Men's Hoops Opens Pac-10 Play Friday At Stanford

Dec. 30, 2008

SUN DEVILS 11-1 FOR SECOND TIME IN 34 SEASONS: The No. 17/14 (Associated Press/ESPN Coaches' Poll) Arizona State's men's hoops team, 21-13 and 9-9 in the Pac-10 last year and 11-1 this season under third-year head coach Herb Sendek, opens Pac-10 play Jan. 2 at Stanford (10-0) and Jan. 4 at California (11-2). ASU is on a seven-game winning streak (third-best streak in past 28 seasons), had five players in double digits in the past two games (something that has not happened since 2000-20001), shot 65.3 percent from the field in its Dec. 29 win over Central Connecticut State, hit a school-record 17 three-pointers in its 90-55 Dec. 23 win over Idaho State and is 11-1 for just the second time in 34 seasons (also in 2004-05). The 1974-75 Sun Devil squad started 15-1 35 seasons ago, as did the 1962-63 team. Four Sun Devils are in double digits: James Harden (23.7, which leads the Pac-10 and is eighth nationally), Jeff Pendergraph (12.8), Ty Abbott (11.3) and Rihards Kuksiks (10.8). Both Cal and Stanford are undefeated at home and ASU is just 1-9 at Stanford in the past decade, but has won four straight in Berkeley. After losing its first eight Pac-10 road games under Herb Sendek, ASU is 5-5 since and is 3-1 in California this year with wins over UTEP and Charlotte in the Anaheim Classic, a 59-52 win at San Diego State on Nov. 18 and a 87-78 loss to Baylor in Anaheim.

SHOOTING IT: ASU is averaging 10.7 three-pointers made in the past seven games (75-of-174/.431). It leads the Pac-10 in three-pointer made per game at 9.2...ASU shot .739 from the free throw line last year, the fifth-best mark in ASU history and second-best in past 21 seasons, and is at 75.5 percent this season (188-249), currently the second-best mark in school history, best in the Pac-10 and 19th in the nation...ASU's starting five is shooting 77.9 percent from the free throw line (166-of-213).

SUN DEVIL DATA: James Harden has four 30-point games on the year, the most by a Sun Devil since Ike Diogu had six in 2004-2005. ASU is now 20-4 when Harden scores at least 20. After starting the season 2-of-14 (.143) from the three-point stripe in the first four games, he is 22-of-38 (.579) in the past eight games...after going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year, the Sun Devils are 32-14 (.696) since...ASU is 10-5 in the past two seasons in 10 points or less games after going 4-17 in Herb Sendek's first year...after going 10-29 in Herb Sendek's first two seasons when trailing at the half, ASU is 3-0 this year as it trailed at San Diego State and vs. IUPUI and BYU...ASU has now won five straight overtime games under Herb Sendek after its 59-58 overtime win over IUPUI on Dec. 14. Last year ASU was 4-0 in overtime, beating LSU in Maui 87-84 (Nov. 21), topping Arizona at home 64-59 (Jan. 9), winning at Cal in double overtime 99-90 (Jan. 17) and beating seventh-ranked Stanford 72-68 in Tempe (Feb. 14)...after losing its first 10 away from home (neutral or road games) in the Herb Sendek era, ASU is 12-10 the Dec. 8 64-44 victory over previously undefeated Nebraska, ASU held the Huskers to 18 first-half points, ASU's second-best first-half defensive effort in the past six years (190 games)...the Sun Devils are giving up 61.3 points per game in Coach Sendek's 76 games...Ty Abbott has three eight-rebound games this year, he grabbed eight rebounds in two games all of last year...Derek Glasser is 114-of-141 (.809) from the free throw line in his career. He has 58 assists and just 24 turnovers on the year (2.42-to-1 ratio).

FIVE IN DOUBLES: The Dec. 23 Idaho State and Dec. 29 Central Connecticut State games marked the first time ASU posted five players in double-digits in back-to-back games since the 2000-2001 season. ASU won at Oregon State 73-58 on Feb. 1, 2001, with Awvee Storey (17), Donnell Knight (13), Alton Mason (12), Tommy Smith (10) and Chad Prewitt (10) leading the way. On Sunday, Feb. 4 at Oregon, Storey led six players in double digits with 23 in a 99-72 win. Mason (17), Smith (15), Prewitt (15), Knight (10) and Redhage (10).

