Lamont Smith Added To Men's Hoops Staff

May 20, 2008

Arizona State head men's basketball coach Herb Sendek has announced the hiring of Lamont Smith to the ASU staff, as he replaces 12-year assistant coach Mark Phelps who earned the Drake head coaching position in April. Coach Sendek also has announced that Dedrique Taylor has been promoted to Associate Head Coach and assistant Scott Pera has added the title of recruiting coordinator. Taylor and Pera have been a part of Coach Sendek's staff in each of his first two seasons in Tempe.

Also, technology coordinator Rob Spence will now handle operations, replacing Mike Gibson who went to Drake as an assistant coach.

'We are excited to have Lamont Smith join our staff and at the same time be in position to reconfigure our other staff positions. We most certainly welcome his energy and passion to be a Sun Devil,' said Coach Sendek, who led ASU to a 13-win turnaround in his second season, tied for the best mark in the nation. 'We once again will have a compatible and determined coaching staff.'

Smith was at Santa Clara in 2007-08 as former UCLA assistant coach Kerry Keating's top assistant and helped recruit one of the top classes in the West Coast Conference last summer. Prior to Santa Clara, Smith spent six seasons as an assistant on the staff of Randy Bennett at Saint Mary's College as the Gaels completed one of the nation's best turnarounds in a four-year period. SMC was 2-27 the year before Bennett and Smith arrived, and the Gaels won nine games the first year, 15 the second, 19 in the third and a school record 25 in 2004-05. The 2004-05 team made the NCAA Tournament for just the third time in the history of the program while the 2003-04 team set a school record by scoring 2,377 points. In the first four seasons he was at SMC, the Gaels led the WCC in scoring defense.

With the Gaels, Smith's duties included working with the post players, assisting with the strength and conditioning program, recruiting and scouting.

Smith, a native of The Colony, Texas, returned to the West Coast Conference in 2001 after spending two years as the graduate assistant coach at Saint Louis University. Smith began his coaching career under the tutelage of current Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar at Saint Louis. While at Saint Louis, Smith was an assistant coach on the same staff as Randy Bennett, who brought Smith with him to Saint Mary's when he took the head coaching job there in 2001. Smith's duties with the Billikens included coordinating the team's video editing and film exchange, while assisting with team recruiting, scouting and strength and conditioning programs.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of San Diego in 1998 and was a member of the men's basketball team from 1994-99. He was named the Toreros' Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and 1999 and served as the team captain from 1997-99.

Coach Phelps' hiring at Drake means Herb Sendek now has seven former assistants who are D-I head coaches. The others are Jim Christian, formerly at Kent State and now at TCU (Miami assistant from 1994-96), Charlie Coles at Miami of Ohio (Miami assistant from 1994-96), Larry Hunter at Western Carolina (NC State assistant from 2001-05), Ron Hunter of IUPUI (Miami assistant from 1993-94), Ohio State's Thad Matta (Miami assistant in 1994-95) and Xavier's Sean Miller (assistant at both Miami from 1994-96 and at NC State from 1996-2000). Coles, Miller and Matta all led their teams to the 2007 NCAA Tournament, then last year Christian led Kent State to the NCAAs, Miller led Xavier to the Elite Eight and Matta's Buckeye squad won the NIT a year after going to the 2007 NCAA Final Four.

Arizona State, 21-13 and 9-9 in the Pac-10, posted a 20-win season for just the fourth time in 27 years after being picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 preseason media poll and is expected to return its top seven scorers and 94.6 percent of its scoring in 2008-2009 led by All-Pac-10 selections James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph. Freshmen made a league-leading and school record 96 starts, played more than 47 percent of the minutes and scored more than 52 percent of the points. Freshmen James Harden earned first-team All-Pac-10 and All-District IX USBWA honors while junior Jeff Pendergraph earned third-team Pac-10 accolades. Coach Herb Sendek earned the west coast media Coach of the Year accolades with his District IX USBWA honors.

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