Men's Hoops Hosts No. 23 Washington Saturday At 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 30, 2009
COACH SENDEK ONE WIN FROM 300: The No. 14 (Associated Press and ESPN Coaches' Poll) Arizona State's men's hoops team, 21-13 and 9-9 in the Pac-10 last year and 16-4/5-3 this season under third-year head coach and 299-game winner Herb Sendek, plays host to the No. 23 (AP) Washington Huskies (15-5/6-2) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. MT on Fox Sports Arizona and KTAR 620 AM. ASU (5-3) is one game behind both Washington and UCLA (6-2 each) in the Pac-10 standings, and tied with USC and California. After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year, the Sun Devils are 37-17 (.685) since and giving up just 60.9 points per game in his 84 games and are second in Pac-10 in points allowed this year at 58.2 per game, best by a Sun Devil team since 1948-49 (47.6).
THURSDAY VS. COUGARS: ASU led 39-32 at the 15:46 mark of the second half Thursday against Washington State but was outscored 33-16 the rest of the way in a 65-55 defeat...ASU, shooting 74.1 percent from the free throw line entering the game, was just 10-of-17 (.588) at the charity stripe (a season low if you toss out the 1-of-2 anomaly vs. IUPUI) and shot just 8-of-29 (.276) from the field in the second half...James Harden led the way with 26 points, but ASU was just 7-of-25 (.280) from the three-point stripe...Jeff Pendergraph added 10 boards and matched a career-high with a team-best four assists...ASU had just six turnovers, fewest by a Sun Devil squad since Feb. 19, 2005, when it had six vs. Oregon...Klay Thompson's eight three-point field goals is the most by a Sun Devil opponent since Jim Lauritzen of Indiana State also made eight on Dec. 1, 1988...it marked the first loss of the season when the Sun Devils had shot more free throws than their opponents (now 12-1) and committed less turnovers (now 13-1).
QUICK UPDATES: ASU has won 12 of its past 15, including wins over two 10-0 teams (vs. BYU and at Stanford), a win at then ninth-ranked UCLA on Jan. 17 (ASU trailed 54-43 with just over eight minutes to go but won 61-58 in overtime) and a win at Arizona for the second straight year (just the third in 23 seasons) to raise its road record to 4-2. Three Sun Devils are in double digits: James Harden (22.2, which leads the Pac-10), Jeff Pendergraph (13.5 and shooting 66.0 percent, tops in the Pac-10 and fifth in the nation) and Rihards Kuksiks (10.5). Pendergraph is shooting 49-of-73 (.671) from the field in Pac-10 games. James Harden has four 30-point games on the year, the most by a Sun Devil since Ike Diogu had six in 2004-2005. ASU is now 23-6 when Harden scores at least 20 (10-3 this year),
VS. RANKED TEAMS: Coach Sendek has 33 career wins against ranked foes, including 12 top-10 wins in his past nine seasons. He notched his first at ASU on Feb. 18, 2007, as ASU topped No. 22 USC 68-58 and won his first attempt in the 2007-08 season with a 77-55 over No. 17 Xavier on Dec. 15 (largest win over a ranked team in ASU history)...the Jan. 17, 2009, win at ninth-ranked UCLA was ASU's first top-10 road win since its 90-87 overtime win at No. 4 Stanford on Jan. 31, 1998...against seventh-ranked Stanford on Feb. 14 in Tempe last year, ASU beat its highest ranked opponent since that same 1998 Stanford game and earned its first win over a top-10 team since Jan. 23, 2002 (88-72 win over No. 10 Arizona in Tempe)...Herb Sendek is 2-1 against top 10 teams in his past three games...in the nine years prior to Harden's arrival (1998-99 to 2006-07), ASU went 1-24 against top 10 teams. In its past three games against top-10 teams, ASU is 2-1, with wins over seventh-ranked Stanford last year and at UCLA this year.
