Men's Hoops Travels To No. 3 UCLA And USC This Weekend

Jan. 16, 2007

SUN DEVIL DATA: A young Arizona State University basketball team (6-11; 0-6 in Pac-10) under first-year coach Herb Sendek hits the road to Southern California, starting with a game at No. 3 UCLA on Thursday (Jan. 18) at 7:30 p.m. PT, followed by a 5 p.m. PT tip-off at USC on Saturday, Jan. 20. Tim Healey and former ASU assistant coach Russ Pennell have the radio call for both games while Trey Bender and Tom Kuyper have the broadcast for FSN Arizona on Saturday. ASU is giving up just 63.9 points per game, currently the fourth-best mark in ASU history and the lowest since the 1949-50 squad gave up 59.8, but is struggling to replace the points of late summer departures Kevin Kruger (transferred to UNLV in July) and Bryson Krueger (dismissed from team in August). Kevin Kruger took advantage of a NCAA rule that lasted six months which allowed him to transfer to UNLV to play for his father since he had finished his degree work. With all the changes, four true freshmen are combining to average 87.1 minutes, including three above the 25-minute mark.

THE DEPARTURES: The team Herb Sendek took over in April changed dramatically in the late summer when seniors-to-be and experienced starters Kevin Kruger and Bryson Krueger departed. Kevin averaged 15.0 points last year and played as much as anyone in the nation, with an ASU record 39.0 minutes per game. He had played 87 games and scored 912 points in his three-year career, and was the only player ranked in eight Pac-10 categories last year. Bryson averaged 12.3 points last year and had shot 40.7 percent (88-of-216) from the three-point stripe and started 45 games in two-year career. The other reason ASU's freshmen are having to play so many minutes is the departure of six other Sun Devils in the past three years who would have been on this squad. Wilfried Fameni (now at VCU), Chris Low, Tron Smith (St. Mary's) and Keith Wooden (North Texas) all were freshmen from 2003-2004 who have since transferred while 2004-2005 freshmen Craig Austin and Tim Pierce (San Jose State) also left the program after one year.

Jeff Pendergraph PLAYING WELL: Sophomore Jeff Pendergraph is averaging a double-double in the past nine games (15.0 points and 10.6 boards), has seven double-doubles on the year and is 31-of-38 (.816) from the floor in the past four games. He was perfect in eight field goal attempts at Washington State on Jan. 4 and grabbed 19 boards vs. Colgate on Dec. 19, the most by a Sun Devil since Mike Batiste had 20 vs. Wagner on Nov. 19, 1997. At 13.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, he could become the first Sun Devil to average a double-double since Mark Landsberger in 1976-77 (17.2 points and 14.4 rebounds). He ranks first in the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds (4.58 per game), third in field goal percentage (.616) and third in rebounding (9.3). He is shooting 70.7 percent (41-of-58) from the field in Pac-10 games.

DEJA VU: As Herb Sendek's staff continues through Pac-10 play with four league teams ranked in the AP poll (Jan. 8) for the first time since 2001-2002 and every team posting a winning non-conference mark for just the second time in Pac-10 history (and only time since 1988-89), this is nothing new to him. In his first year at NC State (1996-1997), the ACC had six of its nine teams ranked at some time during the year and each posted 20 wins. North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson and Maryland all reached the top 10. The highlight of that season for Sendek is his team beat #7 Clemson on Feb. 1, won at #4 Wake Forest on Feb. 17, and then beat #7 Duke (March 7) and #22 Maryland (March 8) in the ACC Tournament. That squad won seven of its final nine games on the year en route to a NIT appearance and played 14 of its 32 games against ranked opponents. UCLA (No. 3), Oregon (9), Arizona (11) are ranked this week while Washington State (T22) reached the polls last week. The league is 93-22 (.809) in non-league action.

MANY WINS, MANY PLACES: When comes time to play away from Tempe, Herb Sendek has a good map. In his career, Coach Sendek has won 257 games in 21 states, plus two wins in Puerto Rico and one in Washington D.C. North Carolina (153) and Ohio (51) lead the way as he was the head coach in both states, and he also has posted wins in Florida (seven), Michigan and Arizona (six), South Carolina (five), Virginia (five), Georgia (four), Indiana (four), Massachusetts (three), Texas (two) and Maryland (two). One-win states are Alabama, Utah, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, Nevada, Kentucky, Illinois and California.