GOING BACK TO CALI: ASU will play at least nine games this year in California. It won at San Diego State on Nov. 18, went 2-1 in the 76 Classic in Anaheim Nov. 27-30, plays at UCLA, USC, Stanford and California and will play at least one tilt in the Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles.

SHOOT IT KUKSIKS: In ASU's past six games, sophomore Rihards Kuksiks is averaging 13.8 points and 5.3 boards, including 23-of-40 (.575) from the three-point stripe. He has 233 points and 14 double-figure scoring games in his past 24 contests (9.7 ppg.) dating to last year after scoring 42 points in the first 22 games last season.The sophomore had the best game of his career on Dec. 14 in ASU's one-point overtime win over IUPUI. He matched his career high with 18 points (set previous game on Dec. 8 against Nebraska after setting then-career high with 16 vs. Jackson State on Dec. 4, so yes, that was three straight career-highs), made a career-high six three pointers, grabbed a career-best nine boards (after a then career-high six boards against Nebraska), matched a career-high with four assists and had a career-high three steals.

ONE-POINT GAMES NOTE: The Dec. 20 BYU and Dec. 14 IUPUI contests marked for the first back-to-back one-point games for ASU since 2005-2006, as ASU lost to #7 UCLA 61-60 on Jan. 7 just two days after losing 66-65 to USC (Jan. 5). Prior to that, the last back-to-back one-point games were an 87-86 loss at #6 UCLA on Jan. 10, 1983, which was followed by a 75-74 loss at Washington State on Jan. 13, 1983. The BYU and IUPUI tilts marked the first-time in ASU history the Sun Devils posted back-to-back one-point wins. ASU is now 3-2 under Herb Sendek in one-point games.

WAY TOO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT THIS, BUT SO WHAT: James Harden enters play this week eighth in the nation in scoring (23.8 points per game). Since the league expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79, six Pac-10 players (seven occasions) have finished in the national top ten in scoring, with the most recent being Sun Devils (Eddie House in 1999-2000 and Ike Diogu in both 2003-2004 and 2004-2005). Diogu and House both led the Pac-10 in scoring those years, as did Sun Devil Jeremy Veal (20.8 in 1997-98) and Byron Scott (21.6 in 1982-83).

Rk. Player, School, Year, Avg.
T5. Ike Diogu, ASU, 2004-2005, 22.6
9. Ike Diogu, , ASU, 2003-2004, 22.8
4. Eddie House, ASU, 1999-2000. 23.0
2. Ed Gray, California, 1996-1997, 24.8
7. Harold Miner, USC, 1991-1992, 26.3
10. Terrell Brandon, Oregon, 1990-1991, 26.6
4. Reggie Miller, UCLA, 1985-86, 25.9

STEADY JEFF: Jeff Pendergraph, who earned his B.S. in Economics in December in just three and a half years, is shooting .763 from the free throw line in his career (290-of-380). He has 1,232 points in 103 career games (12.0 points per game) and 740 career rebounds (7.2 per game). He is averaging eight boards in the past nine games and has 21 career double-doubles (three this year).

NOT TAKING IT FOR FOR GRANTED: ASU is currently on a seven-game win-streak, its third-longest in the past 28 seasons. Last year's team won 10 straight and the 2004-2005 team won nine straight.

AT THE POINT: Derek Glasser made 58-of-69 (.841) free throws last year and is 114-of-141 (.809) in his career. He matched a career-high with nine assists (one turnover) vs. Idaho State in 29 minutes. He has 58 assists and just 24 turnovers on the year (2.42-to-1 ratio). He also has 289 career assists (3.8 per game), on pace to break the ASU career record of 454 set by Bobby Thompson from 1983-87.

