Men's Hoops Quick Notes For UCLA And USC Games

Feb. 25, 2008

(Note: Below are quick notes for the ASU men's basketball team after its weekend in Pullman and Seattle. The full notes package/release will be posted Tuesday evening).

RECAP: After being picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 preseason poll and going 8-22 and 2-16 in league play a year ago, Coach Sendek's Sun Devils have clinched a winning season with its 17-9 overall record and four freshmen making 73 total starts. Freshmen have played more than 44 percent of the minutes this year for ASU.

SOLID RPI NOTE: The Sun Devils are just one of five teams with four wins over top 25 RPI teams (collegerpi.com) as of Monday (Feb. 26). ASU's wins are over current #6 Xavier, two wins over current #16 Arizona and the Feb. 14 win over current No. 20 Stanford with losses to #9 UCLA and at Stanford. Other teams with four RPI top 25 wins are UCONN (5-3), Duke (5-2, Louisville (4-2) and Purdue (4-3). ASU's win over Xavier, a 22-point victory that is the largest in school history over a ranked team, looks even more impressive now as Xavier has gone 16-2 since it fell at ASU with its only losses to top-ranked Tennessee and at Temple. Xavier has won 10 straight.

CLOSE GAME UPDATE;Last year, ASU was 4-17 in games decided by 10 points or less, but this year the Sun Devils are 7-2, the best mark in the Pac-10. ASU lost its only overtime game last year but is 4-0 this year with the wins over LSU, Arizona, at California and vs. #7 Stanford. The four overtime wins is the most by an ASU team since the 1985-86 Sun Devils were 4-2, while the school mark is a 5-0 record by the 1980-81 team. Also, ASU was 3-12 in two-possession games last year (six points or less or OT). It is 6-2 this year.

PAC-10 TEAMS WITH AT LEAST FOUR OVERTIME WINS IN ONE SEASON(1978-79 TO PRESENT)>/B>

Arizona State (4-0 in 2007-08)
California (4-0 in 2006-07)
USC (4-1 in 2003-04)
Arizona State (4-2 in 1985-86)
Arizona State (5-0 in 1980-81)

THE NEW LEFTY AT ASU:James Harden now has 13 20-point games on the year, topping Ike Diogu's ASU freshman record of 12 set in 2002-03.

MILESTONE APPROACHING:Jeff Pendergraph needs just 13 points to become the 30th member of the ASU 1,000-point club. He has 987 points through 83 career games (11.9 points per game). He also has 610 career rebounds (7.3 per game), just 46 away from joining the ASU top-10 list.

TAKE NOTICE:ASU has ended a few notable negative streaks this year. The Sun Devils ended a 12-game losing streak to Arizona on Jan. 9 and then ended their 11-game losing streak to Washington on Feb. 23, which was the longest active streak in the Pac-10 at the time of the game. ASU was just 1-10 in its previous 10 trips to Hec Ed Pavilion, as its only win in that time was in 2002-03 and its other win in the past dozen years in Seattle was in 1999-2000, when the Huskies played all home games at Key Arena.

FRESHMEN: Freshmen accounted for 69 of 150 starts in Herb Sendek's rookie 30-game season. Through 25 games, the numbers now read 142 out of 280 starts in his 56 games (freshmen have started 73 games this year, easily the most in the Pac-10). In his two years, ASU has had freshmen make 50.7 percent of the starts. Sophomores have made 60 starts (.214), juniors 43 (.154) and seniors 35 (.125). Against Xavier on Dec. 15, ASU started four freshmen for the first time in school history. ASU's freshmen have accounted for 50.7 percent of the points this year. Last year ASU's 69 freshmen starts set the school record that Sun Devils which the Sun Devils are cruising by now.

ASU Men's Basketball Freshmen Starts
Year (Starts): Freshman
2007-2008 (73): Ty Abbott (26), James Harden (25), Jamelle McMillan (16), Rihards Kuksiks (6)
2006-2007 (69): Derek Glasser (21), Christian Polk (26), Jerren Shipp (22)
1991-1992 (45): Mario Bennett (25), Tony Ronaldson (20)

WEIRD NOTE: At No. 17 Washington State on Saturday, the Cougars were whistled for eight fouls against ASU, the fewest by any team in the past 336 ASU games (fewest since WSU had just seven fouls against ASU on Feb. 1, 1997).

