Sun Devil Men's Hoops Takes On Duke Wednesday At Madison Square Garden

Nov. 20, 2009

The Arizona State's men's hoops team, in its fourth season under head coach Herb Sendek and coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1980-81, travels to Madison Square Garden for just the second time in history to face ninth-ranked Duke on Wednesday, Nov. 25, in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals. ASU is 4-0 for just the fourth time in 23 seasons (2008-09, 2005-06 and 1994-95) and third time in 15 seasons. ASU went 25-10 last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament under 312-game winner Herb Sendek, and finished 11-7 in the Pac-10 and tied for third, its best Pac-10 finish since the 1994-95 Sweet Sixteen team finished third under Bill Frieder. ASU has had to replace two NBA draft picks from last year in first-team consensus All-American James Harden and first-team All-Pac-10 forward Jeff Pendergraph, but returns three starters from last year's team in senior point guard Derek Glasser (2009 Pac-10 All-Tournament Team), junior Rihards Kuksiks (third-best returning three-point shooter in the nation according to NCAA minimums) and junior Ty Abbott (121 career three-pointers entering this year). Five Sun Devils are currently averaging in double digits and ASU is shooting 38-of-77 (.494) from the three-point stripe and 53.6 percent (111-of-207) from the field and is holding opponents to just .339 from the field, .293 from the arc and 52.8 points per game with its zone defense that Herb Sendek institututed in the middle of his first season.

THIS SUMS UP WHAT HAS HAPPENED...
After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), the Sun Devils are 50-23 (.685) since and giving up just 61.0 points per game in his 103 games.

A SOLID NOTE FROM HIS ACC DAYS...
From the 2001-2002 season through 2005-2006, Herb Sendek's final five seasons, NC State won 53 total ACC games (regular season and ACC tournament). Only Duke was better (76). Maryland also had 53.

AND A SOLID ONE FROM ASU...
In the nine years prior (1998-99 to 2006-07), ASU went 1-24 against top-10 teams. In its past three games against top-10 teams under Herb Sendek, ASU is 2-1 (against seventh-ranked Stanford in 2007-2008 and at ninth-ranked UCLA in 2008-2009). Also Coach Sendek has led ASU to six wins in his first three seasons over ranked teams. ASU won five games vs. ranked opponents in the 11 seasons prior to his arrival.

BEST TREE IN THE LAND...
Herb Sendek has eight former assistants who are D-I coaches, the best mark of any coach in the nation, ahead of Mike Montgomery and Rick Pitino (seven each). Twelve-year sidekick Mark Phelps earned the Drake spot in the spring of 2008 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 in the spring of 2008. The others are Jim Christian at TCU (Miami assistant in 1995-96), 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 Arizona's Sean Miller (assistant at both Miami from 1993-95 and at NC State from 1996-2000).

QUICK RECAP THROUGH FIRST FOUR GAMES...
ASU opened the 2009-2010 season Nov. 13 with an 87-35 win over Western Illinois as 11 players scored and the 52-point margin was the biggest since the 1996-97 season...ASU topped Texas State 84-62 in the opening round of the NIT, and then came back with a gut-check win vs. TCU 52-49 the next night. ASU was down 48-40 with 3:46 mark when Herb Sendek called a 30-second timeout. Rihards Kuksiks hit a three-pointer that sparked a 12-1 run to send the Sun Devil to NYC...on Friday, ASU made a school-record 18 three-pointers and shot 61.3 percent from the field en route to a 104-65 win vs. San Francisco on Nov. 20. It marked the most points by ASU since a 108-78 win vs. USC on Feb. 13, 2003. ASU led 58-23 at the half.

THE BOAT IS A GOOD STORY...
ASU has a player who already has his degree in Global Studies, speaks a little bit of Chinese and also an African dialect called 'Twi'...and is off to a great start. Senior Eric Boateng obviously also is taking advantage of the 24-hour access for Arizona State's brand new practice facility (Weatherup Center). In the first four games, he is averaging 11.5 points and eight boards while shooting 72 percent from the field (18-of-25). Solid and modest numbers through four games until one also considers this...he has scored 46 points this year after scoring 57 all of last year. Also, he was 9-of-22 (.409) from the free throw line last year, he is 10-of-16 (.625) already this year.

