Men's Hoops Plays Host To Wildcats Sunday At 8 p.m.
Feb. 17, 2009
NOTE: A PDF OF THE NOTES WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THURSDAY.
ASU SET TO HOST HOT WILDCATS: The No. 14/11 (AP/ESPN Coaches' Poll) ArizonaState's men's hoops team, 21-13 and 9-9 in the Pac-10 last year and 20-5/9-4this season under third-year head coach and 303-game winner Herb Sendek,takes on the Arizona Wildcats, winners of seven straight, on Sunday, Feb. 22at 7 p.m. MT on FSN with Barry Tompkins and Dan Belluomini on the call. ASUhas clinched back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the1979-80 team went 22-7 and the 1980-81 team went 24-4. Coach Sendek, thesecond-youngest active coach with 300 Division I wins, celebrates his 46thbirthday on Sunday as ASU is coming off an impressive sweep of the LosAngeles schools last weekend. ASU ended one of the most impressive streaksin Pac-10 history last Thursday, as UCLA had won 32 straight front-end gamesof Pac-10 weekends (in other words, the Thursday game in most cases, astreak dating to a Jan. 20, 2005 home loss to Stanford) before ASU shot 60percent (24-of-40) from the floor, 11-of-18 (.611) from the three-pointstripe and 15-of-18 (.833) in its 74-67 win over the No. 11 Bruins. OnSunday, ASU shot 50 percent from the floor (22-of-44) and held USC to just2-of-13 (.154) from the three-point stripe in its 65-53 win. ASU committedjust four turnovers, its fewest since it had just four vs. Oregon State onMarch 9, 1991. James Harden enters this week 15th in the nation in scoringat 21.3 points per game and is one of only xxx players to average 20 pointsand shoot 50 percent from the field, while Jeff Pendergraph leads the nationin field goal percentage at 66.5 percent, currently tied for the eighth-bestmark in Pac-10 history and is even better in Pac-10 play (67.5 percent).Sophomore swingman Rihards Kuksiks also enters the nation rankingsconversation as he is fourth per official NCAA standards at 47.4 inthree-point percentage. After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's firstyear, the Sun Devils are 41-18 (.695) since and giving up just 60.9 pointsper game in his 89 games and are second in Pac-10 in points allowed thisyear at 58.5 per game, best by a Sun Devil team since 1948-49 (47.6) andninth in the nation. One other under-the-radar note on Pendergraph is heaveraging 10.4 rebounds in his past seven games including a 21-point,15-rebound performance against Washington's huge front line on Jan. 31. ASUis third in the Pac-10 and 16th in the nation in field goal percentage(.484), and is second in the league and 30th nationally in free throwpercentage (.740).
THIS NOTE WILL CHANGE BY THURSDAY, BUT WE WILL SQUEEZE ALL WE CAN OUT OF IT UNTIL THEN: ASU is 18-13 (.581) in the past two seasons in Pac-10 play, the second-best mark in the league behind UCLA's 24-6 (.800) mark. Stanford and USC are at 17-13(.567) while Washington is at 17-14 (.548). Washington State and Arizona areat 16-15 (.516), Cal is at 14-16 (.467), Oregon is at 9-22 (.290) and OregonState 5-26 (.161).
AT HOME: ASU is 24-7 (.774) at home in the past two seasons (10-2 thisyear), as it won 15 home games for first time in the 32-year history ofWells Fargo Arena last year. It was15-5 with wins over NCAA Tournament teamsArizona, Xavier, Stanford, USC, Oregon and Coppin State.
VS. UA: ASU trailed at the half but won back-to-back games in Tucson for thefirst time since 1982-83 with its 53-47 grinder on Wednesday, Jan. 21...ASUnow has held the Wildcats to just 58.4 points per game in five games underHerb Sendek, while in the 39 games prior (1987-88 season through 2005-06)Arizona had averaged 86.6 points...ASU held Arizona to its second fewestpoints in a Pac-10 game (Oregon 43, UA 40 in 1985), its fewest points byArizona against Arizona State since a 45-44 Arizona win in 1949 and thethird-fewest points at home in the past 50 seasons...ASU shot just 28.6percent (16-of-56), its worst field goal percentage since it was 13-of-52(.250) in a 65-48 loss to No. 18 Utah on Nov. 23, 1998, in the MauiInvitational...in ASU's past three games against Arizona (all wins), JeffPendergraph is 20-of-33 (.606) from the floor, 14-of-16 (.875) from the foulline and is averaging 18 points and 9.3 rebounds...last year also marked thefirst time ASU had held Arizona below 60 points in both games of the regularseason series since 1962-63 (73-54 and 58-53 ASU victories)...ASU sweptArizona for just the sixth time in its 30 years of Pac-10 play, with ASUwinning both games for four straight seasons from 1980-83, in 1994-95 andthen last season.
