No. 14 Men's Hoops Team Off To Anaheim For Games Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

Nov. 24, 2008


SUN DEVILS AT DISNEY: The Arizona State's men's hoops team, 21-13 and 9-9 inthe Pac-10 last year and 3-0 this season under third-year head coach HerbSendek, travels to the 76 Classic in Anaheim this weekend in a strong eight-team field. ASU takes on Charlotte in the first round at 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT onThanksgiving (Nov. 27) on ESPNU, while ESPN 860 AM has the radio call. ASUwill then meet the winner/loser of the Baylor/Providence matchup on Friday (Nov. 28). ASU, ranked in the national preseason polls for the first time since1991-92, won the earliest road game in school history (and just its fourthtrue road game in November in the past 26 seasons) 59-52 at San Diego Stateon Tuesday (Nov. 18) by making 9-of-13 (.692) field goals and 13-of-16(.813) free throws in the second half and followed that up with one of thebest defensive efforts in the past 60 years with a 61-40 win over Pepperdineon Sunday. In Herb Sendek's 67 games as ASU's coach, the Sun Devils aregiving up just 61.4 points per game, while Pac-10 Player of the Week JamesHarden's 33 points against Pepperdine on Sunday is the most by a Sun Devilin the past 104 games. ASU, ranked 14th in both major polls this week, has gone 26-16 (.619) after starting Herb Sendek's first year 6-19.

QUICK RECAP FROM LAST YEAR: Last year, ASU posted a 20-win season for justthe fourth time in 27 years last year after being picked to finish ninth inthe Pac-10 preseason media poll. The Sun Devils return their top sevenscorers and 94.6 percent of their scoring in 2008-2009 led by All-Pac-10selections James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph. ASU notched wins over RPItop-60 teams Xavier (9), Stanford (14), USC (28), Arizona (twice, 37) andOregon (58). Freshmen made a league-leading and school record 96 starts,played more than 47 percent of the minutes and scored more than 52 percentof the points.

THREE-DOT DATA: Ty Abbott has two eight-rebound games this year, he grabbedeight rebounds in two games all of last year...ASU now 8-4 in the past twoseasons in games of 10 points or less under Herb Sendek after going 4-17 inhis first year...Derek Glasser is 105-of-128 (.820) from the free throw linein his career...sophomore Rihards Kuksiks is averaging 8.5 points in hispast 15 games dating to last season, averaging 27.6 minutes per game andhitting 31 three-pointers in that time...ASU's win at San Diego State wasjust the fourth road-opening win in the past 17 seasons (and just second inpast 10 seasons), with others coming in 2004-05 (at Temple), at Texas A & M(1998-99) and at Cincinnati (1997-98)...ASU fell behind San Diego State(20-13 in 2007-08), which had gone 38-7 at home since 2005-06 and had wonits past two games against ranked teams in Cox Arena, 15-2 at the 12:46mark...ASU was down 44-41 but outscored the Aztecs 18-8 in the final sixminutes...ASU trailed 24-23 at the half, it was 10-29 in Herb Sendek's firsttwo seasons when trailing at the half...ASU had 35 field goal attempts, itsfewest since Jan. 27, 1991, when it was 19-of-33 in a 58-47 win atStanford...James Harden's 10 assists vs. Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 14is the most by a Sun Devil in the Herb Sendek era (now 67 games)...the MVSUgame was the first time that ASU didn't have a freshman in the startinglineup since Dec. 10, 2005, a 75-71 loss to Utah Valley State, a span of thepast previous 86 games...ASU lost its first 10 games away from home in theHerb Sendek era but is 8-9 since.

