Men's Hoops Plays At Provo On Tuesday

Dec. 6, 2009

The Arizona State's men's hoops team, in its fourth season under head coach and 314-game winner Herb Sendek and coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1980-81, travels to Provo to meet BYU (25-8 last year and 5-1 this year) for a tilt on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. ASU lost a tough one Thursday to Baylor,64-61, as it let a nine-point lead (47-38) at the 9:27 mark of the secondhalf get away in the defeat. The Sun Devils went 25-10 last season, advancedto the NCAA Tournament and finished 11-7 in the Pac-10 and tied for third,their best Pac-10 finish since the 1994-95 Sweet Sixteen team finished thirdunder Bill Frieder. After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year(2006-2007), the Sun Devils are 52-25 (.675) since and giving up just 60.9points per game in his 107 games. ASU has had to replace two NBA draft picksfrom last year in first-team consensus All-American James Harden andfirst-team All-Pac-10 forward Jeff Pendergraph, but returns three startersfrom last year's team in senior point guard Derek Glasser (2009 Pac-10All-Tournament Team), junior Rihards Kuksiks (third-best returningthree-point shooter in the nation according to NCAA minimums) and junior TyAbbott (121 career threes entering this year).

Three Sun Devils are currently averaging in double digitsand ASU is shooting 51 percent (198-of-388) from the field and is holdingopponents to just .385 from the field, .331 from the arc and 56.0 points pergame with its zone defense that Herb Sendek instituted in the middle of hisfirst season...ASU has had six players lead or share the team lead inscoring in its eight games and has five players on its roster who have had a20-point game in their career...ASU has held six of its first eightopponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting, as 23 of its past 43opponents have shot under 40 percent.

ASU went 6-4 in road games last year with wins at San DiegoState, Arizona, UCLA, Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State, its most road winssince the 1980-81 Sun Devils went 10-1. In the past three years it is 20-16in games played away from its home arena (36 of 77 total games). ASU is10-10 in true road games the past two seasons.

Herb Sendek has eight former assistants who are D-Icoaches, the best mark of any coach in the nation, ahead of Mike Montgomeryand Rick Pitino (seven each). Twelve-year sidekick Mark Phelps earned theDrake spot in the spring of 2008 after serving for 10 years on the staff atNC State and for two years at ASU. Former NC State sidekick John Groce alsoearned the Ohio University position in the spring of 2008. The others areJim Christian at TCU (Miami assistant in 1995-96), Charlie Coles at Miami ofOhio (Miami assistant from 1994-96), Larry Hunter at Western Carolina (NCState assistant from 2001-05), Ron Hunter of IUPUI (Miami assistant from1993-94), Ohio State's Thad Matta (Miami assistant in 1994-95) and Arizona'sSean Miller (assistant at both Miami from 1993-95 and at NC State from1996-2000).

Senior Eric Boateng already has his degree in Global Studies, speaks alittle bit of Chinese and an African dialect called ³Twi²...and is off to agreat start and right now might be the most improved player in the nation.He obviously also is taking advantage of the 24-hour access for ArizonaState¹s brand new practice facility (Weatherup Center). He is averaging 11.5points and 6.6 boards while shooting 70.0 percent from the field (35-of-50).Solid and modest numbers through seven games until one also considers he hasscored 92 points after scoring 57 all of last year. Also, he was 28-of-74(.378) from the free throw line in his first two years at ASU, he is22-of-32 (.688) this year.

ASU made a school-record 18 three-pointers and shot 61.3percent from the field en route to a 104-65 win vs. San Francisco on Nov.20. It marked the most points by ASU since a 108-78 win vs. USC on Feb. 13,2003, as ASU led 58-23 at the half. ASU¹s 29 assists were the most since ithad 29 vs. Long Island on Dec. 29, 2004. Eight Sun Devils registered anassist as ASU notched an assist on its first 12 baskets. Rihards Kuksiks hada career-high eight dimes...ASU topped Texas State 84-62 in the openinground of the NIT on Nov. 16, and then came back with a gut-check win vs. TCU52-49 the next night. ASU was down 48-40 with 3:46 mark when Herb Sendekcalled a 30-second timeout. Rihards Kuksiks hit a three that sparked a 12-1run to send ASU to NYC...ASU opened the season Nov. 13 with an 87-35 winover Western Illinois as 11 players scored and the 52-point margin was thebiggest since 1996-97.

Ty Abbott missed just one game after having arthroscopicsurgery on his right knee in mid-October and seems to be getting back inshape, averaging 6.9 points and going 10-20 (.500) from three. Abbott hasplayed in 76 games in his three-year career and started in 65. He set ASUfreshman records for starts (34) and three-pointers made (76) in his firstseason of 2007-08, as the 76 three-pointers is fourth-best by a freshman inPac-10 history. He averaged 29.9 minutes while playing all 35 games andstarting in 31 last year and was second on team with 16 blocks and 33steals. He posted 13 games of double-digits, and ASU was 11-2 in thosecontests, and scored a season-high 20 points against No. 13 Syracuse in NCAATournament on 6-of-10 three-point shooting. Abbott also averaged 11.7 pointsin the Pac-10 Tournament, going 13-of-23 (.565) from the field and 8-of-15(.533) from the three-point stripe as ASU advanced to the Pac-10 title gamefor the first time in history. Entering this season he was one three currentPac-10 players who could claim a 30-point night (30-points in his freshmanseason vs. Cal on Feb. 16, 2008. Tajuan Porter did the trick with 33 atWashington on Feb. 14, 2009 while Jerome Randle had 31 at Arizona on March5, 2009. When Abbott scores in double digits, ASU is 25-6.

