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Men's hoops and its defense off to Oregon


January 11, 2010

58-28 (.674) Past three seasons
The Arizona State's men's hoops team, in its fourth season under 320-game winner Herb Sendek and coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1980-81, starts its third weekend of Pac-10 play at the Oregon Ducks on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 5:30 p.m. PT/6:30 MT in a game televised by the Oregon Sports Network. It then takes on Oregon State in Corvallis at 3:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. MT on Saturday, Jan. 16 (FOX Sports Arizona). ASU is 12-5 and 2-2 after two lockdown defensive games and its first home sweep of the Washington schools since 2003 last weekend which has ASU ranked first in the nation in scoring defense at 54.4 points per game, The Sun Devils have held 12 of their first 17 opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting, as 29 of its past 52 opponents have shot under 40 percent. The Sun Devils also lead the league in scoring margin (+13.9) and are second in field goal percentage defense (.383), which is 24th in the nation.

Scene setter
After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), the Sun Devils are 58-28 (.674) since and giving up just 60.3 points per game in his 116 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 eight players lead or share the team lead in scoring in its 16 games and has five players on its roster who have had a 20-point game in their career.

Steel curtain-like defense
ASU's defense under Herb Sendek has always been rock solid, but the last three tilts it has been suffocating...in the past three games, ASU has held its opponents to 50-of-149 from the field (.336), 6-of-34 (.176) from the three-point stripe and just 48.0 points per game...it has forced 37 turnovers in that time and allowed only 19 assists...only four players have had a 20-point game against the Sun Devils this year...Jimmer Fredette of BYU, who had 49 at Arizona and is averaging 20.7 points and is shooting 44.6 from the three-point stripe, was 1-of-13 from the field against ASU and missed all his three-point attempts on Dec. 8 in Provo...Klay Thompson, the nation's fourth-leading scorer at 23 points per game, was 3-of-11 from the floor and posted nine points on Jan. 10.

Another solid defense note
Eight of ASU's opponents have had season-lows in points against the Sun Devils...Duke is averaging 84.7 but had 64 on Nov. 25...San Diego State is at 71.9 points per game but had just 52...UW is at 79.6 but and had 51, while WSU is at 77.5 and had just 46...UCSB is averaging 66.9 points but ASU held the Gauchos to 42...others with season-low in points against ASU include USC (47), Delaware State (34) and Western Illinois (35).

More on the defense from last weekend
Washington State entered Sunday's game vs. ASU averaging 79.6 points per game, shooting .493 percent from the field and .402 percent from three with Klay Thompson averaging 23.9 points...two hours later, ASU won 71-46, holding the Cougars season-lows in points (46), first-half points (25), field goals made (17), field goal percentage (.298) and assists (six). WSU had no player in double digits as Thompson ended with nine points on 3-of-11 shooting. It was WSU's worst loss since a 67-37 defeat at Oregon on Feb. 18, 2006...ASU held Washington on Jan. 8 to season-lows in points (51) and first-half points (19). It marks the only time UW has scored less than 63 this year and the Huskies have scored at least 70 12 times...ASU has held UW to 66.3 points in its nine meetings under Herb Sendek, UW has averaged 77.4 in its other 104 games in that time.

Oregon/OSU chatter
Last year ASU swept the Oregon trip on Feb. 5-7, its first Pac-10 road sweep since January of 2005 and just its second Pac-10 road sweep in the past six seasons...ASU made 16-of-17 (.914) free throws at Oregon on Feb. 5, the third-best percentage in school history with a minimum of 15 attempts...ASU held Oregon State to 13 first-half points Feb. 7 in Corvallis, ASU's best first-half defensive effort since it led OSU 33-13 on Feb. 25, 1995...ASU is 36-31 against the Ducks all-time...OSU leads the series 38-35...ASU swept the regular season series from the Beavers in 2008-09 for the ninth time since joining the Pac-10 and for the second straight year.

Against ranked teams
Coach Sendek now has 36 career wins against ranked foes after the win on Jan. 8 vs. #24 Washington, including 12 top-10 wins in his past 10 seasons...from 1995-1996 until 2005-2006 (11 seasons), ASU went 5-66 against ranked foes (2-28 at home). Under Herb Sendek ASU has seven wins against ranked teams, five of them at home...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 four games against top-10 teams under Herb Sendek, ASU is 2-2 (seventh-ranked Stanford in 2007-2008 and at ninth-ranked UCLA in 2008-2009).

Coach Sendek wins against ranked teams at ASU
ASU 68, #24 Washington 51 (Jan. 8, 2010)
#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

And not just Herb
Prior to Derek Glasser arriving on campus, ASU had five wins against ranked teams in 11 years (1995-96 to 2005-06). Glasser has led the Sun Devils to seven wins against ranked opponents in his four years, averaging 11.3 points in those games while shooting .571 from the three-point stripe (8-of-14) and 40-of-44 (.909) from the free throw line.

The wins you notice
ASU has notched a double-digit win over a ranked team in each of Herb Sendek¹s four 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. This season, ASU topped No. 24 Washington 68-51 on Jan. 8 in Tempe. ASU¹s 17-point win over No. 24 Washington on Jan. 8 (68-51) is tied for the fifth-biggest victory margin over a ranked team in school history and is tied for the second-largest in the past 28 seasons. In the prior 16 seasons of ASU, the Sun Devils had posted three double-digit wins over ranked teams.

