Men's Hoops Opens Home Pac-10 Slate With Two Games In 40 Hours

Jan. 6, 2009

SUN DEVILS OPEN HOME SLATE OF PAC-10 GAMES ON FSN: The No. 20/16 (AssociatedPress/ESPN Coaches' Poll) Arizona State's men's hoops team, 21-13 and 9-9 inthe Pac-10 last year and 12-2/1-1 this season under third-year head coachHerb Sendek, hosts Oregon State on Thursday, Jan. 8 (8:30 p.m. MT), and Oregonon Saturday, Jan. 10 (noon MT) with both games on Fox Sports Net and BarryTompkins and Dan Belluomini calling the action. ASU had its eight-gamewinning streak (third-best ASU streak in past 28 seasons) snapped at CalSunday in an 81-71 loss as the Sun Devils grabbed a split in the Bay Area toopen Pac-10 play. It defeated 10-0 Stanford in Palo Alto 90-60 on Jan. 2 to tipleague play, its second win over a 10-0 team this year (ASU defeated 10-0BYU on Dec. 20 in Glendale, Ariz.).

*Four Sun Devils are in double digits: James Harden (23.4, which leads the Pac-10 and is tenth nationally), Jeff Pendergraph (14.3), Rihards Kuksiks (10.6) and Ty Abbott (10.2), as Kuksiks is 12-of-16 (.750) from the three-point stripe in the past four games.

*ASU started 12-1 for first time in 34 seasons (1974-75 Sun Devil squad started15-1) and leads the Pac-10 and is 17th in the nation in free throw shootingat 76 percent (school-record pace), but no player is in the national top 70(Jeff Pendergraph is 74th at 83.6 percent).

*ASU's starting five is shooting 78.3 percent from the free throw line (187-of-239).

*After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year, the Sun Devils are 33-15 (.688.

*ASU also is third in the nation shooting 51 percent despite playing eight games away from Wells Fargo Arena.

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, and isshooting at a school-record 76.0 percent pace this year. In his 10 seasonsat 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 nationand set the ACC record by shooting .799 from the charity stripe. While at NCState, his squads shot 71.3 percent. One good note on his 2003-04 NC Stateteam is in the past nine seasons, that squad's .799 FT percentage is tiedfor the best in the NCAA with St. Joseph in 2005-06. ASU has led the leaguetwice in free throw percentage, in 1997-98 and in 1986-87, shooting 74.6percent both years. Two Sun Devils have led the league as Alex Austin was69-of-80 (.863) in 1988-89 and Chris Beasley was 112-of-128 (.875) in1983-84.

ASU FREE THROW PERCENTAGE1. 2008-09 (12-2/1-1 in Pac-10/212-278)-76.0
2. 1977-78 (13-14/6-8 in WAC)=75.6
3. 1954-55 (10-14/8-4 in Border)-75.4
4. 1997-98 (18-14/8-10 in Pac-10)-74.6
4. 1986-87 (11-17/6-12 in Pac-10)-74.6
6. 2007-08 (21-13/9-9 in Pac-10)-73.9

SHOOTING IT: ASU is averaging 9.8 three-pointers made in the past ninegames (88-of-209/.421). It leads the Pac-10 in three-pointer made per gameat 8.8...at the beginning of the week ASU ranked 23rd in nation in threemade per game (8.8) and 24th in three-point shooting (.397), one of just sixschools to be in the top 25 in both long-range bomb categories (OklahomaState, Illinois State, Iowa, Creighton and Notre Dame)...ASU had fiveplayers in double digits in back-to-back games (Dec. 23 vs. Idaho State andDec. 29 vs. Central Connecticut State) for first time February of 2004...ASUshot 65.3 percent from the field in its Dec. 29 win over Central ConnecticutState, including 14-of-14 from inside the three-point arc in the firsthalf...ASU hit a school-record 17 three-pointers in its 90-55 Dec. 23 winover Idaho State.