RECENT HAPPENINGS: ASU has clinched back-to-back winning seasons for thefirst time since the 1993-94 team went 15-13 and the 1994-95 team went24-9...ASU has swept UCLA for just the third time in school history, alsosweeping the series in 1979-80 and 2002-03..ASU swept the Oregon road tripFeb. 5-7, its first Pac-10 road sweep since January of 2005 and just itssecond Pac-10 road sweep in the past six seasons...ASU had a winning recordat the halfway point of the Pac-10 season (5-4) for just the second time inthe past 14 seasons (also 5-4 in 2002-2003) and just ninth time in 31 Pac-10seasons, as in the previous three years it was 5-22 in the first half ofPac-10 play...ASU made 16-of-17 (.914) free throws at Oregon on Feb. 5, thethird-best percentage in school history with a minimum of 15attempts...James Harden¹s 36 points at Oregon on Thursday (Feb. 5) is thethird-most in school history in a road game...ASU is shooting 78.2 percentfrom the foul line (104-of-133) in its eight road games...ASU held OregonState to 13 first-half points on Saturday (Feb. 7), ASU's best first-halfdefensive effort since it led Oregon State 33-13 on Feb. 25, 1995...ASU isaveraging just 9.6 turnovers in its past eight contests...ASU leads thePac-10 in three-point defense, allowing just .322...in the home sweep ofUCLA and USC last weekend, junior point guard Derek Glasser averaged 16.5points, including a career-high 18 points vs. USC.
NEXT MAN UP: ASU was without a a starter in each of its two wins in Oregonon Feb. 5-7. Rihards Kuksiks missed the Feb. 5 Oregon game with a bad virusthat kept him on the shelf all week, which meant ASU had to find his 10.4points per game, his 30.7 minutes per game and 46.5 three-point shootingfrom someone else. James Harden shouldered the load with the third-best roadscoring output in ASU history with 36 points, including five three-pointersin 40 minutes. At Oregon State on Saturday (Feb. 7), Jamelle McMillan had tostep in for Derek Glasser at the point guard spot after Glasser had his necksnapped and bell rung by a pick late in the Oregon game and missed theBeaver game with a neck strain. McMillan, who had started only one game allyear (season opener), responded with career-highs in points (14), steals(five), minutes (39) and three-pointers (four) and did it in front of hisdad, current Portland Trail Blazer coach Nate McMillan, as the NBA travelschedule allowed him to be in Corvallis Saturday.
NIFTY ROAD NOTE: With its Oregon road sweep Feb. 5-7, ASU has won fourstraight Pac-10 road games for the first time since the 1980-81 team wonfive straight and is 6-2 on the road overall. The 1980-81 team had threestarters eventually become NBA first round draft picks in Alton Lister (21stoverall pick in 1981), Fat Lever (11th overall pick in 1982) and Byron Scott(fourth overall pick in 1983). ASU has top-100 RPI road wins over UCLA (32),Arizona (42), San Diego State (45) and Stanford (86 and 10-0 at the time.ASU also has top 100 out-of-league wins over #35 BYU (10-0 at the time) and#79 UTEP at neutral sites and vs. #64 Nebraska (6-0 at time of game) inTempe. ASU has won five Pac-10 road games for just the fifth time in its31-year history. It went 8-1 in 1980-81, 7-2 in 1979-80 and 5-4 in 1994-94and 1982-83.
STEADY JEFF: Jeff Pendergraph, who earned his B.S. in Economics in Decemberin just three and a half years and has 110 career starts (second-best in ASUhistory behind only Eddie House with 114), is shooting .761 from the freethrow line in his career (321-of-422) and is 68-of-88 (.773) on the year. Hehas 1,421 points in 116 career games (12.3 points per game) and 856 careerrebounds (7.4 per game). He has 25 career double-doubles (seven this year).Pendergraph leads the nation shooting 66.5 percent and is averaging 10.4boards in his past seven contests.
