Men's Hoops Takes On No. 22 USC Sunday At 6 p.m. On FSN

Feb. 16, 2007

SUN DEVIL DATA: A young Arizona State University basketball team (6-19; 0-14 in Pac-10) under first-year coach Herb Sendek takes on the #22 USC Trojans (19-7; 9-4) on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. MT. Steve Physioc and Marques Johnson have the call for FSN while Tim Healey and Russ Pennell have the radio call for the Sun Devil Network. ASU is giving up just 62.8 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 63.4 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 five games by 20 points. Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 11.0 points and 10.6 rebounds in those five games. ASU coach Herb Sendek will try for his 30th win over a ranked team in his 14 years.

UCLA GAME: ASU led 49-39 at the 11:00 mark but was outscored 28-12 down the stretch in falling to UCLA 67-61 on Thursday. The Sun Devils had a season-low nine turnovers but allowed a season-high 16 offensive rebounds. ASU shot 52 percent in the first half and held UCLA to just 37.5 percent in the second half. With the game close in the final minute, UCLA hit 10 straight free throws in the final 54 seconds to seal the win after going 1-of-6 prior. The game had 13 ties and 10 lead changes. Jeff Pendergraph led ASU with 14 points, Allen Morill had 11 points (the first time in his career he has had back-to-back double digit scoring games as he had 10 at Oregon State) and Jerren Shipp 10 (seventh double-figure scoring game of the year).

TWO POSSESSION TILTS: ASU has been in 13 games decided by six points or less (including each of its past five games) through its first 25 contests. Its 12 games in five-point games 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 an ASU 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.

NCAA NOTE: ASU coach Herb Sendek took NC State to five straight NCAA Tournaments the past five seasons. To compare that to the current Pac-10, only three schools (and just one current Pac-10 coach) can match that in the past 29 seasons. Arizona (currently 22), UCLA (14 straight from 1989-2002) and Stanford (11 straight from 1995-2005) have had NCAA Tournaments streaks of more than five, but none of the other seven Pac-10 schools have gone to more than three straight NCAAs since the league expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79.

'D' IS GOOD ENOUGH: The Sun Devils entered play this week ranked 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. ASU also held UCLA to six points under its average on Thursday.

20-MINUTES OF SOLID PLAY: In its past four games, ASU has outscored its opponents 149-116 (29.8 to 23.2) in the second half and held them to 31-of-104 (.298) from the field and 9-of-41 (.220) from the three-point stripe...ASU has forced 45 second-half turnovers in those five games and has committed just 25...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 halftime.

THE LOSSES: The team Herb Sendek took over in April changed dramatically in the 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 OUT: Three true freshmen are combining to average 86.5 minutes, all above the 27-minute mark. Point guard Derek Glasser is averaging 33.4 minutes in Pac-10 play, currently the second-most by a Sun Devil freshman in ASU's 29-year Pac-10 history. Glasser has 86 assists and just 42 turnovers on the year, a 2.05 ratio.

NO SOPHOMORE JINX: Sophomore Jeff Pendergraph is averaging nearly a double-double in the past 19 games (12.8 points and 9.5 boards), has seven double-doubles on the year and 10 games of double-digit rebounds. He 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. He is shooting 56.0 percent (70-of-125) from the field in Pac-10 games.

THREES: Christian Polk, with 55 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.

USC SERIES NOTES: USC leads the ASU series 44-29...ASU has posted two 100-point outings in its past 141 games, both against USC. It won 108-78 on Feb. 13, 2003, in Tempe and 100-85 at USC on Jan. 17, 2004...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.

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 en route to a NIT appearance.

ASU IN MAUI: 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...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 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 29-of-75 (.387) from beyond the arc. He has been ASU's leading rebounder in eight games.

SOME BIG TIME NAMES ON THIS LIST: Freshman Derek Glasser is averaging 33.4 minutes per game in Pac-10 play and has 52 assists and just 24 turnovers in that time, a 2.17 ratio. 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	33.4	52 assists and 24 turnovers in Pac-103.	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	30.5	55 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.	Jerren Shipp, 2006-07	28.1	7 starts in Pac-10 play11.	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 317 home games.

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.

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 260-177 (.595) 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.

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 103-of-143 (.720) from the free throw line in its past 12 games and 59-of-80 (.738) in the past six games.

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