BIG GAME JAMES: James Harden, the most heralded Sun Devil southpaw since Phil Mickelson, is averaging 24.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in the past 10 games, while shooting 57.6 percent from the field (76-of-132), 50 percent from the three-point stripe (23-of-46) and 80 percent (68-of-85) from the free throw line in that time...first player to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks (Nov. 24 and Dec. 1) since Washington's Brandon Roy notched the feat in February of 2006 in three straight weeks...first Sun Devil to score 40 points (against UTEP on Nov. 30) since Eddie House had 40 vs. UCLA on Feb. 17, 2000, and just the third Sun Devil to notch 40 points (six occasions). Through 46 career games, Harden has led ASU in scoring 35 times, rebounding 15 times and led it in assists in 18 games...has 24 career 20-point games and eight this year (ASU is 20-4)...has four 30 +point games this year (33 vs. Pepperdine, 32 vs. Baylor, 40 vs. UTEP, 30 vs. BYU)...11-of-11 from the foul line vs. Charlotte and is 83-of-105 (.790) from the free throw line on the year and 252-of-329 (.766) in his career...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 with 73 ASU's five Pac-10 home wins he averaged 23.4 points, six boards, three assists and two steals as he led ASU to 5-4 Pac-10 home mark. In the prevous four years, ASU was 9-27 in Pac-10 home ASU's nine Pac-10 wins he averaged 20.0 points and 5.6 boards...shot 45.2 percent from three in road games last year.

61-Eddie House at California (2 OT), Jan. 8, 2000
46-Eddie House at San Diego State, Dec. 18, 1999
45-Paul Williams at USC, March 10, 1983
42-Eddie House vs. Penn State, Dec. 29, 1999
40-James Harden vs. UTEP (@Anaheim), Nov. 30, 2008
40-Eddie House vs. UCLA, Feb. 17, 2000

RALLY CAPS: ASU has fallen behind three times this year but rallied to win. On Dec. 20 against previously undefeated BYU in Glendale, ASU was down 66-56 at the 9:31 mark before outscoring BYU 20-9 for a 76-75 victory...against IUPUI on Dec. 14, ASU was down 18 early and 34-18 at the half but came back to win 59-58 in overtime. ASU outscored the Jaguars 15-3 in the final 8:27 to tie the game, as it matched the largest halftime deficit overcome in 15 years as ASU came back from 45-29 against New Mexico State in Tempe (NIT) on March 15, 2000...ASU also trailed at San Diego State 15-2 at the 12:46 mark but outscored the Aztecs 57-37...ASU came back from double-digit deficits in two big wins in 2007-08, as it put the brakes on a five-game losing skid in dramatic fashion on Feb. 10 in Tucson, falling behind 22-6 but coming back to take a 13-point second-half lead and winning 59-54 to sweep Arizona for the first time since 1994-95 (its first win in Tucson since March 11, 1995)...on Feb. 14 against seventh-ranked Stanford, ASU was down 14 in the second half and seven with 1:49 left before winning 72-68 in overtime.

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

THE HEAD COACH: Herb Sendek is in his 16th season as a head coach and has averaged 18.7 wins per season. He led the NC State Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 294-194 (.602) in 16 seasons and was 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 Duke posted more ACC wins (regular season and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53 victories from 2002-2006. 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 (24/Arizona), Ralph Miller (19/Oregon State), Mike Montgomery (18/Stanford), Ben Braun (12/California) and Ernie Kent (12/Oregon).

HITTING FREEBIES: ASU shot .739 from the free throw line last year, the fifth-best mark in ASU history and second-best in past 21 seasons. 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. One good note on his 2003-04 NC State team is in the past nine seasons, that squad's .799 FT percentage is tied for the best in the NCAA with St. Joseph in 2005-06. ASU has led the league twice in free throw percentage, in 1997-98 and in 1986-87, shooting 74.6 percent both years. Two Sun Devils have led the league as Alex Austin was 69-of-80 (.863) in 1988-89 and Chris Beasley was 112-of-128 (.875) in 1983-84.

RK. Season (Record)-FT%
1. 1977-78 (13-14/6-8 in WAC)-75.6
2. 2008-09 (11-1/188-249)-75.5
3. 1954-55 (10-14/8-4 in Border)-75.4
4. 1997-98 (18-14/8-10 in Pac-10)-74.6
4. 1986-87 (11-17/6-12 in Pac-10)-74.6
6. 2007-08 (21-13/9-9 in Pac-10)-73.9

NEVER AN EASY OPENER: ASU has opened the Pac-10 with a team that eventually would make the NCAA Tournament the past five seasons (eight of the past nine. ASU's win over Oregon last year was just its fourth in a Pac-10 opener in the past 20 seasons. The only time in past nine seasons ASU's Pac-10 opener was not against a team that made the tournament was in 2002-03, when ASU won at Oregon State 67-47.