BIG WIN: ASU's win at ninth-ranked UCLA on Jan. 17 was its first top-10 roadwin since it beat fourth-ranked Stanford on Jan. 31, 1998, and just thesecond in the past 24 seasons. ASU won at Pauley Pavilion for just the sixthtime in 32 times, and just the third time in the past 22 seasons. HerbSendek now has 34 wins against ranked teams in his career and five atArizona State. In his past five years he has 15 wins against ranked teamsand a dozen top-10 wins in his past nine seasons.
DON'T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED: ASU had an eight-game win-streak from Nov.30-Jan. 2, its third-longest in the past 28 seasons. Last year ASU won 10straight, while the 2004-05 team won nine straight.
STEADY SEVEN: The fine folks at STATS LLC came up with this efficiencynugget. James Harden is one of only seven players to average at least 20points a game (21.3) and shoot at least 50 percent (.525) from the fieldentering the week. The others are Oklahoma's Blake Griffin (22.8/.638),Drake Reed of Austin Peay (21.5/.572), Kevin Tiggs of East Tennessee State(21.2/.544), Chavis Holmes of VMI (21.9/.526), UNC's Tyler Hansborough(21.1/.522) and Wake Forest's Jeff Teague (20.2/.502).
IF THIS WAS FOOTBALL, HE WOULD RETURN PUNTS AS WELL: James Harden currentlyleads the Pac-10 in scoring (21.3) and steals (tied for lead with DarrenCollison at 1.7). Only four players have notched the offense/defense duo inthe 30-year history of the league (no one in the past nine years), the lastbeing Jason Terry of Arizona in 1998-99 with 21.9 points per game and 2.8steals per game. Others are Terrell Brandon of Oregon in 1990-91 (26.6/2.3),Gary Payton of Oregon State in 1989-90 (25.7/3.4) and Don Collins ofWashington State in 1978-79, the first year of the Pac-10 (23.1/2.7).
FIRST TIME IN 28 SEASONS: Arizona State did something in 19 days that noPac-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 aPac-10 team won at those three NCAA Tournament regulars in the same seasonwas in 1980-81 (Oregon State and USC). The only time ASU won at all threewas in 1979-80. ASU was a combined 22-69 (.242) in games at Maples, Pauleyand McKale entering play this year, but won all three games in a span of 19days with a 90-60 win at Stanford, a 61-58 overtime win at #9 UCLA and a53-47 grinder at Arizona.
300: Even with a resume that includes coaching in 501 games at threeschools, six NCAA tournaments, 12 NCAA Tournament games and having eightformer 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-10even with two new hires this year. Oregon State's Craig Robinson is a littleolder than Coach Sendek (about 10 months) while Stanford's Johnny Dawkins isabout seven months younger. With one more win Coach Sendek also will becomethe second-youngest active coach with 300 Division I wins, only Florida'sBilly Donovan is younger, as he is 43 years old (born May 30, 1965).
ODDS AND ENDS: ASU leads the Pac-10 in assists (16.0 per game/24th innation) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.37/10th in nation)...ASU's usualstarting five is shooting 74.6 percent from the foul line (317-of-425)...ASUshot 16-of-18 (.889) from the field in the second half against Oregon Stateon Jan. 8...ASU shot 65.3 percent in its Dec. 29 win over CentralConnecticut State, including 14-of-14 from inside the three-point arc in thefirst half...ASU hit a school-record 17 three-pointers in its 90-55 Dec. 23win over Idaho State...ASU is 26-1 when it shoots 50 percent under HerbSendek and has won 24 straight. Its only loss was on Jan. 4, 2007, when itfell at Washington State 75-55 despite shooting 54.8 percent (23-of-42). ASUhad 16 turnovers and forced just six. It was 12-0 last year and is 12-0 thisyear 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 hadeight at USC in an 82-71 loss, a span of the past 37 road games. DerekGlasser had zero turnovers in 42 minutes. ASU followed that up with nineturnovers at Arizona on Jan. 21, and then had just six turnovers vs.Washington State on Jan. 29, its fewest turnovers since it also had six vs.Oregon on Feb. 19, 2005. But its top performance was its four turnovers vs.USC on Feb. 15, fewest in a game since ASU had just four against OregonState on March 9, 1991. ASU is averaging just 9.6 turnovers per game in itspast eight contests and is 17th in the nation and second in the Pac-10 atjust 11.7 turnovers per game.
