Men's Hoops Hosts Arizona Sunday At 6 p.m. On Fox Sports Net
Feb. 20, 2007
SUN DEVIL DATA: A young Arizona State University basketball team (7-19; 1-14 in Pac-10) under first-year coach Herb Sendek takes on the Arizona Wildcats (17-9; 8-7) on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. MT as Steve Physioc and Marques Johnson have the call Fox Sports Net. Tim Healey and former ASU player Tom Kuyper have the radio call for the Sun Devil Network. ASU is giving up just 62.7 points per game, currently the fourth-best mark in ASU history and the lowest since the 1949-50 squad gave up 59.8 and is giving up just 63.0 in league play (third-best behind only Washington State and UCLA). ASU has been trying to replace the points of late summer departures Kevin Kruger (transferred to UNLV in July) and Bryson Krueger (dismissed from team in August). Kevin Kruger took advantage of a NCAA rule that lasted six months which allowed him to transfer to UNLV to play for his father since he had finished his degree. After losing five straight games by 20 total points (including three games against ranked teams), ASU broke into the Pac-10 win column with a 68-58 win over No. 22 USC on Saturday in which it scored 47 second-half points. ASU has been outscored by just 10 points in the past six games, while Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 11.5 points and 11.3 rebounds in those six games. He ranks second in the Pac-10 in rebounding (9.3) and offensive rebounding (3.40) in league games and is third in minutes per game (35.67). He ranks second in overall games in rebounding at 9.4 and second in field goal percentage (.561).
NOTES AFTER USC: The win over No. 22 USC was ASU's first win over a ranked team since March 20, 2003...ASU outscored USC 47-32 in the second half as it shot 12-of-21 (.571) from the field and made nine straight free throws to ice the game and was 19-of-25 (.760) from the free throw line in the second half...the win was Coach Herb Sendek's 30th against a ranked team...ASU matched a season-low set just two nights earlier with nine turnovers...Derek Glasser is now 11-of-17 from the three-point stripe (.647) in the past five games...Jeff Pendergraph has eight double-doubles on the year, tied for second in the Pac-10.
THIS CLOSE: ASU has been in 12 games decided by five points or less through its first 26 contests. That already is the most by an ASU squad in 23 years, since the 1982-83 had 17 games of five points (33 games). The only other season where a Sun Devil squad has had more is 1975-76 (13). ASU also had a dozen games with a five-points or less margin in 1967-68, 1963-64 and 1948-49. Half of ASU's games this year have been two-possession games (six points or less). Here is the final note: ASU has been in 17 games of 10 points or less, which leads the Pac-10. It has been in just nine games of double-digit final margins, fewest in the league.
DEFENSE IS GOOD ENOUGH: The Sun Devils rank third in the league in conference play in scoring defense at 63.0 points per game, and the other teams in the top six are probably NCAA Tournament bound. And it is not just a result of slowing the game down, as ASU ranks fifth in field goal percentage defense (.440) in league games, with the NCAA Tournament teams sandwiched around them. ASU held Oregon, who is averaging 76.4 points per game on the year, to a season-low 55 points on Feb. 8 and held Washington State, who is averaging 67.1 points per game, to nearly 20 points below its average in a 48-47 loss on Feb. 3.
NCAA NOTE: Herb Sendek took NC State to the past five NCAA Tournament (2002-2006). To compare with the Pac-10, only three schools (and just one current Pac-10 coach) can match that in the past 29 seasons. Arizona (22), UCLA (14 straight from 1989-2002) and Stanford (11 straight from 1995-2005) have had NCAA Tournaments streaks of more than five, but none of the other seven Pac-10 schools have gone to more than three straight NCAAs since the league expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79.