ABBOTT UPDATE...
Ty Abbott missed just one game after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in mid-October and seems to be getting back in shape, averaging 10 points per game and is 7-10 from the three-point stripe. Abbott has played in 72 games in his three-year career and started in 65. He set ASU freshman records for starts (34) and three-pointers made (76) in his first season of 2007-08, as the 76 three-pointers is fourth-best by a freshman in Pac-10 history. He averaged 29.9 minutes while playing all 35 games and starting in 31 last year and was second on team with 16 blocks and 33 steals. He posted 13 games of double-digits, and ASU was 11-2 in those contests, and scored a season-high 20 points against No. 13 Syracuse in NCAA Tournament on 6-of-10 three-point shooting. Abbott also averaged 11.7 points in the Pac-10 Tournament and was 13-of-23 (.565) from the field and 8-of-15 (.533) from the three-point stripe as ASU advanced to the Pac-10 title game for the first time in school history. He is one three current Pac-10 players who can claim a 30-point night, with a 30-point effort in his freshman season vs. California on Feb. 16, 2008. Tajuan Porter did the trick with 33 at Washington on Feb. 14, 2009 while Jerome Randle had 31 at Arizona on March 5, 2009. When Abbott scores in double digits, ASU is 25-6.

THE POINT GUARD...
Derek Glasser earned 2009 Pac-10 All-Tournament honors by averaging 13.7 points in the three games. He shot 16-of-31 (.516) from the field, made 5-of-11 (.455) from the three-point stripe and had 12 assists and just four turnovers while averaging 37.3 minutes per game. He also played 42 minutes without a turnover in the Jan. 17 overtime win at ninth-ranked UCLA and followed that up with clutch shots at Arizona on Jan. 21 and vs. No. 11 UCLA on Feb. 12. He is 195-of-234 (.833) from the free throw line and has played 18 turnover free games in his 102-game career. He has made his first 13 free throw attempts this year.

THIS GUY HAS IMPRESSED...
Freshman Trent Lockett comes from one of the top high school programs in the country (Minnetonka in Minnesota) and has stepped on campus and made a huge first impression. In four games, he is averaging 11.3 points, 7.3 boards and is shooting 16-of-29 (.552) from the field. He also has a tendency to make 'splash' plays as his leaping ability has allowed him to grab 13 offensive rebounds, resulting in several tip-dunks. He also is among the best in the classroom, as he is a member of the honors program at ASU.

PAST TWO SEASONS...
ASU is 20-16 (.556) in the past two seasons in Pac-10 regular season play, tied for the third-best mark in the league behind UCLA (29-7/.806) and Washington (21-15/.583). The rest of the Pac-10 in the past two years: USC 20-16 (.556), Washington State 19-17 (.528), Stanford 19-17 (.528), Arizona 17-19 (.472), Cal 17-19 (.472), Oregon 11-25 (.306) and Oregon State 7-29 (.194).

25 WINS...
ASU (25-10) posted 25 wins in 2008-2009 for the first time since the 1974-75 squad went 25-4. ASU's school record for wins is 26 set in 1962-63 (26-3). ASU went 10-6 against 2009 NCAA Tournament teams (3-0 against UA, 2-0 vs. UCLA, split games with Cal and 1-2 against Washington and USC). It also topped BYU on Dec. 20 in Glendale. ASU defeated Arizona (68-56) and top-seeded Washington (75-65) but fell to USC in the Pac-10 title game 66-63 and then defeated Temple but lost to No. 13 Syracuse in Miami at the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils were 6-4 in road games and 7-3 in neutral games (20 of 35 games away from Tempe. According to collegerpi.com, ASU had a RPI of 31 (second in Pac-10) and a strength of schedule of 37.

