Men's Hoops Travels To Los Angeles To Face UCLA And USC
Jan. 31, 2006
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University men's basketball team(7-11; 1-8) tips off the second half of the Pac-10 season in LosAngeles as it takes on league-leading UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 2 (7:30p.m. PT) and then visits the USC Trojans on Saturday, Feb. 4 (3 p.m.PT). ASU's last games against the Los Angeles schools producedback-to-back one-point losses, as it fell 66-65 to USC on Jan. 5 and61-60 to UCLA on Jan. 7. Both games were decided in the final secondson opponent shots. ASU advanced to the postseason for the third timein the past four seasons last year under Rob Evans as it finished18-14 behind Pac-10 Player of the Year and consensus second-teamAll-American Ike Diogu. The UCLA game will be shown on a tape-delaybasis on Fox Sports Net Arizona at 11 p.m. MST Thursday, while theUSC game will be on Fox Sports Net with Barry Tompkins and DanBelluomini calling the action. The Bruins will enter the game ranked14th by the Associated Press, and ASU's last road win over a rankedteam came in Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 16, 2002, a 69-68 win over thenNo. 20 UCLA.
KRUGER LEADING THE WAY: Junior Kevin Kruger is among the Pac-10leaders in minutes per game (38.17/first), three-point field goalsmade per game (2.72/first), free throw percentage (.793/ninth),assist-to-turnover ratio (1.37/ninth), steals (1.39 pg/ninth),
FROSH COMING ON STRONG: Freshman Jeff Pendergraph, an earlycandidate for Pac-10 All-Freshman honors as his 1.12 blocks per gameleads all Pac-10 freshman, is finding himself in better shape as theseason goes on after missing all of the fall conditioning and most ofthe November practices due to surgery to remove a benign tumor in hisleft leg. Against Stanford on Jan. 21, he looked every bit of thepart of a future big-time player with 14 points (on 7-of-8 shooting),three rebounds and two blocks in just 10 minutes of action. On thedefensive end, 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. Pendergraph is tied for fifth in the Pac-10 in field goalpercentage in league games, shooting 52.2 percent (36-of-69). AmongPac-10 freshman, he is third in the league in points per game (9.2),third in rebounds per game (5.2) and second in blocks per game (1.7).He is the only player in the Pac-10 ranked among the top five inpoints, rebounds and blocks per game among the league's freshman.
Pac-10 Freshman Scoring LeadersRk. Freshman, School PPG1. Marcus Williams, UA 11.52. Jon Brockman, UW 9.93. Jeff Pendergraph, ASU 9.2
Pac-10 Freshman Reb. LeadersRk. Freshman, School RPG1. Jon Brockman, UW 7.62. RouSean Cromwell, USC 5.33. Jeff Pendergraph, ASU 5.2
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 seven double-figure scoringgames on the year, including a 16-point, eight rebound performanceagainst USC on Jan. 5. He is averaging 15.5 points and seven boardsin his past two contests. Since the calendar turned to 2006,Pendergraph is averaging 10.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in those sevengames and is shooting 52.5 percent from the floor (32-of-61).
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 18 games it is shooting 282-of-387 (.729),currently tied for the seventh-best mark in school history. A look atthe best free throw teams in ASU annals.
ASU TOP SEASON FREE THROW PERCENTAGE1. 75.6 - 19782. 75.4 - 19553t. 74.6 - 19983t. 74.6 - 19875. 73.5 - 20046. 73.0 - 1957T7. 72.9 - 2000T7. 72.9 - 2006 (current)9. 72.1 - 198910. 72.0 - 198211. 71.6 - 2005
IRON MAN: Kevin Kruger's 38.2 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 38.5T2. Kevin Kruger, 2005-06 38.2T2. Fat Lever, 1981-82 38.24. 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
National Minutes Per Game (through Jan. 27)Rk. Name, School MPG1. James Holmes, USF 39.1T2. Jared Jordan, Marist 38.5T2. Whit Holcomb-Faye, Radford 38.54. Dwayne Mitchell, La. Laf 38.3T5. Quinton Day, UMKC 38.2T5. Kevin Kruger, Arizona St. 38.2
IMMEDIATE IMPACT: Jeff Pendergraph has 19 blocks, already thesixth-most in Sun Devil history by a freshman, and is 50.0 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)T6. .500 - Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06 (61-of-122)T6. .500 - Byron Scott, 1979-80 (66-of-132)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)
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 to give the No. 17 Bruins the 61-60 win. ASU's lastback-to-back one-point games came on Jan. 10, 1983, (87-86 loss tosixth-ranked UCLA) and Jan. 13, 1983, (75-74 at Washington State).ASU also lost by six to Stanford in Tempe on Jan. 21, as it has nowlost three of its Pac-10 home games by a total of eight points.
