ASU heads south for Territorial Cup match

<p><strong>Past three seasons</strong><br /> The Arizona State's men's hoops team, in its fourth season under 326-game winner <a href="">He… Sendek</a> and coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1980-81, hits the road for three straight tilts starting with a jaunt to Tucson Sunday for a 3:30 p.m. MT tip against Arizona (13-12; 7-6) on FOX Sports Net and KMVP 860 AM. ASU (18-8 and 8-5 in the Pac-10) enters the week alone in second, one game behind California (17-8; 9-4) and just ahead of a bevy of others two games or less back. ASU completed its second home sweep of the year and its second and third sweeps of an opponent with wins over Oregon State (56-46 on Feb. 11) and Oregon (61-51 on Feb. 13) last weekend as it has held 15 of 26 opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting (32 of its past 61 opponents have shot under 40 percent). ASU enters this week seventh in the nation in scoring defense (58.1 points per game), 15th in three-pointers made per game (8.4) and 24th in field goal percentage defense (.392). <a href="">… Glasser</a> is 15th nationally at .890 (89-of-100) from the free throw line, while <a href="… McMillan</a>, who missed four games in mid-January with a foot injury and ASU was 2-2 in his absence, is 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.76). ASU is now 28-21 (.571) in Pac-10 games the past three seasons, tied for the second-best mark in that time with Washington. UCLA is 35-13 (.729).</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Fast and furious</strong><br />With tip times of 3:30 Sunday and Tucson and then wrapping up its three-game roadie with a noon tip next Saturday at Berkeley, ASU will tip three road games in just over 140 hours (less than six full days).</p><separator></separator><p><strong>To revisit</strong><br />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 (<a href="">J… Harden</a> was third and <a href="… Pendergraph</a> 31st), joining North Carolina (three), USC, Louisville, Wake Forest and UCLA. At 18-8, ASU has clinched a winning season, marks the first time ASU had 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 64 wins in the past two-plus seasons, just the sixth-time in school history a three-year period has produced 64 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.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Most wins over a three-year period in ASU history</strong><br /> 1960-61 TO 1962-63 (73-13/.849)<br /> 1961-62 TO 1963-64 (66-18/.892)<br /> 2007-08 TO 2009-10 (64-31/.674)</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Before one panics about the road</strong><br /> Two teams have winning Pac-10 road records in the past two seasons, and you are reading the release of one of them...ASU is 8-7 (.533) in Pac-10 road games the past two seasons, second only to UCLA's 8-6 (.571)...after losing its first eight Pac-10 road games under <a href="">He… Sendek</a>, ASU is 13-12 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 won the past two in Tucson and is 2-1 at UA under <a href="">He… Sendek</a> 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 won five Pac-10 road games for just the fifth time in its 31-year history. It went 8-1 in 1980-81, 7-2 in 1979-80 and 5-4 in 1994-94 and 1982-83.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Pac-10 overall records (2007-2010/Past Three Seasons)</strong><br /> 1. UCLA, 72-26/.735<br /> 2. Arizona State, 64-31/.674<br /> 3. Washington, 59-34/.634<br /> 4. USC, 58-34/.630<br /> 5. WSU, 58-35/.624<br /> 6. Stanford, 59-36/.621<br /> 7. California, 56-35/.615<br /> 8. Arizona, 53-41/.564<br /> 9. Oregon, 38-49/.437<br /> 10. Oregon State, 35-56/.385</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Pac-10 league records (2007-10/Past Three Seasons)</strong><br /> 1. UCLA, 35-13/.729<br /> 2. Arizona State, 28-21/.571<br /> 3. Washington, 27-22/.551<br /> 4. USC, 27-21/.563<br /> 5. California, 26-23/.531<br /> 6. WSU, 24-25/.490<br /> 6. Stanford, 24-25/.490<br /> 6. Arizona, 24-25/.490<br /> 9. Oregon, 15-33/.313<br /> 10. Oregon State, 12-36/.250</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Most improved</strong><br />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 <a href="">Ty Abbott</a>...he is averaging 16.9 points and 6.8 boards in the past 11 games and is 41-of-91 (.451) from the three-point stripe in that league games, he is tied for ninth in scoring at 15.5 points per game, eighth in rebounding (6.5), third in defensive rebounds per game (5.6) and is first in three-pointers made per game (3.2) and third in percentage (.453)...has scored in double digits in 10 of the past 11 games...