Men's Hoops Game Notes Vs. UTEP

Nov. 29, 2008

SUN DEVILS VS. MINERS: The Arizona State Sun Devils (4-1) meet the UTEP Miners (3-2) on Sunday, Nov. 30, in the consolation round of the 76 Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center at 5 p.m. PT (TV on ESPNU). ASU fell to a hot Baylor team 87-76 on Friday in the late game, as the Bears hit 11-of-24 (.458) from the three-point stripe and were 18-of-22 (.818) from the free throw line in the second half to hold off the Sun Devils. James Harden had 32 points and nine boards to lead ASU while Jeff Pendergraph posted his second straight double-double with 19 points and 10 boards. ASU outrebounded the Bears 34-25 but made just 1-of-8 from the three-point stripe in the first half. With the score tied at 36 at the 17:16 mark of the second half the Bears went on a 17-2 run and nailed free throws down the stretch as Harden had 26 second-half points.

SERIES: ASU records have the Sun Devils leading UTEP 51-45 in a series that goes back to 1929-30. The only meeting in the past 23 seasons was a 66-65 UTEP win in Las Vegas on Nov. 26, 2004 (ASU's only loss in its first 12 games that season).

QUICKLY THROUGH FIVE: Through five games this year, the Sun Devils are allowing 59.8 points, holding opponents to .382 from the field and .323 from the three-point stripe, and are shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 76.9 percent from the foul line. In the 76 Classic, Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 21 points and ten boards while shooting 14-of-19 (.737) from the floor. James Harden is averaging 23.5 points and is 21-of-24 (.875) from the free throw line.

FREEBIES: ASU is shooting .769 (93-of-121) from the free throw line. Last year ASU shot 73.9 percent, the fifth-best mark in ASU history and second-best in past 21 seasons. For a historical Herb Sendek note, his 2003-2004 NC State squad shot .799 from the free throw line, tied for the best mark in the past nine seasons among all NCAA teams as St. Joseph's 2005-06 team also hit 79.9 percent.

FIRST ROUND ACTION: ASU topped Charlotte 84-56 Thursday behind Jeff Pendergraph's 23 points and 10 boards as ASU shot 61 percent (25-of-41) for the game and was 26-of-31 (.830) from the foul line, including 19-of-20 (.950) in the second half.

GETTING COMFORTABLE IN HOTELS: After losing its first 10 away from home (neutral or road games) in the Herb Sendek era, ASU is 9-10 since. ASU is 3-2 in non-Pac-10 neutral sites as it topped LSU and Princeton and fell to Illinois in the 2007 Maui Invitational. ASU is shooting 53.8 percent (70-of-130) in its two games away from home this year.

IF IT IS CLOSE: ASU is 8-5 in games of 10 points or less in the past two years after going 4-17 in Coach Sendek's first season. Should a game go an extra stanza, it is probably worth noting ASU went 4-0 in overtime games last year.

DEFENSE: The Sun Devils are giving up just 61.7 points in Herb Sendek's 69 games. In the past 49 games against ASU, only nine teams have scored 70 points against the Sun Devils, and two of those were overtime games. So in the past 47 regulation games, only seven teams have notched 70 points against ASU, but Baylor was one of them with its 87 points on Friday.

THAT DIDN'T TAKE LONG: ASU was 8-22 (.267) in Herb Sendek's first year, 25-14 (.641) since. In his 16th year as a head coach, the 45-year old Pittsburgh, Pa., native is 287-194 (.597).

NOT IN TEMPE: ASU will play at least 16 games away from its home arena this year. In addition to 10 road games, three games in Anaheim and at least one game in the Pac-10 Tournament, ASU will play IUPUI (26-7 last year) on Dec. 14 at U.S. Airways Arena in Phoenix and then play BYU (27-8 last year) at University of Phoenix Stadium on Dec. 20 in Glendale, Ariz. The game is a doubleheader with Louisville and Minnesota held at the home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, where Arizona State will host NCAA West Regional on March 26-28, 2009.

STEADY DEREK: Derek Glasser is 106-of-130 (.815) from the free throw line in his career. He has 23 assists and 10 turnovers on the year and in his career he has 254 assists and 128 turnovers.

SLICK RICK: Rihards Kuksiks is averaging 8.5 points per game in his past 17 games dating to last season. He is shooting 10-of-22 (.455) from the three-point stripe on the year.

MR. SUN DEVIL: Third-team All-Pac-10 pick from a year ago Jeff Pendergraph is shooting 76.1 percent from free throw line in career (274-of-360) and is averaging 11.9 points (1,141 points) and 7.2 rebounds (688) in 96 career games (90 career starts). He is currently 10th on the ASU single-season rebound list with 688, 12 behind Gerard Schreur (700 from 1967-70). He has 20 career double-doubles and is shooting 436-of-787 (.554) in his career from the field. He has posted back-to-back double-doubles as in the 76 Classic he is averaging 21 points, 10 boards and is 14-of-19 (.737) from the field. With one more start he will become just the seventh Sun Devil in history to start at least 92 games in his career.

HARD-EN FAST NOTES: Through 39 career games, 6-5 sophomore James Harden has led ASU in scoring 29 times, led it in rebounding 13 times and led it in assists in 16 games...has 19 20-point games in his career and has two 30-point game this year (33 vs. Pepperdine and 32 vs. Baylor)...averaging 26.7 points in his past three games...he went 11-of-11 from the foul line against Charlotte and is now 44-of-53 (.830) from the free throw line on the year and 213-of-277 (.769) in his career...has 84 steals in 39 career games (2.15 per game).

HEY ABBOTT: Lost in the James Harden fodder is the solid career sophomore Ty Abbott has produced through his first 39 games. Abbott is averaging 10.1 points per game and has made 82 three-pointers. His 76 three-pointers last year was fourth-best by a freshman in Pac-10 history. He also is averaging 6.0 rebounds per game this year and is shooting 19-of-40 (.475) from the field.

UTILITY MAN: Junior Jerren Shipp has been asked to do it all in his 69-game career, as he has started in 38 games and come off the bench in 31 contests. In five games off the bench this year, he is 10-of-15 (.667) from the field and 6-of-9 (.667) from the three-point stripe in 17.8 minutes per game.

GOING BACK TO CALI: Sunday's game is the fourth of at least nine games in California for ASU this year. ASU won at San Diego State on Nov. 18, has three games in the 76 Classic, plays at USC, UCLA, Stanford and California and will play at least one game in the Pac-10 Tournament at Staples Center in Los Angeles in March.

ETC.: Herb Sendek is 54-12 (.818) in November games...ASU has shot at least 57 percent in three of its five games...ASU is now 3-2 under Herb Sendek playing away from home as a ranked team...ASU is 18-3 in the past two years when it leads at the half in the past two seasons...ASU is 17-1 under Herb Sendek when it shoots 50 percent from the team has scored 100 points against Coach Sendek in the past 207 games and only three teams have done it in his 481 games as a head coach.

ABOUT THE START: ASU started the year 4-0 for just the third time in 22 seasons...ASU will try and start 5-1 for just the eighth time in 28 seasons, and just the third time in the past 14 seasons vs. UTEP. ASU was last 5-1 in 2004-05 when it started 11-1 en route to an 18-14 final mark and a NIT appearance.