Men's Hoops Closes Regular Season In Bay Area
Feb. 27, 2007
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University basketball team (7-20; 1-15 in Pac-10) under first-year coach Herb Sendek travels to the Bay Area to take on the Stanford Cardinal on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. PT and then plays at California on Saturday, March 3 at 3 p.m. PT. Thursday's game will not be televised while Comcast SportsNet will have the California broadcast in the Bay Area with Barry Tompkins and Dan Belluomini on the call. ASU continues to battle as in the past seven games (1-6) it has been outscored by just 13 points and its six losses are by one, three, four (twice), five and six points. Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 11.7 points and 10.9 boards in those seven games. He is tied for first in the Pac-10 in rebounding (9.2), is second in offensive rebounding (3.44) and is third in minutes per game (35.75) in league games. He ranks second in overall games in rebounding (9.3) and second in field goal percentage (.565). ASU is giving up just 62.6 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 62.9 in league play (third-best behind only league leaders Washington State and UCLA).
THIS CLOSE: ASU has been in 13 games decided by five points or less through its 27 contests. That already is the most by an ASU squad in 23 years, since the 1982-83 had 17 of 33 games of five points. The only other season where a Sun Devil squad has had the same is 1975-76 (13). Fourteen of ASU's games this year have been two-possession games (six points or less). ASU has been in 18 games of 10 points or less, which leads the Pac-10. It has been in just nine games of double-digit final margins, fewest in the league. After losing five straight games by 20 total points (including three games against ranked teams), ASU broke into the win column with a 68-58 win over No. 22 USC on Feb. 18, its first win over a ranked team since March 20, 2003. ASU outscored USC 47-32 in the second half as it shot 12-of-21 (.571) from the field and made nine straight free throws to ice the game. The win was Coach Herb Sendek's 30th against a ranked team as ASU matched a season-low set just two nights earlier with nine turnovers.
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 others 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.
D IS GOOD: The Sun Devils rank third in Pac-10 games in scoring defense at 62.9 points per game, and the other teams in the top seven are NCAA Tournament bound. And it is not just a result of slowing the game down, as ASU ranks fourth in field goal percentage defense (.443) in league games, with the NCAA Tournament teams sandwiched around them. ASU held Oregon, who is averaging 76.6 points per game, to a season-low 55 points on Feb. 8 in Eugene and held Washington State, who is averaging 66.5 points per game, to a season-low in a 48-47 loss on Feb. 3. Then Sunday (Feb. 25) against Arizona, ASU held the Pac-10's top scoring team (79.6) to a season-low 61 points. The 61 points was the fewest by the Wildcats against ASU since a 53-52 ASU win on Jan. 5, 1995.
VS. STANFORD: ASU fell to Stanford 71-60 on on Dec. 28 as Jeff Pendergraph led the Sun Devils with 17 points and 11 boards in the Pac-10 opener for both teams...ASU's last lead was 21-19 at the 5:06 mark of the first half before the Cardinal closed the half with a 14-3 run...ASU outrebounded Stanford 35-30...Christian Polk added 11 points...Stanford's biggest lead was 67-50 at the 2:16 mark...Stanford leads the overall series 35-26...ASU notched its first sweep of the Cardinal since 1993-94 in 2004-2005 with a 74-67 win on Feb. 3, 2005, behind Ike Diogu's career-high 39 points (tied for sixth-best in ASU history)...ASU broke Stanford's 18-game home winning streak and ended a streak of 13 straight Cardinal wins over ASU dating to Jan. 31, 1998, with an 81-69 win on Jan. 6, 2005...in the first meeting last year on Jan. 21, Jeff Pendergraph had 14 points (on 7-of-8 shooting), three rebounds and two blocks in 10 minutes but at the 7:44 mark of the first half he sprained his right ankle and would be done for the night. Matt Haryasz went on to finish with 27 points (8-of-12 after the Pendergraph injury) and 10 boards (nine after the injury) as Stanford won 70-64 as it shot 23-of-25 (.920) from the free throw line...in the Feb. 16 game, Stanford topped the Sun Devils 82-69 as Jeff Pendergraph notched 18 points and nine boards...Pendergraph has shot 20-of-30 (.667) from the floor and averaged 16.3 points in the three games against Stanford.
LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK: Herb Sendek will enter his 14th year of conference tournament action next weekend., as he is 17-13 (.567). He went 13-10 (.565) in his ten years at NC State and 4-3 (.571) in his three years at Miami (Ohio)...in first-round action, he is 11-2 (.846), as he was 8-2 in first round action while at NC State and was 3-0 at Miami Ohio...made history when his Wolfpack became the first team to knock off the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament in consecutive years when it beat Maryland (2002) and Wake Forest (2003). Maryland was ranked second while Wake Forest was ninth.
MAGICAL FIRST-YEAR RUN: Herb Sendek's first ACC Tournament in 1996-1997 held in Greensboro, N.C., produced one of the best four-day runs in NCAA conference tournament history. NC State entered the tournament as the eighth seed and 13-13 overall, including a 4-12 in regular season ACC play. NC State beat ninth-seeed Georgia Tech 60-46 on March 6, topped No. 1 seeded and seventh-ranked Duke 66-60 in the second round on March 7, beat fifth-seeded and No. 22 Maryland 65-58 on March 9 before falling to third-seeded and fifth-ranked North Carolina in the championship game on March 10.
NCAA NOTE: Herb Sendek took NC State to the past five NCAA Tournaments (2002-2006). To compare with the Pac-10, only three schools (and 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.