HERE WE GO WITH JAMES NOTES: ASU is led in scoring by the most famous SunDevil southpaw since Phil Mickelson, James Harden, who had an ASU freshmanrecord 16 20-point games (seventh-best in school history and tied forthird-best in the Pac-10) last year and has 18 20-point games in his career(ASU is 15-3 in those games)...the 19-year old Harden (born August of 1989)was the youngest player in the Pac-10 in 2007-08 and he led the Pac-10 with73 steals, fifth-best by a freshman in Pac-10 ASU's fourovertime games (all wins and three of them in Pac-10 games) he averaged 24.8ppg and 5.5 rebounds and had 10 ASU's five Pac-10 home wins heaveraged 23.4 points, six boards, three assists and two steals as he led ASUto 5-4 Pac-10 home mark. In the prevous four years, ASU was 9-27 in Pac-10home games...was second on the team in assists (110), including 63 (3.5 pergame) in Pac-10 ASU's nine Pac-10 wins he shot 54.5 percent fromthe floor and was 13-27 from three-point stripe. He averaged 20.0 points and5.6 boards in those games...shot 45.2 percent from three-point land in roadgames...through 37 career games, Harden has led or tied for the ASU lead inscoring 28 times and has done the same in rebounding on 13 occasions. Healso has led or tied for the team lead in assists in 15 games.

STEADY JEFF: Jeff Pendergraph had 56 blocks last year (he had 45 in hisfirst two seasons) and shot .593 from the field (third in the Pac-10) and.799 from the free throw line (tenth in Pac-10). He has 18 double-doubles inhis career. He is shooting .756 from the free throw line in his career(260-of-344). His 102 career blocks is sixth in ASU history. He became the30th member of the ASU 1,000-point club against USC on March 1. He has 1,102points in 94 career games (11.7 points per game) and 668 career rebounds(7.1 per game).

GOING BACK TO CALI: ASU will play at least nine games this year inCalifornia. It won at San Diego State on Nov. 18, plays three games inAnaheim this week, plays at UCLA, USC, Stanford and California and will playat least one tilt in the Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles in March.

76 CLASSIC AT ANAHEIM: ASU travels to Anaheim for the 76 Classic Nov. 27-30and will meet Charlotte (20-14 last year with a 68 RPI) on Turkey Day (Nov.27) at 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT on ESPNU. ASU and Charlotte have met once, withASU winning a 91-78 decision on Dec. 30, 2000, over a Charlotte team thatwould eventually make the NCAA Tournament...Herb Sendek is 1-1 vs.Charlotte, losing 95-78 on Nov. 18, 2000, and then notching a 75-63 NCAATournament win in Oklahoma City on March 18, 2005...ASU is 2-1 vs. Baylor,last playing the Bears on Nov. 26, 1988, in Richmond and topped the Bears89-73. Its only game against Providence was a 56-54 loss on Dec. 29, 1982 inHonolulu.

NICE START: ASU is 3-0 for the fourth time in the past 14 seasons (also in1997-98, 2003-04 and was 4-0 in 2005-06). It will attempt to go 4-0 for justthe third time in 22 seasons against Charlotte on Thursday (2005-06 and1994-95). The 1985-86 season is the last time ASU started 5-0.

THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD NOTE LAST YEAR, BUT WE MISSED IT, BUT IT ISSTILL SOLID: ASU became just the second team in the 30-year history of thePac-10 to lose at least 20 games one year (ASU was 8-22 in 2006-07) and thenwin at least 20 the next season (ASU was 21-13 in 2007-08). Only Californiain 1988-89 can match the feat, as it was 9-20 in 1987-88 and 20-13 in1988-89. Miami (Fla.) also notched the feat last year, going 22-10 aftergoing 12-20 in 2006-07, the first time in the ACC's 55 seasons that hashappened. Texas A&M is the only team to do it in the 12-year history of theBig 12 , as it was 7-21 in 2003-04 and went 21-10 in 2004-05. Among theother major conferences, this manufactured note has never happened in theBig East (28 seasons), Big Ten (103 seasons) or the SEC (76 seasons).

USA TODAY #15 PRESEASON RANKING NOTE: ASU is 15th in the ESPN/USA TodayCoaches' poll (announced Oct. 30). USA Today started the poll in 1991-92 andthat is the only year ASU has been in the preseason top 25, when it was No.22.

AP PRESEASON RANKING NOTE: The Associated Press ranked ASU 15th in itspreseason poll (Oct. 31), its first preseason AP ranking since 1991-92(24th), the second-highest preseason ranking in school history (1963-64 teamwas sixth), and fourth time overall (other time was 18th in 1975-76). Lastyear, 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. Coach Sendek had the Sun Devils inthe rankings in his second year, two years prior to his rebuilding effort atNC State that resulted in five straight NCAA Tournament appearances(2002-06).

