Men's Hoops Game Notes For Washington Game Friday Night
March 12, 2009
ASU MEETS TOP-SEEDED HUSKIES: The No. 23 (AP/ESPN Coaches' Poll) Arizona State's men's hoops team, 21-13 last year and 23-8 this season under 306-game winner Herb Sendek, meets league champion Washington in the Pac-10 Tournament in Staples Center Friday at 6 p.m. PT. Fox Sports Net has the call, while 620 KTAR AM has the radio locally. ASU finished at 11-7 in the Pac-10 and tied for third, its best Pac-10 finish since the 1994-95 Sweet Sixteen team finished third under Bill Frieder. The Sun Devils have clinched back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first 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 ASU had back-to-back WINNING seasons was when the 1993-94 team went 15-13 and the 1994-95 team went 24-9 (both under Bill Frieder). Pac-10 Player of the Year James Harden, a first-team All-American by Sporting News, CBSSports.com and FOXSports.com, is averaging 21.0 points per game after his 27-point effort vs. Arizona Thursday, while Jeff Pendergraph leads the nation in field goal percentage at 66.5 percent and was even better in Pac-10 play (67.3 percent). After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year, the Sun Devils are 44-21 (.677) since and giving up just 61.0 points per game in his 95 games and are second in Pac-10 in points allowed this year at 59.7 per game, best by a Sun Devil team since 1948-49 (47.6). ASU has top-60 RPI road wins over UCLA (28), San Diego State (39) and Arizona (59) and has top 100 out-of-league wins over #25 BYU (10-0 at the time) and #77 UTEP at neutral sites and vs. #75 Nebraska (6-0 at time of game) in Tempe.
VS. WASHINGTON: UW swept ASU this year, winning convincingly 84-71 in Tempe on Jan. 31 and then topped ASU in overtime 73-70 in Seattle on Feb. 26...Jeff Pendergraph averaged 22.5 points and 14 rebounds in the two games against Washington and was 20-of-29 (.690) from the field...the Huskies shot 65 free throws in the two games, the Sun Devils shot 35...ASU was just 11-of-46 (.239) against Washington from the three-point stripe.
ABOUT THAT 1980-81 TEAM: That 1980-81 team that went 24-4 had three starters become NBA first round draft picks in Alton Lister (21st overall pick in 1981), Fat Lever (11th pick in 1982) and Byron Scott (fourth pick in 1983).
HEAVIEST BACKPACK IN COLLEGE HOOPS: Since stepping onto campus last fall, all James Harden has done for Arizona State basketball is...help lead it to back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since Jimmy Carter gave up his seat to Ronald Reagan (Reagan took office on Jan. 20, 1981) as ASU was 24-4 in 1980-81 and 22-7 in 1979-80)...go 5-0 against Arizona (best effort against the Wildcats since ASU won nine straight from 1979-83)...sweep UCLAthis year for just the third time in school history...lead ASU to its largest win over a ranked opponent in school history with 22-point win over #17 Xavier on Dec. 17, 2007...lead ASU to its first top-10 road win since 1998 when it won at #9 UCLA this year...lead ASU to four straight Pac-10 road wins for the first time since 1980-81.
SO SOLID: Jeff Pendergraph, who earned his B.S. in Economics in December in just three and a half years now has a school-record 116 starts (topping current NBA world champion Eddie House's 114) and is shooting .762 from the free throw line in his career (353-of-463) and 100-of-129 (.775) on the year...has 1,521 points in 122 career games (12.5 points per game) and 919 career rebounds (7.5 per game)...has 29 career double-doubles (11 this year)...also has a chance to set ASU record for career games, as Eddie House played in 124 and Jeff has played in 122, so he will tie...averaging 16.0 points and 10.7 boards in his past seven games...averaging 15.9 points and 10.2 boards in his past 11 while shooting 67.3 percent from the floor (64-of-95) and 77.0 percent (47-of-61) from the free throw line.
GOING BACK TO CALI: ASU will play its tenth game this year in California against Washington. It won at San Diego State (Nov. 18), at Stanford (Jan. 2), at UCLA (Jan. 17) and vs. Arizona Thursday (March 12) but lost at Cal (Jan. 4) and at USC (Jan. 15) and went 2-1 (wins vs. Charlotte and UTEP and loss to Baylor) in the 76 Classic in Anaheim Nov. 27-30. It is 6-3 in California on the year.
VS. UA: ASU shot 25-of-48 (.521) from the floor and just six turnovers in its 68-56 win over Arizona Thursday and was led by James Harden's 27 points...ASU has now won five straight against Arizona for the first time since it won nine straight against the Wildcats from 1979-83...ASU has held the Wildcats to just 59.4 points per game in seven games under Herb Sendek, while in the 39 games prior (1987-88 season through 2005-06) Arizona had averaged 86.6 points...ASU is now 12-0 against Arizona when it is ranked, which it will be this week as the Sun Devils are No. 23 in both polls...in the past five games against UA, ASU has held the Wildcats to 29-of-99 (.293) from the three-point stripe and just 97-of-265 (.366) from the field.
RECENT HAPPENINGS: ASU ended one of the most impressive streaks in Pac-10 history on Feb. 12, as UCLA had won 32 straight front-end games of Pac-10 weekends (in other words, the Thursday game), a streak dating to 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 beat USC 65-63 and committed just four turnovers, its fewest since it had just four vs. Oregon State on March 9, 1991..ASU swept the Oregon trip Feb. 5-7, its first Pac-10 road sweep since January of 2005 and just its second Pac-10 road sweep in the past six seasons...ASU made 16-of-17 (.914) free throws at Oregon on Feb. 5, the third-best percentage in school history with a minimum of 15 attempts...ASU held Oregon State to 13 first-half points Feb. 7, ASU's best first-half defensive effort since it led Oregon State 33-13 on Feb. 25, 1995...ASU is averaging 10.4 turnovers in its past 14 contests...in the home sweep of UCLA and USC Feb. 12-15, Derek Glasser averaged 16.5 points, including a career-high 18 points vs. USC...James Harden has played 388 out of a possible 410 minutes in the past 10 games, including three 40-minute games...Jamelle McMillan was 14-of-27 (.480) from the three-point stripe in his past seven games before injuring himself against Stanford and missing the California and Arizona games.
KUKSIKS: Sophomore Rihards Kuksiks is averaging 11.3 points, including 72-of-156 (.462) from the three-point stripe, in his past 24 games. He has posted double digits in 16 of his past 22 games.
GLASSER: Derek Glasser, who suffered a neck strain against Oregon and sat the OSU Feb. 7 road win, 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 and vs. No. 11 UCLA on Feb. 12. He is 171-of-208 (.822) from the free throw line and has played 18 turnover free games in his 94-game career.
WIN AT 50: ASU is 28-1 when it shoots 50 percent under Herb Sendek and has won 26 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 14-0 this year when it shoots 50 percent.
SPARKY MAKES FREE THROWS: 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 just above that pace this year (.740).