SUN DEVIL DATA: James Harden has four 30-point games on the year, the mostby a Sun Devil since Ike Diogu had six in 2004-2005. ASU is now 20-5 whenHarden scores at least 20 (7-2 this year). After starting the season 2-of-14(.143) from the three-point stripe in the first four games, he is 26-of-50(.520) in the past 10 games...ASU is 10-6 in the past two seasons in 10points or less games after going 4-17 in Herb Sendek's first year...aftergoing 10-29 in Herb Sendek's first two seasons when trailing at the half,ASU is 3-0 this year as it trailed at San Diego State and vs. IUPUI andBYU...ASU has now won five straight overtime games under Herb Sendek afterits 59-58 overtime win over IUPUI on Dec. 14. Last year ASU was 4-0 inovertime, beating LSU in Maui 87-84 (Nov. 21), topping Arizona at home 64-59(Jan. 9), winning at Cal in double overtime 99-90 (Jan. 17) and beatingseventh-ranked Stanford 72-68 in Tempe (Feb. 14)...after losing its first 10away from home (neutral or road games) in the Herb Sendek era, ASU is 13-11since...in the Dec. 8 64-44 victory over previously undefeated Nebraska, ASUheld the Huskers to 18 first-half points, ASU's second-best first-halfdefensive effort in the past six years (192 games)...the Sun Devils aregiving up 61.5 points per game in Coach Sendek's 78 games...Ty Abbott hasthree eight-rebound games this year, he grabbed eight rebounds in two gamesall of last year...Derek Glasser is 117-of-144 (.813) from the free throwline in his career.

STEADY JEFF: Jeff Pendergraph, who earned his B.S. in Economics in Decemberin just three and a half years and has 99 career starts, is shooting .769from the free throw line in his career (299-of-389) and is 46-of-55 (.836)on the year. He has 1,279 points in 105 career games (12.2 points per game)and 758 career rebounds (7.2 per game). He is averaging 8.2 boards in thepast 11 games and has 22 career double-doubles (four this year). Pendergraphis sixth in the nation shooting at 66.4 percent. That means he has taken 116field goals (made 77) and 55 free throws (made 46) and has missed just 48shots (123-171).

SHOOT IT KUKSIKS: In ASU's past eight games, sophomore Rihards Kuksiks isaveraging 12.9 points and 5.0 boards, including 27-of-47 (.574) from thethree-point stripe. He has 253 points and 15 double-figure scoring games inhis past 26 contests (9.7 ppg.) dating to last year after scoring 42 pointsin the first 22 games last season. The sophomore had the best game of hiscareer on Dec. 14 in ASU's one-point overtime win over IUPUI. He matched hiscareer high with 18 points (set previous game on Dec. 8 against Nebraskaafter setting then-career high with 16 vs. Jackson State on Dec. 4, so yes,that was three straight career-highs), made a career-high six threepointers, grabbed a career-best nine boards (after a then career-high sixboards against Nebraska), matched a career-high with four assists and had acareer-high three steals.

AT HOME: ASU is 21-5 (.808) at home in the past two seasons (6-0 this year),as it won 15 home games for first time in the 32-year history of Wells FargoArena last year. It was15-5 with wins over NCAA Tournament teams Arizona,Xavier, Stanford, USC, Oregon and Coppin State.

BIG ROAD WIN: ASU's 30-point win (90-60) at Stanford on Jan. 2 is thethird-largest Pac-10 road win in ASU's 31 Pac-10 seasons (272 road games)and largest since a 33-point win at Washington State (87-54) on Feb. 6,2003.ASU'S BIGGEST ROAD WINS IN PAC-10 HISTORY (31st SEASON)
36--ASU 91, Cal 55 (Feb. 3, 1979)
33--ASU 87, Washington State 54 (Feb. 6, 2003)
30--ASU 90, Stanford 60 (Jan. 2, 2009)
28--ASU 90, Washington 62 (Jan. 10, 1981)
27-ASU 99, Oregon 72 (Feb. 4, 2001)

OSU SERIES: ASU shot 54 percent from the field (47-of-87) in the two winsover OSU last year and held the Beavers to 41-of-122 (.336) from thefield...James Harden averaged 15 points, 5.5 asissts and five boards againstthe Beavers...Eric Boateng was 8-of-11 (.727) from the field...OSU leads theseries 38-33... ASU's 72-53 win on Jan. 5, 2008, in Tempe over Oregon Statewas its biggest margin of victory in the Pac-10 since a 108-78 win over USCon Feb. 13, 2003, prior to this year's 30-point win at Stanford on Jan.2...James Harden had 24 points while Jeff Pendergraph had 18 points and nineboards in the Tempe win...ASU shot 57.9 percent from the field in the secondhalf and held the Beavers to just 10-of-31 (.323) after halftime...ASU sweptthe regular season series from the Beavers in 2007-08 for the eighth timesince joining the Pac-10...in Corvallis on the final day of the regularseason last year (March 8), ASU got solid games from Jamelle McMillan (12points) and Eric Boateng (12 points) off the bench as OSU was 13-of-39 fromthe three-point stripe but fell 77-64 as ASU clinched a 9-9 regular seasonmark in the Pac-10.

