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Men's hoops faces Oregon in Pac-10 Tournament opener

March 08, 2011

Sun Devil Ike Austin to be inducted into Pac-10 Hall of Honor

The Arizona State's men's hoops team (12-18; 4-14 in the Pac-10), winners of three of its past five and two straight, plays Wednesday (March 9) at 8:30 p.m. PT (FSN/KTAR 620 AM) in the Pac-10 Tournament at Staples Center against seventh-seeded Oregon. ASU seniors Ty Abbott, Rihards Kuksiks and Jamelle McMillan have led ASU to 80 wins, the most by any seniors in ASU history and will try and beat Oregon for the third time this season, as they have won six straight vs. the Ducks (7-1 in careers). The winner gets second-seeded UCLA in the 6 p.m. game on Thursday. In the 10 games under Herb Sendek ASU has held the Ducks to 62-of-196 (.316) from the three-point stripe, 191-of-486 (.393) from the field and 56.4 points per game.

ASU has 80 wins in the four-year careers of its senior trio, as the Sun Devils were 21-13 (2007-08), 25-10 (2008-09), 22-11 (2009-10) in their first three seasons. Prior to their arrival, ASU won 37 games in the previous four seasons. Where does the 80 wins total stand heading towards the Pac-10 Tournament? ASU's best four-year span of total wins was 88 from 1959-60 to 1962-63 and also from 1960-61 to 1963-64, but that was before freshman were eligible. The 80 wins by this group of seniors is the best by any four-year player or class. Gary Jackson (1973-76) was with the program for 79 wins.

1. 1961-1964: 88
1. 1960-1963: 88
3. 2008-2011: 78 (Ty Abbott, Rihards Kuksiks, Jamelle McMillan)
3. 1972-1975: 80
4. 1973-1976: 79 (Gary Jackson)
4. 1959-1962: 79

The Oregon game marks the sixth time ASU has played a team in the Pac-10 Tournament it has swept in the regular season, including in each of the two previous seasons...ASU is 3-2 in those tilts and 1-1 under Coach Sendek...last year, ASU beat Stanford twice but then fell to the Cardinal 70-61 in Los Angeles...the previous year, ASU beat Arizona twice and then beat the NCAA-bound Wildcats again 68-56...ASU lost to Oregon State after beating it twice in 2005-06 under Rob Evans, won all three vs. Washington in 1989-90 under Bill Frieder and won all three vs. Washington State in 1986-87 under Steve Patterson.

ASU hit 16 three-pointers against Oregon Thursday (March 3), then followed that up with 17 vs. Oregon State Saturday (March 5). The 17 vs. Oregon State was just one shy of the school record 18 against USF on Nov. 20, 2009. Six times an ASU team has made at least 16 three-pointers in a game, five of those time have occurred under Coach Sendek's watch.

18 vs. USF, Nov. 20, 2009/Herb Sendek
17 vs. Oregon State, Mar. 5, 2011/Herb Sendek
17 vs. Idaho State, Dec. 23, 2008/Herb Sendek
16 vs. Oregon, Mar. 3, 2011/Herb Sendek
16 vs. California, Feb. 16, 2008/Herb Sendek
16 at Brigham Young, Dec. 1, 1992/Bill Frieder

Sophomore Trent Lockett is averaging 13.1 points per game this year after averaging 6.7 in his freshman season. A quick look at ASU's record books shows that the +6.4 increase is the best from the first year to the second year by a Sun Devil since Jeremy Veal went from 7.4 in 1994-95 to 18.9 in 1995-96 (+11.5). Below are the top scoring jumps by Sun Devils from first to second season:

Jeremy Veal, +11.5 (7.4 in 1994-95 to 18.9 in 1995-96)
Dennis Hamilton, +11.1 (6.2 in 1963-64 to 17.3 in 1964-65)
Art Becker, +10.1 (9.0 in 1961-62 to 19.1 in 1962-63)
Arthur Thomas, +9.4 (4.3 in 1984-85 to 13.7 in 1985-86)
Kurt Nimphius, +7.0 (1.5 in 1976-77 to 8.5 in 1977-78)
Trent Lockett, +6.4 (6.7 in 2009-10 to 13.1 in 2010-11)
Joe Caldwell, +6.4 (13.3 in 1961-62 to 19.7 in 1962-63)
Fat Lever, +5.6 (3.6 in 1978-79 to 9.2 in 1979-80)

With its injuries and illnesses ASU has used 11 starting lineups and 11 players have started at least one game...11 lineups is most by the Sun Devils since 2003-04 team started 13 and tied for third-most in the past 18 seasons...1996-97 (11 lineups) and 1995-96 (12 lineups) teams under Bill Frieder also tried some different options...each of ASU's top four scorers has missed at least two games due to injury including leading scorer Trent Lockett missing the Oregon road trip.

