Men's Hoops Hosts Fifth-Ranked UCLA Thursday And No. 22 USC Sunday On Fox Sports Net

Feb. 13, 2007

SUN DEVIL DATA: A young Arizona State University basketball team (6-18; 0-13 in Pac-10) under first-year coach Herb Sendek takes on two NCAA Tournament-bound teams when it faces the fifth-ranked UCLA Bruins (21-3; 10-2) on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 6:30 p.m. MT, and then plays the #22 USC Trojans (18-7; 8-4) on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. MT. Both games will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net, with Barry Tompkins and Dan Belluomini calling the action Thursday and Steve Physioc and Marques Johnson on the call on Sunday. Tim Healey and former ASU player Tom Kuyper have the radio call for the Sun Devil Network. ASU is giving up just 62.7 points per game, currently the fourth-best mark in ASU history and the lowest since the 1949-50 squad gave up 59.8 and is giving up just 63.1 in league play. ASU is trying 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. ASU fell by four points at both #13 Oregon (55-51) and Oregon State (59-55) last weekend and has now lost its past four games by 14 points. Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 10.3 points and 12.3 rebounds in those four games. He also leads the Pac-10 in rebounding (9.2) and offensive rebounding (3.54) in league games and is third in minutes per game (35.69). He ranks second in overall games in rebounding at 9.3 and second in field goal percentage (.555). ASU coach Herb Sendek will try for his 11th win over a top ten team in the past seven years on Thursday as well.

THIS CLOSE: ASU has been in 12 games decided by five points or less (including each of its past four games) through its first 24 contests. That already is the most by an ASU squad in 23 years, since the 1982-83 had 17 games of five points (33 games). The only other season where a Sun Devil squad has had more is 1975-76 (13). ASU also had a dozen games with a five-points or less margin in 1967-68, 1963-64 and 1948-49.

DEFENSE IS GOOD ENOUGH: The Sun Devils rank third in the league in conference play in scoring defense at 63.1 points per game, and the other teams in the top seven are probably NCAA Tournament bound. And it is not just a result of slowing the game down, as ASU ranks fifth in field goal percentage defense (.446) in league games, with the NCAA Tournament teams sandwiched around them. ASU held Oregon, who is averaging 77.3 points per game on the year, to a season-low 55 points last weekend and held Washington State, who is averaging 67.2 points per game, to nearly 20 points below its average in a 48-47 loss on Feb. 3.

20-MINUTES OF SOLID PLAY: In its past four games, ASU has outscored its opponents 119-83 (29.8 to 20.8) in the second half and held them to 22-of-80 (.275) from the field and 4-of-29 (.138) from the foul line...ASU has forced 38 second-half turnovers in those four games and has committed just 21...ASU outscored Oregon 30-22 in the second half and held it to just 6-of-21 (.286) from the floor...ASU outscored Washington State 23-12 on Feb. 3 and held it to 4-of-20 (.200) from the floor...ASU outscored Washington 40-22 on Feb. 1 in the second half...ASU's Pac-10 opponents are shooting 48.6 percent in the first half but just 40.3 percent in the second, including 40.9 percent three-point shooting in the first half compared to 29.7 percent in the USC on Jan. 20, ASU trailed 30-18 at the half but outscored USC 31-28 and held the Trojans to just 6-of-17 from the field (.353) after UCLA on Jan. 18, ASU led the Bruins at the half 37-34, the third-highest halftime total against the Bruins this year. ASU also led UCLA 17-6, the largest deficit the Bruins had faced all season prior to Saturday's game at West Virginia.

TOP FIVE NOTE: ASU will try and beat a top five team on Thursday for the first time since Jan. 31, 1998, when ASU won at fourth-ranked Stanford 90-87. ASU's last win over a top-five teamin Tempe was on Feb. 20, 1992, when Bill Frieder's squad beat fifth-ranked Arizona, 77-74.

THE LOSSES: 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.

SO WITH THOSE GUYS LEAVING: Three true freshmen are combining to average 86.0 minutes, all above the 27-minute mark. Point guard Derek Glasser is averaging 33.8 minutes in conference play, currently the second-most by a Sun Devil freshman in ASU's 29-year Pac-10 history. Glasser has 46 assists and just 23 turnovers in Pac-10 play, an 2.00 assist-to-turnover ratio that is fourth in the league.

NO SOPHOMORE JINX: Sophomore Jeff Pendergraph is averaging nearly a double-double in the past 18 games (12.8 points and 9.8 boards), has seven double-doubles on the year and 10 games of double-digit rebounds. He was perfect in eight field goal attempts at Washington State on Jan. 4 and grabbed 19 boards at Oregon on Feb. 8 and vs. Colgate on Dec. 19, the most by a Sun Devil since Mike Batiste had 20 vs. Wagner on Nov. 19, 1997. At 12.3 points and 9.3 boards per game, he is trying to 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 (4.18 per game), second in field goal percentage (.579) and is third in rebounding (8.8). He is shooting 55.2 percent (64-of-116) from the field in Pac-10 games, fourth in the league.

THREES: Christian Polk, with 54 three-pointers, has a chance to break the ASU freshmen record set by Ron Riley in 1992-93 of 66. He trails only Riley and Eddie House, who had 57 in 1996-97.

DEJA VU: As Herb Sendek's staff continues through Pac-10 play with seven teams ranked in the AP poll at some point during a season for the first time and every team posting a winning non-conference mark for just the second time (only time since 1988-89), this is nothing new. 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 four teams reach 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 en route to a NIT appearance.

