Jeff Pendergraph Placing Total Focus On 2008-2009 ASU Season And Will Return

April 21, 2008

Sun Devil junior Jeff Pendergraph, a third-team All-Pac-10 selection who reached the 1,000-point mark this season, has decided to place his total focus on obtaining his Arizona State degree and preparing for his senior season in Tempe and will not be declaring for the NBA Draft and 'testing the waters' throughout the next two months. ASU will return its top seven scorers next year and 94.6 percent of its scoring.

'Jeff has thoughtfully collected information and trusted his own intuition to make this educated decision,' said ASU head coach Herb Sendek. 'With great excitement I join my coaching staff, players and the entire Sun Devil family anticipating Jeff's senior season. He will continue to be a fantastic player and a wonderful ambassador for our program.'

With Pendergraph and first-team All-Pac-10 selection James Harden returning, Arizona State could be the only Pac-10 team with two All-Pac-10 players from this year on the roster next fall.

'I am having as much fun as I have ever had in college, both on the court and in the classroom,' says the Etiwanda, Calif., native. 'I thought about the situation a lot since the end of the season and have decided to put total focus into improving at Arizona State. We have unfinished business to take care of and have so much left to accomplish. I want to leave a legacy.'

Pendergraph has played in 91 games and started in 85 in his three-year career and has scored 1,079 points (11.9 per game), tied for 25th on the ASU career list. His 655 career rebounds is just one shy of joining the ASU career top-10 list. He earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors in 2005-2006.

He shot 59.3 percent from the field this past year, tied for the fourth-best mark in ASU history, and has 101 career blocks, sixth-best in ASU history.

'After going through the facts patiently, I know that I want my total focus this spring and early summer to be on Arizona State and earning my degree next December. It has been a lot of fun watching the crowds grow in both numbers and noise, and I look forward to all of us taking the next step in 2008-2009.'

First-team players Brook Lopez (Stanford) and O.J. Mayo (USC) have already signed with agents, whole Ryan Anderson (Cal) and Kevin Love (UCLA) have declared but not signed with agents. ASU's James Harden stated he is returning in March.

The Pac-10 second team has seniors Maarty Leunen (Oregon) and Kyle Weaver (Washington State) graduating and Arizona's Jerry Bayless declaring and signing with an agent, leaving just Jon Brockman (Washington) and Darren Collison (UCLA).

Along with Pendergraph on the third team were senior Derrick Low (Washington State) along with Chase Budinger (Arizona) and Russell Westbrook (UCLA), who both have declared but have not signed with an agent, as well as USC's Taj Gibson.

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