Sun Devils Play Stanford Saturday Riding Best Win Streak Since 1980-81
Jan. 18, 2008
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State's men's hoops team, under second-year coach Herb Sendek, plays at the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday, Jan. 19 (7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT/FSN Arizona/KTAR 620 AM). ASU is 4-0 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1987-88 (also 4-0) and just the third time in its 30 years of Pac-10 play (6-0 in 1979-80). ASU is on a 10-game win streak for the first time since the 1980-81 Sun Devils led by Alton Lister, Byron Scott and Fat Lever won 11 straight. ASU won a wild 99-90 double-overtime game Thursday at California as it has won back-to-back games in overtime for the first time since Dec. 27-28, 1978 (wins over Harvard and Purdue) and is now 3-0 in overtime this year, including a 2-0 mark in double overtime. ASU is 14-2 for the first time since the 1980-81 team went 19-2 (that squad lost its first Pac-10 game and then won 11 straight league tilts). After going 3-12 in 'close games' last year (games decided by six points or less and/or overtime games), ASU is 4-0 in that category this year. ASU has won four straight Pac-10 games despite trailing a the half against Oregon (30-26), Arizona (28-21) and California (38-35).
RECAPPING THE CAL WIN: In a crazy game that had 12 ties and 18 lead changes, ASU outlasted Cal for its fourth straight win in Berkeley 99-90 in double overtime, as the Sun Devils shot 57.6 percent from the field..for the first time in school history, two freshmen notched 25 points in a road game as James Harden tied the ASU record for freshman points on the road (27) and Ty Abbott was close behind (25)...it marked just the third time in school history that two freshmen posted 20-point games...ASU had three players post at least 20 points for the first time since March 10, 2005, when Steve Moore (22), Kevin Kruger (22) and Ike Diogu (21) notched the feat in a 95-90 overtime loss in the Pac-10 Tournament to No. 14 Washington...ASU's point guard combo of Jamelle McMillan and Derek Glasser combined for 10 assists and one turnover in 50 minutes...Jerren Shipp matched a career high with nine boards and Ty Abbott had his career high with nine boards as well...ASU has won just eight Pac-10 road games in the past four seasons, four of them at Cal...it marked the most points by ASU since a 100-85 win at USC on Jan. 17, 2004...ASU and Cal have played an overtime in each of the past three seasons...Ty Abbott had seven three-pointers, including clutch ones in at the end of regulation and overtime when ASU had to have a three to tie the game.
RANKINGS NOTE: After starting 6-19 last year, ASU is 16-5 in its past 21 games and for the first time since the final poll of the 1995 season (March 13) the Sun Devils are ranked in the Associated Press poll, as they are No. 22 and also No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches' poll in Coach Sendek's second season (his NC State team first reached the rankings in his fourth year).
QUICK TEAM STUFF: ASU's roster has an interesting mix as it includes one senior, five freshmen, three sophomores who played 87.3 minutes per game last year (with Pac-10 leading 69 freshmen starts) and one of college hoops rising players in 6-9 junior Jeff Pendergraph, who in four Pac-10 games has missed a total of 15 shots as he is 29-of-40 (.725) from the field and 17-of-21 (.810) from the foul line.
REAL DEAL: ASU is led by the Pac-10's youngest player, freshman James Harden (turned 18 on Aug. 26), who leads the team in scoring (18.8 ppg.), steals (28) and minutes per game (32.7). He is shooting .563 from the field, .769 from the free throw line and .442 from the three-point stripe. Harden is the first McDonald's All-American to sign with ASU out of high school since 1984 (it was Chris Sandle before you ask). He already has nine 20-point games (tied for league lead with Ryan Anderson), including the past five which is a first for an ASU freshman. He is averaging 24.3 points and 5.8 boards in the four Pac-10 games.
IN THE MIDDLE: Junior Jeff Pendergraph is shooting .675 from the field and .805 from the free throw line. In his past seven games he is averaging 19.6 points and 8.1 boards and is 47-of-64 (.734) from the field and is 43-of-52 (.827) from the foul line.
FRESHMEN: Freshmen accounted for 69 of 150 starts in Herb Sendek's rookie 30-game season. Through 16 games, the numbers read 113 out of 230 starts in his 46-games. That means in his two years, ASU's has had freshmen make 49.1 percent of the starts. Against Xavier on Dec. 15, ASU started four freshmen for the first time in school history.
QUICK NOTES: ASU held Pac-10 scoring leader Oregon (82.3 ppg.) to 54 points on Jan. 3, UO's fewest points in the past 58 games. Last year ASU fell at No. 13 Oregon 55-51 on Feb. 8, 2007, as the 55 points was a Duck season-low last year...ASU's 72-53 win on Jan. 5 over Oregon State was its biggest margin of victory in the Pac-10 since a 108-78 win over USC on Feb. 13, 2003...Derek Glasser has made 28-of-35 (.800) free throws this year and is 63-of-80 (.788) in his 46-game career. He had a career-high nine assists against Idaho on Dec. 22, the most by a Sun Devil since Antwi Atuahene had 10 vs. Oregon on Feb. 11, 2006 (most in past 52 games). Glasser has 56 assists and just 10 turnovers in the past 10 games...Jerren Shipp matched a career-best with nine boards at California and played a career-best 42 minutes against Arizona on Jan. 9...Christian Polk is 43-of-54 (.796) from the foul line in his 44-game career...Ty Abbott has 43 three-pointers, the sixth-best by a freshman in ASU history...ASU has reached 70-points nine times, last year it reached 70 points three times ...James Harden has nine 20-point games, tied for most in the league and first among freshmen.
EXPECT THIS TO BE A STAPLE AT ASU: ASU is shooting .744 from the free throw line. Each of the six Sun Devils averaging more than 15 minutes are shooting at least 76 percent, and five of them are shooting better than 80 percent. In his 10 seasons at NC State, Coach Sendek's teams led the ACC four times in FT percentage (including three straight seasons, 2002-04). In 2004 NC State led the nation and set the ACC record by shooting .799 from the charity stripe. While at NC State, his squads shot 71.3 percent, as his poorest FT shooting team was his first year (1996-97/.649). One good note on Coach Herb Sendek and his 2003-04 NC State team is that in the past nine seasons, that NC State team's .799 final free throw percentage is tied for the best in the NCAA, along with St. Joseph in 2005-06.
VS. STANFORD: ASU fell at Stanford last year 63-53 on March 1 as ASU scored on its first possession and then did not score again until the 10:59 mark as it trailed 30-16 at the half, the fewest points by the Sun Devils in a half under Coach Sendek...ASU fell to Stanford 71-60 on Dec. 28, 2006, as Jeff Pendergraph led the Sun Devils with 17 points and 11 boards in the Pac-10 opener for both teams as Stanford's biggest lead was 67-50 at the 2:16 mark...Stanford leads the overall series 36-26...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...Pendergraph has shot 25-of-42 (.595) from the floor and averaged 16.0 points in the four games against Stanford.
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 276-182 (.602) 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. Only Duke posted more ACC wins (regular season and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53 victories from 2002-2006. Coach Sendek also led NC State to five 20-win seasons in his final 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 (24 at Arizona), Ralph Miller (19 at Oregon State), Mike Montgomery (18 at Stanford), Ben Braun (12th at California) and Ernie Kent (11th at Oregon).