Men's Hoops Plays Host To Arizona Wednesday At 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24, 2006
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University men's basketball team(7-10; 1-7) hosts the Arizona Wildcats on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 7:30p.m. MST, to finish the first half of the Pac-10 season. Trey Bender,Tim Kempton and Bob Elliott will be on the call for Fox Sports NetArizona. ASU advanced to the postseason for the third time in thepast four seasons last year under Rob Evans as it finished 18-14behind Pac-10 Player of the Year and consensus second-teamAll-American Ike Diogu. This year, junior Kevin Kruger leads the wayas he is among the Pac-10 leaders in minutes per game (38.06/first),three-point field goals made per game (2.65/first), steals (1.41pg/eighth), assists (4.06 pg/sixth) and scoring (14.4 ppg./12th). ASUopens the second half at league play at UCLA (Thursday, Feb. 2) andat USC (Saturday, Feb. 4) next weekend.
TOUGH LUCK: Freshman Jeff Pendergraph, an early candidate for Pac-10All-Freshman honors as his 19 blocks leads all Pac-10 freshman, isfinding himself in better shape as the season goes on after missingall of the fall conditioning and most of the November practices dueto surgery to remove a benign tumor in his left leg. Against Stanfordon Jan. 21, he looked every bit of the part of a future big-timeplayer with 14 points (on 7-of-8 shooting), three rebounds and twoblocks in just 10 minutes of action. On the defensive end, Stanfordsenior Matt Haryasz, the conference's third-best scorer andsecond-best rebounder, was 1-of-4 from the floor and had just onerebound, but at the 7:44 mark of the first half Pendergraph sprainedhis right ankle and would be done for the night. Haryasz went on tofinish with 27 points (8-of-12 after the Pendergraph injury) and 10boards (nine after the injury) as Stanford won 70-64. Pendergraph issecond in the league in field goal percentage in league games,shooting 55.4 percent (31-of-56).
MORE PENDERGRAPH: Pendergraph became just the fourth ASU freshman inthe past nine years to notch 20-points when he posted 20 against UtahValley State on Dec. 10. Only Ike Diogu (12 in 2002-03), Kevin Kruger(two as a redshirt freshman in 2003-04) and Tanner Shell (one in1999-2000) have notched that number since the 1997-98 season in theirfreshman season. Pendergraph now has six double-figure scoring gameson the year, including a 16-point, eight rebound performance againstUSC on Jan. 5.
SERIES NOTES: UA leads the series 134-73 and has won 20 of the past21 against ASU, with the Sun Devil win coming on Jan. 23, 2002, an88-72 victory over the tenth-ranked Wildcats in Tempe. Arizona's winlast year in Tempe came in the final seconds as Salim Stoudamire hita jumper for the 70-68 win on March 5. UA led 22-4 and 58-43 at the11:48 mark of the second half but ASU took the lead 64-62 at the 3:42mark. It will be the first state rivalry game for three Sun Devilsexpected to start (Jeff Pendergraph, Sylvester Seay and AntwiAtuahene).
THREE TOUGH LOSSES: After playing (but losing) back-to-back one-pointgames for the first time since 1982-83 Jan. 5-7, ASU got in the wincolumn in a tight game with its 65-63 overtime win at Oregon State onJan. 14, as Rob Evans is now 6-4 in road overtime games at ASU. TheSun Devils lost 66-65 to USC on Jan. 5 as Lodrick Stewart's onlybucket of the game was when he hit a three-pointer with secondsremaining to give the Trojans the win. ASU then was leading UCLA60-59 with under 10 seconds left on Jan. 7, but Jordan Farmar hit arunner in the final seconds to give the No. 17 Bruins the 61-60 win.ASU's last back-to-back one-point games came on Jan. 10, 1983, (87-86loss to sixth-ranked UCLA) and Jan. 13, 1983, (75-74 at WashingtonState). ASU also lost by six to Stanford in Tempe on Jan. 21, as ithas now lost three of its Pac-10 home games by a total of eightpoints.
