Men's Hoops Hosts Delaware State At 7 p.m. Wednesday
Dec. 5, 2007
SUN DEVILS BEGIN NINE-GAME HOMESTAND: The Arizona State Sun Devils begin a nine-game homestand against the Delaware State Hornets (3-4) on Dec. 5. ASU will play nine straight games at Wells Fargo Arena, including three straight to start the Pac-10 season, as it opens with 2007 Pac-10 Tournament champion, 2007 Elite Eight participant and current No. 19 Oregon (6-1) on Jan. 3, takes on Oregon State (3-3) on Jan. 5 and then plays No. 22 Arizona (5-2) on Jan. 9. After Delaware State, ASU hosts Coppin State (3-5) on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. and then takes a week off for finals before battling No. 21 Xavier on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. on FSN. Should the Musketeers remain in the rankings next Monday, it would mark the first non-conference ranked opponent to visit Wells Fargo Arena since No. 18 UTEP topped ASU 60-55 on Dec. 22, 1983.
FREE THROWS: Arizona State is ranked 34th in the nation in free throws and third in the Pac-10 at 75.7 percent. Although it is early in the year, it is never too early to look, and the Sun Devil record is .756 set in 1977-78. ASU's defense doesn't allow the opponent to get to the line much, either, as it ranks 15th in the nation (second in the Pac-10) at just 15 fouls per game.
WHEN YOU BREAK IT DOWN: Last year, freshmen accounted for 69 of a possible 150 starts in Herb Sendek's rookie Sun Devil 30-game season. Through six games this year, the updated numbers have jumped to 87 out of 180 starts in his 36-game tenure with three freshmen starting each game this year. That means in his two years, ASU's starting lineup has had freshmen make 48 percent of the starts. Sophomores have made 39 starts (22 percent), juniors 23 starts (13 percent) and seniors just 32 starts (shade under 18 percent).
QUICKIES: Nine players are averaging at least 10 minutes per game, as freshmen and sophomores make up over 170 minutes...Ty Abbott already has 15 three-pointers...after averaging 58.5 points per game last year, ASU scored 54 in the first half against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 28. The 54 first-half points (most since 58-30 lead against USC on Feb. 13, 2003) was more than it scored in 10 games last year...ASU also held Cal Poly to 14-of-55 (.255) from the floor, its best defensive effort since Dec. 2, 2000, when it held eventual NCAA Tournament bound BYU to 15-of-59 (.254)...Jeff Pendergraph is shooting .571 from the field...Christian Polk is shooting 81.3 percent from the foul line in his 36-game career (39-of-48)...Derek Glasser is 10-of-17 (.588) from the floor this year.
VS. DELAWARE STATE: ASU is 2-0 against three-time defending MEAC regular season champion Delaware State, as it topped the Hornets 67-56 on Nov. 23, 2004, in what was just a four-point lead at the half. That year the Hornets went to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 16 seed and battled top-seeded Duke to an 11-point game. No 16-seed has come closer to beating a No. 1 seed in the past 10 years. DSU has won 61 games the past three years (21-13, 21-14 and 19-14).
SOLID FRESHMAN START: James Harden leads ASU in scoring (16.0), minutes (27.7), blocks (seven) and steals (10).
CARRY OVER: ASU won two of its final five last year, beating #22 USC 68-58 on Feb. 18 and then winning 42-41 at Cal March 3 in the regular season finale, the best defensive performance in ASU's 261-game Pac-10 road history. Although ASU went 8-22 last year, it is 6-5 in its past 11 games.
THE HEAD COACH: Herb Sendek is in his 15th season as a head coach and has averaged 18.7 wins per season. He led the Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 266-182 (.594) in 15 seasons and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 44-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963) Pittsburgh, Pa., native is the second-youngest coach in the Pac-10 behind only second-year coach Tony Bennett of WSU.
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