FIRST TIME IN 28 SEASONS: Arizona State did something in 19 days that no Pac-10 team had done in in the previous 27 seasons. ASU won at Stanford (Jan. 2), at UCLA (Jan. 17) and at Arizona (Jan. 21) as the last time a Pac-10 team won at those three NCAA Tournament regulars in the same season was in 1980-81 (Oregon State and USC). The only time ASU won at all three was in 1979-80. ASU was a combined 22-69 (.242) in games at Maples, Pauley and McKale entering play this year.
APPROACHING 300: Even with a resume that includes coaching in 496 games at three schools, six NCAA tournaments, 12 NCAA Tournament games and having eight former assistants currently serving as head coaches at the Division-I level, ASU head coach Herb Sendek is still the third-youngest coach in the Pac-10 even with two new hires this year. Oregon State's Craig Robinson is a little older than Coach Sendek (about 10 months) while Stanford's Johnny Dawkins is about seven months younger. With one more win Coach Sendek also will become the second-youngest active coach with 300 Division I wins, only Florida's Billy Donvan (344 wins) is younger, as he is 43 years old (born May 30, 1965).
KUKSIKS NOTES: Sophomore Rihards Kuksiks is averaging 11.7 points, including 42-of-89 (.472) from the three-point stripe, in his past 14 games. He has 18 double-figure scoring games in his past 32 contests (9.8 ppg.) dating to last year after scoring 42 points in his first 22 games.
QUICK NOTES: ASU also leads the Pac-10 in assists (16.1 per game), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and is second in free throw shooting (.734)...ASU shot 16-of-18 (.889) from the field in the second half against OSU...ASU shot 65.3 percent in its Dec. 29 win over Central Connecticut State, including 14-of-14 from inside the three-point arc in the first half...ASU hit a school-record 17 three-pointers in its 90-55 Dec. 23 win over Idaho State...ASU is 24-1 when it shoots 50 percent under Herb Sendek and has won 22 straight. Its only loss was on Jan. 4, 2007, when it fell at Washington State 75-55 despite shooting 54.8 percent (23-of-42). It was 12-0 last year and is 10-0 this year when it shoots 50 percent.
NO TO's: ASU had just eight turnovers in the overtime win at UCLA on Jan. 17, the fewest turnovers on the road since Feb. 12, 2005, when it also had eight at USC in an 82-71 loss, a span of the past 35 road games. Derek Glasser had zero turnovers in 42 minutes at UCLA and has just three turnovers in the past 108 minutes. ASU followed that up with nine turnovers at Arizona on Jan. 21 and had just six vs. Washington State, fewest by a Sun Devil squad since Feb. 19, 2005, when it had six vs. Oregon.
SOLID: Derek Glasser played 42 minutes without a turnover in the Jan. 17 overtime win at ninth-ranked UCLA and followed that up with clutch shots at Arizona on Jan. 21. He is 138-of-167 (.826) from the free throw line and has played 17 turnover free games in his 84-game career. In the eight Pac-10 games he is 12-of-22 (.545) from the three-point stripe and 24-of-26 (.923) at the free throw line. In his first six games he was 2-of-13 (.154) from three-point stripe but is 20-of-36 (.556) in the past 14 games. He had a career-high 11 assists (most by a Sun Devil since Jason Braxton had 12 at USC on Jan. 17, 2004) vs. Oregon on Jan. 10 and has 97 assists and just 43 turnovers on the year (2.23-to-1 ratio). He has 328 career assists (3.94 per game), on pace to break the ASU record of 454 set by Bobby Thompson from 1983-87.
WINNING CLOSE ONES: ASU is 12-7 in the past two seasons in 10 points or less games after going 4-17 in Herb Sendek's first year...after going 10-29 in Herb Sendek's first two seasons when trailing at the half, ASU is 4-0 this year as it trailed at San Diego State, vs. IUPUI, vs. BYU and at Arizona...ASU has now won six straight overtime games under Herb Sendek after its 61-58 win at ninth-ranked UCLA on Jan. 17, with four of them away from its home arean. It also beat IUPUI in Phoenix 59-58 in overtime on Dec. 14. Last year ASU was 4-0 in overtime, 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 beating seventh-ranked Stanford 72-68 in Tempe (Feb. 14)...in ASU's first season under Herb Sendek, it was 3-12 in two-possession games (six points or less), in the past two seasons it is 10-4 including a 4-0 mark this year.
