Men's Hoops Hosts Sleep America Classic

Dec. 20, 2006

9-Game ASU Statistics in PDF Format
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2 seniors stay thankful after hard path to ASU (Arizona Republic, Dec. 15, 2006)

SUN DEVIL DATA: A young Arizona State University basketball team (5-4) under first-year coach Herb Sendek plays four straight home games to end the 2006 calendar year as it takes on North Carolina A & T at 7 p.m. in the first round of the ASU Sleep America Classic on Thurs., Dec. 21. Ohio will meet Davidson in the second game 30 minutes following the ASU/NC A & T game, while ASU will play at 2 p.m. on Friday with North Carolina A & T playing at 4 p.m., as first-night winners/losers will meet for the championship/consolation. ASU then opens Pac-10 play against Stanford (7-2) on Thursday, Dec. 28. Tim Healey and Tom Kuyper have the call for the Sun Devil Radio Network for those three games, while Trey Bender and Kuyper will call the California game on Dec. 30 for FSN Arizona at 8 p.m. Russ Pennell will join Tim Healey on radio for the California game. The Pac-10 is off to a good start as four league teams are ranked in the AP poll for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. UCLA (No. 1), Arizona (9), Washington (17) and Oregon (21) are all ranked and the league was 76-19 (.800) in non-league action heading into play this week.

SLEEP AMERICA CLASSIC: The ASU holiday tournament is in its 40th year in 2006, as ASU has won 29 of the 39 events (13 of the past 17) including championship victories against Georgia, Texas, Northwestern (twice), Detroit, Villanova, Vanderbilt, Eastern Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Valparaiso and Northern Arizona. ASU has advanced to the championship 31 of the past 32 years and 36 of 39 overall (exceptions in 1966, 1969 and 2000). ASU's all-time record is 65-13 (.833) and is 16-2 (.889) in the past nine seasons.

NOTEWORTHY NUMBERS FROM LAST OUTING: ASU topped Colgate 52-36 on Dec. 19, the fewest points by an ASU opponent since the University of Washington (St. Louis) fell to ASU 47-34 in the 1949-50 season. ASU held the Red Raiders to just 12 points at the half, the fewest haltime points by an ASU opponent since Jan. 7, 1995, when ASU was leading Old Dominion 36-12. Jeff Pendergraph grabbed 19 boards, the most by a Sun Devil since Mike Batiste had 20 vs. Wagner on Nov. 19, 1997.

HE IS SURGING: Senior Serge Angounou has been playing as well as anytime in his career in the past week. Angounou tied a career high with 23 points at Xavier on Dec. 16, the fourth 20-point game of his career, while his five three-point goals was a career-best. He followed that up with a 14-point game against Colgate, as he hit his first four three-pointers. After shooting 6-of-33 (.182) from the three-point stripe in his first three seasons, Angounou is 16-of-31 (.516) from beyond the arc. Angounou also is averaging nine rebounds and 14.0 points in the past five games, including a 13-of-21 (.619) mark from beyond the arc.

YOUNG GUYS: Youth is being served this year for ASU, as four true freshmen are combining to average 84.6 minutes and ASU's top four players in minutes and points per game are freshmen and second-year players. Freshman Jerren Shipp (31.9 minutes per game/9.4 points per game) and sophomore Jeff Pendergraph (29.6 mpg./11.3 ppg.) are the only two players to start each of the nine games, while junior and second-year player Antwi Atuahene (27.9 mpg./8.1 ppg.) has started seven games. In addition to that trio, freshman Christian Polk leads the team in scoring (15.3 points per contest) and is third in minutes per game (29.2). Expect different players to step up and get opportunities, as Coach Sendek has started four lineups and has had four Sun Devils (Shipp, Steve Jones, Pendergraph and Polk) lead the team in scoring.

THE COACHING FAMILY: Herb Sendek has six former assistants who are currently head coaches on the Division I level. Here's the list: Jim Christian, Kent State, Miami Assistant (1994-96); Charlie Coles, Miami (Ohio), Miami Assistant (1994-96); Larry Hunter, Western Carolina, NC State Assistant (2001-05); Ron Hunter, IUPUI, Miami Assistant (1993-94); Thad Matta, Ohio State, Miami Assistant (1994-95) and Sean Miller, Xavier, Miami (1994-96) and NC State Assistant (1996-2000).

GOOD NOTES ON Christian Polk: In the past 17 seasons (1990-91 to present), ASU basketball has had 42 freshmen. Only two scored in double digits in the first seven games of their career: 2005 NBA Lottery selection Ike Diogu and Christian Polk. The Glendale, Ariz., native has four 20-point games and already has made 23 three-pointers, just three shy of matching Jamal Faulkner (1990-91) for ninth place on the ASU freshman three-pointer list.

HOW YOUNG, YOU ASK?: The Sun Devils top minutes-per-game leaders are young, as freshman Jerren Shipp (31.9), sophomore Jeff Pendergraph (29.6) and freshman Christian Polk (29.2) all are on the court a lot early in the year. Although season records are tough to compare this early, 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 eight players averaging at least nine minutes, and four of them are in their first year of D-I competition. In addition to Shipp and Polk, Steve Jones (who did not play last year but was on the team) is averaging 9.4 minutes while true freshmen Derek Glasser is averaging 18.1 minutes (19.5 minutes in his past four games).

