Eddie House (29.5 in 1996-97) and Jamal Faulkner (29.1 in 1990-91). Faulkner, Scott and Diogu were all named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year while House made the league's All-Freshman Team.
COACH SENDEK: Herb Sendek is 257-160 (.616) in his 14th season as a head coach, including a 191-132 (.591) record at NC State where he went to the NCAA Tournament the past five seasons. He is the second-youngest coach in the Pac-10 (43) behind only first-year mentor Tony Bennett of Washington State (36). He is 45-10 (.818) in November.
Antwi Atuahene: Antwi Atuahene is averaging 7.2 points and 4.4 assists per game. He has 22 assists and just eight turnovers through five games. After going 3-of-12 from the three-point stripe all of last season, he is 3-of-9 this year in just five games.
TEAM GAME: ASU now has six players on its roster who have scored 20 points in a game, all of them happening in the past year. In addition to Shipp, Polk, Seay and Pendergraph, both Serge Angounou and Antwi Atuahene have notched 20-point games in their careers.
ON THE WEB: Sun Devils fans can watch games on the web only on Dec. 19 (Colgate at 7 p.m.), Dec. 21 (North Carolina A & T at 7 p.m.) and Dec. 22 (2 p.m. vs. Davidson or Ohio) also will be webcast.
MORE ON CHRISTIAN: Christian Polk is one of three Pac-10 freshmen who have a trio of 20-point games on the year, joining California's Ryan Anderson and Oregon's Tajuan Porter, and is one of five league freshmen to be leading his team in scoring this week. His three 20-point games already is tied for fourth-best among ASU freshmen with five other players, most recently Eddie House in 1996-97. In the past 10 seasons, only Polk and Ike Diogu (12) have posted at least three 20-point games in a freshmen season. Here is a look at the list:
ASU FRESHMAN 20-POINT GAMESIke Diogu, 2002-03, 12Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91, 7Steve Beck, 1983-84, 5Christian Polk, 2006-07, 3Eddie House, 1996-97, 3Ron Riley, 1992-93, 3Byron Scott, 1979-80, 3Gary Jackson, 1972-73, 3
Jeff Pendergraph: Jeff Pendergraph's 10 offensive boards vs. Portland State is the most by any Sun Devil in more than a decade. His 15 field goal attempts is the second-highest in his 32-game career (18 vs. Oregon on Feb. 11, 2006). He set his career high with 13 boards vs. Portland State and tied his career high with 21 points. His work in conditioning has paid off, as he has gained 35 pounds since his freshman year (195 to 230) and added 95 pounds to his bench press (185 to 280) yet has not lost any inches on his vertical jump. He also ran the mile in 5:47 in his fall conditioning test.