Men's Hoops Off To Bay Area This Weekend

Feb. 22, 2010


The Arizona State's men's hoops team, in its fourth season under 327-game winner Herb Sendek and coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1980-81, hits the road for two big Bay Area tilts starting with a 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT tip against Stanford (13-14; 7-8) followed by a game with Pac-10 leader California (18-9; 10-5) at high noon PT/1 p.m. MT on FOX Sports Net. ASU (19-8 and 9-5 in the Pac-10) enters the week alone in second, a half-game behind California and just ahead of a bevy of others two games or less back. ASU is 5-1 in its past six games and 9-3 since opening the season 0-2 on a road trip to Los Angeles and is coming off a 73-69 win in Tucson on Sunday, as ASU has won three straight at Arizona under Herb Sendek after losing 23 of the previous 24 in Tucson. ASU has held 15 of 27 opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting (32 of its past 62 opponents have shot under 40 percent). ASU enters this week seventh in the nation in scoring defense (58.5 points per game), 14th in three-pointers made per game (8.5) and 26th in field goal percentage defense (.394). Derek Glasser is 21st nationally at .883 (91-of-103) from the free throw line while Jamelle McMillan, who missed four games in mid-January with a foot injury and ASU was 2-2 in his absence, is eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.84). Ty Abbott is eighth in the nation in three-point percentage at .442 (68-of-154). ASU is now 29-21 (.580) in Pac-10 games the past three seasons, the second-best mark in that time. UCLA is 36-14 (.720) to lead the way.

1. Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame, Jr., 6-8, 75-153/49.0
2. Blake Hoffarber, Minnesota, Jr., 71-145/49.0
3. Jared Stohl, Portland, Jr., 82-173/47.4
4. Frank Davis, Tennessee Tech, Sr., 85-183/46.4
5. Jim Mower, Lafayette, So., 74-160/46.3
6. Rotnei Clarke, Arkansas, So., 87-191/45.5
7. Devon Beitzel, Northern Colorado, Jr., 68-153/44.4
8. Ty Abbott, Arizona St., Jr., 68-154/44.2

Two teams have winning Pac-10 road records in the past two seasons, and you are reading the release of one of them as ASU and UCLA are 9-7 (.563) in Pac-10 road games the past two seasons...after losing its first eight Pac-10 road games under Herb Sendek, ASU is 14-12 (.538) since after its sweep at the Oregon schools on Jan. 14-16 and its win at Washington State on Feb. 4. ASU swept the Oregon trip for the second straight year, its second Pac-10 road sweep since January of 2005 and its third Pac-10 road sweep in the past six seasons...ASU has now won the past three in Tucson and is 3-1 at UA under Herb Sendek after winning once in Tucson in the previous 23 tries (win was in 1994-95, from 1983-84 through 2006-07 period)...ASU won four straight Pac-10 roadies last year for the first time since the 1980-81 team won five straight. ASU will try and five Pac-10 road games for just the sixth time in its 32-year history this weekend. It went 8-1 in 1980-81, 7-2 in 1979-80 and 5-4 in 2008-09, 1994-94 and 1982-83.

ASU was picked to finish seventh in the Pac-10 preseason media poll and some folks had them tagged for last (like Jon Wilner of the Sporting News), as ASU was one of just seven schools to have two draft picks in the top 35 last year (James Harden was third and Jeff Pendergraph 31st), joining North Carolina (three), USC, Louisville, Wake Forest and UCLA. At 19-8 ASU has clinched a winning season, marking the first time ASU has posted three straight winning seasons since Bill Frieder led ASU to five straight from 1990-91 to 1994-95 (and also the last time ASU had posted back-to-back winning seasons before last year). Also, ASU has produced 65 wins in the past two-plus seasons, just the sixth-time in school history a three-year period has produced 65 wins. ASU is trying to reach 20 wins for the third straight season after reaching 20 wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1979-80 and 1980-81. ASU has not had three straight 20-win seasons since the 1960-61 (23-6), 1961-62 (23-4) and 1962-63 (26-3) teams racked up 73 victories. Entering this season UCLA, Stanford, USC and ASU were the only Pac-10 schools to notch 20 wins in each of the past two seasons.

1960-61 TO 1962-63 (73-13/.849)
1961-62 TO 1963-64 (66-18/.892)
2007-08 TO 2009-10 (65-31/.677)