HARDEN ON DEFENSE: James Harden is trying to become just the fifth freshman to lead the Pac-10 in steals. The others are Jason Kidd of Cal (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 has 50 (1.92 per game) on the year, tops in the league. He also had 15 blocks, eighth on the ASU freshmen list, just two behind Ron Riley (17 in 1992-93) for the seventh spot.

PAC-10 FRESHMEN STEALS
1. Jason Kidd Cal, 1992-93, 110
2. Brevin Knight, Stanford, 1993-94, 77
3. Errick Craven, USC, 2001-02, 68
4. Eddie House, ASU, 1996-97, 59
5. Gary Payton, OSU, 1986-87, 58
6. Gabe Pruitt, USC, 2004-05, 56
7. Brandon Granville, USC, 1998-99, 54
8. Justin Dentmon, UW, 2004-05, 52
8. Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Cal, 1995-96, 52
10. Shantay Legans, Cal, 1999-2000, 51
11. James Harden , ASU, 2007-2008, 50
11. Deaundra Turner, OSU, 1997-98, 50

REAL DEAL: The Pac-10's youngest player, freshman James Harden (turned 18 on Aug. 26), leads ASU in scoring (18.0 ppg.), steals (50) and minutes per game (33.2). He is shooting .526 from the field, .744 from the free throw line and .413 from the three-point stripe. Harden is the first McDonald's All-American to sign with ASU out of high school since 1984 (iChris Sandle).

ASU FRESHMEN POINTS PER GAME
1. 19.0, Ike Diogu, 2002-03
2. 18.0, James Harden, 2007-08
3. 15.4, Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91
4. 13.6, Byron Scott, 1979-80
5. 13.0, Ron Riley, 1992-93
6. 12.6, Eddie House, 1996-97

HITTING FREEBIES: ASU is shooting .736 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's 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 FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
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 (17-9/7-7 in Pac-10) 73.6

JUST HOW GOOD ARE THEY?: Coming into this season, only 11 Pac-10 freshman had averaged 15.6 points or more in overall games. Currently there are four freshmen above that number. Only two Pac-10 freshmen have averaged 19 points and led their team to a NCAA Tournament berth (Ike Diogu of Arizona State in 2002-03 and Shareef Abdur Rahim of Cal in 1995-96).

PAC-10 FRESHMEN SCORING1. Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Cal, 1995-96, 21.1 (NCAA team went 17-11)
1. Jerryd Bayless, Arizona, 2007-08, 21.1 (UA 17-10 and 7-7)
3. Harold Miner, USC, 1989-90, 20.6 (Team went 12-16)
4. O.J. Mayo, USC, 2007-08, 20.1 (USC 17-9 and 8-6)
5. Ike Diogu, ASU, 2002-03, 19.0 (NCAA team went 20-12)
6. Don McLean, UCLA, 1988-89, 18.6 (NCAA team went 21-10)
7. Cliff Robinson, USC, 1977-78, 18.4 (Team went 14-13)
8. James Harden, ASU, 2007-08, 18.0 (ASU 17-9 and 7-7)
9. Tom Lewis, USC, 1985-86, 17.6 (Team went 11-17)
10. Kevin Love, UCLA, 2007-08, 17.0 (UCLA 24-3 overall and 12-2)
11. Todd Lichti, Stanford, 1985-86, 17.2 (Team went 14-16 overall)
12. Ryan Anderson, California, 2006-07, 16.3 (Team went 16-17 overall)13. Jason Kapono, UCLA, 1999-2000, 16.0 (NCAA team went 21-12)14. Chase Budinger, Arizona, 2006-07, 15.6 (NCAA team went 20-11)14. Sean Elliott, Arizona, 1985-86, 15.6 (NCAA team went 23-9)

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