Men's Hoops (3-1) Hosts Florida Gulf Coast From 'That' Conference

Nov. 27, 2007

SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University basketball team (3-1) plays host to the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles of the Atlantic Sun Conference (204) on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 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 FGCU game on a three-game win streak after topping Princeton (61-42) and LSU (87-84 in OT) in Maui and then topping Cal Poly (19-11 last year) 75-41 on Monday. The 34-point win was ASU's biggest since a 90-55 home win on Dec. 20, 2004, against Northwestern (the past 85 games). ASU is 4-0 against current members of the Atlantic Sun Conference, while it marks the first meeting betwene FGCU and ASU.

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.

FRESHMEN CHATTER: ASU opened the season with three freshmen in its starting lineup for the first time in school history against Illinois, as 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 34 games as ASU coach, Herb Sendek has had 81 starts by freshmen (out of 170)...the Illinois game marked just the third time in the past 16 seasons at least two freshmen had started the opener...James Harden posted back-to-back 20-point games as he had 23 against LSU and 22 against Princeton. He is 24-of-29 (.828) from the free throw line and had his first double-double with 15 points and 10 boards in 30 minutes against Cal Poly and added three steals and three blocks...Ty Abbott has made 10 three-pointers through four games.

VARIOUS NOTES: Herb Sendek is 49-11 (.817) in November in his 15-year career...ASU went 8-22 last year, but is 5-4 in its past nine 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 262 contests in 22 states (plus two wins in Puerto Rico and one in Washington D.C.)...After holding Princeton to 42 points, at the time tied for the sixth-best Sun Devil defensive output since 1950-51, ASU then held Cal Poly to 41, tied for the second-best effort in that time. ASU held Colgate to 36 points last year and also held California to 41 in the final regular season game.

UPDATED BIG MAN 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.

COACH 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 265-181 (.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.

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