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 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 65-of-153 (.425) from the floor, 42-of-98 (.429) from the three-point stripe and is averaging 15.5 points and 6.5 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 94 games in his three-year career and started in 83...when Abbott scores in double digits, ASU is 35-10 (.778) and 23-6 (.793) the past two seasons.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Young and coaching forever</strong><br />Coach Sendek earned the Miami of Ohio job in the spring of 1993 at age 30. Three years later he took over the NC State program at age 33. Some 17 years later he ranks near the top of the youngest coaches with 300 career wins, as he turns 47 on Feb. 22.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Youngest coaches nearing or at 300 Division I wins</strong><br /> Billy Donovan, Florida, 362 (May 30, 1965)<br /> <a href="">He… Sendek</a>, Arizona State, 326 (Feb. 22, 1963)<br /> Jay Wright, Villanova, 322 (Dec. 24, 1961)<br /> Jeff Jones, American, 301 (June 29, 1960)<br /> Steve Alford, New Mexico, 299 (Nov. 23, 1964)<br /> Note: Steve Alford has 377 career wins but 78 of them were at Manchester, which was not D-I.<br /> Greg McDermott, Iowa State, 278 (Nov. 25, 1964)<br /> Mark Few, Gonzaga, 285 (Dec. 27, 1962)<br /> Ron Hunter, IUPUI, 266 (April 7, 1964)</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Really</strong><br />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 <a href="">He… Sendek</a>. ASU was 5-4 at the turn last year en route to the NCAA Tournament with NBA draft picks <a href="">J… Harden</a> and <a href="… Pendergraph</a> leading the way. In 2002-03, ASU also was 5-4 at the turn, with Freshman of the Year <a href="">Ike Diogu</a> (and eventual NBA Lottery pick) and four seniors in the starting lineup and also advanced to the NCAA Tournament.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>The rim is hard to reach</strong><br /> ASU held Oregon State to just .246 (14-of-57) from the field on Feb. 11, the best defensive effort in a Pac-10 game in the past 23 seasons. ASU also held WSU to .298 (17-of-57) shooting on Jan. 10, tied for its fifth-best defensive shooting night in past 23 seasons in Pac-10.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>ASU best deffensive FG% in Pac-10 Game/1987-88 present</strong><br /> .246/14-57 by Oregon State (Feb. 11, 2010/Herb Sendek)<br /> .265/13-49 vs. Washington State (Feb. 7, 2002/Rob Evans)<br /> .286/20-70 at Oregon (Jan. 22, 2005/Rob Evans)<br /> .286/14-49 by California (Mar. 7, 1996/Bill Frieder)<br /> .298/17-57 by Washington State (Jan. 10, 2010/Herb Sendek)<br /> .298/14-47 at Arizona (Jan. 21, 2009/Herb Sendek)</p><separator></separator><p><strong>At the other end</strong><br />ASU has the tough-to-defend combination of leading the league in three-pointers made per game (8.4) and percentage (.377). 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).</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Best in the league</strong><br />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 48 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.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Good starts</strong><br />In the past 11 games ASU is scoring 33.4 points in the first half while allowing just 26.7 and is holding its opponents to just 35.3 percent field goal shooting (109-309) in the opening 20 minutes. ASU is 8-3 in that stretch.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>All over the stat sheet</strong><br /> Junior <a href="… McMillan</a> 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 55.8 points per game in the 22 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 .381 and .310...and no one is happier than <a href="">… Glasser</a> to have Jamelle in the backcourt...Glasser is shooting .419 from the field and .471 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.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>5 days to gameday</strong><br /> The Sun Devils are 11-3 (.786) in the past three years when <a href="">He… Sendek</a> has at least five full days in between games. 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 five full days to get ready 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.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Points allowed</strong><br />Quietly the Jan. 10 71-46 win over Washington State and 56-46 win over Oregon State on Feb. 13 were two of the best in terms of points allowed by ASU in its Pac-10 history. It is the eighth-fewest points allowed in ASU's 571 Pac-10 regular-season contests.