Men's Hoops Makes Home Debut Monday At 7 p.m.
Nov. 25, 2007
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University basketball team (2-1) plays host to the Cal Poly Mustangs of the Big West Conference (3-2) on Monday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. MT. Tim Healey and former ASU assistant coach Russ Pennell have the radio call on KKNT 960 AM and the Sun Devil Radio Network. After dropping its first game in the Maui Invitational to Illinois on Nov. 19, ASU enters the Cal Poly game on a two-game win streak after topping Princeton (61-42) and LSU (87-84 in OT). After hosting Cal Poly (19-11 in 2006-2007), ASU plays host to the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles of the Atlantic Sun Conference on Wednesday (Nov. 28), also at 7 p.m. and also on KKNT 960 AM.
HOME OPENER NOTE: ASU has won 16 of the past 17 home openers, losing only to NAU 75-71 last year in that span. Prior to last year, ASU's previous home opening loss was on Dec. 5, 1989, a 65-64 loss in Bill Frieder's first game at ASU. ASU has won the only meeting with the Mustangs, a 98-43 win on Dec. 20, 1994, during ASU's 24-9 Sweet Sixteen season. The 55-point win is the fourth-largest in ASU history and the biggest in the past 45 seasons, as ASU led 50-18 at the half. ASU is 24-7 (.473) against current members of the Big West Conference. Herb Sendek also is 1-0 against Cal Poly, topping the Mustangs 91-63 in Raleigh on Dec. 30, 2000.
FRESHMEN CHATTER:James Harden, Ty Abbott and Jamelle McMillan each earned starts in the opener...it certainly has not been unusual for ASU to start freshmen in the Herb Sendek era, as last year Sun Devil freshmen accounted for a Pac-10 leading 69 starts...in his 33 games as ASU coach, Herb Sendek has had 78 starts by freshmen (out of 165)...the Illinois game marked just the third time in the past 16 seasons at least two freshmen had started the opener...James Harden has posted back-to-back 20-point games as he had 23 against LSU and 22 against Princeton. He is 19-of-23 (.826) from the free throw line...Ty Abbott has made seven three-pointers through three games...
VARIOUS NOTES: Herb Sendek is 48-11 (.814) in November in his 15-year career...ASU went 8-22 last year, but is 4-4 in its past eight games...after playing in 15 games last year of six points or less (half the games) and going 3-12 in those contests, ASU put itself in the good side of that ledger with its 87-84 overtime win over LSU on Nov. 21...with the two wins in Hawaii, Herb Sendek has now won 261 contests in 22 states (plus two wins in Puerto Rico and one in Washington D.C.)...ASU held Princeton to 42 points, tied for the sixth-best Sun Devil defensive output since 1950-51. ASU held Colgate to 36 points last year and also held California to 41.
UPDATED Jeff Pendergraph NOTES: Junior Jeff Pendergraph posted a career-high 25 points and 10 boards in the LSU win as he was 11-of-15 from the field. He now has 14 career double-doubles and 12 games of double-digit rebounds.
Herb Sendek: Former NC State and Miami (Ohio) leader Herb Sendek is in his 15th season as a head coach as he led the Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06. Coach Sendek is 264-181 (.587) in 15 seasons and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 44-year old Pittsburgh, Pa., native is the second-youngest coach in the Pac-10 behind only first-year coach Tony Bennett of WSU. An 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 11th season in 2007-2008.
THEY ARE FROM THAT CONFERENCE: ASU's next opponent, Florida Gulf Coast, is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, which has pulled off some big wins already this year, as Gardner-Webb won at Kentucky, Mercer won at USC and Belmont won at Cincinnati.