20-MINUTES: In its past six games, ASU has outscored its opponents 196-148 (32.7 to 24.7) in the second half and held them to 42-of-136 (.309) from the field and 11-of-51 (.216) from the three-point stripe...ASU has forced 53 second-half turnovers in those six games and committed just 31...ASU outscored USC 47-32 in the second half on Feb. 18...ASU outscored Oregon 30-22 in the second half and held it to just 6-of-21 (.286) from the floor...ASU outscored Wazzu 23-12 on Feb. 3 and held it to 4-of-20 (.200) from the floor...ASU outscored Washington 40-22 on Feb. 1 in the second half...at USC on Jan. 20, ASU trailed 30-18 at the half but outscored USC 31-28 and held the Trojans to just 6-of-17 from the field (.353) after halftime.
THE LOSSES: The team Herb Sendek took over in April changed dramatically in the late summer when seniors-to-be and experienced starters Kevin Kruger and Bryson Krueger departed. Kevin averaged 15.0 points last year and played as much as anyone in the nation, with an ASU record 39.0 minutes per game. He had played 87 games and scored 912 points in his three-year career, and was the only player ranked in eight Pac-10 categories last year. Bryson averaged 12.3 points last year and had shot 40.7 percent (88-of-216) from the three-point stripe and started 45 games in two-year career. The other reason ASU's freshmen are having to play so many minutes is the departure of six other Sun Devils in the past three years who would have been on this squad. Wilfried Fameni (now at VCU), Chris Low, Tron Smith (St. Mary's) and Keith Wooden (North Texas) all were freshmen from 2003-2004 who have since transferred while 2004-2005 freshmen Craig Austin and Tim Pierce (San Jose State) also left the program after one year.
SO WITH THOSE GUYS LEAVING: Three true freshmen are combining to average 86.7 minutes, all above the 27-minute mark. Point guard Derek Glasser is averaging 33.0 minutes in conference play, currently the third-most by a Sun Devil freshman in ASU's 29-year Pac-10 history. Glasser has 54 assists and just 25 turnovers in Pac-10 play, an 2.16 assist-to-turnover ratio that is second in the league.
NO SOPHOMORE JINX: Sophomore Jeff Pendergraph is averaging nearly a double-double in the past 20 games (12.9 points and 9.8 boards), has eight double-doubles on the year and 11 games of double-digit rebounds. He was perfect in eight field goal attempts at Washington State on Jan. 4 and grabbed 19 boards at Oregon on Feb. 8 and vs. Colgate on Dec. 19, the most by a Sun Devil since Mike Batiste had 20 vs. Wagner on Nov. 19, 1997. At 12.4 points and 9.4 boards per game, he is trying to become the first Sun Devil to average a double-double since Mark Landsberger in 1976-77 (17.2 points and 14.4 rebounds).
FRESHMEN ON ASU LISTS: Christian Polk, with 56 three-pointers, has a chance to break the ASU freshmen record set by Ron Riley in 1992-93 of 66. He trails only Riley and Eddie House, who had 57 in 1996-97. Jerren Shipp (30) is currently ninth on the list while Derek Glasser is tenth (29)...Polk's 24 starts already is eighth-best among ASU freshmen...Glasser needs 26 assists to match the Sun Devil record for assists by a freshmen of 114 set by Bobby Thompson in 1984. Eddie House is second on the list with 108 in 1996-97...Polk's 12.5 points per game mark is currently seventh on the ASU freshmen list, behind Eddie House's 12.6 points per game.
DEJA VU: As Herb Sendek's staff continues through Pac-10 play with seven teams ranked in the AP poll at some point during a season for the first time and every team posting a winning non-conference mark for just the second time (only time since 1988-89), this is nothing new. In his first year at NC State (1996-1997), the ACC had six of its nine teams ranked at some time during the year and four teams reach the top 10. The highlight of that season for Sendek is his team beat #7 Clemson on Feb. 1, won at #4 Wake Forest on Feb. 17, and then beat #7 Duke (March 7) and #22 Maryland (March 8) in the ACC Tournament. That squad won seven of its final nine games en route to a NIT appearance.