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Fewest points allowed in a Pac-10 game</strong><br /> ASU 48, @Oregon State 38 (Feb. 7, 2009/Herb Sendek)<br /> ASU 69, Oregon State 38 (Jan. 8, 2009/Herb Sendek)<br /> ASU 42, @Cal 41 (March 3, 2008/Herb Sendek)<br /> ASU 53, Washington 41 (Jan. 31, 1991/Bill Frieder)<br /> ASU 67, @Washington State 41 (Feb. 11, 1984/Bob Weinhauer)<br /> ASU 82, Oregon State 44 (Feb. 25, 1995/Bill Frieder)<br /> ASU 96, WSU 45 (Feb. 7, 2002/Rob Evans)<br /> ASU 56, Oregon State 46 (Feb. 13, 2010/Herb Sendek)<br /> ASU 71, Washington State 46 (Jan. 10, 2010/Herb Sendek)</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Impressive</strong><br /> Freshman <a href="">… Lockett</a>, 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 7.8 points, 3.6 boards and is shooting 69-of-140 (.493) from the field. In the past nine games he is averaging 7.9 points, has taken 49 free throws (making 34 for .694) and has nine double-figure scoring games on the year.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Pac-10 stat leaders overall games</strong><br />In overall game statistics, ASU leads the league in three-point percentage (.377), scoring margin (+10.1), assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.2) and three-pointers made per game (8.4). It is second in scoring defense (58.1 points per game/xxx in nation), field goal percentage defense (.392) and third in turnover margin (+1.7) and assists per game (14.2). Individually <a href="">… Glasser</a> leads the league in assists per game (5.0) while <a href="… McMillan</a> sets the pace in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8), with Glasser second at 2.2. Glasser is third in free throw percentage (.890) while <a href="">Ty Abbott</a> is fourth in three-point percentage (.432) and fourth in three-pointers made per game (2.5). <a href="">E… Boateng</a> leads the league in field goal percentage at .644 (85-of-132).</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Pac-10 stat leaders in conference tilts</strong><br /> In Pac-10 game statistics, ASU leads the league in three-pointers made per game (8.2)...ASU ranks second in three-point percentage (.355), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1), scoring margin (+4.4), field goal percentage defense (.404), and fewest turnovers per game (12.4)...ASU ranks third in steals (6.3), scoring defense (61.6 ppg.), turnover margin (+0.5), assists (13.5), free throw percentage (.727)...Ty Abbott tied for eighth in scoring in Pac-10 play at 15.5 points per game, eighth in rebounding (6.5) and is first in three-pointers made per game (3.2) and third in percentage (.429)...Derek Glasser is second in assisto-to-turnover ratio (1.8), third in assists per game (4.3) and in free throw percentage (.894)...Eric Boateng fifth at 7.2 boards per game and leads the league in field goal percentage at .647 (44-of-68)...Ty Abbott ranks third in the league in defensive rebounds per game (5.6).</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Another solid 'D' note</strong><br />Six of ASU's 22 opponents have had season-lows in points against ASU...San Diego State is at 71.9 ppg. but had just 52...UW is at 81.1 but had 51, while WSU is at 71.9 and had 46...UCSB is averaging 67.6 ppg. but ASU held the Gauchos to 42...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 20.9 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 21.4 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 80.5 but had 64 on Nov. 25. Duke had a season-low 60 in its Jan. 23 win over Clemson.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Offense</strong><br /> ASU'S 88 points vs. Stanford on Jan. 10 is the second-most in a Pac-10 regulation game for ASU under <a href="">He… Sendek</a>. 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.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Most points in Pac-10 game by ASU under Coach Sendek</strong><br /> ASU 99, @California 90, 2 OT (Jan. 17, 2008)<br /> ASU 90, @Stanford 60 (Jan. 2, 2009)<br /> ASU 88, Stanford 70 (Jan. 30, 2010)<br /> ASU 83, California 66 (March 7, 2009)<br /> ASU 81, @Washington State 70 (Feb. 4, 2010)<br /> ASU 80, USC 66 (March 1, 2008)</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Best tree in the land</strong><br /> <a href="">He… Sendek</a> 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 <a href="">Ma… Phelps</a> 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).