Notes And Numbers On Men's Basketball Team (19-12; 9-9)

March 13, 2008

SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State's men's hoops team, 19-12 and 9-9 in the Pac-10 under second-year coach Herb Sendek, was picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 preseason media poll but notched nine Pac-10 wins for just the third time in the past 13 seasons (11-7 in 2002-03 and 10-8 in 1999-2000).

*ASU is the only Pac-10 team to have a win over a RPI top-10 team outside the loop with its 77-55 victory over #9 Xavier. ASU's win over Xavier is especially impressive when you consider that Xavier has gone 19-3 since losing at ASU 77-55 on Dec. 15.

*ASU went 5-4 in the second half of the Pac-10 with road wins at Arizona, Washington and Oregon State and home wins vs. the NCAA-bound duo of Stanford and USC. ASU and UCLA were the only teams to beat both Stanford and USC in the regular season. In the second half of the Pac-10 season (final nine games), four Sun Devil freshmen played 52 percent of the minutes, scored 54 percent of the points and made 53 three-pointers.

*ASU also notched wins over RPI top-60 teams Xavier (9), Stanford (16), Arizona (twice, 29), USC (31) and Oregon (53) with freshmen making a league-leading 87 starts, playing more than 45 percent of the minutes and scoring more than 50 percent of the points.

*Freshmen James Harden earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors while junior Jeff Pendergraph earned third-team accolades. Coach Herb Sendek earned USBWA District IX Coach of the Year while James Harden earned USBWA All-District and first-team NABC District 15 honors.

*James Harden had seven steals against USC in the Pac-10 Tournament on March 13, setting a tournament record. His 68 steals on the year is just eight away from school record. The seven steals vs. USC is the most by a Sun Devil since Eddie House had seven vs. Kansas State in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 24, 1998.

*The Sun Devils have five wins over teams in the top 50 of the RPI. ASU (5-7 vs. top 50) beat #9 Xavier, #16 Stanford, has two wins over current #29 Arizona and beat No. #31 USC on March 1. Other Pac-10 records vs. the top-50 include UCLA (9-2), Arizona (5-7), Washington State (4-6), USC (4-7), Oregon (4-8), California (2-9) and Washington (2-11).

*ASU was 5-4 at home in Pac-10 games after going 9-27 in Tempe the previous four seasons.

*ASU is led in scoring by the most famous Sun Devil southpaw since Phil Mickelson, James Harden who has 15 20-point games on the year, topping Ike Diogu's ASU freshmen record of 12 set in 2002-03. The 18-year old Harden (born August, 1989) is the youngest player in the Pac-10 as his 17.6 points per game is second-best in ASU freshman history.

TURNAROUND INFO: ASU became just the fifth team in 30 years of Pac-10 play to go from a last-place finish (2-16 last year) to a .500 record in conference play the next year. Washington State did it last year as Tony Bennett earned National Coach of the Year.

LAST PLACE PAC-10 TEAMS TO REACH .500 IN LEAGUE THE FOLLOWING SEASON
Washington State from 3-15 in 1980-81 to 10-8 in 1981-82
California from 5-13 in 1987-88 to 10-8 in 1988-89
Stanford from 2-16 in 1992-93 to 10-8 in 1993-94
Washington State from 4-14 in 2005-06 to 13-5 (NCAAs) in 2006-07
Arizona State from 2-16 in 2006-07 to 9-9 in 2007-08

ANOTHER FRESHMEN: Freshman Rihards Kuksiks has been seeing quality minutes as he is averaging 27.2 minutes and 10.0 points in the past nine games and has made 21 three pointers. He had 15 points in the win over seventh-ranked Stanford on Feb. 14, 15 at Washington on Feb. 23 and 10 in March 1 win vs. USC. He has 80 points in his past eight games after scoring 42 in the first 22 games

A LOT OF MINUTES: James Harden and Ty Abbott both topped the pace set by Byron Scott in 1979-80 for Sun Devil freshmen minutes played in the 18 Pac-10 games. Harden averaged 35.9 minutes per game in the 18 league games while Abbott finished at 34.8. Derek Glasser averaged 32.2 minutes last year in Pac-10 play.

HARDEN ON DEFENSE/OFFENSE: 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). His 68 steals already is tied for sixth-best in Pac-10 history for a freshman. When you compare the points with the all-time freshman steals leaders, it is safe to say Harden could end up as the first freshmen in league history with 60 steals and a 17.0 points per game average.

STEADY: Jeff Pendergraph has 48 blocks (he had 45 in his first two seasons) and is shooting .597 from the field (second in the Pac-10) and .786 from the free throw line. He has four double-doubles this year (17 in 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. He is shooting .753 from the free throw line in his career (241-of-320). His 93 career blocks is tied with Kurt Nimphius (1976-80) for the sixth spot.

SOME OFF THE WALL HARDEN NOTES: In 37 minutes against a good defensive team in USC (Trojans are second in league in field goal percentrage defense at .393) on March 1, Harden missed two shots out of 18. He was 7-of-8 from the field and 9-of-10 from the line...in ASU's four overtime games (all wins and three of them in Pac-10 games) he is averaging 24.8 ppg and 5.5 rebounds and has 10 steals...in ASU's five Pac-10 home wins he averaged 23.4 points, six boards, three assists and two steals as he led ASU to 5-4 Pac-10 home mark. In the prevous four years, ASU was 9-27 in Pac-10 home games...is second on the team in assists (97), including 63 in Pac-10 games...in ASU's eight Pac-10 wins he is shooting 54.5 percent from the floor and is 13-27 from three-point stripe. He is averaging 20.0 points and 5.6 boards in those nine games...shot 45.2 percent from three-point land in road games.

TREE: Herb Sendek has six former assistants who are 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.

FRESHMEN: Freshmen accounted for 69 of 150 starts in Herb Sendek's rookie 30-game season. Through 31 games, the numbers read 156 out of 305 starts in his 61 games (freshmen have started 84 games this year).

*Derek Glasser has made 54-of-65 (.831) free throws this year and is 89-of-110 (.809) in his 61-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 64 games). Glasser had 69 assists and 32 turnovers in Pac-10 play, a 2.16 ratio that was second in the league.

*Ty Abbott has 68 three-pointers, best by a freshman in ASU history.

HITTING FREEBIES: ASU is shooting .741 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 his 2003-04 NC State team is in the past nine seasons, that squad's .799 FT percentage is tied for the best in the NCAA with St. Joseph in 2005-06.

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.

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