Men's Hoops Plays At Arizona Sunday At 12:30 p.m. On FSN
Feb. 6, 2008
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State's men's hoops team, 14-7 and 4-5 in the Pac-10 under second-year coach Herb Sendek, begins the second half of Pac-10 play in Tucson as it takes on the Arizona Wildcats on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 12:30 p.m. ASU will try and break a five-game losing streak, one that started after current ninth-ranked Stanford ended ASU's 10-game win streak on Jan. 19 (ASU's best streak since an 11-game run in 1980-81), a solid run that included wins over Xavier, Arizona, Oregon and at California. After starting last year 6-19, ASU is 16-10 in its past 26 games. After this weekend ASU hosts the Cardinal again next Thursday (Feb. 14 at 8:30 p.m. MST on FSN), as Stanford is currently riding a five-game win streak (best in the Pac-10), is ranked ninth and hosts the Oregon schools this weekend. With fifth-ranked UCLA on the home schedule on Feb. 28, the Sun Devils could play host to three top-10 schools in one season for just the second time in the school's 30-year Pac-10 history, as in 1997-98 ASU hosted No. 10 UCLA (Jan. 5), No. 3 Arizona (Feb. 14) and No. 8 Stanford (Feb. 26).
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 (18.7 ppg./fourth in Pac-10), steals (1.76 per game/third in Pac-10) and minutes per game (32.9/ninth in Pac-10). He is shooting .554 from the field (ninth in Pac-10), .771 from the free throw line and .441 from the three-point stripe (seventh in Pac-10). 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 has 11 20-point games, including five straight from Dec. 29-Jan. 17 which is a first for an ASU freshman. He is averaging 21.1 points and 4.6 boards in Pac-10 games and was the only player in the league to lead his team in scoring in each of the first eight Pac-10 games. He was named as a top 30 midseason finalist for the Naismith and Wooden Awards (one of just six freshmen on the Wooden list and one of seven Pac-10 players noted). In Pac-10 play, his efficiency has been solid, as not only is he second in the league at 21.1 points per game, he is eighth in the league in field goal percentage (.536) and ninth in three-point percentage (.424).
VS. ARIZONA: ASU trailed for much of the Jan. 9 game in Tempe game and was down five with under two minutes to go before a Ty Abbott three-pointer gave the Sun Devils a second chance, as ASU sent the game into overtime and won 64-59. James Harden had 22 of his 26 points after halftime and added nine boards in 44 minutes. Jeff Pendergraph added 14 points, seven boards and two blocks as ASU held the Wildcats to just .389 from the field (21-of-54). Jerryd Bayless sat out the game with a knee injury, but the Wildcats still jumped out to a 28-18 lead in the first half and led at the half 28-21...the win broke a 12-game losing streak for ASU against Arizona, and the Sun Devils will try and break a 12-game losing streak in Tucson Sunday, as their last victory at McKale Center was a 103-98 double-overtime win on March 11, 1995 under Bill Frieder...last year against Arizona on Feb. 25 in Tempe, ASU held the Pac-10's top scoring team (78.0) to 61 points, the fewest by UA against ASU since a 53-52 ASU win on Jan. 5, 1995, prior to ASU holding the Wildcats to just 59 this year...ASU will try and sweep Arizona for just the sixth time in its 30 years of Pac-10 play, with ASU winning both games for four straight seasons from 1980-83 and then again in 1994-95.
MEMORY LANE: Herb Sendek is now 2-2 against Arizona, as in March of 1995 the 32-year old head coach led Miami (Ohio) to a 71-62 first-round NCAA Tournament upset of No. 15 Arizona in Dayton in the 59th game of his coaching career. Nearly 13 years and 406 games later, that former Miami head coach is ASU's head coach, Herb Sendek. That 12th-seeded Miami squad was 22-6 entering NCAA Tournament action, as the Redskins were one of four teams seeded 12th or lower to win a first-round game in 1995.HARDEN DEFENSE NOTES: James Harden is trying to become just the fifth freshman to lead the Pac-10 in steals. The others are Jason Kidd of California (3.8 spg/1993), Baron Davis of UCLA (2.4 spg/1998) and USC's Errick Craven (2.1 spg/2002) and Gabe Pruitt (1.9 spg/2005). He currently ranks third in the league at 1.76 per game, .10 behind Nic Wise of Arizona. He also had 13 blocks on the year, tied for eighth on the ASU single-season freshmen list, just four behind Ron Riley (17 in 1992-93) for the seventh spot.
