Men's Hoops Hosts Stanford Thursday At 6:30; Cal Saturday At Noon

March 2, 2009

ASU CLOSES REGULAR SEASON: The No. 21 (AP and ESPN Coaches' Poll) ArizonaState's men's hoops team, 21-13 and 9-9 in the Pac-10 last year and21-7/10-6 this season under 304-game winner Herb Sendek, tries to bounceback from back-to-back overtime losses (a first in school history) onThursday at 6:30 p.m MT against 16-11 Stanford. Fox Sports Arizona has thecall, ESPN 860 AM has the radio locally and Westwood One has a nationalradio broadcast, with Ted Robinson and former ASU head coach Bill Frieder(who led ASU to the Sweet Sixteen in 1994-95 and six straight postseasonappearances from 1989-90-1994-95) calling the action. On Saturday, March 7,CBS comes to Tempe for the first time since January of 2005 when ASU playsCal at noon on Senior Day, as ASU will honor four-year starter JeffPendergraph. The Sun Devils, who were on a five-game Pac-10 win streak forthe first time since 1994-95 prior to dropping the two heartbreakers inWashington last weekend, have clinched back-to-back 20-win seasons for thefirst time since the 1979-80 team went 22-7 and the 1980-81 team went 24-4.That note becomes more noteworthy when you consider this...the last time ASUhad back-to-back WINNING seasons was when the 1993-94 team went 15-13 andthe 1994-95 team went 24-9.

James Harden, a midseason finalist for theNaismith and Wooden Awards and one of the 15 finalists for the OscarRobertson Trophy, enters this week 19th in the nation in scoring at 20.8points per game, while Jeff Pendergraph leads the nation in field goalpercentage at 66.5 percent and is even better in Pac-10 play (67.4 percent).Sophomore swingman Rihards Kuksiks also enters the nation rankingsconversation as he is fifth per official NCAA standards at 46.5 inthree-point percentage.

After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's firstyear, the Sun Devils are 42-20 (.677) since and giving up just 61.0 pointsper game in his 92 games and are second in Pac-10 in points allowed thisyear at 59.1 per game, best by a Sun Devil team since 1948-49 (47.6) and14th in the nation. ASU is third in the Pac-10 and 22nd in the nation infield goal percentage (.480), and third in the league and 34th nationally infree throw percentage (.736). It also leads the league in assists (15.8/32ndin nation), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.32/14th in nation) and three-pointdefense (.319).

SO SOLID: Jeff Pendergraph, who earned his B.S. in Economics in December injust three and a half years now has 113 career starts (second-best in ASUhistory behind only Eddie House with 114, so he will tie and break that markthis year), is shooting .760 from the free throw line in his career(333-of-438) and is 80-of-104 (.769) on the year...has 1,465 points in 119career games (12.3 points per game) and 889 career rebounds (7.5 pergame)...27 career double-doubles (nine this year)...also has a chance to setASU record for career games, as Eddie House played in 124 and Jeff hasplayed in 119... averaging 15.4 points and 10.3 boards in his past sevengames while shooting 67.6 percent from the floor (48-of-71) and 75.0 percent(27-of-36) from the free throw line...in his past 10 games, he is averaging14.2 points and 10.6 boards while shooting 62.5 percent from the floor(55-of-88) and 72.7 percent from the line (32-of-44)...has posted ninedouble-doubles on the year.

PAST TWO SEASONS: ASU is 19-15 (.559) in the past two seasons in Pac-10play, the third-best mark in the league behind UCLA (27-7/.794) andWashington (20-15/.571). The rest of the Pac-10 in the past two years:Washington State 19-16 (.543), USC 18-16 (.529), Stanford 18-16 (.529),Arizona 16-18 (.471), Cal 16-18 (.471), Oregon 11-23 (.324) and Oregon State7-27 (.206).

