Men's Hoops Plays Host To Huskies And Cougars

Feb. 28, 2006

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SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State University men's basketball team(10-15; 4-12) plays host to the hot Washington Huskies on Thursday(Mar. 2) and the Washington State Cougars on Saturday (Mar. 4). ASUwill try and slow down a Washington squad (7 p.m. Thursday/notelevision) that has won six straight and with two wins could win thePac-10 title, while the Washington State game will be broadcast byFox Sports Net Arizona at 6 p.m. Saturday with Trey Bender and TimKempton calling the action. ASU advanced to the postseason for thethird time in the past four seasons last year under Evans as itfinished 18-14 behind Pac-10 Player of the Year and consensussecond-team All-American Ike Diogu. Freshman Jeff Pendergraphcontinues to impress and improve, as he is averaging 16.2 points inthe past six games and 14.9 points and 8.1 boards in the past ninecontests. ASU tied for the Pac-10 lead in three-point percentage at37.1 percent (136-of-367), its best mark since the 1988-89 squad setthe school mark with a .430 clip, and is holding opponents to 69.6points per game, its best mark since the 1991-92 allowed just 69.1points per contest. ASU will then play Wednesday (March 8) in thefirst round of the Pac-10 Tournament beginning at either 6 p.m. PT or8:30 p.m. PT, and it will be televised by Fox Sports Net.

MORE PENDERGRAPH: Jeff Pendergraph, a leading candidate for Pac-10All-Freshman honors, is finding himself in good shape after missingall of the fall conditioning and most of November due to surgery toremove a benign tumor in his left leg. Pendergraph is second in thePac-10 in field goal percentage in league games, shooting 52.8percent (76-of-144). Among Pac-10 freshman, he is second in theleague in points per game (10.8), third in rebounds per game (6.1),third in field goal percentage (.513) and first in blocks per game(0.83). Pendergraph has 13 double-figure scoring games and isaveraging 14.3 points and 10.7 boards in the past three games. Sincethe calendar turned to 2006, Pendergraph is averaging 12.8 points and6.8 rebounds in those 14 games and is shooting 52.9 percent(72-of-136).

Pac-10 Freshman Scoring LeadersRk.        Freshman, School        PPG1.   Marcus Williams, UA     12.02.  Jeff Pendergraph, ASU   10.83.  Jon Brockman, UW        8.94.   LR Mbah a Moute, UCLA   8.85.   Justin Dentmon, UW      8.1

Pac-10 Freshman Reb. LeadersRk.      Freshman, School        RPG1.   LR Mbah a Moute, UCLA   8.52.   Jon Brockman, UW        7.03.   Jeff Pendergraph, ASU   6.14.   Marcus Williams, UA     4.5

IMMEDIATE IMPACT: Jeff Pendergraph has 20 blocks, the sixth-most in Sun Devil history by a freshman, and is 51.3 percent shooting from the floor ranks among the best in ASU freshman history. A look at Pendergraph on ASU freshman 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       207.    Ron Riley, 1992-93      17T8.   Sylvester Seay, 2005-06 13T8.   Jim Deines, 1981-82     13

ASU FRESHMAN REBOUNDINGRk.    Name, Season    RPG1.   Ike Diogu, 2002-03      7.82.   Mario Bennett, 1991-92  6.83.   Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91 6.24.   Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06       6.15.   Johnny Nash, 1976-77    5.8

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.       .513    - Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06 (101-of-197)6.      .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)

MORE MINUTE STUFF: Kevin Kruger is averaging 39.0 minutes per game, second-most in the nation (numbers as of Feb. 26).National Leaders/Minutes Per GameRk.  Player, School  MPG1.   Chris Quinn, Notre Dame 39.72.  Kevin Kruger, Arizona St.       39.0T3. Jared Jordan, Marist    38.9T3. Keydren Clark, St. Peter's      38.95.  James Holmes, South Florida     38.56.  Quinton Day, UMKC       38.4

IRON MAN: Kevin Kruger's 39.0 minutes per game is the top mark 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.   Kevin Kruger, 2005-06   39.02.  Stevin Smith, 1993-94   38.53.  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

HOGGING MINUTES: Kevin Kruger has played 975 of 1,020 minutes, tied for the second-best percentage (.956) in the nation.

