Men's Hoops Hosts 6-1 Baylor Thurday at 8:30 p.m.

Dec. 1, 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, meets two teams that each won a ton of games last year and faced ASU. ASU plays host to the Baylor Bears (24-15 last year and 6-1 this year) at 8:30 p.m. MT on Thursday, Dec. 3, and then travels to Provo to meet BYU (25-8 last year and 5-0 this year) for a tilt on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. The Sun Devils went 25-10 last season andadvanced to the NCAA Tournament under 314-game winner Herb Sendek, andfinished 11-7 in the Pac-10 and tied for third, their best Pac-10 finishsince the 1994-95 Sweet Sixteen team finished third under Bill Frieder.

After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), the SunDevils are 52-24 (.684) since and giving up just 60.9 points per game in his106 games.

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).

Four Sun Devils are currently averaging in double digits and ASU is shooting 52-of-120 (.433) from the three-point stripe and 52.5 percent (178-of-339) from the field. ASU has had six players lead or share the team lead in scoring inits seven games and has five players on its roster who have had a 20-pointgame in their career.

ASU is holding opponents to just .361 from the field, .309 from the arc and 54.9 points per game with its zone defense that Herb Sendek instituted in the middle of his first season. ASU has held six of its first seven opponents to under40 percent field goal shooting, as only Duke (23-of-55 for .418) topped themark, as 22 of its past 42 opponents have shot under 40 percent.

ASU is happy to welcome in its friends from FOX Sports Netfor the game on Thursday. In the past two years, ASU is 14-1 in Fox SportsNet national games, including 9-0 in 2008-2009...ASU was 3-2 in CBS gameslast year with wins over UCLA, Cal and Temple. In the previous 11 years, ASUwas 1-4 in CBS the past two years, ASU is 27-8 in national ornetwork regional games (games on FSN, CBS or any of the ESPN networks), and6-2 in past eight against ranked teams in TV games.

Herb Sendek has eight former assistants who are D-Icoaches, the best mark of any coach in the nation, ahead of Mike Montgomeryand Rick Pitino (seven each). Twelve-year sidekick Mark Phelps earned theDrake spot in the spring of 2008 after serving for 10 years on the staff atNC State and for two years at ASU. Former NC State sidekick John Groce alsoearned the Ohio University position in the spring of 2008. The others areJim Christian at TCU (Miami assistant in 1995-96), Charlie Coles at Miami ofOhio (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 Arizona'sSean Miller (assistant at both Miami from 1993-95 and at NC State from1996-2000).

Senior Eric Boateng already has his degree in Global Studies, speaks alittle bit of Chinese and an African dialect called ³Twi²...and is off to agreat start and right now might be the most improved player in the nation.He obviously also is taking advantage of the 24-hour access for ArizonaState¹s brand new practice facility (Weatherup Center). In the first sevengames, he is averaging 12.0 points and 7.3 boards while shooting 71.7percent from the field (33-of-46). Solid and modest numbers through sevengames until one also considers he has scored 84 points after scoring 57 allof last year. Also, he was 28-of-74 (.378) from the free throw line in hisfirst two years at ASU, he is 18-of-27 (.667) this year.

ASU made a school-record 18 three-pointers and shot 61.3percent 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. ASU¹s 29 assists vs. USF were the mostsince it had 29 vs. Long Island on Dec. 29, 2004. Eight Sun Devilsregistered an assist as ASU notched an assist on its first 12 baskets.Rihards Kuksiks had a career-high eight dimes...ASU topped Texas State 84-62in the opening round of the NIT on Nov. 16, and then came back with agut-check win vs. TCU 52-49 the next night. ASU was down 48-40 with 3:46mark when Herb Sendek called a 30-second timeout. Rihards Kuksiks hit athree that sparked a 12-1 run to send ASU to NYC...ASU opened the seasonNov. 13 with an 87-35 win over Western Illinois as 11 players scored and the52-point margin was the biggest since 1996-97.

Senior Derek Glasser is averaging 12.3 points andis shooting 50 percent (10-of-20) from the three-point stripe and 84.8percent from the free throw line (28-of-33) this year...he is 210-of-254(.827) from the free throw line and has played 19 turnover free games in his105-game career...posted a career-high 24 points in the Nov. 27 win overLSU...earned 2009 Pac-10 All-Tournament honors by averaging 13.7 points inthe 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 whileaveraging 37.3 minutes per game. He also played 42 minutes without aturnover in the Jan. 17 overtime win at ninth-ranked UCLA and followed thatup with clutch shots at Arizona on Jan. 21 and vs. No. 11 UCLA on the home sweep of UCLA and USC Feb. 12-15, Glasser averaged 16.5points.