REMEMBER THIS ABOUT THE DEFENSE...
Just how good has the Sun Devil defense been since Herb Sendek too over? ASU has given up less than 62 points per game in each of the past three seasons , the best three-season span since the middle of the past century. In the 18 Pac-10 games last year, no team defended shooters better than Arizona State, as it led the league in field goal percentage defense (.421) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.310). Those that followed Coach Sendek's career at NC State won't find it a big shocker. In Herb Sendek's 10 seasons in Raleigh, NC State led the ACC in scoring defense four times and held opponents to just 54.7 points per game in 1996-97, an ACC record. Last year's 60.5 points per game allowed was the lowest by a Sun Devil team since the 1949-50 team gave up 59.8.

SUN DEVILS SHOOT THREES...
ASU set the school record for three-pointers made (288) and attempted (778) in 2008-2009. ASU's top three returning scorers had combined to make 357 three-pointers in their careers entering this year, as Rik Kuksiks had 129, Ty Abbott 121 and Derek Glasser 107. So far in this season, ASU is shooting 38-of-77 (.494) from the arc, with seven Sun Devils hitting three pointers.

THE SHOOTER...
Junior Rihards Kuksiks is the third-best returning three-point shooter in the nation according to official NCAA statistics. Kuksiks was 93-of-210 from the arc last year, which was eighth in the nation. Only Jared Stohl of Portland (89-of-195 for .456) and Brandon Hazzard of Troy (83-of-185 for .449) are returners with better net swishing numbers than the Latvian native. He shot .420 from the three-point stripe in the 16 games against NCAA Tournament teams last year and was 17-of-37 (.459) in the six games against ranked opponents. He also was clutch in close games, as ASU played four games of two points or less (and went 3-1), and Rik was 14-of-30 (.467) from three. He averaged 10.3 points (third-best on the team) and his 93 three-pointers is the third-best in school history, while the 44.3 percent shooting is tied for the fourth-best in school history. The junior has made 142-of-333 (.426) three-pointers in his three-year career and had career-highs in points (27), three-pointers (seven) and assists (eight) in the win over USF on Nov. 20. He also posted a then career-high 20 points in the NCAA Tournament second-round loss to Syracuse with six three-pointers.

SUN DEVILS MAKES FREEBIES...
ASU shot .739 from the free throw line in 2007-2008, the fifth-best mark in ASU history and second-best in previous 21 seasons, and shot just below that pace last year (.737). 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, a mark that is tied for the sevent-best mark in NCAA history. While at NC State, his squads shot 71.3 percent.

TOP ASU FREE THROW PERCENTAGE...
1. 1977-78 (13-14/6-8 in WAC)--75.6
2. 1954-55 (10-14/8-4 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 (21-13/9-9 in Pac-10)--73.9
6. 2008-09 (25-19/11-7 in Pac-10)--73.7

YOUNG GUY...
Even after coaching in more than 500 games at three schools, seven NCAA tournaments and having eight former assistants currently serving as head coaches at the D-I level, Herb Sendek is still the third-youngest coach in the Pac-10 even with three new hires this past spring and two others in spring of 2008. Coach Sendek is the second-youngest active coach with 300 Division I wins, only Florida's Billy Donovan is younger, as he is 44 years old (born May 30, 1965).

WINNING TOUGH ONES...
ASU is 18-12 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 was 5-4 in 2008-2009 with victories at SDSU, vs. IUPUI, vs. BYU, at Arizona and vs. Arizona in Pac-10 Tournament...ASU is 6-2 in its past eight overtime games...in ASU's first season under Herb Sendek, it was 3-12 in two-possession games (six points or less), in the past two seasons it is 12-7 (6-3 past two seasons).

THE HEAD COACH...
Herb Sendek is in his 17th season as a head coach in 2009-2010 and has averaged 19.2 wins per season. He led the NC State Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 312-203 (.606) in 17 seasons and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 46-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963) Pittsburgh, Pa., native remains 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), Ernie Kent (in his 13th at Oregon) and Ben Braun (12/California).

