Men's Hoops Meets Undefeated BYU (10-0) Sunday In Glendale

Dec. 15, 2008

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#20/#17 SUN DEVILS PLAY UNSCATHED BYU: The No. 20/17 (Associated Press/ESPNCoaches' Poll) Arizona State's men's hoops team, 21-13 and 9-9 in the Pac-10last year and 8-1 this season under third-year head coach Herb Sendek, takeson the undefeated BYU Cougars (27-8 last year/10-0 this year) on Sat., Dec.20, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in the Stadium Shootout, the firstbasketball games played at the Arizona Cardinal facility that hosted theSuper Bowl last season. Louisville and Minnesota tip the twinbill at noonwith ASU and BYU following. The Sun Devils are 8-1 for just the fourth timein 34 seasons. ASU was 11-1 in 2004-05, 9-1 in 1990-91 and 8-1 in 1980-81.The 1974-75 Sun Devil squad started 15-1 35 seasons ago. Four Sun Devils areaveraging in double digits: James Harden (23.7), Jeff Pendergraph (11.8), TyAbbott (11.1) and Rihards Kuksiks (10.9). ASU came back from a 16-pointhalftime deficit to top IUPUI on Sunday, as the Sun Devils are 2-0 whentrailing at the half after going 10-29 in Herb Sendek's first two seasons.BYU leads the ASU series 26-21 with the Cougars winning the last meeting64-60 in Tempe on Dec. 4, 2003.

SUN DEVIL DATA: ASU has now won five straight overtime games under HerbSendek after its 59-58 overtime win over IUPUI on Dec. 14. Last year ASU was4-0 in overtime, beating LSU in Maui 87-84 (Nov. 21), topping Arizona athome 64-59 (Jan. 9), winning at Cal in double overtime 99-90 (Jan. 17) andbeating seventh-ranked Stanford 72-68 in Tempe (Feb. 14)...after startingthe season 2-of-14 (.143) from the three-point stripe in the first fourgames, James Harden is 18-of-25 (.720) from the three-point stripe in thepast five games. Harden is sixth in the nation in scoring entering play thisweek at 23.7 points per game...after going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek'sfirst year, the Sun Devils are 29-14 (.674) since...after losing its first10 away from home (neutral or road games) in the Herb Sendek era, ASU is11-10 since...ASU is 9-5 in the past two seasons in 10 points or less gamesunder Herb Sendek after going 4-17 in his first year...in the Dec. 8 64-44victory over previously undefeated Nebraska, ASU held the Huskers to 18first-half points, ASU's second-best first-half defensive effort in the pastsix years (187 games)...the Sun Devils are giving up 61.4 points per game inCoach Sendek's 73 games...ASU is shooting .768 (139-of-181) from the freethrow line, the best mark in the league and 15th in the nation entering playthis week. Last year ASU shot .739, the fifth-best mark in ASU history andsecond-best in past 21 seasons...Ty Abbott three eight-rebound games thisyear, he grabbed eight rebounds in two games all of last year...DerekGlasser is 110-of-134 (.821) from the free throw line in his career...ASU isaveraging 11 three-pointers made in the past four games(44-of-105/.419)...in its last game against IUPUI in Phoenix on Sunday, Dec.14, ASU was behind 34-18 at the half and fell behind by as many as 18 butcame back to win 59-58 in overtime. ASU outscored the Jaguars 15-3 in thefinal 8:27 to tie the game, as it marked the largest halftime deficitovercome since ASU came back from 45-29 deficit against New Mexico State inTempe (NIT) on March 15, 2000.

A NEW THREAT: Sophomore Rihards Kuksiks had arguably the best game of hiscareer on Dec. 14 against IUPUI. He matched his career high with 18 points(set previous game on Dec. 8 against Nebraska after setting then-career highwith 16 vs. Jackson State on Dec. 4, so yes, that is three straightcareer-highs), made a career-high six three pointers, grabbed a career-bestnine boards (after a then career-high six boards against Nebraska), matcheda career-high with four assists and had a career-high three steals. In ASU'spast three games, Kuksiks is the Sun Devil's leading scorer, averaging 17.3points per game, including 14-of-28 from the three-point stripe, and isaveraging 6.7 boards per game. Kuksiks averaged 26.6 minutes and 8.7 pointsin the final 12 games last year and made 25 three pointers. He has 202points and 12 double-figure scoring games in his past 21 contests (9.6 ppg.)dating to last year after scoring 42 in the first 22 games of last year.

