Men's Hoops Hosts Seventh-Ranked Stanford On Thursday At 8:30 p.m. MST

Feb. 11, 2008

(Note that the full PDF will be up on this site Tuesday afternoon.)

SUN DEVIL DATA: The Arizona State's men's hoops team, 15-7 and 5-5 in thePac-10 under second-year coach Herb Sendek, hosts one of the hottestteams in the nation in the seventh-ranked Stanford Cardinal on Thursday at8:30 p.m. MST and then hosts the high-scoring California Golden Bears onSaturday (Feb. 16) at 4 p.m. ASU put the brakes on a five-game losing skidin dramatic fashion on Sunday in Tucson, falling behind 22-6 but coming backto take a 13-point second-half lead and winning 59-54 to sweep Arizona forthe first time since 1994-95. It also marked ASU's first win in Tucson sinceMarch 11 of that same year. ASU's five-game losing streak started afterStanford ended ASU's 10-game win streak on Jan. 19 (ASU's best streak sincean 11-game run in 1980-81), a solid run that included wins over Xavier,Arizona, Oregon and at California. Stanford's current seven-game streak istied for the 11th-best mark in the nation as it is fifth in the nation inscoring defense (56.9 points per game) and second in rebounding margin(+10.9). After starting last year 6-19, ASU is 17-10 in its past 27 games.With sixth-ranked UCLA on the home schedule on Feb. 28 and ASU alreadyhosting then sixth-ranked Washington State on Jan. 26, the Sun Devils couldplay host to three top-10 schools in one season for just the second time inthe school's 30-year Pac-10 history, as in 1997-98 ASU hosted No. 10 UCLA(Jan. 5), No. 3 Arizona (Feb. 14) and No. 8 Stanford (Feb. 26).

CLOSE GAME UPDATE: Last year, ASU was 4-17 in games decided by 10 points orless, but this year the Sun Devils are 6-1 with wins over LSU (87-84 in MauiInvitational), Montana State (66-62), Oregon (62-54), Arizona twice (64-59in overtime and 59-54 in Tucson) and at California (99-90 in doubleovertime). Its only loss in that category was a 56-55 heartbreaker tosixth-ranked Washington State on Jan. 26. ASU lost its only overtime gamelast year but is 3-0 this year with the wins over LSU, Arizona and atCalifornia.

LAST GAME (AT ARIZONA): The Sun Devils broke a 12-game losing streak inTucson Sunday (their last victory at McKale Center was a 103-98double-overtime win on March 11, 1995, under Bill Frieder) with itscome-from-behind 59-54 win over Arizona. UA led 22-6 early but ASU came backto trail 32-31 at the half and eventually took a 13-point lead beforeholding on for the win. ASU's bench outscored the Wildcat bench 16-0 as theSun Devils won the points in the paint battle (20-6) behind a career-high 29points from Pac-10 player of the week Jeff Pendergraph, who was 12-of-16from the floor and added eight boards in 39 minutes. ASU has now held theWildcats to just 61.25 points per game in four games under Herb Sendek,while in the 39 games prior (1987-88 season through 2005-06) Arizona hadaveraged 86.6 points. This year also marked the first time ASU had heldArizona below 60 points in both games of the regular season series since1962-63 (73-54 and 58-53 ASU victories). ASU swept Arizona for just thesixth time in its 30 years of Pac-10 play, with ASU winning both games forfour straight seasons from 1980-83, in 1994-95 and then this season.Pendergraph's 29 points is the most by a Sun Devil against the Wildcatssince Mario Bennett notched 34 in a 103-98 double overtime win in Tucson onMarch 11, 1995, also ASU's last win in Tucson.

VS. RANKED TEAMS NOTES: Coach Sendek has 31 career wins against ranked teams(14 over top-10 and seven over top-five) as NC State beat 10 top-10 teams inhis final six seasons. He notched his first at ASU in the final chance lastyear as ASU topped No. 22 USC 68-58 on Feb. 18, 2007, and won his firstattempt this year with the 77-55 win over No. 17 Xavier on Dec. 15, thelargest win over a ranked team in ASU history...against Stanford, ASU willbe trying for a win over its highest ranked opponent since its 90-87overtime win at fourth-ranked Stanford on Jan. 31, 1998...ASU¹s last winover a top-10 team was Jan. 23, 2002, an 88-72 win over tenth-ranked Arizonain Tempe...ASU will try and get a win over a top-10 team in Tempe not namedArizona for the first time since a 68-64 victory over fourth-ranked Arizonaon March 6, 1982.STANFORD RECAP: ASU led 30-20 at the half against Stanford but when JeffPendergraph got his fourth foul early in the second half the Cardinaloutscored ASU 40-19 the rest of the way to win 67-52...ASU led 32-20 earlyin the second half, but Stanford outrebounded ASU 39-25 and had 16 offensiverebounds and just nine turnovers as it now leads the overall series37-26...Jeff Pendergraph has shot 28-of-52 (.538) from the floor andaveraged 14.2 points in the five games against Stanford...last year in TempeASU fell to Stanford 71-60 on Dec. 28, 2006, as Jeff Pendergraph led the SunDevils with 17 points and 11 boards in the Pac-10 opener for both teams asStanford's biggest lead was 67-50 at the 2:16 mark.