Senior Derek Glasser is averaging 11.5 points andis shooting 85.7 percent from the free throw line (30-of-35) this year...inpast three games he has 21 assists and just four turnovers...already isfourth on the ASU career assist list and needs just 20 to become the ASUcareer leader, a mark that has stood since the 1986-87 season...212-of-256(.828) from the free throw line and has played 19 turnover free games in his106-game career...posted a career-high 24 points in the Nov. 27 win overLSU...earned 2009 Pac-10 All-Tournament honors by averaging 13.7 points inthe three games. He shot 16-of-31 (.516) from the field, made 5-of-11 (.455)from the three-point stripe and had 12 assists and just four turnovers whileaveraging 37.3 minutes per game. He also played 42 minutes without aturnover in the Jan. 17 overtime win at ninth-ranked UCLA.

1. Bobby Thompson, 1983-87, 454
2. Fat Lever, 1978-82, 444
3. Marcell Capers, 1992-95, 437
4. Derek Glasser, 2006-present, 435

BYU leads the ASU series 26-22 with the last meeting athriller...ASU topped 10-0 BYU 76-75 on Dec. 20, 2008, at University ofPhoenix Stadium in Glendale with a last-millisecond shot from BYU waivedoff...ASU was down 41-36 at the half and trailed by 10 with under 10 minutesto play...Jamelle McMillan had 10 points off the bench in 18 minutes...BYUshot 50 percent (26-of-52) for the game, one of just seven teams to do itagainst ASU last year in 35 games and one of just 19 to do it in 107 gamesunder Herb Sendek, as it had ASU opponent season-highs with 19 assists and41 first-half points...the Cougars won the prior game to last season, 64-60,in Tempe on Dec. 4, 2003...Herb Sendek is 3-0 against BYU as he was 2-0against the Cougars while at NC State...NC State topped BYU in Raleigh 89-62on Jan. 7, 2004, as that Cougar team ended up 21-9 and fell to Syracuse inthe first round of the NCAA Tournament...NC State then won in Provo 72-61 onDec. 21, 2004, one of just 11 losses for BYU in Provo in the past sevenseasons, as BYU is 84-11 (.884) at home in that time (2003-04 to present).

Freshman Trent Lockett comes from one of the tophigh school programs in the country (Hopkins HIgh School in Minnetonka,Minn.) and has stepped on campus and made a solid first impression. He isaveraging 9.5 points, 5.4 boards and is shooting 27-of-49 (.551) from thefield. He also has a tendency to make 'splash' plays as his leaping abilityhas allowed him to grab 15 offensive rebounds. He also is among the best inthe classroom, as he is a member of the honors program at ASU.

ASU (25-10) posted 25 wins in 2008-2009 for the first time sincethe 1974-75 squad went 25-4. ASU's school record for wins is 26 set in1962-63 (26-3)...went 10-6 against 2009 NCAA Tournament teams (1-0 vs. BYU,3-0 against UA, 2-0 vs. UCLA, split games with Cal and 1-2 againstWashington and USC)...defeated Arizona (68-56) and top-seeded Washington(75-65) but fell to USC in the Pac-10 title game 66-63...defeated Temple butlost to No. 13 Syracuse in Miami at the NCAA Tournament...was 6-4 in roadgames and 7-3 in neutral games (20 of 35 games away from Tempe)...accordingto, ASU had a RPI of 31 (second in Pac-10) and a strength ofschedule of the past three years, ASU played 36 of its 77 games awayfrom its campus, and has gone 20-16 overall and 10-10 in true road games.

Just how good has the Sun Devil defensebeen since Herb Sendek too over? ASU has given up less than 62 points pergame in each of the past three seasons , the best three-season span sincethe middle of the past century. In the 18 Pac-10 games last year, no teamdefended shooters better than ASU, as it led the league in field goalpercentage defense (.421) and three-point defense (.310). Those thatfollowed Coach Sendek's career at NC State won't find it a big shocker. Inhis 10 seasons in Raleigh, NC State led the ACC in scoring defense fourtimes and held opponents to just 54.7 points per game in 1996-97, an ACCrecord. Last year's 60.5 points per game allowed was the lowest by a SunDevil team since the 1949-50 team gave up 59.8. ASU is currently giving up56.0 points per contest.

ASU set the school record for three-pointers made(288) and attempted (778) in 2008-2009. ASU's top three returning scorershad combined to make 392 three-pointers in their careers and all three arein the ASU career top-10 list already, as Rik Kuksiks has 150 (seventh), TyAbbott 131 (ninth) and Derek Glasser 117 (tenth). So far this season, ASU isshooting 62-of-150 (.413) from the arc, with eight Sun Devils hitting threepointers.