The Pac-10 last season started a Most Improved Player Award and the inaugural honor went to Washington's Justin Dentmon. This year's leader might/could/should be Sun Devil junior Ty Abbott...he is averaging 17.8 points and 6.5 boards in the past 12 games and is 46-of-99 (.465) from the three-point stripe in that league games, he is sixth in scoring at 16.4 points per game, eighth in rebounding (6.3), third in defensive rebounds per game (5.4) and is first in three-pointers made per game (3.4) and second in percentage (.443)...has scored in double digits in 11 of the past 12 games...had monster road game with 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting, including 5-of-8 three-pointers, in season-high 39 minutes in 73-69 win at Tucson on Feb. 21...posted a season-high 29 points vs. Stanford, including seven three-pointers, and also added a career-best 12 rebounds, all on the defensive end...played a then season-high 38 minutes, posted 20 points and matched season highs in assists (four) and steals (three) vs. California on Jan. 28...and why the most improved tag? Abbott is 76-of-170 (.447) from the floor, 47-of-106 (.443) from the three-point stripe and is averaging 16.4 points and 6.3 boards per game in Pac-10 play. Last year he shot 19-of-86 (.221) from the floor, 8-of-59 (.136) from the three-point stripe and averaged 2.9 points and 3.7 rebounds in Pac-10 play...missed just one game after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in mid-October...earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors after the sweep of the Washington schools Jan. 8-10. He scored 17 points in each win...has played in 95 games in his three-year career and started in 84...quietly is closing in on 1,000 career points as he has 911 (9.6 points per game)...when Abbott scores in double digits, ASU is 36-10 (.783) and 24-6 (.800) the past two seasons.

ASU had a winning record at the halfway mark of the Pac-10 season (5-4) for just the third time in the past 15 seasons (1995-96 to present) and for the second straight season under Herb Sendek. ASU was 5-4 at the turn last year en route to the NCAA Tournament with NBA draft picks James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph leading the way. In 2002-03, ASU also was 5-4 at the turn, with Freshman of the Year Ike Diogu (and eventual NBA Lottery pick) and four seniors in the starting lineup and also advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

ASU has the tough-to-defend combination of leading the league in three-pointers made per game (8.5) and percentage (.382). In the 23 seasons since the three-pointer has been used (1986-87), only five teams have led the league in both three-bombs made and percentage (Oregon in 2007-08, 2003-04, 2002-03 and 2001-02 and Stanford in 1999-2000). Also, it is not just a get-fat-on-non-conference-opponent type of thing...ASU leads in Pac-10 games only by shooting .367 from the arc and making 8.4 per game.

ASU posted 23 assists vs. Stanford on Jan. 30, the most by a Pac-10 team in a league game this year, as it had assists on its first 18 baskets. The second-most assists by a Pac-10 team in a league game this year is the 22 by ASU against Washington State on Jan. 10. Also, ASU's 10 steals vs. Stanford was its most in a Pac-10 contest since it had 10 vs. Oregon on Jan. 3, 2008, a span of the past 49 league tilts. ASU also had 12 three-pointers vs. Stanford, the most by a Pac-10 team in a league game this year, as ASU led 54-22 at the half.

In the past 12 games ASU is scoring 33.1 points in the first half while allowing just 26.6 and is holding its opponents to just 35.4 percent field goal shooting (117-330) in the opening 20 minutes. ASU is 9-3 in that stretch.

Junior Jamelle McMillan was all over the stat sheet the eight games prior to his injury in mid-January, as he missed four games, and ASU was 2-2. In the eight games prior to the injury he averaged 32.8 minutes, 9.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and had 12 steals and just 11 turnovers. What is eye-opening are the numbers with him playing and not playing for the Sun Devils. Some notes to ponder...ASU is giving up 56.4 points per game in the 23 games he has played yet gave up 70.5 in his the point man in the zone, ASU opponents shot .450 from the field and .363 in the games he was missing, yet in the games he played those numbers drop to .385 and .315...and no one is happier than Derek Glasser to have Jamelle in the backcourt...Glasser is shooting .422 from the field and .458 from the three-point stripe in games Jamelle plays, in the four games without him he was 7-of-30 (.233) from the field and 0-of-11 (.000) from the three-point stripe.

ASU leads the series with Cal 35-33...Herb Sendek is 4-5 vs. California and 3-4 at ASU, as he also faced the Golden Bears twice in NCAA Tournament action...Herb Sendek's last win at NC State was a 58-52 NCAA Tournament win over California on March 17, 2006 in Dallas...the visiting team has won nine of previous 11 in the series.

Stanford leads the series with ASU 38-29, but ASU has won three of the past four and won 90-60 in Palo Alto in the Pac-10 opener last season...ASU is 3-4 vs. Stanford under Coach Sendek.

The Sun Devils are 12-3 (.800) in the past three years when Herb Sendek has at least five full days in between games after Sunday's win at Arizona. Included in the wins last year were ASU's first NCAA Tournament win since 2003, a win over Arizona who entered the game on a seven-game win streak and a neutral site win over a 10-0 BYU team. In 2007-08, the wins included ASU's first win in Tucson in 12 seasons, an overtime win at California in which ASU was playing as a ranked team for the first time in 13 seasons and a 22-point win over #17 Xavier in December of 2007 that is the school's largest victory margin over a ranked opponent in ASU history. ASU's most recent wins after a five-day layoff was when it had seven full days to get ready for its Feb. 21 game at Arizona. It also had five full days for its Jan. 8 game with #24 Washington and won 68-51. ASU had six full days to get ready for San Diego State on Dec. 19 who was 5-2, on a five-game win streak and had topped Arizona 63-46 in its previous meeting. ASU won 55-52, forcing 24 Aztec turnovers.