PAINFUL TO REVISIT, BUT HAVE A JOB TO DO: Last weekend marked just thesecond time in ASU's 31-years of Pac-10 play it played back-to-back overtimegames in the same Pac-10 weekend (and first time it occurred on a roadtrip)...ASU did play back-to-back overtime games last year when it beatArizona 59-54 on Jan. 9 and then won at California 99-90 on Jan. 17, butthose games were eight days apart...the only other time ASU had playedovertime in both games of a Pac-10 twinbill was on Feb. 12-14, 2004, when itbeat UCLA 74-62 and then lost to USC 93-84 in Tempe...it marked the firsttime in ASU history ASU had lost back-to-back overtime games...ASU enteredthe weekend winners of its past six overtime games and 5-0 in games decidedby six points or less...it marked just the third time in the past 23 seasonsASU played back-to-back overtime games.

ROAD NOTES: With its Oregon road sweep Feb. 5-7, ASU won four straightPac-10 road games for the first time since the 1980-81 team won fivestraight and finished 6-4 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-50 RPI road wins over UCLA (26),San Diego State (46) and Arizona (47). ASU also has top 100 out-of-leaguewins over #22 BYU (10-0 at the time) and #84 UTEP at neutral sites and vs.#74 Nebraska (6-0 at time of game) in Tempe. ASU won five Pac-10 road gamesfor just the fifth time in its 31-year history. It went 8-1 in 1980-81, 7-2in 1979-80 and 5-4 in 1994-94 and 1982-83.

STATS LLC DOES IT AGAIN: The folks at STATS LLC worked overtime on this one.James Harden is arguably one of the nation¹s best all-around players,averaging 20.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.25 assists per game while shooting50.8 percent from the field. Since the 1996-97 season, only five otherplayers have averaged at least 20 points, five boards and four dimes pergame and shot over 50 percent from the field.

20-5-4-50 PERCENT CLUB (SINCE 1996-1997)
Ricky Minard, 2002-03 Morehead State
Dwyane Wade, 2002-03 Marquette
Brandon Roy, 2005-06 Washington
Reggie Williams, 2006-07 Virginia Military
George Hill, 2007-08 IUPUI

RECENT HAPPENINGS: Coach Sendek, the second-youngest active coach with 300Division I wins, celebrated his 46th birthday on Feb. 22 as ASU completed animpressive sweep of Arizona for the second straight year with a 70-68 win,ASU's first four-game win streak over the Wildcats since a nine-game streakfrom 1979-83...ASU ended one of the most impressive streaks in Pac-10history on Feb. 12, as UCLA had won 32 straight front-end games of Pac-10weekends (in other words, the Thursday game in most cases), a streak datingto a Jan. 20, 2005 home loss to Stanford. ASU shot 60 percent (24-of-40)from the floor, 11-of-18 (.611) from the three-point stripe and 15-of-18(.833) in its 74-67 win over the No. 11 Bruins...on Feb. 15, ASU shot 50percent (22-of-44) against USC in a 65-53 win. ASU committed just fourturnovers vs. USC, its fewest since it had just four vs. Oregon State onMarch 9, 1991..ASU swept the Oregon road trip Feb. 5-7, its first Pac-10road sweep since January of 2005 and just its second Pac-10 road sweep inthe past six seasons...ASU had a winning record at the halfway point of thePac-10 season (5-4) for just the second time in the past 14 seasons (also5-4 in 2002-2003) and just ninth time in 31 Pac-10 seasons, as in theprevious three years it was 5-22 in the first half of Pac-10 play...ASU made16-of-17 (.914) free throws at Oregon on Feb. 5, the third-best percentagein school history with a minimum of 15 attempts...ASU held Oregon State to13 first-half points Feb. 7, ASU's best first-half defensive effort since itled Oregon State 33-13 on Feb. 25, 1995...ASU is averaging 10.9 turnovers inits past 11 contests...in the home sweep of UCLA and USC Feb. 12-15, juniorpoint guard Derek Glasser averaged 16.5 points, including a career-high 18points vs. USC...James Harden has played 275 out of a possible 290 minutesin the past seven games, including three 40-minute games...Jamelle McMillanis 12-of-25 (.480) from the three-point stripe in the past six games.

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. It also won fivestraight in Pac-10 play Feb. 5-22, its best Pac-10 streak since it won fivestraight in 1994-95.