HITTING SHOTS: Two Sun Devils are knocking down free throws at arapid pace, as Serge Angounou is at 81.8 percent (27-of-33) whileBryson Krueger, after going to the line just 28 times all of lastyear, is at 87.9 percent (29-of-33). ASU is second the Pac-10 in freethrow percentage, hitting on 72.8 percent of its freebies(260-of-357), currently the ninth-best mark in school history. Datingto last year, Angounou is now 45-of-53 (.849) from the free throwline in his past 30 games. ASU also ranks third in the league inthree-point percentage, hitting 86-of-227 (.379).
DEFENSE: ASU had two of its best defensive efforts of the yearagainst the league's best two shooting teams in the middle part ofJanuary. ASU ranks fourth in the league in field goal percentagedefense in Pac-10 play, giving up just 42.6 percent (182-of-427).Oregon State currently leads the league in conference games at 48.1percent shooting and entered its ASU game on Jan. 14 at 53.4 percentin its four Pac-10 games, but ASU held the Beavers to just 22-of-56(.393) in Gill Coliseum. On Jan. 7 against No. 17 UCLA, ASU held theBruins, currently second in the league shooting at a .474 clip inPac-10 games, to just 18-of-50 (.360) and just 1-of-15 (.067) fromthe three-point stripe.
VS. CAL (JAN. 19): A close game went bad in the final 6:23 forArizona State, as Cal led 64-56 at the 6:23 mark but went on a 24-2run to finish the game in an 88-58 Golden Bear win. Cal made 31-of-38(.816) from the free throw line and was 7-of-14 (.500) from thethree-point arc. Cal outrebounded ASU 42-30 and committed just nineturnovers. ASU was led by Kevin Kruger, who had 18 points whilefreshman Sylvester Seay had a season-high 13 off the bench.
VS. STANFORD (JAN. 21): Freshman Jeff Pendergraph had 14 points (on7-of-8 shooting), three rebounds and two blocks in just 10 minutes ofaction while Stanford senior Matt Haryasz, the conference'sthird-best scorer and second-best rebounder, was 1-of-4 from thefloor and had just one rebound, but at the 7:44 mark of the firsthalf Pendergraph sprained his right ankle and would be done for thenight. Haryasz went on to finish with 27 points (8-of-12 after thePendergraph injury) and 10 boards (nine after the injury) as Stanfordwon 70-64 as it shot 23-of-25 (.920) from the free throw line. KevinKruger added 13 points while Antwi Atuahene posted 11. ASU was just13-of-20 (.650) from the free throw line in the loss.
BAD LUCK: Senior Allen Morill is now out for the year after havingmicrofracture surgery on his left knee on Dec. 19. Morill had playedin the first seven games, starting in two, and averaged 15.7 minutesbefore his injury. He posted a career-high 14 points against AlcornState on Nov. 26 and had 10 points and nine boards in 29 minutes vs.Minnesota on Dec. 5. At the time of the injury, Morill was thesecond-most experienced Sun Devil (57 career games), as ASU now hasjust one senior on the roster, Tyrone Jackson.
THAT IS NOT ALL: In addition to Morill's season-ending injury, otherSun Devils have missed games and many practices. Serge Angounou, atwo-year starter, suffered a bone bruise on his left knee in practiceon Dec. 4 and missed the next two games (both losses) and ispracticing on a limited basis to rest the knee for games. FreshmanJeff Pendergraph had a benign tumor removed in the fall from his leftfemur and did not get any conditioning or practice until November, ashe missed both exhibitions and the first game of the season and isstill working to get strength in the leg. Sophomore Antwi Atuahenehas not missed a regular season game due to a nasal fracture sufferedin November, but he missed the second exhibition game and somepractices and had to wear a mask until mid-January to protect hisnose. And while freshman Chad Goldstein could not play in in thefirst six games after transferring last year from UC-Davis, it didn'tstop him from catching the injury bug. He broke his nose in the falland wore a mask in practice and in his first game at Iowa on Dec. 17.Two days later, in his first practice, his nose was broken again.