UCLA SERIES NOTES: UCLA leads the series 51-14, but ASU has won fourof the past eight after UCLA had won 25 of the previous 26...UCLA hadwon 22 straight overall before ASU ended the streak with a 104-75 winon Feb. 17, 2000, in Tempe and swept the Bruins in 2002-2003 for justthe second time in school history...Kevin Kruger is 16-of-19 (.842)from the free throw line in his five career games against the Bruins.He is averaging 12.0 points against UCLA in his past threegames...Serge Angounou is 22-of-35 (.629) from the field against UCLAin four career games and is averaging 12.0 points, including 14.7points in the past three games...in the game last season at PauleyPavilion on Feb. 10, 2005, UCLA shot 14-of-20 (.700) from the fieldin the second half and was 13-of-21 (.619) from the three-pointstripe in racing to a 95-76 win as it led 46-32 at the half...ASU isjust 5-23 (.179) at UCLA, with wins coming in 2002-03, 2001-02,1986-87, 1982-83 and 1979-80.
VS. UCLA (JAN. 7): ASU held UCLA to just 18-of-50 (.360) from thefield, including 6-of-25 (.240) in the first half, but JordanFarmar's runner in the lane with time running out proved to be thedifference in a 61-60 loss to the No. 17 Bruins. ASU entered the gameshooting 75 percent from the free throw line, second-best in thePac-10, but was a season-low 6-of-13 (.462), its worst outing sinceDec. 4, 2002 (5-15 vs. BYU). UCLA was just 1-of-15 (.067) from thethree-point stripe, but outrebounded ASU 38-29. Antwi Atuahene hadeight points, seven boards and seven assists in his first Pac-10start, while Serge Angounou led ASU with a career-high 23 points(including 10 made field goals), but ASU had zero bench points.UCLA's three-pointers made (one), three-point percentage (.067),first-half points (23) and assists (seven) all are ASU opponentseason-lows.
USC SERIES NOTES: USC leads the ASU series 43-28 as the Trojans havewon three straight...ASU has posted two 100-point outings in its past87 games, both against USC. It won 108-78 on Feb. 13, 2003, in Tempeand 100-85 at USC on Jan. 17, 2004...Serge Angounou is averaging 12.8points and 6.3 boards in four career games against USC...Kevin Krugeris averaging 12.4 points against USC in five games and is 22-of-24(.917) from the foul line...last year at the Sports Arena (Feb. 12,2005) USC took control early and shot 12-of-21 (.571) in the secondhalf for an 82-71 win. ASU attempted a season-high 27 three-pointersand was outrebounded 37-29.
VS. USC (JAN. 5): ASU led 63-57 with 2:00 left but USC hit threethree-pointers, including the game-winner with 2.1 seconds left, totop the Sun Devils 66-65. USC was 10-of-22 (.455) from thethree-point stripe and got 30 points from Gabe Pruitt and 24 fromNick Young. ASU placed four players in double figures, as SergeAngounou had 19 points. Jeff Pendergraph added 16 points and eightboards, Bryson Krueger had 14 points and Kevin Kruger 11. TyroneJackson had a career-high nine assists. ASU shot 57.9 percent(11-of-19) in the second half, outrebounded USC 28-26 and shot 51.1percent (24-of-47) for the game. ASU had a season-high 19 assists andcommitted a season-low 11 fouls but had just five bench points.
MAKING SHOTS: The Sun Devils are knocking down free throws at a solidpace, as Kevin Kruger is at 79.3 percent (73-of-92), Serge Angounouis at 75.7 percent (28-of-37) while Bryson Krueger, after going tothe line just 28 times all of last year, is at 87.9 percent(29-of-33). ASU is second the Pac-10 in free throw percentage,hitting on 72.9 percent of its freebies (282-of-387), currently tiedfor the seventh-best mark in school history. Dating to last year,Angounou is now 46-of-57 (.807) from the free throw line in his past31 games. ASU also ranks second in the league in three-pointpercentage, hitting 94-of-247 (.381).
