Men's Hoops Hosts Sixth-Ranked Washington State Cougars

Jan. 25, 2008

The men's hoops team, 14-4 and 4-2 in the Pac-10 under second-year coach Herb Sendek, hosts the sixth-ranked Washington State Cougars at 5 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 26/FSN Arizona/KTAR 620 AM). ASU is 4-2 in the Pac-10 after falling to Washington 72-61 on Thursday. ASU was up 24-15 with 7:43 left in the first half but UW went on a 17-6 run to close the half and never let ASU tie the game in the second half as ASU shot a season-low 32.1 percent (17-of-53) from the field and .208 (5-of-24) from the three-point stripe. Saturday's game will mark the first time WSU and ASU will meet as ranked teams. ASU is 11-1 at home after going 7-11 (.389) last year in Tempe and is 3-0 in overtime. Coach Sendek has 31 career wins against AP ranked teams (14 over top-10). He notched his first at ASU in the final chance last year as ASU topped No. 22 USC 68-58 on Feb. 18, 2007, and won his first attempt this year with the 77-55 win over No. 17 Xavier on Dec. 15, the largest win over a ranked team in ASU history. An interesting comparison between the programs is that ASU has had seven freshmen make 119 starts in the past two seasons, WSU has had one freshmen make four starts and its upperclassmen dominate its stats, led by its three seniors.

*ASU's last win over a top-10 team was Jan. 23, 2002, an 88-72 win over Arizona.

*Herb Sendek is 2-3 against AP ranked teams in Tempe. ASU was 2-28 against AP ranked teams in Tempe the previous 11 seasons.

*After losing 22 straight games to AP ranked teams, ASU has won its past two with its win over #22 USC last year (68-58 on Feb. 18) and then the 77-55 win over #17 Xavier on Dec. 15.

(University Activity Center opened in 1974-75)
#8 ASU 97, #10 Alabama 94 (NCAA Tournament), March 15, 1975
ASU 89, #5 San Francisco 70, Dec. 23, 1978
#14 ASU 71, #7 Ohio State 58, Dec. 20, 1981
#12 ASU 78, #8 UCLA 74, Jan. 16, 1981
ASU 68, #4 Oregon State 60, March 6, 1982
ASU 77, #5 Arizona 74, Feb. 20, 1992
ASU 94, #7 Arizona 87, March 12, 1994
ASU 88, #10 Arizona 72, Jan. 23, 2002

TOUGH STRETCH: After the WSU game, ASU then travels to Pauley Pavilion to take on seventh-ranked UCLA. Should UCLA remain in the top 10 in Monday's rankings, it would mark just the second time in school history ASU will play back-to-back games against top-10 teams during the regular season. The only other time was on Jan. 3, 2004, when ASU fell to fourth-ranked Arizona 93-74 and then fell the following week to fourth-ranked Stanford on Jan. 8 63-62. ASU will be trying for its highest ranked opponent victory since its 90-87 overtime win at Stanford on Jan. 31, 1998.

RANKINGS NOTE: After starting 6-19 last year, ASU is 16-7 in its past 23 games and for the first time since the final poll of the 1995 season (March 13) the Sun Devils hit the Associated Press rankings, as they were No. 22 and also No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches' poll (Jan. 14). ASU is ranked No. 24 in this week's AP poll. Coach Sendek has the Sun Devils in the rankings in his second year, two years prior to his rebuilding effort at NC State that resulted in five straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2002-06).VS. WSU: ASU has won 12 of the past 20 and leads the series 32-29...ASU is 5-1 in overtime against WSU...ASU held WSU to 12 second-half points (just four field goals) and scoreless for more than 11 minutes in the second half last year...Christian Polk took a three-pointer with no time remaining that hit the rim, backboard, and then rim and rolled out as ASU fell 48-47 on Feb. 3 in Tempe...a two-point game early in the second half got away from ASU in a 75-55 loss at Washington State on Jan. 4 in ASU's Pac-10 road opener last year...ASU shot 61.9 percent (13-of-21) in the first half...Jeff Pendergraph led ASU with 16 points and seven boards while Christian Polk had 13 points.