Jan. 2, 2009-ASU @ Stanford (Stanford was 28-8 and 13-5 in 2007-08)
Jan. 3, 2008-ASU 62, Oregon 54 (Oregon goes 18-14 and to the NCAA Tournament)
Dec. 28, 2006-Stanford 71, ASU 60 (Stanford goes 18-12 and to the NCAA Tournament)
Dec. 29, 2005-@#7 UW 91, ASU 67 (UW goes 13-5 in Pac-10 play)
Jan. 2, 2005-@#14 Arizona 97, ASU 79 (UA wins Pac-10 at 14-4)
Jan. 3, 2004-#4 Arizona 93, ASU 74 (UA goes 20-10 en route to NCAA Tournament)
Jan. 2, 2003-ASU 67, @OSU 47 (ASU goes 20-12 en route to NCAA Tournament)
Dec. 20, 2001-@Oregon 103, ASU 90 (Oregon wins Pac-10 at 26-9)
Jan. 4, 2001-#2 Stanford 94, ASU 77 (Stanford wins Pac-10 title at 31-3)
Jan. 6, 2000-@#1 Stanford 86, ASU 67 (Stanford wins Pac-10 title and goes 27-4)

RECAP: ASU posted a 20-win season for just the fourth time in 27 years after being picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 preseason poll last year. The Sun Devils return their top seven scorers in 2008-2009 led by All-Pac-10 selections James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph. ASU notched RPI top-60 wins over Xavier (9), Stanford (14), USC (28), Arizona (twice, 37) and Oregon (58). 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.

TREE: Herb Sendek has eight former assistants who are D-I coaches as 12-year sidekick Mark Phelps earned the Drake spot after serving for 10 years on the staff at NC State and for two years at ASU. Former NC State sidekick John Groce also earned the Ohio University position. 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 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 Final Four.

VS. STANFORD: Stanford leads the series 37-27 and ASU is 1-9 in it past 10 trips to Maples Pavilion, with eight of the losses by ASU's 72-68 upset over seventh-ranked Stanford last year on Feb. 14 in Tempe, ASU trailed by 14 in the second half and was down seven with 1:49 to play but rallied to force overtime...James Harden led the way with 23 points as he had the last four points of regulation and then scored the first eight of the extra session after Jeff Pendergraph and Rihards Kuksiks both fouled out...ASU beat its highest ranked opponent since its 90-87 overtime win at No. 4 Stanford on Jan. 31, 1998, and earned its first win over a top-10 team since Jan. 23, 2002 (88-72 vs. No. 10 Arizona in Tempe)...ASU had nine steals, led by Harden's five, and Rihards Kuksiks notched 15 points...ASU, then 4-0 in the Pac-10, led 32-20 in the first minute of the second half at Stanford on Jan. 19 last year but when Jeff Pendergraph got his fourth foul early in the second half the Cardinal outscored ASU 40-19 the rest of the way to win 67-52...Stanford outrebounded ASU 39-25 and had 16 offensive rebounds while ASU had a season-low 15 field goals and season-low 22 second-half points while Stanford's 47 second-half points was an opponent's season-high...Jeff Pendergraph has shot 34-of-64 (.531) from the floor and averaged 14.3 points in six games against Stanford...ASU broke Stanford's 18-game home winning streak and ended a streak of 13 straight Cardinal wins over ASU dating to Jan. 31, 1998, with an 81-69 win on Jan. 6, 2005, its only win in Palo Alto in the past 10 seasons.