SOLID: Derek Glasser, who took a shot to the back on a pick and suffered aneck strain against Oregon and then sat the Oregon State road win on Feb. 7,played 42 minutes without a turnover in the Jan. 17 overtime win atninth-ranked UCLA and followed that up with clutch shots at Arizona on Jan.21 and vs. No. 11 UCLA on Feb. 12. He is 159-of-190 (.837) from the freethrow line and has played 18 turnover free games in his 88-game career. InPac-10 games he is 19-of-43 (.442) from the three-point stripe (tenth in theleague) and 45-of-49 (.918) at the free throw line (best in the league). Inhis first six games he was 2-of-13 (.154) from three-point stripe but is27-of-57 (.474) in his past 18 games. He had a career-high 11 assists vs.Oregon on Jan. 10 and has 117 assists and just 55 turnovers on the year(2.10-to-1 ratio, second in the league). He has 348 career assists (3.95 pergame), on pace to break the ASU record of 454 set by Bobby Thompson from1983-87.
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 just above that pace this year (.740). In his 10 seasons at NCState, 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.
HOW IS HE FOURTH IN NATION BUT FOURTH IN PAC-10?: According to the officialNCAA statistics, Rihards Kuksiks is the fourth-best three-point shooter inthe nation at 47.4 percent, as there is a minimum of 2.5 made per game toqualify. According to Pac-10 statistics, a player only needs to make one pergame and appear in 75 percent of the team's games, so Theo Robertson of Cal(.542), Michael Roll (.538) and Rickey Claitt (.500) all appear in thePac-10 rankings but don't have enough makes to qualify nationally.
AUTOMATIC: Sophomore Rihards Kuksiks is averaging 10.9 points, including51-of-106 (.481) from the three-point stripe, in his past 18 games. He isaveraging 9.6 points and has 20 double-figure scoring games in his past 36contests dating to last year after scoring 42 points in his first 22 games.He has posted double digits in 11 of his past 16 games.
WINNING TOUGH ONES: ASU is 14-7 in the past two seasons in 10 points or lessgames after going 4-17 in Herb Sendek's first year...after going 10-29 inHerb Sendek's first two seasons when trailing at the half, ASU is 4-1 thisyear with victories at San Diego State, vs. IUPUI, vs. BYU and atArizona...ASU has now won six straight overtime games after its 61-58 win atninth-ranked UCLA on Jan. 17, with four of them away from its home arena. Italso beat IUPUI in Phoenix 59-58 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)...in ASU's first seasonunder Herb Sendek, it was 3-12 in two-possession games (six points or less),in the past two seasons it is 10-4 including 4-0 this year...after losingits first 10 away from home (neutral or road games) in the Herb Sendek era,ASU is 17-12 since, and is 10-7 in Pac-10 road games after losing its firsteight.
ONE-POINT GAMES: The Dec. 20 BYU and Dec. 14 IUPUI contests marked for thefirst back-to-back one-pointers for ASU since 2005-06, as ASU lost to #7UCLA 61-60 on Jan. 7 just two days after losing 66-65 to USC. 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 Washington State on Jan. 13,1983. The BYU and IUPUI tilts marked the first-time in ASU history the SunDevils posted back-to-back one-point wins. ASU is now 3-2 under Herb Sendekin one-point games.
STEPPING UP WHEN NEEDED: In the four games ASU has won when it trailed atthe half (at SDSU, vs. IUPUI at Phoenix, vs. BYU at Glendale and atArizona), James Harden is 13-18 (.722) from the floor, 4-5 (.800) from threeand 24-31 (.774) from the foul line and is averaging 13.5 points in thesecond half. ASU is 4-1 when it trails at the half.
FIVE IN DOUBLES: The Dec. 23 Idaho State and Dec. 29 Central ConnecticutState games marked the first time ASU posted five players in double-digitsin back-to-back games since February of 2001. ASU also placed five in doubledigits in the 76-58 Oregon win on Jan. 10 and then in the Feb. 12 74-67 winover No. 11 UCLA.
RIK'S CAREER GAME: Rihards Kuksiks had his best overall game in the 59-58overtime win against IUPUI on Dec. 14. He matched his career high with 18points (set previous game on Dec. 8 against Nebraska after settingthen-career high with 16 vs. Jackson State on Dec. 4, so yes, that was threestraight career-highs), made a career-high six three pointers, grabbed acareer-best nine boards (after a then career-high six boards againstNebraska), matched a career-high with four assists and had a career-highthree steals.