ASU TO HOST REGIONAL ACTION: ASU will again host NCAA West Regional actionat the home of the Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium, onMarch 26-28. ASU hosted the 2008 West Regional at U.S. Airways Arena inPhoenix. It marks the first time the same geographic area has hosted aregional in back-to-back years since St. Louis in 1998-99 and EastRutherford in 1986-91. First round sites for this year include Greensboro,Kansas City, Philadelphia, Portland, Boise, Dayton, Miami and Minneapolis,with other regionals taking place in Boston, Indianapolis and Memphis. The2009 Final Four will be held April 4-6 at Ford Field in Detroit.

WAY TOO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT THIS, BUT SO WHAT: James Harden entered playthis week seventh in the nation in scoring at 23.7 points per game. Sincethe league expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79, six Pac-10 players (sevenoccasions) have finished in the national top ten in scoring, with the mostrecent being Sun Devils (Eddie House in 1999-2000 and Ike Diogu in both2003-2004 and 2004-2005).PAC-10 PLAYERS IN NCAA TOP-10 SCORING (1978-79 TO PRESENT)
T5. Ike Diogu, ASU, 2004-2005 22.6
9. Ike Diogu, , ASU, 2003-2004 22.8
4. Eddie House, ASU, 1999-2000 23.0
2. Ed Gray, California, 1996-1997 24.8
7. Harold Miner, USC, 1991-1992 26.3
10. Terrell Brandon, Oregon, 1990-1991 26.6
4. Reggie Miller, UCLA, 1985-86 25.9

BIG GAME JAMES: After starting the season 2-of-14 (.143) from thethree-point stripe in the first four games, James Harden is 18-of-25 (.720)from the three-point stripe in the past five games...is averaging 24.4points and 7.7 rebounds in the past seven games, while shooting 57.6 percentfrom the field (53-of-92), 57.6 percent from the three-point stripe(19-of-33) and 82.1 (46-of-56) percent from the free throw line in thattime...the first player to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week in back-to-backweeks (Nov. 24 and Dec. 1) since Washington's Brandon Roy notched the featin February of 2006 in three straight weeks...the first Sun Devil to score40 points in a game with 40 against UTEP on Sunday (Nov. 30) since EddieHouse had 40 vs. UCLA on Feb. 17, 2000, and just the third Sun Devil tonotch 40 points (six occasions). Through 43 career games, Harden has led ASUin scoring 32 times, led it in rebounding 15 times and led it in assists in16 games�has 22 career 20-point games (ASU is 18-4)...has three 30 +pointgames this year (33 vs. Pepperdine, 32 vs. Baylor and 40 vs. UTEP)�11-of-11from the foul line vs. Charlotte and is 61-of-76 (.893) from the free throwline on the year and 230-of-300 (.767) in his career.

TOP SUN DEVIL SCORING GAMES
61-Eddie House at California (2 OT), Jan. 8, 2000
46-Eddie House at San Diego State, Dec. 18, 1999
45-Paul Williams at USC, March 10, 1983
42-Eddie House vs. Penn State, Dec. 29, 1999
40-James Harden vs. UTEP (@Anaheim), Nov. 30, 2008
40-Eddie House vs. UCLA, Feb. 17, 2000

QUICK RECAP FROM LAST YEAR: ASU posted a 20-win season for just the fourthtime in 27 years last year after being picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10preseason media poll. The Sun Devils return their top seven scorers and 94.6percent of their scoring in 2008-2009 led by All-Pac-10 selections JamesHarden and Jeff Pendergraph. ASU notched wins over RPI top-60 teams Xavier(9), Stanford (14), USC (28), Arizona (twice, 37) and Oregon (58). Freshmenmade a league-leading and school record 96 starts, played more than 47percent of the minutes and scored more than 52 percent of the points.