REAL DEAL: The Pac-10's youngest player, freshman James Harden (turned 18 onAug. 26), leads ASU in scoring (18.7 ppg./fifth in Pac-10), steals (1.82 pergame/fourth in Pac-10) and minutes per game (32.9/11th in Pac-10). He isshooting .547 from the field (ninth in Pac-10), .765 from the free throwline and .441 from the three-point stripe (sixth in Pac-10). Harden is thefirst McDonald's All-American to sign with ASU out of high school since 1984(it was Chris Sandle before you ask). He has 11 20-point games, includingfive straight from Dec. 29-Jan. 17 which is a first for an ASU freshman. Heis averaging 19.5 points and 4.6 boards in Pac-10 games and was the onlyplayer in the league to lead his team in scoring in each of the first eightPac-10 games. He was named as a top 30 midseason finalist for the Naismithand Wooden Awards (one of just six freshmen on the Wooden list and one ofseven Pac-10 players noted). In Pac-10 play, his efficiency has been solid,as not only is he third in the league at 19.5 points per game.

MEMORY LANE: Herb Sendek is now 3-2 against Arizona, as in March of 1995 the32-year old head coach led Miami (Ohio) to a 71-62 first-round NCAATournament upset of No. 15 Arizona in Dayton in the 59th game of hiscoaching career. Nearly 13 years and 405 games later, that former Miami headcoach is ASU's head coach, Herb Sendek. That 12th-seeded Miami squad was22-6 entering NCAA Tournament action, as the Redskins were one of four teamsseeded 12th or lower to win a first-round game in 1995.

HARDEN DEFENSE NOTES: James Harden is trying to become just the fifthfreshman to lead the Pac-10 in steals. The others are Jason Kidd ofCalifornia (3.8 spg/1993), Baron Davis of UCLA (2.4 spg/1998) and USC'sErrick Craven (2.1 spg/2002) and Gabe Pruitt (1.9 spg/2005). He currentlyranks fourth in the league at 1.82 per game, .14 behind Kyle Weaver ofWashington State. He also had 13 blocks on the year, tied for eighth on theASU single-season freshmen list, just four behind Ron Riley (17 in 1992-93)for the seventh spot.

QUICK TEAM STUFF: ASU's roster has an interesting mix as it includes onesenior, one junior, five freshmen and three sophomores who played 87.3minutes per game last year...ASU ranks second in the league in steals(6.95), third in turnover margin (+1.59) and second in turnovers per game(12.4/19th in nation)...Sun Devils also rank 29th in scoring defense (60.9ppg.), which is fourth in the league...Derek Glasser leads the Pac-10 andranks fifth in the nation in assist/turnover ratio at 3.21 per game...ASU isthird in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage at .744, which is 28th in thenation...Jeff Pendergraph is 13th in the nation in field goal percentage(.613) and leads the Pac-10. The school record is 63 percent held by TrentEdwards in 1988-89.

VS. TOP 10 TEAMS: The Jan. 31 UCLA game marked just the second time inschool history the Sun Devils played back-to-back games against top 10opponents during the regular season (ASU fell to sixth-ranked WashingtonState on Jan. 26). The only other time ASU played back-to-back games againsttop-10 teams in the regular season was in 2003-2004, when ASU fell tofourth-ranked Arizona 93-74 on Jan. 3 and then fell to fourth-rankedStanford after the rankings came out a week later 63-62 on Jan. 8. Prior tothat the last time ASU played back-to-back games against top-10 teams waswhen it won at top-ranked Oregon State 87-67 on March 7, 1981, and then fellto fifth-ranked Kansas, 88-71, on March 14 in the NCAA Tournament.