National Leaders/Percentage of Minutes (through Feb. 26)Rk. Player, School  Pct. of Minutes1.       Jared Jordan, Marist    97.2T2. Kevin Kruger, Arizona St.       95.6T2. Keydren Clark, St. Peter's      95.64.  Whit Holcomb-Faye, Radford      95.25.  Ronald Steele, Alabama  94.86.  Andre Collins, Loyola (Md.)     94.7

KRUGER LEADING: Junior Kevin Kruger is among the Pac-10 leaders inminutes per game (39.00/first), three-point field goals made per game(2.76/first), free throw percentage (.813/seventh),assist-to-turnover ratio (1.37/ninth), steals (1.36 pg/eighth) andscoring (14.2 ppg./11th). He has played 10 40-minute games on theyear, including six of the past eight contests, and is averaging 40.7minutes in his past 11 games after the Feb. 18 50-minute effort atCalifornia in double overtime. His 39.00 minutes per game is secondin the nation (as of Feb. 26). He has played 975 out of 1,020possible minutes this year (95.6 percent), which is tied for secondin the nation entering games this week.

MORE FRESHMEN NOTES: Freshmen Jeff Pendergraph and Sylvester Seayhave stepped up in the past few weeks, as on Feb. 11 they each scored21 points in a 98-87 loss to Oregon, the first time in ASU historytwo freshmen have scored 20 points in the same game. Against Stanfordon Jan. 21, Pendergraph looked every bit of the part of a futurebig-time player with 14 points (on 7-of-8 shooting), three reboundsand two blocks in just 10 minutes. On the defensive end, Stanfordsenior Matt Haryasz, currently the conference's third-best scorer andsecond-best rebounder, was 1-of-4 from the floor and had one rebound,but at the 7:44 mark of the first half Pendergraph sprained his rightankle and would be done for the night. Haryasz went on to finish with27 points (8-of-12 after the injury) and 10 boards (nine after theinjury) as Stanford won 70-64.

OTHER FRESHMAN: Sylvester Seay also has been getting in on thefreshman-does-well act, as in the past 10 games he is averaging 8.8points, 3.3 rebounds and 20.4 minutes. In that time he is shooting35-of-71 (.493) from the field and also has 10 blocks and sevensteals. He played a season-high 30 minutes vs. Oregon on Feb. 11 andhad 21 points and five boards and was 8-of-13 (.615) from the floor.In the past six games, Seay is averaging 9.7 points and 20.8 minutesand is 22-of-45 (.489) from the floor.

MAKING SHOTS: ASU is tied for the league lead in the league inthree-point percentage, hitting 136-of-367 (.371), bolstered byBryson Krueger's 44-of-111 (.396), which is ninth in the loop. TheSun Devils are also knocking down free throws at a good pace, asKevin Kruger is at 81.3 percent (91-of-112), Serge Angounou is at75.5 percent (40-of-53) while Bryson Krueger, after going to the linejust 28 times all of last year, is at 87.5 percent (42-of-48). ASU isfourth in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage, hitting on 71.9percent of its freebies (376-of-523), currently the tenth-best markin school history.

CLOSE CALLS: After playing (but losing) back-to-back one-pointers forthe first time since 1982-83 on Jan. 5-7, ASU got a win with its65-63 overtime win at Oregon State on Jan. 14 and then followed thatup with a 65-64 double-overtime win at California on Feb. 18, as RobEvans is now 7-4 in road overtime games at ASU. The Sun Devils lost66-65 to USC on Jan. 5 as Lodrick Stewart's only bucket was when hehit a three-pointer with seconds remaining to give the Trojans thewin. ASU was leading UCLA 60-59 with under 10 seconds left on Jan. 7,but Jordan Farmar hit a runner to give UCLA a 61-60 win. ASU's lastback-to-back one-pointers came on Jan. 10, 1983, (87-86 loss tosixth-ranked UCLA) and Jan. 13, 1983, (75-74 at Washington State).

WASHINGTON SERIES NOTES: ASU leads the series 33-26 but the Huskieshave won the past six...Rob Evans is 7-9 against Washington...KevinKruger is averaging 19.0 points in the past three games and 17.3points in the past four games against the Huskies, including 22points in the Pac-10 Tournament last year...last year in Tempe, ASUheld a 43-41 lead at the 14:05 mark of the second half but thetenth-ranked Huskies went on an 11-0 run in racing to a 79-70 win onJan. 30, 2005. ASU committed 21 turnovers to the Huskies' 11. UW hit22-of-25 (.880) free throws in the game, including 15-of-17 (.882) inthe second half.

VS. WASHINGTON STATE: ASU has won five of the past nine against theCougars and 11 of the past 17 and leads the series 31-27...Rob Evansis 9-6 against WSU...ASU also is 5-1 in six overtime games againstthe Cougars...Kevin Kruger had 14 points in the Jan. 27, 2005, 68-62ASU win last year in Tempe, as ASU jumped out to a 33-23 halftimelead and led by as many as 13 in the second half. ASU tied a seasonhigh by making 81.8 percent of its free throws (18-of-22). The SunDevils outrebounded the Cougars 37-23 and posted 20 assists on 22made field goals. Bryson Krueger had 13 points, all of them in thesecond half, while Kevin Kruger had 12 first-half points, includingfour three-pointers.

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