STEADY JEFF: Jeff Pendergraph had 56 blocks last year (he had 45 in hisfirst two seasons) and shot .593 from the field (third in the Pac-10) and.799 from the free throw line (tenth in Pac-10). He has 21 double-doubles inhis career, including three this year. He is shooting .762 from the freethrow line in his career (281-of-369). His 111 career blocks is sixth in ASUhistory. He became the 30th member of the ASU 1,000-point club against USCon March 1. He has 1,185 points in 100 career games (11.9 points per game)and 719 career rebounds (7.2 per game). He is averaging 8.5 boards in thepast six games and has four double-figure rebounding games on the year.

HERE WE GO WITH JAMES NOTES: ASU is led in scoring by the most famous SunDevil southpaw since Phil Mickelson, James Harden, who had an ASU freshmanrecord 16 20-point games (tied for third-best in the Pac-10) last year andhas 22 20-point games in his career (ASU is 18-4...the 19-year old Harden(born August of 1989) was the youngest player in the Pac-10 in 2007-08 andhe led the Pac-10 with 73 steals...in ASU's five Pac-10 home wins heaveraged 23.4 points, six boards, three assists and two steals as he led ASUto 5-4 Pac-10 home mark. In the prevous four years, ASU was 9-27 in Pac-10home games...was second on the team in assists (110), including 63 (3.5 pergame) in Pac-10 games...in ASU's nine Pac-10 wins he shot 54.5 percent fromthe floor and was 13-27 from three-point stripe. He averaged 20.0 points and5.6 boards in those games...shot 45.2 percent from three-point land in roadgames.

GLASSER AT THE POINT: Derek Glasser made 58-of-69 (.841) free throws in2007-08 and is 110-of-134 (.821) in his 73-game career. Glasser had 69assists and 32 turnovers in Pac-10 play last year, a 2.16 ratio that wassecond in the league. He also has 275 career asissts (3.77 per game), onpace to break the ASU career record of 454 set by Bobby Thompson from1983-87.

DON'T COUNT THEM OUT: ASU has fallen behind early in two games this year butcame back to notch the win. Against IUPUI on Dec. 14, ASU was behind 34-18at the half and fell behind by as many as 18 but came back to win 59-58 inovertime. ASU outscored the Jaguars 15-3 in the final 8:27 to tie the game,as it marked the largest halftime deficit overcome since ASU came back from45-29 deficit against New Mexico State in Tempe (NIT) on March 15,2000...ASU also trailed San Diego State 15-2 at the 12:46 mark but outscoredthe Aztecs 57-37 to win. The comeback is nothing new. The Sun Devils cameback from double-digit deficits in two big wins in 2007-08, as it put thebrakes on a five-game losing skid in dramatic fashion on Feb. 10 in Tucson,falling behind 22-6 but coming back to take a 13-point second-half lead andwinning 59-54 to sweep Arizona for the first time since 1994-95 (and notchfirst win in Tucson since March 11, 1995). On Feb. 14 against seventh-rankedStanford, ASU was down by 14 in the second half and by seven with 1:49 leftbefore a rally put the game into overtime as ASU won 72-68.

COMEBACK: ASU¹s 16-point comeback is tied for the second-largest halftimecomeback in the past 20 seasons of Sun Devil basketball. ASU trailedStanford by 17 in Palo Alto on Feb. 12, 1994 (46-29) but came back and won71-69. ASU also came back from a 16-point deficit on March 15, 2000, as ittrailed New Mexico State 45-29 in Tempe in the NIT before posting an 83-77victory.