ASU VS. OREGON NOTES: Oregon topped ASU in the final weekend of the regularseason 67-61 at McArthur Court as it was 10-of-23 from the three-pointstripe...ASU held the Pac-10's highest scoring team Oregon (77.4 ppg.) to 54points on Jan. 3, 2008, UO's fewest points in a 61-game span prior to its72-43 loss at Stanford on Feb. 7...ASU trailed at the half 30-26 but forced16 Duck turnovers and held Oregon to just 9-of-24 (.375) in the second halffrom the floor, including 1-of-9 (.111) from the three-point stripe, asJames Harden led the way with 20 points in his Pac-10 opener and JeffPendergraph added 17...ASU is 35-31 against the Ducks all-time...JamesHarden averaged 21 points and 6.5 boards against the Ducks last year...ASUheld the Ducks to 12-of-40 (.300) from the three-point stripe in each of thepast two years...ASU has held Oregon to 59 points per game in the past fouroutings.

ONE-POINT GAMES NOTE: The Dec. 20 BYU and Dec. 14 IUPUI contests marked forthe first back-to-back one-point games for ASU since 2005-2006, as ASU lostto #7 UCLA 61-60 on Jan. 7 just two days after losing 66-65 to USC (Jan. 5).Prior to that, the last back-to-back one-point games were an 87-86 loss at#6 UCLA on Jan. 10, 1983, which was followed by a 75-74 loss at WashingtonState on Jan. 13, 1983. The BYU and IUPUI tilts marked the first-time in ASUhistory the Sun Devils posted back-to-back one-point wins. ASU is now 3-2under Herb Sendek in one-point games.

WAY TOO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT THIS, BUT SO WHAT: James Harden enters play thisweek tenth in the nation in scoring (23.4 points per game). Since the leagueexpanded to 10 teams in 1978-79, six Pac-10 players (seven occasions) havefinished in the national top ten in scoring, with the most recent being SunDevils (Eddie House in 1999-2000 and Ike Diogu in both 2003-2004 and2004-2005). Diogu and House both led the Pac-10 in scoring those years, asdid Sun Devil Jeremy Veal (20.8 in 1997-98) and Byron Scott (21.6 in1982-83).

NOT TAKING IT FOR FOR GRANTED: ASU had an eight-game win-streak from Nov.30-Jan. 2, its third-longest in the past 28 seasons. Last year's team won 10straight and the 2004-2005 team won nine straight.

AT THE POINT: Derek Glasser made 58-of-69 (.841) free throws last year andis 117-of-144 (.813) in his career. He matched a career-high with nineassists (one turnover) vs. Idaho State in 29 minutes. He has 69 assists andjust 32 turnovers on the year (2.16-to-1 ratio). He also has 300 careerassists (3.85 per game), on pace to break the ASU career record of 454 setby Bobby Thompson from 1983-87.

BIG GAME JAMES: James Harden, the most heralded Sun Devil southpaw sincePhil Mickelson is first player to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week inback-to-back weeks (Nov. 24 and Dec. 1) since Washington's Brandon Roynotched the feat in February of 2006 in three straight weeks...first SunDevil to score 40 points (against UTEP on Nov. 30) since Eddie House had 40vs. UCLA on Feb. 17, 2000, and just the third Sun Devil to notch 40 points(six occasions). Through 48 career games, Harden has led ASU in scoring 36times, rebounding 16 times and led it in assists in 19 games�has 25 career20-point games and nine this year (ASU is 20-5/7-2)...has four 30 +pointgames this year (33 vs. Pepperdine, 32 vs. Baylor, 40 vs. UTEP, 30 vs.BYU)�11-of-11 from the foul line vs. Charlotte and is 92-of-119 (.773) fromthe free throw line on the year and 261-of-343 (.761) in his career...the19-year old Harden (born August of 1989) was the youngest player in thePac-10 in 2007-08 and he led the Pac-10 with 73 steals...in ASU's fivePac-10 home wins he averaged 23.4 points, six boards, three assists and twosteals as he led ASU to 5-4 Pac-10 home mark. In the prevous four years, ASUwas 9-27 in Pac-10 home games.