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 36 points,including five three-pointers in 40 minutes. At Oregon State on Feb. 7,Jamelle McMillan had to step in for Derek Glasser at the point guard spotafter Glasser had his neck snapped and bell rung by a pick late in theOregon game and missed the Beaver game with a neck strain. McMillan, who hadstarted only one game all year (season opener), responded with career-highsin points (14), steals (five), minutes (39) and three-pointers (four) anddid it in front of his dad, current Portland Trail Blazer coach NateMcMillan, as the NBA travel schedule allowed him to be in CorvallisSaturday.

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 home defeat since a 93-62 defeat to UCLA on Feb. 5, 1987, itsbiggest Pac-10 loss since a 32-pointer (90-58) at Arizona on Feb. 28, 1998and ASU's biggest margin of victory over Stanford in the 65-gameseries...Derek Glasser also had 13 points, as ASU led 43-30 at the half asPendergraph had 21 first-half points...Stanford was just 2-of-18 (.111) fromthe three-point stripe and is just 9-of-42 (.214) from the three-pointstripe against ASU in the past three games... Stanford leads the series37-28...Jeff Pendergraph has shot 48-of-83 (.578) from the floor andaveraged 16.7 points in seven games against 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 are ASU opponentseason highs...ASU's nine turnovers at California were its fewest in a roadgame since it had eight at USC on Feb. 12, 2005...Jeff Pendergraph fouledout for the first time on the season...the visiting team had won theprevious eight games in the series...ASU leads the series 34-32...ASU hit athen school record 16 three-pointers in a 76-73 loss to Cal in Tempe on Feb.16, 2008...ASU made just 7-of-14 free throws, as it led 31-23 at the 3:25mark of the first half but was outscored 17-1 in the next 7:57 covering twohalves...ASU trailed 63-50 with 1:57 left but scored 23 points, includingseven three-pointers, in the final 1:11...ASU was 6-of-20 (.300) from thethree-point stripe in the first half.

ON CBS: CBS makes its first trip to Tempe since Jan. 30, 2005, whe ASU fellto No. 10 Washington 79-79. This year marks the first time ASU has been onCBS twice in school history. ASU won at #9 UCLA 61-58 in overtime on Jan.17, 2009.

SUN DEVILS ON CBS (REGULAR SEASON GAMES)
#16 ASU 61, @#9 UCLA 58 (OT) #10 Washington 79, ASU 70@#22 Arizona 106, ASU 81@#24 UCLA 73, ASU 68#7 Arizona 92, ASU 84ASU 74, UCLA 73 (OT)ASU 65, USC 48

IF THIS WAS FOOTBALL, HE WOULD RETURN PUNTS AS WELL: James Harden currentlyleads the Pac-10 in scoring (20.8) and is tied for second in steals (1.7).Only four players have notched the offense/defense duo in the 30-yearhistory of the league (no one in the past nine years), the last being JasonTerry of Arizona in 1998-99 with 21.9 points per game and 2.8 steals pergame. Others are Terrell Brandon of Oregon in 1990-91 (26.6/2.3), GaryPayton of Oregon State in 1989-90 (25.7/3.4) and Don Collins of WSU in1978-79 (23.1/2.7).

STEADY SIX: The fine folks at STATS LLC came up with this nugget. JamesHarden is one of six players to average at least 20 points (20.8) and shootat least 50 percent (.508) from the field entering the week. The others areOklahoma's Blake Griffin (21.9/.627), Drake Reed of Austin Peay (22.4/.571),Kevin Tiggs of East Tennessee State (21.0/.531), Chavis Holmes of VMI(22.1/.517) and UNC's Tyler Hansborough (21.3/.532).

AT HOME: ASU is 25-7 (.781) at home in the past two seasons (11-2 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.

FIRST TIME IN 28: ASU did something in 19 days that no Pac-10 team had donein 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 thosethree NCAA Tournament regulars in the same season was in 1980-81 (OregonState and USC). The only time ASU won at all three was in 1979-80. ASU was acombined 22-69 (.242) in games at Maples, Pauley and McKale entering playthis year, but won all three games in a span of 19 days with a 90-60 win atStanford, a 61-58 overtime win at #9 UCLA and a 53-47 grinder at Arizona.

