Men's Hoops Plays At USC Saturday At 3 p.m. PT
Feb. 3, 2006
SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University men's basketball team (7-12; 1-9) takes on the USC Trojans on Saturday, Feb. 4 (3 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MST) at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The USC game will be on Fox Sports Net with Barry Tompkins and Dan Belluomini calling the action. ASU fell 69-60 to UCLA on Thursday, as the Sun Devils cut the Bruins lead to just 57-52 with 3:51 left, but back-to-back buckets by Aaron Afflalo put the game away. Bryson Krueger led ASU with 14 points in 32 minutes off the bench, while Antwi Atuahene added 12 points and Serge Angounou 11 points and a season-high nine boards. ASU outrebounded UCLA 31-29 but the Bruins shot 61.1 percent (11-of-18) in the second half, and ASU committed 18 turnovers and had a season-low nine assists.
FROSH COMING ON STRONG: Freshman Jeff Pendergraph, an early candidate for Pac-10 All-Freshman honors, is finding himself in better shape as the season goes on after missing all of the fall conditioning and most of the November practices due to surgery to remove a benign tumor in his left leg. Against Stanford on Jan. 21, he looked every bit of the part 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 the defensive end, Stanford senior Matt Haryasz, the conference's third-best scorer and second-best rebounder, was 1-of-4 from the floor and had just one rebound, but at the 7:44 mark of the first half Pendergraph sprained his right ankle and would be done for the night. Haryasz went on to finish with 27 points (8-of-12 after the Pendergraph injury) and 10 boards (nine after the injury) as Stanford won 70-64. Pendergraph is shooting 52 percent (39-of-75) in league games and now has seven double-figure scoring games on the year, including a 16-point, eight-rebound performance against USC on Jan. 5. He is averaging 12.3 points and 6.3 boards in his past three contests and after the calendar turned to 2006, Pendergraph is averaging 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in those eight games and is shooting 52.2 percent from the floor (35-of-67).
Pac-10 Freshman Scoring LeadersRk. Freshman, School, PPG1. Marcus Williams, UA, 11.72. Jon Brockman, UW, 9.93. Jeff Pendergraph, ASU, 9.1
Pac-10 Freshman Rebounding LeadersRk. Freshman, School, RPG1. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, UCLA, 9.02. Jon Brockman, UW, 7.63. Jeff Pendergraph, ASU, 5.2
KRUGER LEADING THE WAY: Junior Kevin Kruger is among the Pac-10 leaders in minutes per game (38.3), three-point field goals made per game (2.63), free throw percentage (.792), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.45), steals (1.37 pg), assists (3.89 pg) and scoring (14.5 ppg). Kruger, Matt Haryasz of Stanford and Brandon Roy of Washington entered this week as the only Pac-10 players to be ranked in the top ten in seven of the 13 individual statistical categories. Kruger has played 40 minutes in six games on the year, including the past two contests.
USC SERIES NOTES: USC leads the ASU series 43-28 as the Trojans have won three straight...ASU has posted two 100-point outings in its past 88 games, both against USC. It won 108-78 on Feb. 13, 2003, in Tempe and 100-85 at USC on Jan. 17, 2004...Serge Angounou is averaging 12.8 points and 6.3 boards in four career games against USC...Kevin Kruger is 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 second half for an 82-71 win. ASU attempted a season-high 27 three-pointers and was outrebounded 37-29.
VS. USC (JAN. 5): ASU led 63-57 with 2:00 left but USC hit three three-pointers, including the game-winner with 2.1 seconds left, to top the Sun Devils 66-65. USC was 10-of-22 (.455) from the three-point stripe and got 30 points from Gabe Pruitt and 24 from Nick Young. ASU placed four players in double figures, as Serge Angounou had 19 points. Jeff Pendergraph added 16 points and eight boards, Bryson Krueger had 14 points and Kevin Kruger 11. Tyrone Jackson had a career-high nine assists. ASU shot 57.9 percent (11-of-19) in the second half, outrebounded USC 28-26 and shot 51.1 percent (24-of-47) for the game. ASU had a season-high 19 assists and committed a season-low 11 fouls but had just five bench points.
IRON MAN: Kevin Kruger's 38.3 minutes per game is one of the top marks on the ASU single-season chart. Here's a look at ASU's top single-season minutes per game numbers.
ASU MINUTES PER GAME (1962-63 to present)RK. Player, Season MPG1. Stevin Smith, 1993-94 38.52. Kevin Kruger, 2005-06 38.33. Fat Lever, 1981-82 38.24. Freddie Lewis, 1965-66 38.15. Alex Austin, 1989-90 37.9
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 the previous 17 seasons, and then came back with the tenth-best effort last year. This year is shooting 294-of-404 (.728), the eighth-best mark in school history. A look at the 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 - 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 the sixth-most in Sun Devil history by a freshman, and is 50.0 percent shooting 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 19
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 (64-of-128)T6. .500 - Byron Scott, 1979-80 (66-of-132)
THREE TOUGH LOSSES: After playing (but losing) back-to-back one-point games for the first time since 1982-83 Jan. 5-7, ASU got in the win column in a tight game with its 65-63 overtime win at Oregon State on Jan. 14, as Rob Evans is now 6-4 in road overtime games at ASU. The Sun Devils lost 66-65 to USC on Jan. 5 as Lodrick Stewart's only bucket of the game was when he hit a three-pointer with seconds remaining to give the Trojans the win. ASU then was leading UCLA 60-59 with under 10 seconds left on Jan. 7, but Jordan Farmar hit a runner to give the No. 17 Bruins the 61-60 win. ASU's last back-to-back one-point games came on Jan. 10, 1983, (87-86 loss to sixth-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 now lost three of its Pac-10 home games by a total of eight points.
THE POINT: Sophomore Antwi Atuahene is averaging 7.5 points, 3.7 boards and 3.8 assists in 25.9 minutes per game, third-most on the team. His past seven games point to him becoming a key for the next two seasons. In the past seven games he is averaging 34.9 minutes, 9.9 points and 5.3 assists, including a career-high 21 points at Oregon on Jan. 12 and career-highs in minutes (42) and assists (eight) at Oregon State on Jan. 14, including the game-winning shot with eight seconds left in overtime. He had a career-high five steals against Arizona on Jan. 25.