ASU largest margins over a ranked team/ASU coach
(22)--ASU 77, #17 Xavier 55 (Dec. 15, 2007)/Herb Sendek
(20)--#5 ASU 87, @#1 Oregon State 67 (March 7, 1981)/Ned Wulk
(19)--ASU 89, #5 San Francisco 70 (Dec. 3, 1977)/Ned Wulk
(18)--ASU 71, #6 Colorado 53 (Dec. 21, 1962)/Ned Wulk
(17)--ASU 68, #24 Washington 51 (Jan. 8, 2010)/Herb Sendek
(17)--ASU 79, #13 Michigan 62 (Nov. 22, 1994)/Bill Frieder
(17)--ASU 95, #3 USC 78 (Dec. 1, 1971)/Ned Wulk

Defense
ASU held Washington State to .298 (17-of-57) shooting on Jan. 10, tied for its fourth-best defensive shooting night in a Pac-10 game in the past 23 seasons.

ASU best defensive FG% Pac-10 game/1987-88 present
.265/13-of-49 vs. Washington State (Feb. 7, 2002)
.286/20-70 at Oregon (Jan. 22, 2005)
.286/14-49 by California (Mar. 7, 1996)
.298/17-57 by Washington State (Jan. 10, 2010)
.298/14-47 at Arizona (Jan. 21, 2009

The point guard
Senior Derek Glasser is averaging 10.7 points and is shooting 89.2 percent from the free throw line (58-of-65) this year, third-best in the league. He ranks second in the Pac-10 in assists per game (4.9) and third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3 with 84 assists and 37 turnovers)...eighth in the league in three-point shooting at 42.3 percent (22-of-52)...already is the ASU career assist record holder with 477, topping the mark held by the late Bobby Thompson, who had 454 from 1983-87, and his 240-of-286 (.839) shooting from the free throw line currently is the best in school history...has played 19 turnover free games in his 115-game career...posted a career-high 24 points in the Nov. 27 win over LSU.

Leading the way
The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense (54.4 points per game), scoring margin (+13.9 points per game) and three-pointers made per game (8.2 with 140 made in 17 games). They are second in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting (.379), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) and field goal percentage defense (.383)...Rihards Kuksiks eight three-pointers vs. UCSB on Dec. 21 is tied for the most made by a Pac-10 player this year with WSU's Klay Thompson. He is second in the league at 2.6 three-pointers made per game...Eric Boateng leads the Pac-10 in field goal percentage at 63.8 percent...ASU gave up just 34 points to Delaware State (Dec. 12) and 35 to Western Illinois (Nov. 13), the best defensive marks in the Pac-10 this year...ASU's 104 points vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20) is the second-highest by a Pac-10 team this year...ASU's 29 assists and 18 three-pointers in that game are the most by a league team this year, as are its 17 steals vs. Texas State...Jamelle McMillan is tied for ninth in the league in three-point percentage at .417 and leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.1 (55 assists and 18 turnovers).

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).

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 392 three-pointers in their careers and all three are in the ASU career top-10 list already, as Rik Kuksiks has 174 (sixth), Ty Abbott 149 (eighth) and Derek Glasser 129 (tenth). So far this season, ASU is shooting 140-of-369 (.379) from the arc, with nine Sun Devils hitting three pointers, including four Sun Devils who have made at least 22.

Jamelle all over stat sheet
Junior Jamelle McMillan has been all over the stat sheet the past seven games. In that time he is averaging a team-best 33.0 minutes, 9.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and has 11 steals and just nine turnovers. He is shooting 25-of-57 (.439) from the floor in that time and 13-of-35 (.371) from the three-point stripe.

Team quick notes
In the past three years, ASU has played 39 of its 86 games away from its campus, and has gone 20-19 overall and 10-13 in true road games...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. ASU¹s 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 NIT opener 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.

Hey Abbott
Ty Abbott missed just one game after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in mid-October and 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...grabbed 11 defensive rebounds vs. Washington State on Jan. 10, the most defensive boards by a Sun Devil since Jeff Pendergraph had 11 vs. USC on Feb. 18, 2007, a span of the past 90 games...in the past seven games he is averaging a team-best 12.6 points while shooting 13-of-15 (.867) from the free throw line and is averaging 5.1 boards...has played in 85 games in his three-year career and started in 74...when Abbott scores in double digits, ASU is 30-7 (.811), including 18-3 (.857) the past two seasons.

Road notes from last year
ASU won four straight Pac-10 road games last year for the first time since the 1980-81 team won five straight and finished 6-4 on the road overall. 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. After losing its first eight Pac-10 road games under Herb Sendek, ASU is 10-13 since.

Impressive Frosh
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 7.5 points, 3.5 boards and is shooting 44-of-84 (.524) from the field. He also has a tendency to make "splash" plays as his leaping ability has allowed him to grab 22 offensive rebounds. Against the Washington schools on Jan. 8-10, he averaged 11.5 points and was 11-of-15 from the foul line in 48 minutes.

The head coach
Herb Sendek, 66-50 (.569) 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 320-208 (.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).