Freshman Trent Lockett, a native of Golden Valley, Minn., comes from one of the top high school programs in the country (Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn.) and has made a solid first impression and is a solid candidate for Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honors. His 17 points against Stanford (Jan. 30) matched his second-best scoring night, as he had 19 vs. USF on Nov. 20 and 17 vs. Texas State on Nov. 16. He also added a career-best eight assists (he had 15 assists entering the game) vs. Stanford. He is averaging 7.6 points, 3.6 boards and is shooting 70-of-143 (.490) from the field. In the past 10 games he is averaging 7.4 points, has taken 52 free throws (making 35 for .673) and has nine double-figure scoring games on the year.

Six of ASU's 22 opponents have had season-lows in points against ASU...San Diego State is at 71.6 ppg. but had just 52...UW is at 81.1 but had 51, while WSU is at 73.2 and had 46...UCSB is averaging 67.7 ppg. but ASU held the Gauchos to 42, as UCSB leads the Big West with a 10-3 mark...others with season-lows against ASU are Delaware State (34) and Western Illinois (35)...Jimmer Fredette of BYU, who had 49 at Arizona and is averaging 21.5 points, was 1-of-13 from the field against ASU and missed all his three-point attempts on Dec. 8 in Provo...WSU's Klay Thompson, averaging 20.1 points, was 3-of-11 from the floor and posted nine points on Jan. 10 and was 6-of-20 from the floor and 2-of-10 from the three-point stripe on Feb. 4...Duke is averaging 80.0 but had 64 on Nov. 25. Duke had a season-low 60 in its Jan. 23 win over Clemson.

ASU'S 88 points vs. Stanford on Jan. 10 is the second-most in a Pac-10 regulation game for ASU under Herb Sendek. It won at California 99-90 in a double overtime game on Jan. 17, 2008 and won at Stanford 90-60 last year to open Pac-10 play on Jan. 2, 2009. It then posted 81 at Washington State on Feb. 4, the first time since Jan. 13-15, 2005, it had scored at least 80 points in back-to-back Pac-10 games.

ASU 99, @California 90, 2 OT (Jan. 17, 2008)
ASU 90, @Stanford 60 (Jan. 2, 2009)
ASU 88, Stanford 70 (Jan. 30, 2010)
ASU 83, California 66 (March 7, 2009)
ASU 81, @Washington State 70 (Feb. 4, 2010)

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).

Arizona State became just the third Pac-10 team to win three straight in McKale Center in the past 27 seasons (1983-84 to present) when it beat UA 73-69 in Tucson on Feb. 21. Stanford under Mike Montgomery won four straight from 2001-2004 and UCLA under Ben Howland won three straight from 2006-08.

Senior Derek Glasser is averaging 10.1 points and is shooting 88.3 percent from the free throw line (91-of-103) this year, third-best in the league and xx in the nation...leads the league in assists per game (5.0) and is second in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.3 (136 assists and 59 turnovers)...already is the ASU career assist record holder with 529, topping the mark held by the late Bobby Thompson, who had 454 from 1983-87, and his 273-of-324 (.843) shooting from the free throw line currently is the best in school history...posted a career-high 24 points in the Nov. 27 win over LSU...has played 20 turnover free games in his 125-game career...has four 20-point games in his career.

Derek Glasser not only set ASU'S career assist mark, he also is making a run at the school free throw record. Glasser is at 84.3 percent (273-of-324), a shade better than Alex Austin's .815 from 1986-90. He also has a chance to become the first Sun Devil with 1,000 points (969) and 500 assists (529).

1. Derek Glasser, 2006-10, 84.3 (273-of-324)
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)

Eric Boateng already has his degree in Global Studies, speaks a little bit of Chinese and an African dialect called 'Twi' and is taking advantage of the 24-hour access for ASU's new practice facility (Weatherup Center). He is averaging 8.1 points and 6.6 boards while shooting 62.6 percent from the field (87-of-139), as he has scored 219 points after scoring 57 last year. He posted 11 points vs. Washington State on Jan. 10 and also grabbed nine boards. He also had nine boards vs. No. 24 Washington on Jan. 8. He is 46-of-75 (.613) from the field in Pac-10 play and notched 19 points and 13 boards vs. Cal on Jan. 28. In his past seven games he is 30-of-49 (.612) from the floor and is averaging 10.3 points and 7.9 boards with eight blocks.

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, eighth in the nation. Only Jared Stohl of Portland (89-of-195 for .456) and Brandon Hazzard of Troy (83-of-185 for .449) were returners with better net swishing digits than the Latvian native. He shot .420 from the three-point stripe in the 16 games against NCAA Tournament teams last year and is 22-of-45 (.489) in the past seven games against ranked opponents. He was clutch in close games last year, 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. He has made 196-of-479 (.409) three-pointers in his career and matched career-highs in points (27) and rebounds (nine) in the Jan. 8 win over No. 24 Washington. He has four 20-point games on the year with 27 vs. USF and Washington, 25 at Oregon and 24 vs. UCSB. He is averaging 12.9 points and is 28-of-64 (.438) from the three-point stripe in the past 12 games.

Herb Sendek, 73-53 (.579) at ASU, 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 327-211 (.608) 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).

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