300: Even after coaching in 504 games at three schools, six NCAAtournaments, and having eight former assistants currently serving as headcoaches at the Division-I level, Herb Sendek is still the third-youngestcoach in the Pac-10 even with two new hires. Oregon State's Craig Robinsonis a little older than Coach Sendek (about 10 months) while Stanford'sJohnny Dawkins is about seven months younger. Coach Sendek is thesecond-youngest active coach with 300 Division I wins, only Florida's BillyDonovan is younger, as he is 43 years old (born May 30, 1965).

ODDS AND ENDS: ASU shot 16-of-18 (.889) from the field in the second halfagainst Oregon State on Jan. 8...ASU shot 65.3 percent in its Dec. 29 winover Central Connecticut State, including 14-of-14 from inside thethree-point arc in the first half...ASU hit a school-record 17three-pointers in its 90-55 Dec. 23 win over Idaho State...ASU is 27-1 whenit shoots 50 percent under Herb Sendek and has won 25 straight. Its onlyloss was on Jan. 4, 2007, when it fell at Washington State 75-55 despiteshooting 54.8 percent (23-of-42). It was 12-0 last year and is 13-0 thisyear when it shoots 50 percent.

NO TO's: ASU had eight turnovers in the overtime win at UCLA on Jan. 17, thefewest turnovers on the road since Feb. 12, 2005, when it also had eight atUSC. Derek Glasser had zero turnovers in 42 minutes. ASU followed that upwith nine turnovers at Arizona on Jan. 21, and then had just six turnoversvs. Washington State on Jan. 29. But its top performance was its fourturnovers vs. USC on Feb. 15, fewest in a game since ASU had just fouragainst Oregon State on March 9, 1991. ASU is 23rd in the nation and secondin the Pac-10 at just 12.0 turnovers per game.

SOLID: Derek Glasser, who took a shot to the back on a pick and suffered aneck strain against Oregon and 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 160-of-193 (.829) from the freethrow line and has played 18 turnover free games in his 91-game career. InPac-10 games he is 25-of-55 (.454) from the three-point stripe (fifth in theleague) and 46-of-52 (.885) at the free throw line (second in the league).In his first six games he was 2-of-13 (.154) from three-point stripe but is33-of-69 (.478) in his past 21 games. He had a career-high 11 assists vs.Oregon on Jan. 10 and has 126 assists and just 61 turnovers on the year(2.06-to-1 ratio, second in the league). He has 357 career assists (3.92 pergame), on pace to break the ASU record of 454 set by Bobby Thompson from1983-87.

AUTOMATIC: Sophomore Rihards Kuksiks is averaging 11.1 points, including61-of-126 (.484) from the three-point stripe, in his past 21 games. He isaveraging 9.8 points and has 22 double-figure scoring games in his past 39contests dating to last year after scoring 42 points in his first 22 games.He has posted double digits in 13 of his past 19 games.

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.

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 below that pace this year (.736). 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.

ASU FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
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 (21-13/9-9 in Pac-10)--73.9
6. 2008-09 (21-7/10-6 in Pac-10)--73.6

HOW IS HE FOURTH IN NATION BUT FOURTH IN PAC-10?: According to the officialNCAA statistics, Rihards Kuksiks is the fifth-best three-point shooter inthe nation at 46.5 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 Michael Roll (.534),Theo Robertson of Cal (.522), and Rickey Claitt (.474) all appear in thePac-10 rankings but don't have enough makes to qualify nationally.

WINNING TOUGH ONES: ASU is 15-9 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 4-2 thisyear with victories at San Diego State, vs. IUPUI, vs. BYU and atArizona...ASU is 6-2 in its past eight overtime games (4-0 last year, 2-2this year)...in ASU's first season under Herb Sendek, it was 3-12 intwo-possession games (six points or less), in the past two seasons it is11-6 including 5-2 this year.

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 and largest since a33-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, California 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)

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