QUICK NOTES: ASU had 23 offensive rebounds against Oregon State on Jan. 13, its most in a Pac-10 game since it had 24 at Washington on Jan. 11, 2001, in a 70-68 overtime loss. ASU also had a season-low 10 turnovers against Oregon State...Derek Glasser is averaging 35.1 minutes per game in the past seven contests, tops on the team in that time...Christian Polk has four 20-point games and already has made 37 three-pointers, two shy of matching Kenny Crandall (1998-1999) for sixth place on the ASU freshman three-pointer list. Ron Riley (1992-93) holds the ASU freshmen record with 66...ASU topped Colgate 52-36 on Dec. 19, the fewest points by an ASU opponent since the University of Washington (St. Louis) fell to ASU 47-34 in the 1949-50 season. ASU held the Red Raiders to just 12 points at the half, the fewest haltime points by an ASU opponent since Jan. 7, 1995, when ASU was leading Old Dominion 36-12...ASU has outrebounded 13 of its 17 opponents...after shooting 6-of-33 (.182) from the three-point stripe in his first three seasons, Serge Angounou is 25-of-61 (.410) from beyond the arc. He has been ASU's leading rebounder in seven his past 26 games dating to Feb. 4 of last year, Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 13.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

ROAD NOTE: ASU was the only Pac-10 team to have more road wins (three) than home wins (two) in Pac-10 play last season (the only Pac-10 team to do that in the past two seasons). Only eight teams have done that in the past 14 seasons in the Pac-10.

MORE FRESHMAN NOTES: In comparing freshman minutes from previous ASU teams, Christian Polk is averaging 29.4 minutes per game, Jerren Shipp is at 27.0 and Derek Glasser is averaging 25.6 minutes. Byron Scott set the ASU record with 32.3 minutes per game in 1979-80, while Bobby Thompson (1983-84) is tenth on the list at 26.3. No freshmen duo has finished in the top 10 in the same year, and Polk is currently fourth while Shipp is the tenth more than halfway into the season.

COACH Herb Sendek: Former NC State and Miami (Ohio) leader Herb Sendek is in his 14th season as a head coach as he led the Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06. Coach Sendek is 260-169 (.606) in 14 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 behind only first-year coach Tony Bennett of WSU, yet his 254 career wins and six NCAA Tournament wins entering this year were fourth in the league. In the previous five seasons only Duke posted more ACC wins (regular season and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53 victories. Coach Sendek also led NC State to five 20-win seasons in the past seven years. Another overlooked note is his 10-year stay at NC State. To compare it to the Pac-10, since the league expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79, only five coaches have coached at their schools for at least 10 years: Lute Olson (Arizona), Mike Montgomery (Stanford), Ralph Miller (Oregon State) and Ben Braun (California), while Ernie Kent (Oregon) is in his 10th season in 2006-2007.

NOTES ON PLAYING RANKED TEAMS: Coach Sendek has 29 wins against ranked teams in his career, including nine on the road...when it plays third-ranked UCLA Thursday, ASU will be trying for its first win over a top-five team since it won at fourth-ranked Stanford 90-87 on Jan. 31, 1998...ASU's last road win over a ranked team came at Pauley Pavilion, as ASU topped No. 20 UCLA 69-68 on Feb. 16, addition to his nine road wins over ranked teams, Coach Sendek has 14 wins over teams in the top 10 (seven against teams in the top five).

COACH Herb Sendek's WINS VS. RANKED TEAMS ON ROADJan. 10, 2006	NC State 78, @#15 Boston College 60Mar. 6, 2004	NC State 81, @#11 Wake Forest 70Feb. 25, 2004	NC State 79, @#18 Georgia Tech 69Jan. 5, 2002	NC State 81, @#4 Virginia 74Dec. 8, 2001	NC State 82, @#9 Syracuse 68Dec. 1, 1999	NC State 61, @#19 Purdue 59Feb. 21, 1998	NC State 86, @#1 North Carolina 72Dec. 4, 1997	NC State 71, @#22 Georgia Tech 69 (OT)Feb. 17, 1997	NC State 60, @#4 Wake Forest 59 (OT)