20-MINUTES: In its past seven games, ASU has outscored its opponents 223-179 (31.9 to 25.6) in the second half and held them to 53-of-160 (.331) from the field and 12-of-57 (.210) from the three-point stripe...ASU has forced 59 second-half turnovers in those seven games and committed just 38...ASU outscored USC 47-32 in the second half on Feb. 18...ASU outscored Oregon 30-22 in the second half and held it to just 6-of-21 (.286) from the floor...ASU outscored Wazzu 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...at 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.
SO WITH THOSE GUYS LEAVING: Three true freshmen are combining to average 87.1 minutes, all above the 27-minute mark. Point guard Derek Glasser is averaging 32.9 minutes in conference play, currently the third-most by a Sun Devil freshman in ASU's 29-year Pac-10 history. Glasser has 60 assists and just 27 turnovers in Pac-10 play, an 2.22 assist-to-turnover ratio that is third in the league.
NO SOPHOMORE JINX: Sophomore Jeff Pendergraph is averaging nearly a double-double in the past 21 games (12.9 points and 9.7 boards), has eight double-doubles on the year and 11 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 12.4 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).
FRESHMEN ON ASU LISTS: Christian Polk, with 60 three-pointers, has a chance to break the ASU freshmen record set by Ron Riley in 1992-93 of 66. Jerren Shipp (31) is tied for eighth on the list while Derek Glasser is tenth (30)...Polk's 24 starts already is eighth-best among ASU freshmen...Glasser needs 20 assists to match the Sun Devil record for assists by a freshmen of 114 set by Bobby Thompson in 1983-84. Eddie House is second on the list with 108 in 1996-97...Polk's 12.7 points per game mark is currently fifth on the ASU freshmen list.
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. Only North Carolina (10-2), Duke (9-0), Michigan (8-3), Arizona, Kentucky, and Indiana (all 8-4) have more Maui wins than ASU, as ASU's 7-5 mark also is matched by Kansas and Villanova.
QUICK NOTES: Coach Sendek has 30 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 had a season-low nine turnovers in back-to-back games against UCLA (Feb. 15) and USC (Feb. 18)...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 33-of-87 (.379) from beyond the arc. He has been ASU's leading rebounder in nine games...in his past 34 games dating to Feb. 4 of last year, Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 13.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game... Derek Glasser is now 12-of-22 from the three-point stripe (.545) in the past six games... Jeff Pendergraph has eight double-doubles on the year, tied for second in the Pac-10.
WHO IS THE BIG GUY IN THE TIE ON THE BENCH?: Herb Sendek's first recruit at Arizona State was Duke transfer Eric Boateng, a 6-10 former McDonald's All-American who attended high school in Delaware. He is one of 12 McDonald's All-Americans in the Pac-10 this year, but is just the third in ASU history, joining Chris Sandle (1984) and Byron Scott (1979). He will have three years of eligibility remaining after this year. Next year ASU will have two McDonald's All-Americans on the team as James Harden, a fall of 2006 signee, recently earned the honor. Harden is ranked as the 11th-best player in the nation according to Rivals.com.
SOME BIG TIME NAMES ON THIS LIST: Freshman Derek Glasser is averaging 32.9 minutes per game in Pac-10 play and has 60 assists and just 27 turnovers in that time, a 2.22 assist-to-turnover ratio that is second 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 Year3. Ike Diogu, 2002-03 33.3 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year3. Derek Glasser, 2006-07 32.9 60 assists and 27 TOs in Pac-104. 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 30.4 17-20 (.800) FTs in Pac-107. 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. Jerren Shipp, 2006-07 28.9 7.0 points per game in Pac-1011. Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06 28.6 Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team12. Mario Bennett, 1991-92 28.0 Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team
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 261 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 (seven), 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 261-178 (.594) in 14 seasons and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The just turned 44-year old (birthday was Feb. 22) 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 131-of-183 (.716) from the free throw line in its past 14 games and 87-of-120 (.725) in the past eight games.
VS. CALIFORNIA: In the 66-62 overtime loss to Cal on Dec. 30, Christian Polk and Antwi Atuahene each had 14 points while Serge Angounou had 12 boards...each team was 7-of-20 (.350) from the field in the first half...ASU outrebounded California 34-26...ASU had three turnovers in the second half after posting 10 in the first half...ASU led 52-49 at the 3:05 mark but did not score in the next three minutes before a Christian Polk three-pointer tied the game with three seconds left...ASU leads the Cal series 32-30 as the home team has won 21 of the past 31 games...the Golden Bears won in Tempe on Jan. 19, 2006, 88-58 in a game that was somewhat closer than the final score would indicate...ASU led 9-0 at the 15:55 mark and 16-5 at the 13:49 mark but then a close game went bad in the final 6:23, as Cal led 64-56 at the 6:23 mark but went on a 24-2 run to finish the game...ASU topped Cal 65-64 in double-overtime last year in Berkeley on Feb. 18, as the Bears entered the game 16-6 and 10-3 in league play.
OLD FOES: This marks the second meeting of Herb Sendek and Ben Braun in the Pac-10, but the two met nine times with Coach Sendek's squads winning six. Last year, NC State topped California 58-52 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Dallas. On March 20, 2003, California topped NC State 76-74 also in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City, where ASU also was playing Memphis and Kansas. In the three seasons from 1993-1996, Coach Sendek's Miami (Ohio) squad went 5-2 against Ben Braun's Eastern Michigan teams, a solid record especially considering Braun's teams were 15-12 (10-8 in the MAC), 20-10 (12-6 in the MAC) and 25-6 (14-4 and MAC champions) those three seasons.