</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Herb vs. former assistants</strong><br />Coach Sendek is 3-2 against his former assistants, as he is 1-2 vs. Sean Miller (1-1 when he was at Xavier) and 1-0 vs. both IUPUI's Ron Hunter (59-58 ASU win on Dec. 14, 2008) and TCU's Jim Christian (52-49 win on Nov. 17, 2009). The two Xavier games are actually noteworthy in Coach Sendek's ASU tenure. Eventual Atlantic-10 Tournament champion Xavier thumped ASU 76-58 on Dec. 16, 2006, in Cincinnati in Coach Sendek's eighth game as Sun Devil coach. The 76 points was the most ASU gave up all year and Xavier's biggest lead was the final margin, as it shot 50 percent from the field, one of just 16 teams to do so in <a href="">He… Sendek's</a> 118 games as Sun Devils coach. ASU had zero field goals in the final 6:43 while Xavier had zero field goals in the final 4:04. With a two-week break prior to that game, it marked the first game that ASU experimented with now somewhat famous zone defense.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>One year later</strong><br />ASU had six full days to prepare for No. 17 Xavier on Dec. 15, 2007, while the Musketeers (8-1), on a seven-game win streak and coming off a rivalry win over Cincinnati three days earlier, led 8-0 early but ASU simply was too ready and rested and cruised to a 77-55 win in Tempe. It marks the largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent in ASU history, who started four freshman for the first time in school history (<a href="… Kuksiks</a>, <a href="">Ty Abbott</a>, Jamelle McMilland and <a href="">J… Harden</a>) and held XU to just 7-of-32 (.219) from the field in the second half as it outscored the Musketeers 44-27. Xavier shot just 30.6 percent from the floor (19-of-62), its worst shooting night since the 2004-2005 season, while ASU's 59.5 percent shooting (25-of-42) was the best by an XU opponent since the famous St. Joseph's undefeated regular season team of 2003-04 shot 60 percent in a game that year. Six current Sun Devils played in that game.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Modest streak after what happened prior</strong><br />ASU swept UA in the regular season for the second straight time last season 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 prior to the 77-58 loss in Tempe on Jan. its 53-47 win in Tucson on Jan. 21, 2009, 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 also marked the first time ASU had won back-to-back games in Tucson since 1982-83...prior to the five game Sun Devil streak, UA had won 24 of 25 over the Sun Devils, with two 12-game Wildcat win streaks sandwiched around a Jan. 23, 2002 Sun Devil win in Tempe...Derek Glasser has 36 assists and 13 turnovers in his eight career games against UA...ASU has held the Wildcats to just 6.16 ppg. in eight games under <a href="">He… Sendek</a> and is 5-3, while in the 39 games prior (1987-88 season through 2005-06) UA had averaged 86.6 points and went 34-5.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>ASU quickly</strong><br /> After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), the Sun Devils are 64-31 (.673) and giving up just 60.6 points per game in his 125 games. ASU has had to replace two NBAers from last year in first-team consensus All-American <a href="">J… Harden</a> and first-team All-Pac-10 pick <a href="… Pendergraph</a>, but returned three starters from last year's team in point guard <a href="">… Glasser</a> (2009 Pac-10 All-Tournament Team), <a href="… Kuksiks</a> (third-best returning three-point shooter in the nation according to NCAA minimums) and <a href="">Ty Abbott</a> (121 career threes and 65 starts entering this year). ASU has had eight players lead or share the team lead in scoring this year and has five players who have had a 20-point game in their career.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Be quite a feather in the cap</strong><br />Arizona State will try and become just the third Pac-10 team to win three straight in McKale Center in the past 27 seasons (1983-84 to present). Stanford under Mike Montgomery won four straight from 2001-2004 and UCLA under Ben Howland won three straight from 2006-08.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>The point guard</strong><br /> Senior <a href="">… Glasser</a> is averaging 10.2 points and is shooting 89.0 percent from the free throw line (89-of-100) 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 2.2 (130 assists and 59 turnovers)...already is the ASU career assist record holder with 523, topping the mark held by the late Bobby Thompson, who had 454 from 1983-87, and his 271-of-321 (.844) 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 19 turnover free games in his 124-game career...has four 20-point games in his career.