THE FUTURE: Sophomore Antwi Atuahene is averaging 7.4 points, 3.7boards and 3.69 assists in 25.2 minutes per game (third-most on theteam). He is shooting 45-of-92 (.489) from the floor, but his pastfive games point to him becoming a key to not only this year but forthe next two seasons. In the past five games he is averaging 36.0minutes, 10.2 points and 6.2 assists, including a career-high 21points at Oregon on Jan. 12 and career-highs in minutes (42) andassists (eight) at Oregon State on Jan. 14, including thegame-winning shot with eight seconds left in overtime.
NOT FAR AWAY: The Sun Devils, who tied Washington State for sixth inthe Pac-10 at 7-11, lost several tough games down the stretch lastyear, including back-to-back games which were decided by game-winningshots in the closing seconds (57-55 at Washington State on Feb. 26and 70-68 vs. #11 Arizona on March 5). ASU also lost a three-pointgame at the 1:00 mark at #13 Washington (a 90-82 loss on Feb. 24) andfinal close call was a 95-90 overtime loss in the Pac-10 Tournamentto #14 Washington on March 10, as the Huskies ended the year as a No.1 national seed and Pac-10 Tournament champions. ASU was 18-9 butfinished 18-14 overall.
IRON MAN: Kevin Kruger's 38.1 minutes per game is one of the topmarks on the ASU single-season chart. Here's a look at ASU's topsingle-season minutes per game numbers.
ASU MINUTES PER GAME (1962-63 to present)RK. Player, Season MPG1. Stevin Smith, 1993-94 38.52. Fat Lever, 1981-82 38.2T3. Kevin Kruger, 2005-06 38.1T3. Freddie Lewis, 1965-66 38.15. Alex Austin, 1989-90 37.9T6. Jeremy Veal, 1997-98 37.5T6. Paul Williams, 1981-82 37.58. Dwayne Fontana, 1993-94 37.3T9. Eddie House, 1999-2000 37.2T9. Seabern Hill, 1969-70 37.211. Fat Lever, 1980-81 37.1
FREEBIES: ASU made free throws at a 73.5 percent rate in 2003-2004,the fifth-best mark in ASU history and the second-best in theprevious 17 seasons, and then came back with the tenth-best effortlast year. Through 17 games it is shooting 260-of-357 (.728),currently the eighth-best mark in school history. Leading the way areSerge Angounou (27-of-33/.818), Bryson Krueger (29-of-33/.879) andKevin Kruger (66-of-83/.795). A look at the best free throw teams inASU annals.
ASU TOP SEASON FREE THROW PERCENTAGE1. 75.6 - 19782. 75.4 - 19553t. 74.6 - 19983t. 74.6 - 19875. 73.5 - 20046. 73.0 - 19577. 72.9 - 20008. 72.8 - 2006 (current)9. 72.1 - 198910. 72.0 - 198211. 71.6 - 2005
IMMEDIATE IMPACT: Jeff Pendergraph has 19 blocks, already thesixth-most in Sun Devil history by a freshman, and is 51.4 percentshooting from the floor ranks among the best in ASU freshman history.A look at Pendergraph on those lists:
ASU FRESHMAN BLOCKS (1978-79 to present)Rk. Name, Season Blocks1. Mario Bennett, 1991-92 552. Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91 333. Ike Diogu, 2002-03 314. Shawn Redhage, 1999-2000 245. Tommy Smith, 1999-2000 216. Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06 197. Ron Riley, 1992-93 178. Jim Deines, 1981-82 139. Chris Sandle, 1984-85 12T10. Alex Austin, 1985-86 11T10. Mark Becker, 1986-87 11
ASU FRESHMAN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE (minimum 100 attempts)Rk. .Pct. Name, Season (FGM-FGA)1. .608 - Ike Diogu, 2002-03 (209-of-344)2. .574 - Mario Bennett, 1991-92 (159-of-277)3. .570 - Dwayne Fontana, 1990-91 (102-of-179)4. .568 - Eric Holloway, 1983-84 (79-of-139)5. .520 - Shawn Redhage, 1999-2000 (103-of-198)6. .500 - Byron Scott, 1979-80 (66-of-132)7. .514 - Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06 (56-of-109)8. .492 - Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91 (189-of-384)9. .487 - Mark Carlino, 1985-86 (55-of-113)10. .479 - Steve Beck, 1983-84 (116-of-242)