ASU IN MAUI NEXT YEAR: ASU will play in the 2007 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational along with Duke, Illinois, LSU, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Princeton and host Chaminade. It will be played Nov. 19-21 at Maui's Lahaina Civic Center. ASU has played in the tournament four times. The Sun Devils played in November of 1991 (1-2), won the tournament in 1994 with wins over Texas A&M, #13 Michigan and #7 Maryland, went 1-2 in 1998 and was 2-1 in 2002.
QUICK NOTES: Coach Sendek has 30 wins against ranked teams in his career, including 14 wins over top-10 teams and eight over top-five teams...ASU had 23 offensive rebounds against Oregon State on Jan. 13, its most in a Pac-10 game since it had 24 at Washington on Jan. 11, 2001, in a 70-68 overtime loss...ASU had a season-low nine turnovers in back-to-back games against UCLA (Feb. 15) and USC (Feb. 18)...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...after shooting 6-of-33 (.182) from the three-point stripe in his first three seasons, Serge Angounou is 29-of-79 (.367) from beyond the arc. He has been ASU's leading rebounder in eight games...in his past 33 games dating to Feb. 4 of last year, Jeff Pendergraph is averaging 13.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.
WHO IS THE BIG GUY IN THE TIE ON THE BENCH?: Herb Sendek's first recruit at Arizona State was Duke transfer Eric Boateng, a 6-10 former McDonald's All-American who attended high school in Delaware. He is one of 12 McDonald's All-Americans in the Pac-10 this year, but is just the third in ASU history, joining Chris Sandle (1984) and Byron Scott (1979). He will have three years of eligibility remaining after this year.
ROAD NOTE: ASU was the only Pac-10 team to have more road wins (three) than home wins (two) in Pac-10 play last season (the only Pac-10 team to do that in the past two seasons). Only eight teams have done that in the past 14 seasons in the Pac-10.
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 318 home games.
SOME BIG TIME NAMES ON THIS LIST: Freshman Derek Glasser is averaging 33.0 minutes per game in Pac-10 play and has 54 assists and just 25 turnovers in that time, a 2.16 assist-to-turnover ratio that is second in the Pac-10. The minutes per game number becomes noteworthy when compared to some of the past ASU freshmen and what they averaged in the 18-game Pac-10 slate. Christian Polk also is around the 30-minute mark in league games. Here is a list of the top dozen Sun Devil freshmen in Pac-10 minutes per game:
ASU PAC-10 FRESHMEN MINUTES PER GAME (1978-79 to PRESENT)RK. Player, Season MPG Note1. Byron Scott, 1979-80 34.2 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year3. Ike Diogu, 2002-03 33.3 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year3. Derek Glasser, 2006-07 33.0 54 assists and 25 TOs in Pac-104. Jamal Faulkner, 1990-91 32.1 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year5. Steve Beck, 1983-84 31.4 Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team6. Christian Polk, 2006-07 30.5 13-16 (.813) FTs in Pac-107. Bobby Thompson, 1983-84 29.9 ASU career assist leader with 4548. Brian Camper, 1989-90 29.2 Averaged 27.3 minutes overall9. Eddie House, 1996-97 29.1 Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team10. Jerren Shipp, 2006-07 28.5 7.0 points per game in Pac-1011. Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-06 28.6 Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team12. Mario Bennett, 1991-92 28.0 Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team
PARTY LIKE IT IS 1995: Arizona State probably wishes it could play a turn-back-the-clock game and set the date for the middle of March in 1995 for two reasons. On March 11, 1995, the No. 18 Sun Devils won at No. 12 Arizona 103-98 in double overtime on the final day of the regular season, ASU's only win in Tucson in the past 25 seasons and only overtime game in the series since the schools joined the Pac-10. Five days later, a 32-year old head coach led Miami (Ohio) to a 71-62 first-round NCAA Tournament upset of the No. 15 Arizona Wildcats in Dayton in the 59th game of his coaching career. Nearly a dozen years and 379 games later, that former Miami head coach is ASU's head coach, Herb Sendek. That 12th-seeded Miami squad was 22-6 entering NCAA Tournament action, as the Redskins were one of four teams seeded 12th or lower to win a first-round game in 1995.