Ty Abbott missed just one game after having arthroscopicsurgery on his right knee in mid-October and seems to be getting back inshape, averaging 6.7 points and going 8-17 (.471) from three. Abbott hasplayed in 75 games in his three-year career and started in 65. He set ASUfreshman records for starts (34) and three-pointers made (76) in his firstseason of 2007-08, as the 76 three-pointers is fourth-best by a freshman inPac-10 history. He averaged 29.9 minutes while playing all 35 games andstarting in 31 last year and was second on team with 16 blocks and 33steals. He posted 13 games of double-digits, and ASU was 11-2 in thosecontests, and scored a season-high 20 points against No. 13 Syracuse in NCAATournament on 6-of-10 three-point shooting. Abbott also averaged 11.7 pointsin the Pac-10 Tournament, going 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 gamefor the first time in history. Entering this season he was one three currentPac-10 players who could claim a 30-point night (30-points in his freshmanseason vs. Cal on Feb. 16, 2008. Tajuan Porter did the trick with 33 atWashington on Feb. 14, 2009 while Jerome Randle had 31 at Arizona on March5, 2009. When Abbott scores in double digits, ASU is 25-6.

Freshman Trent Lockett comes from one of the tophigh school programs in the country (Hopkins HIgh School in Minnetonka,Minn.) and has stepped on campus and made a huge first impression. He isaveraging 10.6 points, 5.3 boards and is shooting 26-of-45 (.578) from thefield. He also has a tendency to make 'splash' plays as his leaping abilityhas allowed him to grab 14 offensive rebounds, resulting in severaltip-dunks. He also is among the best in the classroom, as he is a member ofthe honors program at ASU.

ASU is 20-16 (.556) in the past two seasons in Pac-10regular 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 pasttwo 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) andOregon State 7-29 (.194).

ASU is 2-2 vs. Baylor after the 87-78 Bear win last year inAnaheim on Nov. 28. 2008...prior to last season the squads had not met sinceNov. 26, 1988, an ASU 89-73 win in Richmond...Baylor's 87 points is the mostgiven up by a Coach Sendek-led ASU squad in regulation, while the Bears alsoregistered ASU opponent season highs for three-pointers made (11),second-half points (56) and bench points (34)...the 56 second-half points isthe most given up in any half by a Sun Devil squad under Coach Sendek, andin his 106 games as ASU coach, the Sun Devils have held the opponents to 56or less 34 times for the whole game...Baylor's bench outscored ASU's bench34-7...the Bears shot 57.1 percent in the second half (16-of-28), including6-of-9 (.667) from the three-point stripe.

BYU leads the ASU series 26-22 with the last meeting athriller...ASU topped 10-0 BYU 76-75 on Dec. 20, 2008, at University ofPhoenix Stadium in Glendale with a last-millisecond shot from BYU waivedoff...ASU was down 41-36 at the half and trailed by 10 with under 10 minutesto play...Jamelle McMillan had 10 points off the bench in 18 minutes...BYUshot 50 percent (26-of-52) for the game, one of just seven teams to do itagainst ASU last year in 35 games and one of just 18 to do it in 106 gamesunder Herb Sendek, as it had ASU opponent season-highs with 19 assists and41 first-half points...the Cougars won the prior game to last season, 64-60,in Tempe on Dec. 4, 2003.

ASU (25-10) posted 25 wins in 2008-2009 for the first time sincethe 1974-75 squad went 25-4. ASU's school record for wins is 26 set in1962-63 (26-3). ASU went 10-6 against 2009 NCAA Tournament teams (3-0against UA, 2-0 vs. UCLA, split games with Cal and 1-2 against Washingtonand 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-10title game 66-63 and then defeated Temple but lost to No. 13 Syracuse inMiami at the NCAA Tournament. ASU was 6-4 in road games and 7-3 in neutralgames (20 of 35 games away from Tempe). According to, ASU hada RPI of 31 (second in Pac-10) and a strength of schedule of 37. In theprevious two years, ASU played 34 of its 69 games away from its campus, andhas gone 19-15.

