Men's Hoops Plays Host To Coppin State Saturday At 2 p.m. On KTAR 620 AMJ

Dec. 7, 2007

SUN DEVIL HOST COPPIN STATE: The Arizona State Sun Devils play the second game of a nine-game homestand against Coppin State on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. on KTAR 620 AM. ASU will play nine straight games at Wells Fargo Arena, including three straight to start the Pac-10 season, as it opens league play 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 Coppin State (3-5) ASU takes a week off for finals before battling No. 21 Xavier (7-1) on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. on FSN. The Musketeers will be 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 was ranked 34th in the nation in free throws and third in the Pac-10 at 75.7 percent entering play this week and is now at 77.0 percent (94-of-122). 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.

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 seven games this year, the updated numbers have jumped to 90 out of 185 starts in his 37-game tenure with three freshmen starting each game this year. That means in his two years, ASU's starting lineup has had freshmen make 48.6 percent of the starts. Sophomores have made 40 starts (21.6 percent), juniors 24 starts (12.9 percent) and seniors just 32 starts (17.3 percent).

QUICKIES: Eight players are averaging at least 14 minutes per game, as freshmen and sophomores make up over 170 minutes...Ty Abbott already has a team-leading 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) and then held Delaware State to just 11-of-53 (.208) from the floor...Jeff Pendergraph is shooting .600 from the field...Christian Polk is shooting 80.4 percent (41-of-51) from the foul line in his 37-game caree...Derek Glasser is 12-of-20 (.600) from the floor this year and 9-of-10 from the free throw line...freshman James Harden leads ASU in scoring (17.1), minutes (27.6), and steals (13).

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 7-5 in its past 12 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 267-182 (.595) 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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