MANY WINS, MANY PLACES: When comes time to play away from Tempe, Herb Sendek has a good map. In his career, Coach Sendek has won 258 games in 21 states, plus two wins in Puerto Rico and one in Washington D.C. North Carolina (153) and Ohio (51) lead the way as he was the head coach in both states, and he also has posted wins in Florida (seven), Michigan and Arizona (seven), South Carolina (five), Virginia (five), Georgia (four), Indiana (four), Massachusetts (three), Texas (two) and Maryland (two). One-win states are Alabama, Utah, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, Nevada, Kentucky, Illinois and California.
OFF THE COURT: The men's hoops team notched a 2.88 grade point average last fall and its team cumulative GPA is 2.83, its highest in the past six years. The four freshmen combined for a 3.33 GPA and 90 percent of the team had at least a 2.5. George Odufuwa led the way with a 3.5, and three current Sun Devils already have their degrees. Serge Angounou (B.A. in Spanish) graduated in May as did Robby Alridge (B.A. in sociology) while Allen Morill earned his B.I.S. degree in December. That trio joins Jonathan Howard (B.S., Management, 2006), Jeremy Veal (B.S.W., Social Work, 2006), Curtis Millage (B.I.S., Education and Family Studies, 2006), Kevin Kruger (B.S., Justice Studies, 2006), Jason Braxton (B.I.S, Business and Psychology, 2005), Jamie Andrisevic (B.S., Finance, 2004) and Kenny Crandall (B.I.S., Business and Communications, 2004) as ASU men's basketball graduates in the past three years.
THE COACH: 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 261-177 (.596) 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 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.
LAST TIME VS. ARIZONA: ASU played at No. 17 Arizona on Jan. 24 and led 18-17 at the 7:31 mark before UA went on a 20-8 run to close the half and then pulled away in the second half for a 71-47 win. Christian Polk led ASU with 11 points as ASU committed just 11 turnovers but shot just 7-of-24 (.292) from the field in the second half. ASU matched a season-low with 47 points.
THE COACHING FAMILY: Herb Sendek has six former assistants who are currently Division I head coaches. 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).
FREE THROWS: In his 10 seasons at NC State, Coach Sendek's teams led the ACC four times in free throw percentage, including three straight seasons from 2002-2004. In 2004 his NC State squad led the nation and set the ACC record by shooting .799 from the charity stripe. His team last year shot .751 (second in the ACC to Duke) and was 16th in the nation. His poorest free throw shooting team was his first year (1996-97) when they shot 64.9 percent. While at NC State, his Wolfpack squads shot 71.3 percent. ASU is 123-of-172 (.715) from the free throw line in its past 13 games and 79-of-109 (.725) in the past seven games.
VS. #5 UCLA (FEB. 15): ASU led 49-39 at the 11:00 mark but was outscored 28-12 down the stretch in falling to UCLA 67-61. The Sun Devils had a season-low nine turnovers but allowed a season-high 16 offensive rebounds. ASU shot 52 percent in the first half and held UCLA to just 37.5 percent in the second half. UCLA hit 10 straight free throws in the final 54 seconds to seal the win after going 1-of-6 prior. The game had 13 ties and 10 lead changes. Jeff Pendergraph led ASU with 14 points, Allen Morill had 11 points (the first time in his career he has had back-to-back double digit scoring games as he had 10 at Oregon State) and Jerren Shipp 10 (seventh double-figure scoring game of the year).
FRESHMEN NUMBERS: ASU's four true freshmen are averaging 91.5 minutes per game (22.9 per player), second-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)...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.