ON THE TUBE: Sunday's game at 12:30 p.m. MST will be available to more than 62 million subscribers on FSN Arizona, FSN Bay Area, FSN Detroit, FSN Florida, FSN Midwest, FSN New York, FSN North, FSN Northwest, FSN Ohio, FSN Southwest, FSN West, FSN Wisconsin, Comcast Chicago, Comcast Mid-Atlantic and SportsSouth.
QUICK TEAM STUFF: ASU's roster has an interesting mix as it includes one senior, one junior, five freshmen and three sophomores who played 87.3 minutes per game last year...ASU ranks second in the league in steals (7.05), third in turnover margin (+1.71) and second in turnovers per game (12.3/21st in nation)...Sun Devils also rank 33rd in scoring defense (61.2 ppg.), which is fourth in the league...Derek Glasser leads the Pac-10 and ranks second in the nation in assist/turnover ratio at 3.40 per game...ASU is fourth in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage at .732, which is 33rd in the nation.
IN THE MIDDLE: Junior Jeff Pendergraph already has 31 blocks (he had 45 total in his first two seasons) and is shooting .600 from the field (third in the Pac-10) and .809 from the free throw line (seventh in the league). He has three double-doubles this year and 16 in his career. Pendergraph led the team in scoring (12.1) and rebounding (9.1) last year, as his rebounding average matched the second-best mark by a Sun Devil in the past 26 seasons.
RANKINGS: For the first time since the final poll of 1994-95 (March 13) ASU grabbed a spot in the Associated Press rankings, as it was No. 22 (No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches' poll on Jan. 14). ASU was ranked No. 24 in the Jan. 21 AP poll. Coach Sendek had the Sun Devils in the rankings in his second year, two years prior to his rebuilding effort at NC State that resulted in five straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2002-06).
FRESHMEN: Freshmen accounted for 69 of 150 starts in Herb Sendek's rookie 30-game season. Through 21 games, the numbers read 127 out of 255 starts in his 51 games. That means in his two years, ASU's has had freshmen make 49.8 percent of the starts. Sophomores have made 55 starts (.212), juniors 38 (.149) and seniors 35 (.137). Against Xavier on Dec. 15, ASU started four freshmen for the first time in school history.
HARDEN FROM LONG RANGE: James Harden has shown the ability to hit the three-pointer as he is 26-of-59 (.441) on the year, currently the fifth-best mark in ASU history and best by a freshman. It is the best mark by an ASU player since junior Jeremy Veal shot 44.3 percent in 1996-97, and the 44.1 percent by Harden is currently the best mark by any Pac-10 freshman.
ASU SINGLE-SEASON THREE-POINT PERCENTAGE
RK. Sun Devil, Year, Season (3P-ATT) 3PT%
1. Matt Anderson, So., 1988-89 (41-of-80) .513
2. Terence Wheeler, So., 1987-88 (58-of-128) .453
3. Bobby Thompson, Sr., 1986-87 (31-of-69) .449
4. Jeremy Veal, Jr., 1996-97 (58-of-131) .443
5. James Harden, Fr., 2007-08 (26-59) .441
QUICK NOTES: ASU held Pac-10 scoring leader Oregon (80.3 ppg.) to 54 points on Jan. 3, UO's fewest points in the past 61 games, and the only time Oregon has been held under 60 points this year. 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 34-of-42 (.810) free throws this year and is 69-of-87 (.793) in his 51-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 57 games). Glasser has 69 assists and just 15 turnovers in the past 15 games and has 35 assists and seven turnovers in Pac-10 play...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 48-game career...Ty Abbott has 48 three-pointers, fourth-best by a freshman in ASU history, and is sixth in the Pac-10 at 2.29 three-pointers per game...ASU has reached 70-points nine times in 21 games, last year it reached 70 points three times... last year ASU won at California 42-41 on the last day of the regular season. This year it almost doubled the points as the game was tied 81-81 at the end of regulation before ASU won 99-90 in double overtime.