POPULAR ON THE TUBE: According to Nielsen Media Research, ASU¹s ratings in2007-08 on FSN Arizona enjoyed an increase of 196% over its average ratingfor the previous season. The 15 Sun Devil games on FSN AZ averaged a 1.5rating/3 share in Phoenix. That figure means that an average of 27,039households in the Valley were tuning into a game. In 2006-07, the Sun Devilsaveraged a 0.5 rating. A rating is the percentage of all televisionhouseholds in a market, while the share is the percentage of thosetelevision households that actually have their sets on during the particulartime. One ratings point equal 18.026 households in the Phoenix market.

GLASSER AT THE POINT: Derek Glasser made 58-of-69 (.841) free throws in2007-08 and is 105-of-128 (.820) in his 67-game career. Glasser had 69assists and 32 turnovers in Pac-10 play last year, a 2.16 ratio that wassecond in the league. He also has 245 career asists, more than halfway tothe ASU career record of 454 set by Bobby Thompson from 1983-87.

COACHING TREE: Herb Sendek now has eight former assistants who are D-I headcoaches as 12-year sidekick Mark Phelps earned the Drake top spot lastspring after serving for 10 years on Coach Sendek's staff at NC State andfor two years at ASU. Former NC State sidekick also John Groce earned theOhio University position. The others are Jim Christian, formerly at KentState and now at TCU (Miami assistant from 1994-96), Charlie Coles at Miamiof Ohio (Miami assistant from 1994-96), Larry Hunter at Western Carolina (NCState assistant from 2001-05), Ron Hunter of IUPUI (Miami assistant from1993-94), Ohio State's Thad Matta (Miami assistant in 1994-95) and Xavier'sSean Miller (assistant at both Miami from 1994-96 and at NC State from1996-2000). Coles, Miller and Matta all led their teams to the 2007 NCAATournament, then last year Christian led Kent State to the NCAAs, Miller ledXavier to the Elite Eight and Matta's Buckeye squad won the NIT a year aftergoing to the Final Four.

LAST BIG-TIME SHOWING IN EARLY SEASON TOURNEY: ASU last made a huge impactnationally in a November tournament in the 1994 Maui Invitational, when itwon the tournament with wins over Texas A&M, #13 Michigan and #7 Maryland.Just how big of an impact did winning the Maui Invitational make in 1994 forBill Frieder's squad? ASU went from being not ranked in the Nov. 21Associated Press poll to No. 12 on Nov. 28, tied for the fourth-biggest jumpin AP Top-25 history, and at the time it was the second-highest leap for anunranked team.

4th, Kansas, Preseason to Nov. 27, 1989
8th, Arizona, Preseason to Nov. 20, 2001
10th, Notre Dame, Dec. 3 to Dec. 10, 2002
12th, North Carolina, Nov. 26 to Dec. 3, 2003
12th, Duke, Nov. 20 to Nov. 27, 1995
12th, Arizona State, Nov. 21 to Nov. 28, 1994

MANY WINS, MANY PLACES: When it comes time to play away from Tempe, HerbSendek has a good map. In his career, Coach Sendek now has won 283 games in24 states, plus two wins in Puerto Rico and one in Washington D.C. NorthCarolina (153), Ohio (51) and Arizona (23) lead the way as he has been headcoach in each state, and he also has posted wins in Florida, (seven),Michigan (six), South Carolina and Virginia (five each), California (four),Georgia and Indiana (four each), Massachusetts (three), Hawaii, Texas andMaryland (two each). One-win states are Alabama, Utah, New York, New Jersey,Tennessee, Nevada, Kentucky, Illinois, Washington and Oregon.

THIEF: James Harden set the Pac-10 tournament record with seven stealsagainst USC (March 13). It is the most steals by a Sun Devil since EddieHouse had seven vs. Kansas State on Nov. 24, 1998, in the Maui Invitational.Harden's 73 steals tied for fourth-best in school history and was just threeshy of the ASU record of 76 set by Fat Lever in 1981-82. He is averaging 3.2steals in in his past eight contests dating to last year.