COACH Herb Sendek's 14 WINS VS. TOP 10 TEAMSMar. 11, 2005	NC State 81, #3 Wake Forest 65 (ACC Tournament at Greensboro)Jan. 16, 2005	NC State 76, #8 Georgia Tech 68Feb. 15, 2004	NC State 78, #1 Duke 74Mar. 15, 2003	NC State 87, #9 Wake Forest 83 (ACC Tournament at Greensboro)Jan. 22, 2003	NC State 80, #3 Duke 71Mar. 9, 2002	NC State 86, #2 Maryland 82 (ACC Tournament at Charlotte)Feb. 6, 2002	NC State 85, #8 Virginia 68Jan. 5, 2002	NC State 81, @#4 Virginia 74Dec. 8, 2001	NC State 82, @#9 Syracuse 68Feb. 7, 2001	NC State 90, #6 Virginia 80Feb. 21, 1998	NC State 86, @#1 North Carolina 72Mar. 7, 1997	NC State 66, #7 Duke 60 (ACC Tournament at Greensboro)Feb. 17, 1997	NC State 60, @#4 Wake Forest 59 (OT)Feb. 1, 1997	NC State 58, #7 Clemson 54

OFF THE COURT: Under the leadership of Academic Coach Sabrina Thomas, the men's hoops team notched a 2.88 grade point average last fall and its team cumulative GPA is 2.83, its highest in the past six years. The four freshmen combined for a 3.33 GPA and 90 percent of the team had at least a 2.5. George Odufuwa led the way with a 3.5, and three current Sun Devils already have their degrees. Serge Angounou (B.A. in Spanish) graduated in May as did Robby Alridge (B.A. in sociology) while Allen Morill earned his B.I.S. degree in December. That trio joins Jonathan Howard (B.S., Management, 2006), Jeremy Veal (B.S.W., Social Work, 2006), Curtis Millage (B.I.S., Education and Family Studies, 2006), Kevin Kruger (B.S., Justice Studies, 2006), Jason Braxton (B.I.S, Business and Psychology, 2005), Jamie Andrisevic (B.S., Finance, 2004) and Kenny Crandall (B.I.S., Business and Communications, 2004) as ASU men's basketball graduates in the past three years.

FREE THROW SHOOTING: In his 10 seasons at NC State, Coach Sendek's teams led the ACC four times in free throw percentage, including a stretch of three straight seasons from 2002-2004. In 2004 his NC State squad led the nation and set the ACC record by shooting .799 from the charity stripe. His team last year shot .751 (second in the ACC to Duke) and was 16th in the nation. His poorest free throw shooting team was his first year (1996-97) when they shot 64.9 percent. While at NC State, his Wolfpack squads shot 71.3 percent. ASU is 39-of-54 (.722) from the free throw line in its past four games.

THE COACHING FAMILY: Herb Sendek has six former assistants who are currently Division I head coaches. Here's the list: Jim Christian, Kent State, Miami Assistant (1994-96); Charlie Coles, Miami (Ohio), Miami Assistant (1994-96); Larry Hunter, Western Carolina, NC State Assistant (2001-05); Ron Hunter, IUPUI, Miami Assistant (1993-94); Thad Matta, Ohio State, Miami Assistant (1994-95) and Sean Miller, Xavier, Miami (1994-96) and NC State Assistant (1996-2000).

Jeff Pendergraph NOTES: Sophomore Jeff Pendergraph, who has increased his weight to 230 after being listed at 195 last year, is averaging 15.0 points and 10.6 rebounds in the past nine games... 31-of-38 (.816) from the floor in the past four games and is averaging 17.8 points in that time...posted 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting at Washington State...posted 19 boards vs. Colgate on Dec. 19, the most by a Sun Devil since Mike Batiste had 19 vs. Wagner on Nov. 19, 1997...posted 10 offensive boards against Portland State (most by a Sun Devil in more than a decade) en route to 13 boards...has become stronger (improved bench press from 185 to 280) and maintained his conditioning level (5:47 mile run)...last year he missed fall conditioning and most of November due to surgery to remove a benign tumor in his left leg, and did not play until Nov. 26...27 double-figure scoring games in his 44-game career (19 of past 26) and is averaging 13.3 points and 9.0 boards in his past 23 outings...matched his career-high with 21 points vs. Portland State and has 12 career double-doubles (seven this year).

