Men's Hoops Plays Host To Defending Big Ten Tournament Champion Iowa Saturday At 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 24, 2006
SUN DEVIL DATA: A young Arizona State University basketball team under first-year coach Herb Sendek gets a visit from defending Big Ten Tournament champion Iowa (25-9/11-5 in Big Ten in 2005-2006) on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 7:30 p.m. as the Sun Devils play three more games before taking a 13-day break for final exams (Dec. 3-15). Paul Sunderland and Marques Johnson have the call for Fox Sports Net, as the Sun Devil are 2-2 after defeating San Jose State 64-52 on Nov. 21. ASU led by 19 (64-45) at the 1:05 mark before the Spartans scored the final nine ponts.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: Youth is being served this year for ASU, as four true freshmen are combining to average 83.5 minutes and ASU's top four players in minutes and points per game are freshmen and sophomores. Freshman Jerren Shipp (32.2 minutes per game/14.0 points per game) and second-year players Jeff Pendergraph (28.8 mpg./11.8 ppg.) and Antwi Atuahene (26.8 mpg./7.5 ppg.) are the only three players to have started in each game. In addition to that trio, freshman Christian Polk leads the team in scoring (16.5 points per contest) and is third in minutes per game (27.8). Expect different players to step up and get opportunities, as Coach Sendek already has started three different lineups and has had a different Sun Devil (Shipp, Steve Jones, Pendergraph and Polk) lead the team in scoring in each game.
HOW YOUNG, YOU ASK?: The Sun Devils top two minutes-per-game leaders are both freshmen, as Jerren Shipp (32.2) and Christian Polk (27.8 minutes per game) both have been on the court a lot through the four games-in-nine days slate that began the season. Although season records are tough to compare after just four games, it is probably worth noting that Byron Scott set the ASU freshman record at 32.3 minutes per game in 1979-80. Other notable ASU freshmen minutes per game numbers include Ike Diogu (32.2 in 2002-03), Eddie House (29.5 in 1996-97) and Jamal Faulkner (29.1 in 1990-91). Faulkner, Scott and Diogu were all named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year while House was an All-Freshmen Team selection. ASU has seven players averaging more than 11 minutes, and four of them are in their first year of D-I compeition. In addition to Shipp and Polk, Steve Jones (who did not play last year but was on the team) is averaging 11.8 minutes while true freshmen Derek Glasser is averaging 19.0 minutes (30 vs. San Jose State on Tuesday.)
COACH Herb Sendek: Former NC State and Miami (Ohio) leader Herb Sendek is in his 14th season as a head coach as he led the Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06. Coach Sendek is 256-160 (.615) in 14 seasons and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 43-year old Pittsburgh, Pa., native is the second-youngest coach in the Pac-10 behind only first-year coach Tony Bennett of WSU, yet his 254 career wins and six NCAA Tournament wins entering this year are fourth in the league. In the previous five seasons only Duke posted more ACC wins (regular season and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53 victories. Coach Sendek also led NC State to five 20-win seasons in the past seven years. Another overlooked note on Coach Sendek is his longevity at NC State. To compare it to the Pac-10, since the league expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79, only five coaches have coached at their schools for at least 10 years: Lute Olson (Arizona), Mike Montgomery (Stanford), Ralph Miller (Oregon State) and Ben Braun (California), while Ernie Kent (Oregon) is in this 10th season in 2006-2007.
GOOD NOTE: When Jerren Shipp (23) and Christian Polk (22) each scored 20 points against NAU on Nov. 13, it marked only the second time in ASU history two freshmen scored 20 points. The other time was last season when Jeff Pendergraph and Sylvester Seay each scored 21 points vs. Oregon on Feb. 11, 2006.
BUSY 12 MONTHS: Sophomore Jeff Pendergraph, who has increased his weight to 230 after being listed at 195 last year, posted 10 offensive boards against Portland State (most by a Sun Devil in more than a decade) en route to a career-high 13 boards. Not only did he gain weight, but he has become stronger (improved bench press from 185 to 280) and maintained his conditioning level with a recent mile run of 5:47. Worth noting on Pendergraph is that last year at this time, he still had yet to play, as he missed fall conditioning and most of November due to surgery to remove a benign tumor in his left leg, and did not play until Nov. 26. He finished fourth in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (league games) shooting 51.5 percent (87-of-169). Among Pac-10 freshmen, he was second in the league in points (10.9 pg), third in rebounds (6.1), third in field goal percentage (.494) and first in blocks (0.85). Pendergraph has 17 double-figure scoring games in his 31-game career (10 of past 13) and is averaging 12.5 points and 8.7 boards in his past 10 outings dating to last season. He matched his career-high with 21 points vs. Portland State and has six career double-doubles (two this year).
FRESHMEN NUMBERS: ASU's four true freshmen are averaging 83.5 minutes per game (20.9 per player), currently the third most among a class in ASU history. In 1999-2000, ASU had six freshmen averaged 96.8 minutes per game (16.1 minutes per freshmen). In 1983-84, six freshmen combined for 88 minutes per game (14.7 per Sun Devil), while in 1990-91 ASU's four freshmen averaged 80.6 minutes (20.2 per player).
YOUTH MOVEMENT: With ASU losing its top two scorers from last season in guards Kevin Kruger (15.0 ppg.) and Bryson Krueger (12.3 ppg.), ASU's three true freshmen perimeter players (Christian Polk, Jerren Shipp and Derek Glasser) will get their chances for quality playing time. Both Shipp and Polk started the season opener, becoming just the fifth and sixth freshmen to start a season opener in 14 seasons, joining Tron Smith and Keith Wooden (2003-2004), Ike Diogu (2002-2003) and Donnell Knight (1999-2000). It marked just the second time two Sun Devil freshmen had started an opener in the past 15 seasons.