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>DG making run at ASU freebies</strong><br /> <a href="">… Glasser</a> not only set ASU'S career assist mark, he also is making a run at the school free throw record. Glasser is at 84.4 percent (271-of-321), 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 (960) and 500 assists (523).</p><separator></separator><p><strong>ASU career free throw percentage</strong><br /> 1. <a href="">… Glasser</a>, 2006-10, 84.4 (271-of-321)<br /> 2. Alex Austin, 1986-90, 81.5 (255-of-313)<br /> 3. Rick Taylor, 1974-78, 81.4 (253-of-311)<br /> 4. Dennis Hamilton, 1963-66, 81.3 (261-of-321)<br /> 5. <a href="">K… Kruger</a>, 2003-06, 81.2 (229-of-282)</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Defense</strong><br /> Just how good has the defense been since <a href="">He… Sendek</a> took over? ASU has given up less than 62 points per game in each of the past three seasons . In the 18 Pac-10 games last year, no team defended shooters better than ASU, as it led the league in field goal percentage defense (.421) and three-point defense (.310). Those that followed Coach Sendek's career won't find it a big shocker. In his 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 ASU since the 1949-50 team gave up 59.8. ASU is currently giving up 58.1 points per contest.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>ASU lowest defensive PPG</strong><br /> 1. 46.5 - 1948<br /> 2. 47.6 - 1949<br /> ***58.1 - 2010***<br /> 3. 59.8 - 1950<br /> 4. 60.5 - 2009<br /> 5. 61.8 - 2007<br /> 6. 61.9 - 2008</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Boat</strong><br /> <a href="">E… Boateng</a> 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 8.2 points and 6.8 boards while shooting 64.4 percent from the field (85-of-132), as he has scored 213 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 44-of-68 (.647) from the field in Pac-10 play and notched 19 points and 13 boards vs. Cal on Jan. 28. In his past six games he is 28-of-42 (.667) from the floor and is averaging 11.0 points, 8.5 boards and is shooting 28-of-42 (.667) from the floor with eight blocks.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Threes</strong><br />ASU set the school record for three-pointers made (288) and attempted (778) in 2008-2009. ASU's top three returning scorers entering this year in the ASU career top-10 list, as Rik Kuksiks has 193 (fifth), <a href="">Ty Abbott</a> 184 (sixth) and <a href="">… Glasser</a> 139 (ninth). ASU is shooting 218-of-579 (.377) from the arc this year.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>The shooter</strong><br /> Junior <a href="… Kuksiks</a> 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 193-of-476 (.405) 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 12.5 points and is 25-of-61 (.410) from the three-point stripe in the past 11 games.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>The head coach</strong><br /> <a href="">He… Sendek</a>, 72-53 (.576) 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 326-211 (.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).</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Winning tough ones</strong><br /> ASU is 23-16 (.589) in the past three seasons in 10 points or less games after going 4-17 in <a href="">He… Sendek's</a> first year...after going 10-29 in <a href="">He… Sendek's</a> first two seasons when trailing at the half, ASU is 6-10 the past two years with victories at SDSU, vs. IUPUI, vs. BYU, at and vs. Arizona (Pac-10 Tournament) last year and vs. LSU this year...ASU is 6-2 in its past eight overtime ASU's first season under <a href="">He… Sendek</a>, it was 3-12 in two-possession games (six points or less), in the past three seasons it is 13-9.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Games of 10 points or less, past three seasons (2007-08 through 2009-10)</strong><br /> 1. UCLA, 26-13 (.667)<br /> 2. ASU, 23-16 (.590)<br /> 3. Washington, 21-17 (.553)<br /> 4. Cal, 27-22 (.551)<br /> 5. USC, 26-22 (.542)<br /> 6. WSU, 22-20 (.524)<br /> 7. Stanford, 23-21 (.523)<br /> 8. OSU, 23-26 (.469)<br /> 9. Oregon, 19-23 (.452)<br /> 10. Arizona, 20-25 (.444)</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Pac-10 poll</strong><br /> The 37 media members who voted in the Pac-10 poll announced on Oct. 29 predicted the Sun Devils for a seventh-place finish. The complete poll: 1. Cal (350/25 first-place votes); 2. UW (330/7); 3. UCLA (302/5); 4. UA (221); 5. OSU (218); 6. UO (175); 7. ASU (144); 8. WSU (123); 9. USC (109); 10. Stanford (63).</p><separator></separator><!-- STORY AD BEGINS HERE --></p>