ASU IN MAUI NEXT YEAR: ASU will play in the 2007 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational along with Duke, Illinois, LSU, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Princeton and host Chaminade. It will be played Nov. 19-21 at Maui's Lahaina Civic Center. ASU has played in the tournament four times. The Sun Devils played in November of 1991 (1-2), won the tournament in 1994 with wins over Texas A&M, #13 Michigan and #7 Maryland, went 1-2 in 1998 and was 2-1 in 2002.

QUICK NOTES: Coach Sendek has 29 wins against ranked teams in his career, including 14 wins over top-10 teams and eight over top-five teams...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...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...after shooting 6-of-33 (.182) from the three-point stripe in his first three seasons, Serge Angounou is 28-of-73 (.384) from beyond the arc. He has been ASU's leading rebounder in eight his past 33 games dating to Feb. 4 of last year, Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 12.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

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

SOME BIG TIME NAMES ON THIS LIST: Freshman Derek Glasser is averaging 33.8 minutes per game in Pac-10 play and has 46 assists and just 23 turnovers in that time, a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio that is fourth in the Pac-10. The minutes per game number becomes noteworthy when compared to some of the past ASU freshmen and what they averaged in the 18-game Pac-10 slate. Christian Polk also is around the 30-minute mark in league games. Here is a list of the top dozen Sun Devil freshmen in Pac-10 minutes per game:

ASU PAC-10 FRESHMEN MINUTES PER GAME (1978-79 to PRESENT)RK.	Player, Season	MPG	Note1.	Byron Scott, 1979-80	34.2	Pac-10 Freshman of the Year2.	Derek Glasser, 2006-07	33.8	42 assists and 20 turnovers3.	Ike Diogu, 2002-03	33.3	Pac-10 Freshman of the Year4.	Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91	32.1	Pac-10 Freshman of the Year5.	Steve Beck, 1983-84	31.4	Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team6.	Christian Polk, 2006-07	30.3	54 three-pointers made on year7.	Bobby Thompson, 1983-84	29.9	ASU career assist leader with 4548.	Brian Camper, 1989-90	29.2	Averaged 27.3 minutes overall9.	Eddie House, 1996-97	29.1	Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team10.	Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06	28.6	Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team11.	Mario Bennett, 1991-92	28.0	Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team

100-POINTS: No ASU opponent has scored 100 points in Wells Fargo Arena since Feb. 27, 1988, when third-ranked Arizona topped ASU 101-73, a span of the past 316 home games.

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.

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.

OFF THE COURT: 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.

THE COACH: 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 260-176 (.596) 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.

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).

FREE THROWS: In his 10 seasons at NC State, Coach Sendek's teams led the ACC four times in free throw percentage, including 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 93-of-128 (.727) from the free throw line in its past 11 games and 49-of-65 (.754) in the past five games.

AGAINST THE TOP FIVE IN TEMPE: ASU will host a top-five in Tempe for the first time since Jan. 8, 2004, when fourth-ranked Stanford made a visit. It last victory over a top-five team in Tempe was on Feb. 20, 1992, when ASU topped fifth-ranked Arizona 77-74.

Arizona State vs. Top Five Teams In Tempe#4 Stanford 63, Arizona State 62	Jan. 8, 2004#4 Arizona 93, Arizona State 74	Jan. 3, 2004#1 Arizona 92, Arizona State 72	Feb. 22, 2003#2 Stanford 94, Arizona State 77	Jan. 4, 2001#2 Stanford 65, Arizona State 57	March 11, 2000#5 Arizona 82, Arizona State 55	Jan. 26, 2000#3 Stanford 73, Arizona State 63	Jan. 30, 1999#3 Arizona 83, Arizona State 82	Feb. 14, 1998#4 UCLA 85, #13 Arizona State 72	Jan. 21, 1995Arizona State 77, #5 Arizona 74	Feb. 20, 1992#2 UCLA 83, Arizona State 62	Jan. 9, 1992#3 Arizona 101, Arizona State 73	Feb. 27, 1988Arizona State 68, #4 Oregon State 60	March 6, 1982#2 Oregon State 71, Arizona State 67	Jan. 3, 1981#3 UCLA 95, Arizona State 79	Jan. 20, 1979

UCLA SERIES NOTES: UCLA leads the series 52-15...ASU has won four of the past 10 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-42 (.595) from the field against UCLA in six career games and is averaging 9.8 points, including 11.0 points in the past five games...ASU jumped out to an 11-point lead early against third-ranked UCLA (17-6) and led the Bruins at the half 37-34 before falling 60-50 on Jan. 18 at Pauley Pavilion...ASU was 14-of-24 (.583) in the first half from the field but just 6-of-21 (.286) in the second half...Allen Morill had 11 points and seven boards in his first Pac-10 start since the 2003-2004 season...Christian Polk had 16 points...UCLA had 13 offensive rebounds...Derek Glasser had seven assists, but ASU had just two bench points.

USC SERIES NOTES: USC leads the ASU series 44-29...ASU has posted two 100-point outings in its past 140 games, both against USC. It won 108-78 on Feb. 13, 2003, in Tempe and 100-85 at USC on Jan. 17, 2004...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...on Saturday, Jan. 20, USC jumped out to a 30-18 halftime lead and topped ASU 58-49...ASU was 7-of-26 (.269) from the field in the first half...USC was 22-of-28 (.786) from the free throw line while ASU was just 4-of-9 (.444)...ASU was 0-of-7 from the three-point stripe in the first half.

FRESHMEN NUMBERS: ASU's four true freshmen are averaging 90.8 minutes per game (22.7 per player), second-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.

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