HALFTIME COMEBACK DEFICITS (1989-1990 TO PRESENT/PAST 20 SEASONS)
(17)-@Stanford 46, ASU 29 (Feb. 12, 1994/ASU 71, Stanford 69)
(16)-IUPUI 34, ASU 18 (@Phoenix) (Dec. 14, 2008/ASU 59, IUPUI 58, OT)
(16)-New Mexico St. 45, ASU 29 (March 15, 2000/ASU 83, NMSU 77, NIT)
(16)-Georgia 39, ASU 23 (Dec. 29, 1989/ASU 62, Georgia 61)
(16)-@Texas A&M 36, ASU 26 (Dec. 19, 1998/ASU 96, Texas A&M 91, 3OT)
(10)-@USC 41, ASU 31 (Jan. 20, 1994/ASU 87, USC 62)

TREE: Herb Sendek has eight former assistants who are D-I coaches as 12-yearsidekick Mark Phelps earned the Drake spot after serving for 10 years on thestaff at NC State and for two years at ASU. Former NC State sidekick JohnGroce also earned the Ohio University position. The others are JimChristian, formerly at Kent State and now at TCU (Miami assistant from1994-96), Charlie Coles at Miami of Ohio (Miami assistant from 1994-96),Larry Hunter at Western Carolina (NC State assistant from 2001-05), RonHunter of IUPUI (Miami assistant from 1993-94), Ohio State's Thad Matta(Miami assistant in 1994-95) and Xavier's Sean Miller (assistant at bothMiami from 1994-96 and at NC State from 1996-2000). Coles, Miller and Mattaled their teams to the 2007 NCAA Tournament, then last year Christian ledKent State to the NCAAs, Miller led Xavier to the Elite Eight and Matta'sBuckeye squad won the NIT a year after going to the Final Four.

HITTING FREEBIES: ASU shot .739 from the free throw line last year, thefifth-best mark in ASU history and second-best in past 21 seasons. In his 10seasons at NC State, Coach Sendek's teams led the ACC four times in FTpercentage (including three straight seasons, 2002-04). In 2004 NC State ledthe nation and set the ACC record by shooting .799 from the charity stripe.While at NC State, his squads shot 71.3 percent. One good note on his2003-04 NC State team is in the past nine seasons, that squad's .799 FTpercentage is tied for the best in the NCAA with St. Joseph in 2005-06. ASUhas led the league twice in free throw percentage, in 1997-98 and in1986-87, shooting 74.6 percent both years. Two Sun Devils have led theleague as Alex Austin was 69-of-80 (.863) in 1988-89 and Chris Beasley was112-of-128 (.875) in 1983-84.ASU FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
-- 2008-09 (7-1) (139-181) 76.8
1. 1977-78 (13-14/6-8 in WAC) 75.6
2. 1954-55 (10-14/8-4 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 (21-14/9-9 in Pac-10) 73.9

THE HEAD COACH: Herb Sendek is in his 16th season as a head coach and hasaveraged 18.7 wins per season. He led the NC State Wolfpack to five straightNCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 291-194 (.600) in 16 seasons andwas 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 45-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963)Pittsburgh, Pa., native is the third-youngest coach in the Pac-10. Only Dukeposted more ACC wins (regular season and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53victories from 2002-2006. Another overlooked note is his 10-year stay at NCState. To compare it to the Pac-10, since the league expanded to 10 teams in1978-79, only five coaches have coached at their schools for at least 10years: Lute Olson (24/Arizona), Ralph Miller (19/Oregon State), MikeMontgomery (18/Stanford), Ben Braun (12/California) and Ernie Kent(12/Oregon).

MANY WINS, MANY PLACES: Herb Sendek has covered the map in wins. In hiscareer, Coach Sendek has won 288 games in 24 states, plus two wins in PuertoRico and one in Washington D.C. North Carolina (153), Ohio (51) and Arizona(27) lead the way as he has been head coach in each state, and he also hasposted wins in Florida, (seven), California (six), Michigan (six), SouthCarolina and Virginia (five each), Georgia and Indiana (four each),Massachusetts (three), Hawaii, Texas and Maryland (two each). One-win statesare Alabama, Utah, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, Nevada, Kentucky,Illinois, Washington and Oregon.

PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: James Harden has earned the Pac-10 Player of theWeek honor on three occasions in his two seasons. His first first honor cameon Jan. 7, 2008, and then he earned the honor in back-to-back weeks thisseason on Nov. 24 and Dec. 1. Eddie House has earned the award the most as aSun Devil, notching the honor five times. Ike Diogu earned it four timeswhile Mario Bennett earned it three times. Gary Payton holds the Pac-10record with nine Player of the Week honors.

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