IN THE MIDDLE: Junior Jeff Pendergraph already has 32 blocks (he had 45 inhis first two seasons) and is shooting .613 from the field (best in thePac-10) and .811 from the free throw line (seventh in the league). He hasthree double-doubles this year and 16 in his career. Pendergraph led theteam in scoring (12.1) and rebounding (9.1) last year, as his reboundingaverage matched the second-best mark by a Sun Devil in the past 26 seasons.He is shooting 75.7 percent from the free throw line in his career(215-of-284).

RANKINGS: For the first time since the final poll of 1994-95 (March 13) ASUgrabbed a spot in the Associated Press rankings, as it was No. 22 (No. 25 inthe USA Today Coaches' poll on Jan. 14). ASU was ranked No. 24 in the Jan.21 AP poll. Coach Sendek had the Sun Devils in the rankings in his secondyear, two years prior to his rebuilding effort at NC State that resulted infive straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2002-06).

FRESHMEN: Freshmen accounted for 69 of 150 starts in Herb Sendek's rookie30-game season. Through 22 games, the numbers read 130 out of 260 starts inhis 52 games. That means in his two years, ASU's has had freshmen make 50percent of the starts. Sophomores have made 56 starts (.215), juniors 39(.150) and seniors 35 (.135). Against Xavier on Dec. 15, ASU started fourfreshmen for the first time in school history. ASU's freshmen have accountedfor 48.3 percent of the points this year.

HARDEN FROM LONG RANGE: James Harden has shown the ability to hit thethree-pointer as he is 26-of-59 (.441) on the year, currently the fifth-bestmark in ASU history and best by a freshman. It is the best mark by an ASUplayer since junior Jeremy Veal shot 44.3 percent in 1996-97, and the 44.1percent by Harden is currently the second-best mark by any Pac-10 freshman.

1. Matt Anderson, So., 1988-89 (41-of-80) .513
2. Terence Wheeler, So., 1987-88 (58-of-128) .453
3. Bobby Thompson, Sr., 1986-87 (31-of-69) .449
4. Jeremy Veal, Jr., 1996-97 (58-of-131) .443
5. James Harden, Fr., 2007-08 (26-59) .441

QUICK NOTES: ASU held Pac-10 scoring leader Oregon (79.2 ppg.) to 54 pointson Jan. 3, UO's fewest points in a 61 game span prior to its 72-43 loss atStanford on Feb. 7. Those are the only times Oregon has been held under 60points this year. 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. 5over Oregon State was its biggest margin of victory in the Pac-10 since a108-78 win over USC on Feb. 13, 2003...Derek Glasser has made 34-of-42(.810) free throws this year and is 69-of-87 (.793) in his 52-game career.He had a career-high nine assists against Idaho on Dec. 22, the most by aSun Devil since Antwi Atuahene had 10 vs. Oregon on Feb. 11, 2006 (most inpast 57 games). Glasser has 77 assists and just 19 turnovers in the past 16games and has 43 assists and 11 turnovers in Pac-10 play...Jerren Shippmatched a career-best with nine boards at California and played acareer-best 42 minutes against Arizona on Jan. 9. He had a Pac-10season-high 11 points at Arizona on Feb. 10...Christian Polk is 43-of-54(.796) from the foul line in his 48-game career...Ty Abbott has 49three-pointers, fourth-best by a freshman in ASU history, and is sixth inthe Pac-10 at 2.23 three-pointers per game...ASU has reached 70-points ninetimes, last year it reached 70 points three times...last year ASU won atCalifornia 42-41 on the last day of the regular season. This year it almostdoubled the points as the game was tied 81-81 at the end of regulationbefore ASU won 99-90 in double overtime.

HITTING FREEBIES: ASU is shooting .744 from the free throw line, currentlythe fifth-best mark in ASU history. In his 10 seasons at NC State, CoachSendek's teams led the ACC four times in FT percentage (including threestraight seasons, 2002-04). In 2004 NC State led the nation and set the ACCrecord by shooting .799 from the charity stripe. While at NC State, hissquads 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 Stateteam is in the past nine seasons, NC State team's .799 final FT percentageis tied for the best in the NCAA with St. Joseph in 2005-06.