RALLY CAPS: ASU has fallen behind three times this year but rallied to win.On Dec. 20 against previously undefeated BYU in Glendale, ASU was down 66-56at the 9:31 mark before outscoring BYU 20-9 for a 76-75 victory...againstIUPUI on Dec. 14, ASU was down 18 early and 34-18 at the half but came backto win 59-58 in overtime. ASU outscored the Jaguars 15-3 in the final 8:27to tie the game, as it matched the largest halftime deficit overcome in 15years as ASU came back from 45-29 against New Mexico State in Tempe (NIT) onMarch 15, 2000...ASU also trailed at San Diego State 15-2 at the 12:46 markbut outscored the Aztecs 57-37...ASU came back from double-digit deficits intwo big wins in 2007-08, as it put the brakes on a five-game losing skid indramatic fashion on Feb. 10 in Tucson, falling behind 22-6 but coming backto take a 13-point second-half lead and winning 59-54 to sweep Arizona forthe first time since 1994-95 (its first win in Tucson since March 11,1995)...on Feb. 14 against seventh-ranked Stanford, ASU was down 14 in thesecond half and seven with 1:49 left before winning 72-68 in overtime.

THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD NOTE LAST YEAR, BUT WE MISSED IT, BUT IT ISSTILL SOLID: ASU became just the second team in the 30-year history of thePac-10 to lose at least 20 games one year (ASU was 8-22 in 2006-07) and thenwin at least 20 the next season (ASU was 21-13 in 2007-08). Only Californiain 1988-89 can match the feat, as it was 9-20 in 1987-88 and 20-13 in1988-89. Miami (Fla.) also notched the feat last year, going 22-10 aftergoing 12-20 in 2006-07, the first time in the ACC's 55 seasons that hashappened. Texas A&M is the only team to do it in the 12-year history of theBig 12 , as it was 7-21 in 2003-04 and went 21-10 in 2004-05. Among theother major conferences, this manufactured note has never happened in theBig East (28 seasons), Big Ten (103 seasons) or the SEC (76 seasons).

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 295-195 (.602) 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).

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.

VS. STANFORD: ASU took control early and then rolled to a 90-60 win atStanford to open the Pac-10 season on Jan. 2 behind a career-high 31 pointsand 11 boards from Jeff Pendergraph...ASU's 30-point win was the Cardinal'slargest defeat in Maples Pavilion since a 93-62 defeat to UCLA on Feb. 5,87, its biggest Pac-10 loss since a 32-point defeat (90-58) at Arizona onFeb. 28, 1998 and ASU's biggest margin of victory over Stanford in the65-game series...the win was ASU's second in the past 11 games at MaplesPavilion as the Sun Devils were just the second team to win at Stanford inits past 25 home games...ASU is now 11-20 (.355) at Stanford in 31 seasonsof Pac-10 play... Derek Glasser had a season-high 13 points at Stanford, asASU led 43-30 at the half as Jeff Pendergraph had 21 first-half points...ASUis now 9-22 in Pac-10 openers but Herb Sendek is 2-1...Stanford was just2-of-18 (.111) from the three-point stripe and is just 9-of-42 (.214) fromthe three-point stripe against ASU in the past three games... Stanford leadsthe series 37-28 and ASU is now 2-9 in it past 10 trips to Maples Pavilion,with eight of the losses by double-digits...Jeff Pendergraph has shot48-of-83 (.578) from the floor and averaged 16.7 points in seven gamesagainst Stanford.

VS. CAL: Cal shot an ASU opponent's season best 58 percent from the field(29-of-50) in its 81-71 win vs. ASU on January 4...its 29 field goals andits 52.9 percent from the three-point stripe (9-of-17) also were ASUopponent season highs...ASU matched season lows with 11 assists (also at SanDiego State), nine turnovers (also vs. Idaho State) and 34 second-halfpoints (also vs. Pepperdine and Nebraska)...ASU's nine turnovers atCalifornia were its fewest in a road game since it had eight at USC on Feb.12, 2005...Jeff Pendergraph fouled out for the first time on theseason...Cal matched ASU opponent season lows with eight turnovers (Baylor)and 11 fouls (IUPUI)...the visiting team had won the previous eight games inthe series...ASU leads the series 34-32.

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