ASU held Oregon to just .296 shooting (16-of-54) on Thursday, the fifth-best effort by the Sun Devils in a Pac-10 game in the past 24 seasons (432 games) and second-best under Herb Sendek (90 games). Four of the best seven games in that time frame (1987-88 through 2010-11) have come under Coach Sendek.

.246/14-57 by Oregon State (Feb. 11, 2010)/Herb Sendek
.265/13-49 vs. Washington State (Feb. 7, 2002)/Rob Evans
.286/20-70 at Oregon (Jan. 22, 2005)/Rob Evans
.286/14-49 by California (Mar. 7, 1996)/Bill Frieder
.296/16-54 by Oregon (Mar. 3, 2011)/Herb Sendek
.298/17-57 by Washington State (Jan. 10, 2010)/Herb Sendek
.298/14-47 at Arizona (Jan. 21, 2009)/Herb Sendek

ASU has now swept the Ducks in each of the past three seasons and has won six straight in the series...ASU has swept the Ducks 12 times in its 33 Pac-10 seasons: 1979-80, '80-81, '82-83, '88-89, '90-91, '91-92, '92-93, '00-01, '04-05, '08-09, '09-10 and '10-11...six straight wins is tied for third-longest current streak in Pac-10 play...ASU is 22-11 (.667) against the Ducks in Pac-10 play in Tempe, its best home record against any league foe...ASU is 7-3 against UO under Coach Sendek, including 3-2 in Eugene and 4-1 in Tempe...ASU is 41-31 against the Ducks the 10 games under Herb Sendek ASU has held the Ducks to 62-of-196 (.316) from the three-point stripe, 191-of-486 (.393) from the field and 56.4 points per game...ASU finished 16-17 at McArthur Court in its 33 Pac-10 seasons and won final three at Mac Court for the first time since Bill Frieder's teams did it from 1991-93.

UCLA over Oregon State, 13
Cal over Oregon, 7
Arizona State over Oregon, 6
Arizona over Oregon, 6
Arizona over Stanford, 5

ASU is taking care of the ball as it is second in the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers per game at 12.1 (USC at 11.3) and is averaging 11.3 turnovers in the past 14 games. Jamelle McMillan leads the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio and is 14th nationally at 2.72 (106 assists and 39 turnovers). He led the Pac-10 in the 18 regular season games in that category as well at 2.35 per game. McMillan also is 20-of-43 (.465) from the three-point stripe in past 10 games.

Two freshmen have taken good advantage of some recent playing time. Keala King is averaging 14.6 minutes and 7.4 points in the past five games and is 14-of-17 (.824) from the free throw stripe in those tilts. He started the year 16-of-38 (.421) from the charity stripe...Chanse Creekmur led ASU to its 73-72 Feb. 19 win over Washington State with 18 points, including five three-pointers, just the second Sun Devil to hit five three-pointers in a game in the past four seasons (Ty Abbott was the other). Creekmur is averaging 18.1 minutes and 5.6 points in the past eight games and has made 12-of-28 (.429) three-pointers in the past seven games.

Arizona State has done a solid job of winning the close ones. In games of five points or less in the four years of its current senior class, ASU is 18-13 (.581), the third-best mark in the Pac-10.

UCLA 23-13 (.639)
Oregon 13-9 (.591)
Arizona State 18-13 (.581)

Sophomore Trent Lockett had a then career-high 22 points in the season opener at New Mexico (Nov. 16) where two of his dunks placed him No. 2 on SportsCenter's Top-10...earned 2010-11 second-team All-Pac-10 honors...had a career-high 24 points vs. Weber State on Nov. 26 in Alaska...also had 20 points at Washington on Jan. 22 and then had 20 in 71-69 Washington State win on Feb. 19...native of Golden Valley, Minn., and a student in Barrett, the Honors College...comes from one of the top high school programs in the country (Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn.)...earned a spot on the five-man Pac-10 All-Freshman Team in 2009-10...has 29 double-figure scoring games...posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 boards vs. Richmond on Dec. 5...missed both games of the Oregon road trip on Dec. 30-Jan. 1 with a sprained big left toe...7-of-15 (.467) from the three-point stripe in that time after starting season 2-of-13.

24 vs. Weber State (Nov. 26, 2010)
22 at New Mexico (Nov. 16, 2010)
20 vs. Washington State (Feb. 19, 2011)
20 at #20 Washington (Jan. 22, 2011)
19 vs. UAB (Nov. 20, 2010)
19 vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20, 2009)
18 at Cal (Feb. 3, 2011)
18 vs. Houston Baptist (Nov. 25, 2010)
17 vs. UCLA (Jan. 29, 2011)
17 at Arizona (Jan. 15, 2011)
17 vs. Stanford (Jan. 30, 2010)
17 vs. Texas State (Nov. 16, 2009)

ASU had six players notch a total of nine blocks vs. Arizona on Feb. 13, second-best in the Herb Sendek-era. ASU had 11 blocks vs. Southern Illinois on March 20, 2008. ASU also had eight blocks vs. USC on Jan. 27 this season.