1. 1977-78 (13-14/6-8 in WAC) 75.6
2. 1954-55 (10-148-4 in Border) 75.4
3. 1997-98 (18-14/8-10 in Pac-10) 74.6
3. 1986-87 (11-17/6-12 in Pac-10) 74.6
5. 2007-08 (14-7/5-5 in Pac-10) 74.4
6. 2003-04 (10-17/4-14 in Pac-10) 73.5
7. 1956-57 (10-15/4-6 in Border) 73.0
8. 1999-2000 (19-13/10-8 in Pac-10) 72.9
9. 2005-06 (11-17/5-13 in Pac-10) 72.2

RECAPPING CAL (JAN. 17): ASU trailed 38-35 at the half but had three playersnotch 25 points as it topped Cal 99-90 in double overtime on Jan. 17. JamesHarden had 27 points, Jeff Pendergraph 26 points, eight rebounds and fourblocks and Ty Abbott added 25 points and nine boards, including seventhree-pointers...ASU shot 57.6 percent from the field, including 18-of-29(.621) in the second half and outrebounded Cal 39-30...although ASU is now9-23 (.281) in Pac-10 road games the past five years, it is 4-0 at Cal inthat time...the visiting team has won the past seven games in theseries...ASU now leads the series 34-30 as the home team had won 21 of 26before the current seven-game visitor streak...ASU won 42-41 at Cal March 3in the regular season finale last year, matching the best defensiveperformance in ASU's 535-game Pac-10 history (ASU beat UW 53-41 on Jan. 31,1991) and the best in a Pac-10 road game as Derek Glasser hit thegame-winning three-pointer with 13 seconds left...Cal's 41 points last yearis the fewest by the Golden Bears since a 59-37 loss to Washington State onJan. 14, 1988...ASU held Cal on March 3 to just 5-of-18 (.278) shooting and16 points in the second the first matchup last year, (66-62 Dec.30, 2006, overtime loss in Tempe) Christian Polk and Antwi Atuahene each had14 points as ASU had three turnovers in the second half after posting 10 inthe first half...ASU led 52-49 at the 3:05 mark but did not score in thenext three minutes before a Christian Polk three-pointer tied the game withthree seconds left.

PLAYER OF WEEK: Jeff Pendergraph earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honorsfollowing his Feb. 10 outing at Arizona when he posted 29 points on 12-of-16shooting and eight boards in 39 minutes in ASU's 59-54 win. Freshmen TyAbbott and James Harden became the fourth and fifth ASU freshmen to winPac-10 Player of the Week honors, as Abbott took home the Dec. 17 honorafter his 19-point performance in the 77-55 win over Xavier on Dec. 15 whichincluded five three pointers and the largest win over a ranked team inschool history. Harden notched the honor after leading ASU to just its third2-0 start in Pac-10 history when they swept Oregon (Jan. 3) and Oregon State(Jan. 5) in Tempe to open Pac-10 play. Other Sun Devil freshman to earn thehonor are Ike Diogu (Feb. 16, 2003), Mario Bennett (Feb. 24, 1992) and ChrisSandle (Dec. 10, 1984). Seventeen ASU players have been named Pac-10 Playerof the Week on 26 occasions, but this year marks the first time in the25-year history of the award three separate Sun Devils have taken home thehonor.

THE TREE: Herb Sendek has six former assistants who are currently D-I headcoaches: Jim Christian, Kent State, Miami Assistant (1994-96); CharlieColes, Miami (Ohio), Miami Assistant (1994-96); Larry Hunter, WesternCarolina, NC State Assistant (2001-05); Ron Hunter, IUPUI, Miami Assistant(1993-94); Thad Matta, Ohio State, Miami Assistant (1994-95) and SeanMiller, Xavier, Miami (1994-96) and NC State Assistant (1996-2000). Coles,Miller and Matta all led their teams to the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

SOLID WIN: ASU has hosted the likes of Final Four-bound Kansas in 1990-91,Final-Four bound Oklahoma State in 1994-95, Texas, Georgia, KerryKittles-led Villanova, Kenny Thomas-led New Mexico, BYU, 2006 defending BigTen Tournament champ Iowa and Louisville since 1990, but No. 17 Xavier wasthe highest ranked non-conference foe to visit ASU since No. 14 ASU beat No.7 Ohio State 71-58 on Dec. 20, 1980. Xavier also was the firstnon-conference ranked foe to visit Tempe since No. 18 UTEP topped ASU 60-55on Dec. 18, 1983. ASU's 77-55 win over the Musketeers is the largest over aranked team in ASU history, topping ASU's only win over the nation'stop-ranked team, an 87-67 win at Oregon State on March 7, 1981. It wasASU's highest-ranked non-conference win since Nov. 23, 1994 (97-90 win overseventh-ranked Maryland in Maui) and Xavier's worst defeat since an 80-49loss to La Salle in the 1999-2000 season. ASU's 59.5 shooting percentage isthe best against Xavier since Elite Eight-bound St. Joseph's in 2003-2004shot 60 percent. St. Joseph's went undefeated in the regular season.