HITTING FREEBIES: ASU shot .739 from the free throw line last year, the fifth-best mark in ASU history and second-best in past 21 seasons, and is shooting below that pace this year (.734). 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. 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.
AT HOME: ASU is 23-6 (.793) at home in the past two seasons (8-1 this year), as it won 15 home games for first time in the 32-year history of Wells Fargo Arena last year. It was15-5 with wins over NCAA Tournament teams Arizona, Xavier, Stanford, USC, Oregon and Coppin State.
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 10 straight and the 2004-05 team won nine straight...ASU is guaranteed of a winning record at the halfway point of the Pac-10 season for just the second time in the past 14 seasons and just ninth time in 31 Pac-10 seasons, as it was 5-4 in 2002-03. ASU was 6-3 at the turn for three straight seasons under Bill Frieder (1992-93, 1993-94 and 1994-95)...ASU is 5-3, in the previous three years it was 5-22 in the first half of Pac-10 play.
STEADY JEFF: Jeff Pendergraph, who earned his B.S. in Economics in December in just three and a half years and has 105 career starts, is shooting .761 from the free throw line in his career (306-of-402) and is 53-of-68 (.779) on the year. He has 1,346 points in 111 career games (12.1 points per game) and 807 career rebounds (7.3 per game). He has 23 career double-doubles (five this year).
BIG GAME JAMES: James Harden, the most heralded Sun Devil southpaw since Phil Mickelson, became the first player to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks (Nov. 24 and Dec. 1) since Washington's Brandon Roy notched the feat in February of 2006 in three straight weeks...first Sun Devil to score 40 points (against UTEP on Nov. 30) since Eddie House had 40 vs. UCLA on Feb. 17, 2000, and just the third Sun Devil to notch 40 points (six occasions). Through 53 career games, Harden has led ASU in scoring 41 times, rebounding 18 times and led it in assists in 22 games...has 28 career 20-point games and 12 this year (ASU is 23-5/10-2)...has four 30 +point games 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 297-of-395 (.752) in his career...ASU is 7-5 in Pac-10 home games with Harden, in the previous four years, it was 9-27.
STEPPING UP WHEN NEEDED: In the four games ASU has trailed at the half (at SDSU, vs. IUPUI at Phoenix, vs. BYU at Glendale and at Arizona), James Harden is 13-18 (.722) from the floor, 4-5 (.800) from three and 24-31 (.774) from the foul line and is averaging 13.5 points in the second half, and ASU has won each game.
RALLY CAPS: ASU has fallen behind five times this year but rallied to win late. ASU trailed at Arizona at the half 21-18 on Jan. 21, was behind by eight midway through the first period and was down 37-33 at the 4:28 mark of the second half before rallying for a 53-47 win...on Jan. 17 against ninth-ranked UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, ASU was down 54-43 with just over eight minutes left but held UCLA scoreless the rest of the way and then won 61-58 in overtime...on Dec. 20 against previously undefeated BYU (10-0) in Glendale, ASU was down 66-56 at the 9:31 mark before outscoring BYU 20-9 for a 76-75 victory...against IUPUI on Dec. 14, ASU was down 18 early and 34-18 at the half but came back to win 59-58 in overtime. ASU outscored the Jaguars 15-3 in the final 8:27 to tie the game, as it matched the largest halftime deficit overcome in 15 years as ASU came back from 45-29 against New Mexico State in Tempe (NIT) on March 15, 2000...ASU also trailed at San Diego State 15-2 at the 12:46 mark but outscored the Aztecs 57-37...ASU came back from double-digit deficits in two big wins in 2007-08, as it put the brakes 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 and winning 59-54 to sweep Arizona for the 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 the second half and seven with 1:49 left before winning 72-68 in overtime.