SLICK RICK (RIHARDS): Rihards Kuksiks averaged 26.6 minutes and 8.7 pointsin the final 12 games last year and made 25 three pointers, and then posted12 points and four three-pointers in the season opener vs. MVSU on Nov. 14and 10 points and two big three-pointers in the win at San Diego State onNov. 18. He had 15 points in the win over seventh-ranked Stanford on Feb.14, 15 at Washington on Feb. 23 and 10 in March 1 win vs. USC. He has 128points in his past 15 games (8.5 ppg.) dating to last year after scoring 42in the first 22 games.

AT HOME: ASU is 17-5 at home in the past two seasons, as it won 15 homegames for first time in the 32-year history of Wells Fargo Arena last year.It is was15-5 with wins over NCAA Tournament teams Arizona, Xavier,Stanford, USC, Oregon and Coppin State. ASU previously won 14 home games in1974-75 (14-0), 1979-80 (14-3), 1980-81 (14-1), 1990-91 (14-4), 1994-95(14-3), 1997-98 (14-4), and 1999-2000 (14-3).

DON'T COUNT THEM OUT: ASU trailed San Diego State 15-2 at the 12:46 mark butoutscored the Aztecs 57-37 to win. The comeback is nothing new. The SunDevils came back from double-digit deficits in two big wins in 2007-08, asit put the brakes on a five-game losing skid in dramatic fashion on Feb. 10in Tucson, falling behind 22-6 but coming back to take a 13-pointsecond-half lead and winning 59-54 to sweep Arizona for the first time since1994-95 (and notch first win in Tucson since March 11, 1995). On Feb. 14against seventh-ranked Stanford, ASU was down by 14 in the second half andby seven with 1:49 left before a rally put the game into overtime as ASU won72-68. On Feb. 16 against Cal, ASU made seven three-pointers in the final1:11 to chop an 11-point deficit to three before falling 76-73.

HITTING FREEBIES: ASU is shot .739 from the free throw line last year, thefifth-best mark in ASU history and second-best in past 21 seasons. In his 10seasons at NC State, Coach Sendek's teams led the ACC four times in FTpercentage (including three straight seasons, 2002-04). In 2004 NC State ledthe 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 worst team was hisfirst year (1996-97/.649). One good note on his 2003-04 NC State team is inthe past nine seasons, that squad's .799 FT percentage is tied for the bestin the NCAA with St. Joseph in 2005-06.

TURNAROUND: ASU¹s 13-game turnaround in wins (ASU was 8-22 overall in2006-07) was tied for the best turnaround in the nation last year with UNC-Wilmington, who went 7-22 in 2006-07 and was 20-13 last year.

YOU READ THIS BEFORE: The Sun Devils had five wins over teams in the top 50of the RPI. ASU (5-7) beat #9 Xavier, #14 Stanford, had two wins over #37Arizona and beat No. #28 USC on March 1. Other Pac-10 records (prior to NCAAand NIT) vs. the top-50 include UCLA (11-2), Stanford (7-4), Arizona (5-8),WSU (4-7), USC (4-8), Oregon (4-9), Cal (2-10) and UW (2-10).

HARDEN ON DEFENSE/OFFENSE: James Harden became just the fifth freshman tolead the Pac-10 in steals. The others are Jason Kidd of Cal (3.8 spg/1993),Baron Davis of UCLA (2.4 spg/1998) and USC's Errick Craven (2.1 spg/2002)and Gabe Pruitt (1.9 spg/2005). He also had 19 blocks, seventh on the ASUfreshmen list. His 73 steals is fifth-best in Pac-10 history for a freshman.When you compare the points with the all-time freshman steals leaders,Harden is the first freshmen in league history with 70 steals and a 17.0points per game average.

THE HEAD COACH: Herb Sendek is in his 16th season as a head coach and hasaveraged 18.7 wins per season. He led the NC State Wolfpack to five straightNCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 286-193 (.597) in 16 seasons andwas 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 45-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963)Pittsburgh, Pa., native is the third-youngest coach in the Pac-10. Only Dukeposted more ACC wins (regular season and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53victories from 2002-2006. Another overlooked note is his 10-year stay at NCState. 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 (12 at California) and Ernie Kent (12at Oregon).


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