OLDER QUICK NOTES: ASU set a school record by making 73.3 percent of itsthree-pointers (11-of-15) against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Dec. 29. It alsoshot 72.1 percent from the field for the game (31-of-43), second-best inschool history...James Harden, Ty Abbott and Jamelle McMillan startedagainst Illinois on Nov. 19, the first time in school history that threefreshmen started the opener...after averaging 58.5 points per game lastyear, ASU scored 54 in the first half against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 28.The 54 first-half points (most since 58-30 lead against USC on Feb. 13,2003) was more than it scored in 10 games last year...ASU outrebounded CalPoly by 29 on Nov. 26 (52-23), its best rebounding margin since a 49-19output vs. American-Puerto Rico on Nov. 26, 1997...ASU also held Cal Poly to14-of-55 (.255) from the floor, its best defensive effort since Dec. 2,2000, when it held eventual NCAA Tournament bound BYU to 15-of-59 (.254),then held Delaware State to .208 shooting (11-of-53)...Jeff Pendergraph ledthe team in charges taken with 19 last year.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS: ASU was one of four teams who had more wins prior toChristmas than it did all of 2006-2007. The list included ASU (9-2 after8-22 last year), Iona (5-7 after 2-28), Northern Colorado (5-6 after 4-24)and UNC-Wilmington (8-4 after 7-22).

ACADEMICALLY SPEAKING: The men's basketball team had another strong outingin the classroom this fall, as it posted a 2.91 grade point average and itscumulative GPA for the roster is now 2.95. In addition, two more former SunDevils finished their degrees, as Bruno Claudino (2005-2007/B.I.S) and ShawnRedhage (1999-2003/B.S. in Construction) both finished their degrees inDecember of 2007. Since 2004, 13 Sun Devil men's basketball players havegraduated.

THE HEAD COACH: Herb Sendek is in his 15th season as a head coach and hasaveraged 18.7 wins per season. He led the Wolfpack to five straight NCAAappearances from 2002-06 and is now 277-187 (.597) in 15 seasons and was191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 44-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963) Pittsburgh,Pa., native is the second-youngest full-time coach in the Pac-10 behind onlysecond-year coach Tony Bennett of WSU. Only Duke posted more ACC wins(regular season and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53 victories from2002-2006. Coach Sendek also led NC State to five 20-win seasons in hisfinal 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 in1978-79, only five coaches have coached at their schools for at least 10years: Lute Olson (24 at Arizona), Ralph Miller (19 at Oregon State), MikeMontgomery (18 at Stanford), Ben Braun (12th at California) and Ernie Kent(11th at Oregon).

NICE CARRY OVER: ASU won two of its final five last year, beating #22 USC68-58 on Feb. 18 and then winning 42-41 at Cal March 3 in the regular seasonfinale, matching the best defensive performance in ASU's 522-game Pac-10history (ASU beat UW 53-41 on Jan. 31, 1991) and the best in a Pac-10 roadgame. ASU improved throughout last year as in the second half of the Pac-10season, its scoring margin was less than a three-pointer (-2.5 per game).Although ASU went 8-22 last year and started 6-19, it is 17-10 in its past27 games.

FRESH(MEN) STARTS: ASU freshmen made 69 starts in 2006-2007 -- ChristianPolk (26), Jerren Shipp (22) and Derek Glasser (21). The 69 starts was themost 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 havemade 61 starts this year.

HISTORY NOTE: When ASU beat Cal 99-90 in double overtime on Jan.17, JamesHarden (27), Jeff Pendergraph (26) and Ty Abbott (25) each scored 25 points,the first time three Sun Devils each scored 25 points since a 115-92 win inTempe over Portland State on Jan. 4, 1977.D IS GOOD: ASU was third in Pac-10 games in scoring defense at 61.7 ppg.,and the other teams in the top seven were NCAA Tournament squads, as ASUranked fourth in FG percentage defense (.437) in league games, despiteblocking just 23 shots in 18 games (ninth in loop). ASU gave up just 61.8points per game overall (fourth-best mark in ASU history), the lowest since1949-50 (59.8). In 52 games under Herb Sendek, ASU is giving up just 61.4points per game.

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