HITTING FREEBIES: ASU is shooting .742 from the free throw line, currently the fifth-best mark in ASU history. 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 in the past nine seasons, NC State team's .799 final FT percentage is tied for the best in the NCAA with St. Joseph in 2005-06.
ASU TEAM FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
RK. Season (Record) FT%
1. 1977-78 (13-14/6-8 in WAC) 75.6
2. 1954-55 (10-148-4 in Border) 75.4
3. 1997-98 (18-14/8-10 in Pac-10) 74.6
3. 1986-87 (11-17/6-12 in Pac-10) 74.6
5. 2007-08 (14-7/4-5 in Pac-10) 74.2
6. 2003-04 (10-17/4-14 in Pac-10) 73.5
7. 1956-57 (10-15/4-6 in Border) 73.0
8. 1999-2000 (19-13/10-8 in Pac-10) 72.9
9. 2005-06 (11-17/5-13 in Pac-10) 72.2
PLAYER OF WEEK: Freshmen Ty Abbott and James Harden became the fourth and fifth ASU freshmen to win Pac-10 Player of the Week honors, as Abbott took home the Dec. 17 honor after his 19-point performance in the 77-55 win over Xavier on Dec. 15 which included five three pointers and the largest win over a ranked team in school history. Harden notched the honor after leading ASU to just its third 2-0 start in Pac-10 history when they swept Oregon (Jan. 3) and Oregon State (Jan. 5) in Tempe to open Pac-10 play. Other Sun Devil freshman to earn the honor are Ike Diogu (Feb. 16, 2003), Mario Bennett (Feb. 24, 1992) and Chris Sandle (Dec. 10, 1984). Sixteen ASU players have been named Pac-10 Player of the Week on 25 occasions.
VS. UCLA (JAN. 31): Fifth-ranked UCLA ran its series record to 55-14 against ASU with an 84-51 clinic against ASU in Pauley on Jan. 31. The Bruins had 11 steals, shot 58.5 percent from the field (including 60.7 percent in the first half), were 8-of-12 (.667) from the three point stripe and led 46-24 at the half. UCLA's 46 first-half points were the most against ASU since March 11, 2005, when ASU gave up 52 to No. 14 Washington in the Pac-10 Tournament, as the Bruins have now won seven straight against ASU. Derek Glasser led ASU with 13 points off the bench and was the only Sun Devil in double figures. UCLA led by as many as 36 in the second half and ASU led only 2-0. The Bruins outscored ASU 34-20 in the paint and 16-9 in points off turnovers
VS. USC (FEB. 2): ASU trailed USC at the half on Feb. 2 30-26 but took a 36-32 lead on five points by James Harden, but the freshmen, who had zero fouls at the half, picked up four in a span of 2:20 and had to take a seat on the pine as USC went on a 11-0 run over a 4:24 stretch and held off ASU 67-53. Harden had 26 points to lead all scorers, but USC outscored ASU 27-14 in the paint in a game that had seven ties and six lead changes in the first half. Harden was 8-of-9 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line in 33 minutes. USC shot 60 percent (12-of-20) from the field in the second half as it now leads the series 45-30.