HARDEN UPDATE: ASU is led by the Pac-10's youngest player, freshman James Harden (turned 18 on Aug. 26), who leads the team in scoring (18.5 ppg.), steals (33) and minutes per game (32.8). He is shooting .545 from the field, .762 from the free throw line and .429 from the three-point stripe. Harden is the first McDonald's All-American to sign with ASU out of high school since 1984 (it was Chris Sandle before you ask). He already has nine 20-point games, including five straight games from Dec. 29-Jan. 17 which is a first for an ASU freshman. He is averaging 21.7 points and 5.5 boards in six Pac-10 games.

QUICK NOTES: ASU held Pac-10 scoring leader Oregon (80.1 ppg.) to 54 points on Jan. 3, UO's fewest points in the past 60 games. Last year ASU fell at No. 13 Oregon 55-51 on Feb. 8, 2007, as the 55 points was a Duck season-low last year...ASU's 72-53 win on Jan. 5 over Oregon State was its biggest margin of victory in the Pac-10 since a 108-78 win over USC on Feb. 13, 2003...Derek Glasser has made 32-of-39 (.821) free throws this year and is 67-of-84 (.798) in his 48-game career. He had a career-high nine assists against Idaho on Dec. 22, the most by a Sun Devil since Antwi Atuahene had 10 vs. Oregon on Feb. 11, 2006 (most in past 54 games). Glasser has 61 assists and just 11 turnovers in the past 12 games and has 27 assists and three turnovers in Pac-10 play...Jerren Shipp matched a career-best with nine boards at California and played a career-best 42 minutes against Arizona on Jan. 9...Christian Polk is 43-of-54 (.796) from the foul line in his 45-game career...Ty Abbott has 46 three-pointers...ASU has reached 70-points nine times in 18 games, last year it reached 70 points three times.

PENDERGRAPH UPDATE: Junior Jeff Pendergraph has 27 blocks and is shooting .622 from the field (second in the Pac-10) and .805 from the free throw line (seventh in Pac-10). In his past nine games he is averaging 17.0 points and 7.2 boards and is 53-of-84 (.631) from the field and 47-of-57 (.825) from the foul line.

FRESHMEN: Freshmen accounted for 69 of 150 starts in Herb Sendek's rookie 30-game season. Through 18 games, the numbers read 119 out of 240 starts in his 48-games. That means in his two years, ASU's has had freshmen make 49.6 percent of the starts.

EXPECT THIS TO BE A STAPLE AT ASU: ASU is shooting .744 from the free throw line. In his 10 seasons at NC State, Coach Sendek's teams led the ACC four times in FT percentage (including three straight seasons, 2002-04). In 2004 NC State led the nation and set the ACC record by shooting .799 from the charity stripe. While at NC State, his squads shot 71.3 percent, as his poorest FT shooting team was his first year (1996-97/.649). One good note on Coach Herb Sendek and his 2003-04 NC State team is that in the past nine seasons, that NC State team's .799 final free throw percentage is tied for the best in the NCAA, along with St. Joseph in 2005-06.

THE HEAD COACH: Herb Sendek is in his 15th season as a head coach and has averaged 18.7 wins per season. He led the Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 276-184 (.600) in 15 seasons and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 44-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963) Pittsburgh, Pa., native is the second-youngest coach in the Pac-10 behind only second-year coach Tony Bennett of WSU. Only Duke posted more ACC wins (regular season and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53 victories from 2002-2006. Coach Sendek also led NC State to five 20-win seasons in his final seven years.

FRESH(MEN) STARTS: ASU freshmen made 69 starts in 2006-2007 -- Christian Polk (26), Jerren Shipp (22) and Derek Glasser (21). The 69 starts was the most in the Pac-10, ahead of Washington (68) and USC (65). Stanford (49), Cal (48), Arizona and Oregon State (43), Oregon (33), Washington State (4) and UCLA (1) complete the league's 423 freshmen starts. ASU freshmen have made 50 starts this year.

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