Just how good has the Sun Devil defensebeen since Herb Sendek too over? ASU has given up less than 62 points pergame in each of the past three seasons , the best three-season span sincethe middle of the past century. In the 18 Pac-10 games last year, no teamdefended shooters better than Arizona State, as it led the league in fieldgoal percentage defense (.421) and three-point field goal percentage defense(.310). Those that followed Coach Sendek's career at NC State won't find ita big shocker. In his 10 seasons in Raleigh, NC State led the ACC in scoringdefense four times and held opponents to just 54.7 points per game in1996-97, an ACC record. Last year's 60.5 points per game allowed was thelowest by a Sun Devil team since the 1949-50 team gave up 59.8.

ASU set the school record for three-pointers made(288) and attempted (778) in 2008-2009. ASU's top three returning scorershad combined to make 392 three-pointers in their careers and all three arein the ASU career top-10 list already, as Rik Kuksiks has 146 (seventh), TyAbbott 129 (ninth) and Derek Glasser 117 (tenth). So far this season, ASU isshooting 52-of-120 (.433) from the arc, with eight Sun Devils hitting threepointers.

Junior Rihards Kuksiks is the third-best returning three-pointshooter in the nation according to official NCAA statistics. Kuksiks was93-of-210 from the arc last year, which was eighth in the nation. OnlyJared Stohl of Portland (89-of-195 for .456) and Brandon Hazzard of Troy(83-of-185 for .449) are returners with better net swishing digits than theLatvian native. He shot .420 from the three-point stripe in the 16 gamesagainst NCAA Tournament teams last year and was 17-of-37 (.459) in the sixgames against ranked opponents. He also was clutch in close games, as ASUplayed 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 his93 three-pointers is the third-best in school history, while the 44.3percent shooting is tied for the fourth-best in school history. The juniorhas made 146-of-347 (.421) three-pointers in his three-year career and hadcareer-highs in points (27), three-pointers (seven) and assists (eight) inthe win over USF on Nov. 20. He also posted a then career-high 20 points inthe NCAA Tournament second-round loss to Syracuse with six three-pointers.

Herb Sendek, 60-46 (.567) at ASU, is in his 17th season as ahead coach in 2009-2010 and has averaged 19.2 wins per season. He led the NCState Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now314-204 (.606) in 17 seasons and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The46-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963) Pittsburgh, Pa., native remains thethird-youngest coach in the Pac-10. Only Duke posted more ACC wins (regularseason 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 tothe Pac-10, since the league expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79, only fivecoaches 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).

ASU is 18-12 in the past two seasons in 10 points orless games after going 4-17 in Herb Sendek's first year...after going 10-29in Herb Sendek's first two seasons when trailing at the half, ASU was 5-4 in2008-2009 with victories at SDSU, vs. IUPUI, vs. BYU, at Arizona and vs.Arizona in Pac-10 Tournament. It is 1-1 this year with a 71-52 win vs. LSUon Nov. 27 as it outscored the Tigers 44-18 in the second half...ASU is 6-2in its past eight overtime ASU's first season under Herb Sendek,it was 3-12 in two-possession games (six points or less), in the past twoseasons it is 12-7 (6-3 past two seasons).

Senior Derek Glasser not only will top the ASU career assist mark in the upcoming month as he needs just 25, he also is making a run at the school free throw percentage mark. Glasser is currently at 82.7 percent for his career (210-of-254), a shade better than Alex Austin¹s 81.5 percent from 1986-90. He also has a chance to become the first player in Sun Devil history with 1,000 points and 500 assists. He has 781 career points and 429 assists after seven games this year.

1. Derek Glasser, 2006-10, 82.7 (210-of-254)
2. Alex Austin, 1986-90, 81.5 (255-of-313)
3. Rick Taylor, 1974-78, 81.4 (253-of-311)
4. Dennis Hamilton, 1963-66, 81.3 (261-of-321)
5. Kevin Kruger, 2003-06, 81.2 (229-of-282)
6. Steve Beck, 1984-87, 81.0 (298-of-366)
7. Isaac Burton, 1993-95, 80.9 (208-of-257)
8. Eddie House, 1996-2000, 79.8 (268-of-336)
9. Roger Detter, 1966-69, 79.6 (250-of-314)
10. Art Becker, 1961-64, 79.4 (221-of-278)
11. Jeremy Veal, 1994-98, 79.3 (338-of-426)

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