BIG GAME JAMES: James Harden, the most heralded Sun Devil southpaw sincePhil Mickelson, became the first player to earn Pac-10 Player of the Weekin back-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 59 career games, Harden has led ASU in scoring 42times, rebounding 18 times and led it in assists in 24 gamesÂï¿½has 30 career20-point games and 14 this year (ASU is 24-6/11-3)...has five 30 +pointgames this year (33 vs. Pepperdine, 32 vs. Baylor, 40 vs. UTEP, 30 vs. BYUand 36 at Oregon)Âï¿½36 points at Oregon on Feb. 5 is the third-most by a SunDevil in a road game...11-of-11 from the foul line vs. Charlotte on Nov.27...the 19-year old Harden (born August of 1989) was the youngest player inthe Pac-10 in 2007-08 and he led the Pac-10 with 73 steals...ASU is 9-6 inPac-10 home games with Harden, in the previous four years, it was 9-27.
RANKINGS NOTE: ASU matched its highest ranking of the season on Jan. 26 asit was 14th in the Associated Press and ESPN Coaches' Poll. With UCLA 17thand Washington 23rd, it marked the first time in ASU's 31 years it is thehighest ranked team in the Associated Press poll from the Pac-10. ASU'sother high rankings of note included 12th on Nov. 28, 1994, the week afterit had won the Maui Invitational, but Arizona (ninth) and UCLA (fifth) wereboth ahead of them. It reached 12th again on Jan. 9, 1995, that same seasonbut eventual national champion UCLA was sixth. The other season one mightthink it could have happened was in 1980-81 when ASU started 15th andfinished 24-4 and beat the No. 1 team in the nation, undefeated OregonState, on its home floor on the final day of the regular season 87-67.Oregon State was ranked first or second every week from Dec. 30 until thefinal poll and was second after the ASU win. ASU, despite the 20-point roadwin against the Beavers, finished third. That matches the highest AP rankingin school history, as ASU also reached third on Jan. 8, 1963.
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. RANKED TEAMS: Coach Sendek now has 34 career wins against ranked foes,including 12 top-10 wins in his past nine seasons. He notched his first atASU on Feb. 18, 2007, as ASU topped No. 22 USC 68-58 and won his firstattempt 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 atninth-ranked UCLA was ASU's first top-10 road win since its 90-87 overtimewin at No. 4 Stanford on Jan. 31, 1998...against seventh-ranked Stanford onFeb. 14 in Tempe last year, ASU earned its first win over a top-10 teamsince Jan. 23, 2002 (88-72 win over No. 10 Arizona)...Herb Sendek is 2-1against top 10 teams in his past three games...in the nine years prior toHarden¹s 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 (seventh-rankedStanford last year and at ninth-ranked UCLA this year)...from 1995-1996until 2005-2006 (11 seasons after Sweet Sixteen), ASU went 5-66 againstranked foes (2-28 at home). Under Herb Sendek in the past three years ASUhas five wins, three of them at home.
THIEF: James Harden set the Pac-10 tournament record with seven stealsagainst USC on March 13. It is the most steals by a Sun Devil since EddieHouse had seven vs. Kansas State on Nov. 24, 1998, in the Maui Invitational.Harden's 73 steals tied for fourth-best in school history and was just threeshy of the ASU record of 76 set by Fat Lever in 1981-82.
RALLY CAPS: ASU has fallen behind five times this year but rallied to winlate. ASU trailed at Arizona at the half 21-18 on Jan. 21, was behind byeight midway through the first period and was down 37-33 at the 4:28 mark ofhe second half before rallying for a 53-47 win...on Jan. 17 againstninth-ranked UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, ASU was down 54-43 with just overeight minutes left but held UCLA scoreless the rest of the way and then won61-58 in overtime...on Dec. 20 against previously undefeated BYU (10-0) inGlendale, ASU was down 66-56 at the 9:31 mark before outscoring BYU 20-9 fora 76-75 victory...against IUPUI on Dec. 14, ASU was down 18 early and 34-18at the half but came back to win 59-58 in overtime. ASU outscored theJaguars 15-3 in the final 8:27 to tie the game, as it matched the largesthalftime deficit overcome in 15 years as ASU came back from 45-29 againstNew Mexico State in Tempe (NIT) on March 15, 2000...ASU also trailed at SanDiego State 15-2 at the 12:46 mark but outscored the Aztecs 57-37...ASU 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...on Feb. 14against seventh-ranked Stanford, ASU was down 14 in the second half andseven 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 303-198 (.605) 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).