VS. RANKED TEAMS...
Coach Sendek has 35 career wins against ranked foes, including 12 top-10 wins in his past nine seasons. He notched his first at ASU on Feb. 18, 2007, as ASU topped No. 22 USC 68-58 and won his first attempt in 2007-08 with a 77-55 over No. 17 Xavier on Dec. 15 (largest win over a ranked team in ASU history)...the Jan. 17, 2009, win at ninth-ranked UCLA was ASU's first top-10 road win since its 90-87 OT win at No. 4 Stanford on Jan. 31, 1998...against seventh-ranked Stanford on Feb. 14, 2008, ASU earned its first win over a top-10 team since Jan. 23, 2002 (88-72 over No. 10 Arizona)...in the nine years prior (1998-99 to 2006-07), ASU went 1-24 against top-10 teams. In its past three games against top-10 teams under Herb Sendek, ASU is 2-1 (seventh-ranked Stanford in 2007-2008 and at ninth-ranked UCLA in 2008-2009)...from 1995-1996 until 2005-2006 (11 seasons), ASU went 5-66 against ranked foes (2-28 at home). Under Herb Sendek in the next three years ASU has six wins against ranked teams, three of them at home.

Herb Sendek WINS VS. RANKED TEAMS AT ASU
#23 ASU 75, #13 Washington 65/P10 Tourney (Mar. 13, 2009)
#18 ASU 74, #11 UCLA 67 (Feb. 12, 2009)
#16 ASU 61, @#9 UCLA 58 (OT), Jan. 17, 2009
ASU 72, #7 Stanford 68 (OT), Feb. 14, 2008
ASU 77, #17 Xavier 55, Dec. 15, 2007 (largest win over ranked team in ASU history)
ASU 68, #22 USC 58, Feb. 18, 2007

MANY WINS, MANY PLACES...
Herb Sendek has covered the map in wins. In his career, Coach Sendek has won 309 games in 24 states, plus two wins in Puerto Rico and one in Washington D.C. North Carolina (153), Ohio (51) and Arizona (42) lead the way as he has been head coach in each state, and he also has posted wins in California (10), Florida (seven), Michigan (six), South Carolina and Virginia (five each), Georgia and Indiana (four each), Massachusetts and Oregon (three each), Hawaii, Maryland, New York and Texas (two each). One-win states are Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.

THE WINS YOU NOTICE...
ASU has notched a double-digit win over a ranked team in each of Herb Sendek's three seasons. It beat No. 22 USC 68-58 on Feb. 18, 2007, beat No. 17 Xavier 77-55 on Dec. 15, 2007 (largest win over a ranked team in school history), and then topped No. 13 Washington 75-65 on March 13, 2009, in Los Angeles at the Pac-10 Tournament. In the prior 16 seasons of ASU basketball, the Sun Devils have had three double-digit wins over ranked teams.

THE SWEEP FOLKS IN TEMPE LOVE...
ASU swept Arizona in the regular season for the second straight year and then topped the Wildcats in the Pac-10 Tournament for a five-game win streak against the state rival for the first time since a nine-game streak from 1979-83. In its 53-47 win in Tucson on Jan. 21, ASU held Arizona to its second fewest points in a Pac-10 game (Oregon 43, UA 40 in 1985) and it was the fewest points by Arizona against Arizona State since a 45-44 Arizona win in 1949. It also marked the first time ASU had won back-to-back games in Tucson since 1982-83.

GOOD ON THE TUBE...
In the past two years, ASU is 14-1 in Fox Sports Net national games, including 9-0 in 2008-2009...ASU was 3-2 in CBS games last year with wins over UCLA, Cal and Temple. In the previous 11 years, ASU was 1-4 in CBS games...in the past two years, ASU is 26-7 in national or network regional games (games on FSN, CBS or any of the ESPN networks), and ASU has won six of its past seven against ranked teams in those TV games.

Categories:
Now on Pac-12 Network
10:45 AM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network
Get Pac-12 Networks
Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder
Close