Serge Angounou NOTES: Tied a career high with 23 points at Xavier on Dec. 16, the fourth 20-point game of his career, while his five three-point goals is a career-best...after shooting 6-of-33 (.182) from the three-point stripe in his first three seasons, he is 25-of-61 (.410) from beyond the arc...averaging 8.6 rebounds in the past 13 games...three double-doubles on the year...has started past 43 Pac-10 games...had career-high 16 rebounds in 35 minutes vs. Washington State on March 4, 2006...scored a career-high 23 points vs. #17 UCLA on Jan. 7 after scoring a then season-high 19 points vs. USC on Jan. 5...77-of-100 (.770) from the free throw line in his past 53 games...four 20-point games, nine double-doubles and 16 double-figure rebounding games in career.

FRESHMEN NUMBERS: ASU's four true freshmen are averaging 87.1 minutes per game (21.8 per player), third-most among a class in ASU history. In 1999-2000, ASU had six freshmen average 96.8 minutes per game (16.1 minutes per freshmen). In 1983-84, six freshmen combined for 88 minutes per game (14.7 per Sun Devil), while in 1990-91 ASU's four freshmen averaged 80.6 minutes (20.2 per player)...when Jerren Shipp (23) and Christian Polk (22) each scored 20 points against NAU on Nov. 13, it marked only the second time in ASU history two freshmen scored 20 points. The other time was last season when Jeff Pendergraph and Sylvester Seay each scored 21 points vs. Oregon on Feb. 11, 2006...against Iowa on Nov. 25, ASU started three freshmen (Shipp, Polk and Derek Glasser) for the first time since Feb. 12, 2000, when Kyle Dodd, Shawn Redhage and Tommy Smith did the trick in an 81-67 win at Washington. It was just the second time in 15 seasons three freshmen started for ASU.

LAST WEEKEND: ASU again played two close games last weekend, starting with a 60-55 loss to No. 15 Oregon on Thursday (Jan. 11)...ASU had just 12 turnovers and trailed by just three at the half to the Ducks (29-26)...ASU held the Ducks to just 37.5 percent shooting (9-of-24) in the second half...Derek Glasser added 12 points and five boards...ASU had season-lows of three-pointers made and attempted (3-of-15) and did not have a block in either game...against Oregon State in the 67-59 loss on Jan. 13, Jeff Pendergraph had 19 points and 10 boards but had two fouls within the first four minutes of the game which limited his playing time to 28 minutes...ASU led 35-27 early in the second half but went 10-of-33 (.303) from the field in the second half...ASU had a season-low 10 turnovers and a season-high 23 offensive rebounds...Oregon State had 13 offensive boards and posted 40 second-half points, the most against ASU this year, and also had eight blocks.

UCLA SERIES NOTES: UCLA leads the series 51-15, but ASU has won four of the past nine after UCLA had won 25 of the previous 26...UCLA had won 22 straight overall before ASU ended the streak with a 104-75 win on Feb. 17, 2000, in Tempe and swept the Bruins in 2002-2003 for just the second time in school history...Serge Angounou is 25-of-40 (.625) from the field against UCLA in five career games and is averaging 11.8 points, including 13.8 points in the past four games...ASU is 5-24 (.172) at UCLA, with wins coming in 2002-03, 2001-02, 1986-87, 1982-83 and 1979-80.

USC SERIES NOTES: USC leads the ASU series 43-29 but ASU has won two of the past three in Los Angeles...ASU has posted two 100-point outings in its past 133 games, both against USC. It won 108-78 on Feb. 13, 2003, in Tempe and 100-85 at USC on Jan. 17, 2004...Serge Angounou is averaging 12.4 points and seven boards in five career games against USC...last year at the Sports Arena (Feb. 4, 2006) ASU had 19 second-chance points (USC had three) and outrebounded USC 37-21 in the 68-65 Sun Devil win...ASU had five players in double-digits...ASU and USC have met on on Saturday in Los Angeles in the past four years. The two years where USC beat Arizona Thursday (2004 and 2006) ASU beat the Trojans two days later. The years where it fell to Arizona (2003 and 2005) it came back to beat ASU on Saturday.

THE WIN OVER IOWA: A couple of good notes from the Nov. 25 Iowa comeback win...after sending Portland State to the foul line 36 times and being whistled for 27 fouls just a week earlier (Nov. 18), ASU committed 13 fouls against Iowa and the Hawkeyes shot just five free its 19-4 run in the final 5:35 (ASU was down 60-48), ASU had four players make a three-pointer (Shipp, Polk, Glasser and Serge Angounou) and also manufactured a pair of hoops from Jeff Pendergraph...on the final six buckets, ASU had four players notch assists.