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ASU men's hoops hosts hot SDSU

December 15, 2009

The Arizona State's men's hoops team, in its fourth season under 315-game winner Herb Sendek and coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1980-81, plays host to the hot San Diego State Aztecs (8-2) on Saturday, Dec. 19 to begin a three-game in five-day stretch to close its non-conference slate, as the Aztecs have posted four straight 20-win seasons, including a 26-10 mark last year. The game will be televised locally on FOX Sports Arizona and nationally on FOX College Sports, where it will be carried on the FCS Pacific channel.

ASU topped Delaware State 76-34 on Dec. 12, the fewest points allowed by ASU since a 47-34 win vs. Washington of Saint Louis in the 1949-50 season. After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), the Sun Devils are 53-26 (.671) since and giving up just 60.8 points per game in his 109 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 threes and 65 starts entering this year). ASU has had seven players lead or share the team lead in scoring in its 10 games and has five players on its roster who have had a 20-point game in their career. The Sun Devils are among the national leaders in scoring defense (ninth at 56.3 points per game), field goal percentage (tenth at 51 percent) and three-point shooting (15th at .419).

Three Sun Devils are currently averaging in double digits and ASU is shooting 51 percent (247-of-484) from the field and is holding opponents to just .378 from the field (31st in the nation) and 56.3 points per game (ninth in nation) with its zone defense that Herb Sendek instituted in the middle of his first season, as all three numbers lead the league. ASU also leads the league in three-point shooting percentage (.419) and three pointers made per game (80 in 10 games)...ASU has held seven of its first 10 opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting, as 24 of its past 45 opponents have shot under 40 percent...Eric Boateng leads the Pac-10 in field goal percentage at 67.2 percent, while Derek Glasser leads the league and is 18th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.1 (56 assists and 18 turnovers).

Senior Derek Glasser is averaging 12.8 points and is shooting 87.2 percent from the free throw line (41-of-47) this year and leads the Pac-10 with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.1 (56 assists and 18 turnovers) the past three games he has 35 assists and just eight turnovers...already is second on the ASU career assist list with 449 and needs just six to become the ASU career leader, a mark held by the late Bobby Thompson, who had 454 from 1983-87...223-of-268 (.832) from the free throw line and has played 19 turnover free games in his 108-game career...posted a career-high 24 points in the Nov. 27 win over LSU...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.

After not posting a 20-point game in the first 96 games of his career, Derek Glasser has four 20-point games in his past 12 contests dating to last year. In that time he is shooting 43-91 (.472) from the floor, 19-of-41 (.463) from the three-point stripe and 48-of-56 (.857) from the foul line and is averaging 12.8 points. He also is averaging 13.2 points in his past 14 contests.
24 vs. LSU (Nov. 27, 2009/NIT at NYC)
22 at BYU (Dec. 8, 2009)
22 vs. Temple (Mar. 20, 2009/NCAA)
20 vs. Texas State (Nov. 16, 2009)
18 vs. USC (Feb. 15, 2009)
17 @#13 Oregon (Feb. 8, 2007)
16 vs. USC (Mar. 14, 2009/P10 Champ.)
16 vs. #13 UW (Mar. 13, 2009/P10 Tourn.)
16 vs. North Carolina A&T (Dec. 21, 2006)

ASU is 33-9 (.786) at home in the past three seasons, including a 15-5 mark in 2007-08 that set the ASU mark for total home wins. ASU is 18-4 (.818) the past two seasons at home, including 6-1 this season. Ten of ASU's 27 home wins in the two seasons prior to this year (2007-2008 and 2008-2009) were against teams that would play in the NCAA Tournament that same season.

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).

Eric Boateng already has his degree in Global Studies, speaks a little bit of Chinese and an African dialect called "Twi" also is taking advantage of the 24-hour access for ASU's new practice facility (Weatherup Center). He is averaging 10.3 points and 6.3 boards while shooting 67.2 percent from the field (39-of-58), as he has scored 103 points after scoring 57 all of last year. Also, he was 28-of-74 (.378) from the free throw line in his first two years at ASU, he is 25-of-36 (.694) this year.