Junior Rihards Kuksiks is the third-best returning three-pointshooter in the nation according to official NCAA statistics. Kuksiks was93-of-210 from the arc last year, which was eighth in the nation. OnlyJared Stohl of Portland (89-of-195 for .456) and Brandon Hazzard of Troy(83-of-185 for .449) are returners with better net swishing digits than theLatvian native. He shot .420 from the three-point stripe in the 16 gamesagainst NCAA Tournament teams last year and was 17-of-37 (.459) in the sixgames against ranked opponents. He also was clutch in close games, as ASUplayed four games of two points or less (and went 3-1), and Rik was 14-of-30(.467) from three. He averaged 10.3 points (third-best on the team) and his93 three-pointers is the third-best in school history, while the 44.3percent shooting is tied for the fourth-best in school history. The juniorhas made 150-of-361 (.416) three-pointers in his three-year career and hadcareer-highs in points (27), three-pointers (seven) and assists (eight) inthe win over USF on Nov. 20. He also posted a then career-high 20 points inthe NCAA Tournament second-round loss to Syracuse with six three-pointers.

ASU shot .739 from the free throw line in2007-2008, the fifth-best mark in ASU history and second-best in previous 21seasons, and shot just below that pace last year (.737). 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, a mark thatis tied for the seventh-best mark in NCAA history. While at NC State, hissquads shot 71.3 percent.

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 (25-19/11-7 in Pac-10)--73.7

Even after coaching in more than 500 games at three schools,seven NCAA tournaments and having eight former assistants currently servingas head coaches at the D-I level, Herb Sendek is still the third-youngestcoach in the Pac-10 even with three new hires this past spring and twoothers in spring of 2008. Coach Sendek is the second-youngest active coachwith 300 Division I wins, only Florida's Billy Donovan is younger, as he is44 years old (born May 30, 1965).

Herb Sendek, 60-47 (.561) at ASU, is in his 17th season as ahead coach in 2009-2010 and has averaged 19.2 wins per season. He led the NCState Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now314-205 (.605) in 17 seasons and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The46-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963) Pittsburgh, Pa., native remains thethird-youngest coach in the Pac-10. Only Duke posted more ACC wins (regularseason and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53 victories from 2002-2006.Another overlooked note is his 10-year stay at NC State. To compare it tothe Pac-10, since the league expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79, only fivecoaches have coached at their schools for at least 10 years: Lute Olson(24/Arizona), Ralph Miller (19/Oregon State), Mike Montgomery (18/Stanford),Ernie Kent (in his 13th at Oregon) and Ben Braun (12/California).

Senior Derek Glasser not onlywill top the ASU career assist mark in the upcoming month as he needs just20, he also is making a run at the school free throw percentage mark.Glasser is currently at 82.8 percent for his career (212-of-256), a shadebetter than Alex Austin¹s 81.5 percent from 1986-90. He also has a chance tobecome the first player in Sun Devil history with 1,000 points and 500assists. He has 787 career points and 435 assists.

1. Derek Glasser, 2006-10, 82.8 (212-of-256)
2. Alex Austin, 1986-90, 81.5 (255-of-313)
3. Rick Taylor, 1974-78, 81.4 (253-of-311)
4. Dennis Hamilton, 1963-66, 81.3 (261-of-321)
5. Kevin Kruger, 2003-06, 81.2 (229-of-282)
6. Steve Beck, 1984-87, 81.0 (298-of-366)
7. Isaac Burton, 1993-95, 80.9 (208-of-257)
8. Eddie House, 1996-2000, 79.8 (268-of-336)
9. Roger Detter, 1966-69, 79.6 (250-of-314)
10. Art Becker, 1961-64, 79.4 (221-of-278)
11. Jeremy Veal, 1994-98, 79.3 (338-of-426)

ASU is 18-13 in the past three seasons in 10 points orless games after going 4-17 in Herb Sendek's first year...after going 10-29in Herb Sendek's first two seasons when trailing at the half, ASU was 5-4 in2008-2009 with victories at SDSU, vs. IUPUI, vs. BYU, at Arizona and vs.Arizona in Pac-10 Tournament. It is 1-1 this year with a 71-52 win vs. LSUon Nov. 27 as it outscored the Tigers 44-18 in the second half...ASU is 6-2in its past eight overtime ASU's first season under Herb Sendek,it was 3-12 in two-possession games (six points or less), in the past threeseasons it is 12-8 (6-4 past two seasons).

Herb Sendek has covered the map in wins. In hiscareer, Coach Sendek has won 311 games in 24 states, plus two wins in PuertoRico and one in Washington D.C. North Carolina (153), Ohio (51) and Arizona(43) lead the way as he has been head coach in each state, and he also hasposted wins in California (10), Florida (seven), Michigan (six), SouthCarolina and Virginia (five each), Georgia and Indiana (four each), NewYork, Massachusetts and Oregon (three each), Hawaii, Maryland and Texas (twoeach). One-win states are Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada, New Jersey,Tennessee, Utah and Washington.

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