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 fifth in the league in field goal percentagedefense in Pac-10 play, giving up just 43.3 percent (210-of-485).Oregon State currently is second in the league in conference games at46.0 percent shooting and entered its ASU game on Jan. 14 at 53.4percent in its four Pac-10 games, but ASU held the Beavers to just22-of-56 (.393) in Gill Coliseum. On Jan. 7 against then No. 17 UCLA,ASU held the Bruins, currently first in the league shooting at a .463clip in Pac-10 games, to just 18-of-50 (.360) and just 1-of-15 (.067)from the three-point stripe.
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.
AT THE POINT: Sophomore Antwi Atuahene is averaging 7.3 points, 3.7boards and 3.9 assists in 25.7 minutes per game (third-most on theteam). His past six games point to him becoming a key for the nexttwo seasons. In the past six games he is averaging 35.8 minutes, 9.5points and six assists, including a career-high 21 points at Oregonon Jan. 12 and career-highs in minutes (42) and assists (eight) atOregon State on Jan. 14, including the game-winning shot with eightseconds left in overtime. He also had a career-high five stealsagainst Arizona on Jan. 25.
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.
ON THE OPENING DAY ROSTER: Three Sun Devils made the NBA opening dayrosters this year, as 2005 Lottery pick (ninth overall) and 2005Pac-10 Player of the Year Ike Diogu (Golden State Warriors), isjoined by 1999-2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year Eddie House (PhoenixSuns) and Awvee Storey (Washington Wizards), the Pac-10's leadingrebounder in 2000-2001. Diogu became ASU's seventh first-round pickand the first since Mario Bennett went to Phoenix in 1995 (27thoverall). Diogu is the highest Sun Devil drafted since Byron Scottwent fourth in 1983.
COACH EVANS: Rob Evans (201-195/.508) is in his eighth season at ASU(14th overall) after being hired on April 7, 1998. The 1997 SEC Coachof the Year spent six seasons at Ole Miss, compiling an 86-81 (.515)record. He led the Rebels to a 42-16 record in his final two seasons,winning two SEC West titles, and led Ole Miss to back-to-back 20-winseasons for the first time since 1937-38. The 59-year old Evans is a1968 graduate of New Mexico State, where he captained two NCAATournament teams and is a 1989 inductee of the Athletic Hall of Fame.He is 115-114 (.502) at ASU and has led the Sun Devils to fourpostseason appearances, including a 2003 NCAA appearance that was theschool's first since 1995. He reached his 100th win at ASU againstLong Island on Dec. 28, becoming just the third ASU coach to top thecentury mark, joining Ned Wulk (406-272 from 1957-82) and BillFrieder (132-108 from 1989-97).
FALL SIGNINGS: The ASU men's basketball program signed twostudent-athletes in the fall signing period. George Odufuwa (KimballHigh School/Dallas, Texas) and Christian Polk (Deer Valley HighSchool/Glendale, Ariz.). are expected to join the Sun Devil programin the fall of 2006. Odufuwa is a 6-8, 240-pound forward who averaged 19.7 points,10.6 rebounds and two blocks in his junior year playing for coachRoyce Johnson. He earned All-District 13 (4A) and All Region IIfirst-team honors and second-team All-Metro. He is ranked as thefourth-best power forward in Texas this year by TexasHoops.com and isranked as the 16th-best power forward in the nation by Rivals.com. Polk helped lead Deer Valley, coached by John Fellens, to a30-2 record last season as he averaged 15.1 points, second on theteam, 4.5 assists and 1.9 steals on a squad that had two otherplayers sign Division-I letters of intent last fall. He posted 1020-point games as the Skyhawks were 14-0 in the conference. He posteddouble digits in his final 19 games, averaging 17.5 points per gamein that time. Polk has earned second-team Best in the West honors bythe Long Beach Press Telegram in its November of 2005 annualrankings. His Deer Valley squad lost in overtime to Mesa MountainView in the Class 5A semifinals. He was ranked 85th in the nation byHoop Alliance this past summer. He also earned 5A All-Arizonasecond-team honors by the Arizona Republic last year, joining currentSun Devil Chad Goldstein, who was a first-team pick. He earned MVP honors of the Reebok/Arizona Preps FallShowcase held at Grand Canyon University in October, a seven-yearevent with more than 200 players this past fall.assists (3.89 pg/ninth) and scoring (14.9 ppg./ninth).