Jerren Shipp is shooting 14-of-25 (.560) from the field on the year...sophomore Taylor Rohde has already played more minutes (86) than he did all of last year (73)...ASU held Delaware State to 34 points on Dec. 12 in a 76-34 win, the fewest since it won 47-34 over Washington of Saint Louis in the 1949-50 season...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, as ASU led 58-23 at the half. ASU's 29 assists were the most since it had 29 vs. Long Island on Dec. 29, 2004. Eight Sun Devils registered an assist as ASU notched an assist on its first 12 baskets. Rihards Kuksiks had a career-high eight dimes...ASU topped Texas State 84-62 in the opening round of the NIT on Nov. 16, 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 that sparked a 12-1 run to send ASU to NYC...ASU opened the season Nov. 13 with an 87-35 win over Western Illinois as 11 players scored and the 52-point margin was the biggest since 1996-97.

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 6.3 points and going 11-27 (.507) from three. Abbott has played in 78 games in his three-year career and started in 67. 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, 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 game for the first time in history. Entering this season he was one three current Pac-10 players who could claim a 30-point night (30-points in his freshman season vs. Cal 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.

ASU plays host to San Diego State on Dec. 19 after beating SDSU 59-52 in San Diego on Nov. 18, 2009...ASU attempted just 35 field goals in that game, its fewest since it was 19-of-33 in a 58-47 win over Stanford on Jan. 27, 1991...SDSU entered the game 38-7 in its previoius 45 games at Cox Arena and had topped its two previous ranked teams, as ASU entered the game No. 15...ASU shot 57.1 percent (20-of-35), including 9-of-13 (.692) in the second half, but trailed 15-2 at the 12:46 mark of the first was the first meeting against the Aztecs since a 64-62 loss at SDSU on Dec. 16, 2000. Awvee Storey hit a half-court three-pointer at the buzzer that was orginally called good, but after reviewing the replay the bucket was disallowed...ASU leads the series against SDSU 15-10...SDSU has posted four straight 20-win seasons, as it was 26-10 last year, 20-13 in 2007-08, 22-11 in 2006-07 and 24-9 in 2005-06.

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 stepped on campus and made a solid first impression. He is averaging 9.3 points, 4.5 boards and is shooting 33-of-57 (.579) from the field. He also has a tendency to make "splash" plays as his leaping ability has allowed him to grab 15 offensive rebounds. He also is among the best in the classroom, as he is a member of the honors program at ASU. Ike Diogu set the ASU freshman record for field goal percentage (.608) in 2002-03 (209-of-344), while Mario Bennett is second in the ASU record books at 57.4 percent (159-of-277) in 1991-92.

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).

Just how good has the Sun Devil defense been since Herb Sendek took 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 ASU, as it led the league in field goal percentage defense (.421) and three-point defense (.310). Those that followed Coach Sendek's career at NC State 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 a Sun Devil team since the 1949-50 team gave up 59.8. ASU is currently giving up 56.3 points per contest.
1. 46.5 - 1948
2. 47.6 - 1949
***56.3 - 2010***
3. 59.8 - 1950
4. 60.5 - 2009
5. 61.8 - 2007
6. 61.9 - 2008

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 392 three-pointers in their careers and all three are in the ASU career top-10 list already, as Rik Kuksiks has 155 (seventh), Ty Abbott 132 (ninth) and Derek Glasser 122 (tenth). So far this season, ASU is shooting 80-of-191 (.419) from the arc, with nine Sun Devils hitting three pointers.

Senior Derek Glasser not only will top the ASU career assist mark in the upcoming week as he needs just six, he also is making a run at the school free throw percentage mark. Glasser is currently at 83.2 percent for his career (223-of-268), a shade better than Alex Austin's 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 823 career points and 449 assists.
1. Derek Glasser, 2006-10, 83.2 (223-of-268)
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)

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 digits 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 155-of-374 (.414) 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.

Herb Sendek, 61-48 (.560) 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 314-205 (.605) 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).

ASU is 18-13 in the past three seasons in 10 points or less games after going 4-17 in Herb Sendek's first year...after going 10-29 in Herb Sendek'sHerb Sendek, it was 3-12 in two-possession games (six points or less), in the past three seasons it is 12-8 (6-4 past two seasons). 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. It is 1-2 this year with a 71-52 win vs. LSU on Nov. 27 as it outscored the Tigers 44-18 in the second half...ASU is 6-2 in its past eight overtime ASU's first season under