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 259-162 (.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 were 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 10-year stay 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 his 10th season in 2006-2007.

NEVER AN EASY OPENER: When Arizona won the 2005 Pac-10 title, it marked the fourth time in the previous six seasons that ASU had opened the season with an eventual Pac-10 champion, as ASU faced the eventual Pac-10 champion three straight years in its Pac-10 opener from 2000-2002, facing Stanford in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 and then opening with Oregon in 2001-2002. Last season, ASU opened Pac-10 play on Dec. 29 at 2005 Pac-10 Tournament champion, then-undefeated and seventh-ranked Washington and fell 91-67, and the Huskies finished second in the league this year. Last year also marked the sixth time in eight years ASU opened Pac-10 play on the road, and the two home games were against top-five teams. ASU fell to No. 2 Stanford on Jan. 4, 2000, in Tempe, and to fourth-ranked Arizona 93-74 on Jan. 3, 2003. ASU opens Pac-10 on Thursday, Dec. 28, vs. Stanford (7-2). It marks just the 12th time in 29 Pac-10 seasons ASU has opened conference play at home and just the third time in the past nine seasons.

Pac-10 Opening Date Score Opponent Note
Dec. 29, 2005 L, 91-67 @#7 Washington UW ends 13-5 in Pac-10
Jan. 2, 2005 L, 97-79 @#14 Arizona Arizona wins Pac-10 (14-4)
Jan. 3, 2004 L, 93-74 #4 Arizona Arizona goes 20-10
Jan. 2, 2003 W, 67-47 @Oregon State ASU goes 20-12 and in NCAAs
Dec. 20, 2001 L, 103-90 @Oregon UO wins Pac-10 and goes 26-9
Jan. 4, 2001 L, 94-77 #2 Stanford Stanford wins Pac-10 and goes 31-3
Jan. 6, 2000 L, 86-67 @#1 Stanford Stanford goes 27-4 and wins Pac-10
Jan. 2, 1999 L, 72-70 @USC USC ends ASU 6-game win streak

FRESHMEN NUMBERS: ASU's four true freshmen are averaging 84.6 minutes per game (21.2 per player), currently the third-most among a class in ASU history. In 1999-2000, ASU had six freshmen average 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).

FRESHMAN NOTES: 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. Against Iowa on Nov. 25, ASU started three freshmen (Shipp, Polk and Derek Glasser) for the first time since Feb. 12, 2000, when Kyle Dodd, Shawn Redhage and Tommy Smith did the trick in an 81-67 win at Washington. It was just the second time in 15 seasons three freshmen started for ASU.

Jeff Pendergraph NOTES/HIGHS: Sophomore Jeff Pendergraph, who has increased his weight to 230 after being listed at 195 last year, posted 19 boards vs. Colgate on Dec. 19, the most by a Sun Devil since Mike Batiste had 19 vs. Wagner on Nov. 19, 1997...posted 10 offensive boards against Portland State (most by a Sun Devil in more than a decade) en route to 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 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...has 20 double-figure scoring games in his 36-game career (13 of past 18) and is averaging 12.9 points and 8.8 boards in his past 15 outings dating to last season. He matched his career-high with 21 points vs. Portland State and has nine career double-doubles (four this year).

CAREER HIGHS FOR Jeff Pendergraph

POINTS: 21, twice, vs. Portland State (11/18/06)

REBOUNDS: 19 vs. Colgate (12/19/06)

FG MADE: 10, twice, vs. Portland State (11/18/06)

FG ATT.: 18 vs. Oregon (2/11/06)

FT MADE: 7, twice, vs. Minnesota (12/2/06)

FT ATT.: 9 vs. Arizona (1/25/06)

MINUTES: 40 at Arizona (2/25/06)

Serge Angounou NOTES: Has started past 37 Pac-10 games...tied a career high with 23 points at Xavier on Dec. 16, while his five three-point goals is a career-best...followed that up with a 14-point game against Colgate, as he hit his first four three-pointers...after shooting 6-of-33 (.182) from the three-point stripe in his first three seasons, Angounou is 16-of-31 (.516) from beyond the arc...averaging nine rebounds and 14.0 points in the past five games, including a 13-of-21 (.619) mark from beyond the arc...had career-high 16 rebounds in 35 minutes vs. Washington State on March 4, 2006...scored a career-high 23 points in a career-high 38 minutes vs. #17 UCLA on Jan. 7 after scoring a then season-high 19 points vs. USC on Jan. 5...70-of-91 (.769) from the free throw line in his past 49 games...four 20-point games in career...eight double-doubles and 13 double-figure rebounding games in career...has 24 double-digit scoring games in the past three seasons.


POINTS: 23, twice, at Xavier (12/16/06)

REBOUNDS: 16 vs. Washington State (2/4/06)

OFF. REBOUNDS: 8 vs. Northern Colorado (11/28/06)

FG MADE: 10 vs. #17 UCLA (1/7/06)

FG ATT.: 16 at Xavier (12/16/06)

FT MADE: 6 at Oregon (1/22/05)

FT ATT.: 8 vs. North Texas (11/30/05)

BLOCKS: 4 vs. LIU (12/28/04)

ASSISTS: 4 vs. Northwestern (12/20/04)

MINUTES: 38 vs. #17 UCLA (1/7/06)

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 308 home games.

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