FRESHMEN STARTERS ON OPENING NIGHTIN PAST 20 SEASONS (1987-88 to 2006-07)YEAR FRESHMAN OPENING DAY STARTERS1990-1991: Jamal Faulkner, Stevin Smith1991-1992: Mario Bennett, Tony Ronaldson1992-1993: Ron Riley1999-2000: Donnell Knight2002-2003: Ike Diogu2003-2004: Tron Smith, Keith Wooden2006-2007: Christian Polk, Jerren Shipp
LAST MEETING: ASU scored its fewest points (43) since Nov. 27, 1991 (37 vs. Minnesota) and had just 12 first-half points, its fewest since it had just 11 at Arizona (Feb. 13, 1991) as it trailed 13-6 at the 7:23 mark of the first half before falling at Iowa 62-43 on Dec. 17, 2005. Iowa led by 20 (38-18) at the 15:15 mark of the second half but cut the lead to 10 (42-32) at the 10:00 mark, but the Hawkeyes pulled away. ASU was just 6-of-23 (.261) from the field in the first half and had season lows for field goals made (18), field goal percentage (.340) and free throws made (four) and attempted (eight). Of the 11 Sun Devils who saw action in that game last year, only six remain this year, as Kevin Kruger played 36 minutes and led ASU with 12 points, while Bryson Krueger added nine points in 30 minutes off the bench. To compare this year's team to last year, ASU lost 119 minutes from that team that competed against Iowa last year. ASU coach Herb Sendek is 0-1 against the Hawkeyes, losing a 45-42 game at No. 14 Iowa last year on Nov. 30, NC State's only loss in a 12-1 start to last season. He is 1-1 overall against Steve Alford, as NC State topped Alford's SW Missouri State squad 77-66 on March 12, 1997, in the first round of the postseason NIT in Coach Sendek's initial season at NCSU.
SOME GREAT SUN DEVIL NAMES: ASU will meet Iowa for just the third time, with unranked ASU winning 96-88 against the No. 12 Hawkeyes on Dec. 6, 1980 in the first meeting as part of ASU's Fiesta Classic. ASU was led by a trio of future NBA players, as Fat Lever led ASU with 21 points while Byron Scott and Sam Williams added 20. ASU ended the season 24-4 and won at top-ranked Oregon State 87-65 on the final day of the regular season. Third-ranked ASU lost to fifth-ranked Kansas 88-71 in its opening NCAA Tournament game that year.
SERIES NOTES: ASU is 4-3 against Big Ten teams in the past nine seasons, as it beat Penn State (93-85 on Dec. 29, 1999), Northwestern (77-60 on Dec. 29, 2001, and 90-55 on Dec. 20, 2004) and Purdue (70-53 on Dec. 21, 2002, in Las Vegas), but lost at Northwestern (63-61 on Dec. 17, 2003) and last year against Minnesota (85-79 in overtime on Dec. 5) as well as last year's Iowa loss...last year's Iowa contest was just ASU's second game at a Big Ten school since an 88-77 defeat at Ohio State on Dec. 18, 1982, joining the defeat at Northwestern on Dec. 17, 2003. ASU will visit Minnesota next Saturday (Dec. 2)...last year ASU was the first Pac-10 team to visit Iowa since the Hawkeyes defeated UCLA 88-71 on Dec. 22, 1990.
BIG TEN COMING UP: The Nov. 25 Iowa game is the 16th Big Ten game in ASU home history. ASU is 11-4 against the Big Ten in Tempe, including an 8-3 mark in Wells Fargo Arena.
ARIZONA STATE VS. BIG TEN OPPONENTS IN TEMPE (11-4)Minnesota 85, ASU 79 (OT) Dec. 5, 2006ASU 90, Northwestern 55 Dec. 20, 2004ASU 77, Northwestern 60 Dec. 29, 2001ASU 93, Penn State 85 Dec. 29, 1999ASU 81, Northwestern 62 Dec. 28, 1991#10 Ohio State 89, #18 ASU 75 (NCAA) Mar. 9, 1980#14 ASU 71, #7 Ohio State 58 Dec. 20, 1980ASU 96, #12 Iowa Dec. 6, 1980Purdue 76, ASU 75 Dec. 8, 1977ASU 92, Northwestern 78 Dec. 11, 1976ASU 91, Illinois 69 Dec. 14, 1974Northwestern 101, ASU 91 Dec. 20, 1969ASU 85, #12 Purdue 80 Dec. 21, 1968ASU 92, Michigan 91 Dec. 22, 1967ASU 98, Minnesota 79 Dec. 22, 1962
THE COACHING FAMILY: Herb Sendek has six former assistant coaches who are currently head coaches on the Division I level. Here's a look at the list:
Jim Christian, Kent State, Assistant at Miami (1994-96)
Charlie Coles, Miami (Ohio), Assistant at Miami (1994-96)
Larry Hunter, Western Carolina, Assistant at NC State (2001-05)
Ron Hunter, IUPUI, Assistant at Miami (1993-94)
Thad Matta, Ohio State, Assistant at Miami (1994-95)
Sean Miller, Xavier, Assistant at Miami (1994-96)
100-POINTS: No ASU opponent has scored 100 points in Wells Fargo Arena since Feb. 27, 1988, when third-ranked Arizona topped ASU 101-73, a span of the past 305 home games.
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