VS. CAL: Although ASU is 12-24 (.333) in Pac-10 road games the past four years, it is 4-0 at Cal in that time...the visiting team has won the past eight games in the series...ASU leads the series 34-31...ASU hit a then school record 16 three-pointers in a 76-73 loss to Cal in Tempe on Feb. 16, 2008...ASU made just 7-of-14 free throws, as it led 31-23 at the 3:25 mark of the first half but was outscored 17-1 in the next 7:57 covering two halves...ASU trailed 63-50 with 1:57 left but scored 23 points, including seven three-pointers, in the final 1:11...ASU was 6-of-20 (.300) from the three-point stripe in the first half...ASU trailed 38-35 at the half but had three players notch 25 points as it topped Cal 99-90 in double overtime on Jan. 17 last year to move to 4-0 in the Pac-10. James Harden had 27 points, Jeff Pendergraph 26 points, eight rebounds and four blocks and Ty Abbott added 25 points and nine boards and seven three-pointers...ASU shot 57.6 percent from the field, including 18-of-29 (.621) in the second half...ASU won 42-41 at Cal March 3, 2007, in the regular season finale and matched its best defensive effort in 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 the game-winning three-pointer with 13 seconds left...ASU topped Cal 65-64 in double-overtime on Feb. 18, 2006, in Berkeley, as Cal entered the game 16-6 and 10-3 in league play, and also won in Berkeley on Jan. 8, 2005, 79-70 to complete a Bay Area road sweep.

YOU CAN CALL IT A COMEBACK: ASU's 16-point comeback on Dec. 14 vs. IUPUI is tied for the second-largest halftime comeback in the past 20 seasons of Sun Devil hoops. ASU trailed Stanford by 17 in Palo Alto on Feb. 12, 1994 (46-29) but came back to win 71-69. ASU also came back from a 16-point deficit on March 15, 2000, as it trailed New Mexico State 45-29 in Tempe in the NIT before posting an 83-77 victory.

(17)-@Stanford 46, ASU 29 (Feb. 12, 1994/ASU 71, Stanford 69)
(16)-IUPUI 34, ASU 18 (@Phoenix) (Dec. 14, 2008/ASU 59, IUPUI 58, OT)
(16)-New Mexico St. 45, ASU 29 (March 15, 2000/ASU 83, NMSU 77, NIT)
(16)-Georgia 39, ASU 23 (Dec. 29, 1989/ASU 62, Georgia 61)
(16)-@Texas A&M 36, ASU 26 (Dec. 19, 1998/ASU 96, Texas A&M 91, 3OT)
(10)-@USC 41, ASU 31 (Jan. 20, 1994/ASU 87, USC 62)

1. Joe Caldwell, 1962-64, 38
2. Art Becker, 1962-64, 31
3. Ike Diogu, 2002-05, 30
4. Alton Lister, 1978-81, 27
5. Tony Zeno, 1975-79, 27
6. Mario Bennett, 1991-95, 25
7. Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-present, 21
7. Kurt Nimphius, 1976-80, 21
7. Scott Lloyd, 1972-76, 21
10. Bobby Lazor, 1997-99, 20
10. Mark Landsberger, 1976-77, 20

1. Tony Cerkvenik, 1960-63, 1,022
2. Joe Caldwell, 1961-64, 929
3. Tony Zeno, 1976-79, 836
4. Ike Diogu, 2002-05, 802
5. Al Nealey, 1957-60, 780
6. Alton Lister, 1978-81, 776
7. Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-present, 740
8. Art Becker, 1961-64, 724
9. Gerhard Schreur, 1967-70, 700
10. Mario Bennett, 1991-95, 675

1. Eddie House, 1996-2000, 114
2. Ron Riley, 1992-96, 109
3. Jason Braxton, 2001-05, 102
4. Alex Austin, 1986-90, 100
5. Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-present, 97
5. Steve Beck, 1983-87, 96
7. Chad Prewitt, 1998-2002, 92
8. Ike Diogu, 2002-05, 91
8. Jeremy Veal, 1994-98, 91
10. Byron Scott, 1979-83, 88
10. Fat Lever, 1979-82, 88

THREE-POINTERS: Arizona State hit a school record 17 three-pointers against Idaho State on Dec. 23. It topped the previous mark of 16 set last year against California (Feb. 16, 2008) and at BYU on Dec. 1, 1992.

ASU'S Most 3-Point Field Goals
17 vs. Idaho State, Dec. 23, 2008
16 vs. California, Feb. 16, 2008
16 at Brigham Young, Dec. 1, 1992

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