THE TREE: Herb Sendek has six former assistants who are currently D-I head coaches: Jim Christian, Kent State, Miami Assistant (1994-96); Charlie Coles, Miami (Ohio), Miami Assistant (1994-96); Larry Hunter, Western Carolina, NC State Assistant (2001-05); Ron Hunter, IUPUI, Miami Assistant (1993-94); Thad Matta, Ohio State, Miami Assistant (1994-95) and Sean Miller, Xavier, Miami (1994-96) and NC State Assistant (1996-2000). Coles, Miller and Matta all led their teams to the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
SOLID WIN: ASU has hosted the likes of Final Four-bound Kansas in 1990-91, Final-Four bound Oklahoma State in 1994-95, Texas, Georgia, Kerry Kittles-led Villanova, Kenny Thomas-led New Mexico, BYU, 2006 defending Big Ten Tournament champ Iowa and Louisville since 1990, but No. 17 Xavier was the highest ranked non-conference foe to visit ASU since No. 14 ASU beat No. 7 Ohio State 71-58 on Dec. 20, 1980. Xavier also was the first non-conference ranked foe to visit Tempe since No. 18 UTEP topped ASU 60-55 on Dec. 18, 1983. ASU's 77-55 win over the Musketeers is the largest over a ranked team in ASU history, topping ASU's only win over the nation's top-ranked team, an 87-67 win at Oregon State on March 7, 1981. It was ASU's highest-ranked non-conference win since Nov. 23, 1994 (97-90 win over seventh-ranked Maryland in Maui) and Xavier's worst defeat since an 80-49 loss to La Salle in the 1999-2000 season. ASU's 59.5 shooting percentage is the best against Xavier since Elite Eight-bound St. Joseph's in 2003-2004 shot 60 percent. St. Joseph's went undefeated in the regular season.
ASU LARGEST MARGINS OVER A RANKED TEAM
(22)--ASU 77, #17 Xavier 55 (Dec. 15, 2007)
(20)--#5 ASU 87, @#1 Oregon State 67 (March 7, 1981)
(19)--ASU 89, #5 San Francisco 70 (Dec. 3, 1977)
(18)--ASU 71, #6 Colorado 53 (Dec. 21, 1962)
(17)--ASU 79, #13 Michigan 62 (Nov. 22, 1994)
(17)--ASU 95, #3 USC 78 (Dec. 1, 1971)
HAPPY HOLIDAYS: ASU was one of four teams who had more wins prior to Christmas than it did all of 2006-2007. The list included ASU (9-2 after 8-22 last year), Iona (5-7 after 2-28), Northern Colorado (5-6 after 4-24) and UNC-Wilmington (8-4 after 7-22).
ACADEMICALLY SPEAKING: The men's basketball team had another strong outing in the classroom this fall, as it posted a 2.91 grade point average and its cumulative GPA for the roster is now 2.95. In addition, two more former Sun Devils finished their degrees, as Bruno Claudino (2005-2007/B.I.S) and Shawn Redhage (1999-2003/B.S. in Construction) both finished their degrees in December of 2007. Since 2004, 13 Sun Devil men's basketball players have graduated.
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 276-187 (.596) 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).
NICE 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, matching the best defensive performance in ASU's 522-game Pac-10 history (ASU beat UW 53-41 on Jan. 31, 1991) and the best in a Pac-10 road game. ASU improved throughout last year as in the second half of the Pac-10 season, its scoring margin was less than a three-pointer (-2.5 per game). Although ASU went 8-22 last year and started 6-19, it is 16-10 in its past 25 games.
FRESH(MEN) STARTS: ASU freshmen made 69 starts in 2006-2007 -- Christian Polk (26), Jerren Shipp (22) and Derek Glasser (21). The 69 starts was the most in the Pac-10, ahead of Washington (68) and USC (65). Stanford (49), Cal (48), Arizona and Oregon State (43 ), Oregon (33), Washington State (4) and UCLA (1) complete the league's 423 freshmen starts. ASU freshmen have made 58 starts this year.
HISTORY NOTE: When ASU beat Cal 99-90 in double overtime on Jan.17, James Harden (27), Jeff Pendergraph (26) and Ty Abbott (25) each scored 25 points, the first time three Sun Devils each scored 25 points since a 115-92 win in Tempe over Portland State on Jan. 4, 1977.
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