From the 2001-2002 season through 2005-2006 (Herb Sendek's final five seasons) NC State won 53 total ACC games (regular season and ACC tournament). Only Duke was better (76) in that time frame. Maryland also had 53.

The Sun Devils, the only Pac-10 team to post 20 wins in each of the past three seasons, are in their fifth season under 2009-10 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Herb Sendek. Last year's second-place Pac-10 team was 22-11, the first time ASU had posted three straight 20-win seasons since JFK was President. ASU finished second in the Pac-10 (12-6) for the first time since 1980-81 after being picked for seventh in the preseason media poll and tenth by Sporting News. After posting just three 20-win seasons in the previous 25 seasons, ASU has posted three straight under Herb Sendek in his four years. ASU lost two senior starters and three key players from last year in Derek Glasser, Eric Boateng and Jerren Shipp, who all three earned their degrees...Glasser set ASU records for games (131), assists (551) and free throw shooting (.838)...Shipp is second on the ASU career list for games with 129...Eric Boateng led the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (.665) and averaged 8.8 points and 7.2 boards and matched Pac-10 record by making all 11 shots from the field at Stanford on Feb. 25, 2010.

ASU is 9-2 when it leads at the half in 2010-11 and 66-16 under Herb Sendek...ASU has won 17 games under Herb Sendek when it has trailed at the half including the Dec. 23 56-50 win over North Carolina A&T when it trailed 29-23 at intermission. ASU shot just 20-of-57 (.351) in the victory, its second-lowest mark in a win under Coach Sendek. The lowest shooting mark was a 16-of-56 (.286) mark in a 53-47 win at Arizona on Jan. 21, 2009.

Senior Jamelle McMillan has played through a nagging groin injury since December that caused him to miss three games but is averaging 9.9 points in the past 10 games and is 20-of-43 (.465) from three in those tilts...has posted three of the top scoring games in his career in the past 10 contests with a career-high 17 at Stanford (Feb. 5), 14 at Cal (Feb. 3) and 13 vs. UCLA (Jan. 29)... ASU is 73-47 (.608) with Jamelle and 6-5 (.545) without in his career...317 career assists and 151 turnovers...six steals vs. Long Beach on Dec. 21, most by a Sun Devil since James Harden had seven vs. USC on March 13, 2008, in the Pac-10 Tournament...leads the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio and is 14th nationally at 2.72 (106 assists and 39 turnovers)...led the Pac-10 in the 18 regular season games in that category as well at 2.35 per game.

17 at Stanford (Feb. 5, 2011)
16 vs. Weber State @Alaska (Nov. 26, 2010)
16 vs. UCSB (Dec. 21, 2009)
15 vs. USC Upstate (Dec. 23, 2009)
14 at California (Feb. 3, 2011)
14 at Oregon State (Feb. 7, 2009)
13 vs. UCLA (Jan. 29, 2011)

ASU has had some poorly-timed injury/illness items since the opening of the Pac-10, as it lost at Oregon State 80-58 (Dec. 30) and won at Oregon 60-55 (Jan. 1) to close Mac Court, without leading scorer and 2010-11 second-team All-Pac-10 pick Trent Lockett (14.7 ppg. at the time), who missed both games with a sprained left big toe. Then senior point guard Jamelle McMillan missed both games of the Bay Area home series (Jan. 6-8) and the Jan. 12 Tulsa win due to a groin injury. The Washington trip the scrambling continued as Carrick Felix and Brandon Dunson couldn't travel for the first game as both were ill. The main bummer? Felix was averaging 13.6 points (tied for team lead), 3.6 boards, 31.2 minutes and was 14-of-18 (.778) from the free throw line in the previous five games. Both Rihards Kuksiks and Ty Abbott missed the Feb. 19 Washington State win while Kuksiks missed the Washington game on Feb. 17 and the as well. Each of ASU top four scorers has missed at least two games.

Herb Sendek has eight former assistants who are D-I coaches, the best mark of any coach in the nation in 2010-2011. 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).

Last season's second -place Pac-10 finish matched ASU's best in its 32 seasons of Pac-10 play and its 12 wins were the most since 1994-95. ASU has notched at least 11 Pac-10 wins eight times, Herb Sendek has done it in each of the past two seasons.

1980-81, 16-2/2nd/Ned Wulk
1979-80, 15-3/2nd/Ned Wulk
2009-10, 12-6/2nd/Herb Sendek
1994-95, 12-6/3rd/Bill Frieder
1982-83, 12-6/T-3rd/Bob Weinhauer
2008-09, 11-7/T-3rd/Herb Sendek
2002-03, 11-7/4th/Rob Evans
1992-93, 11-7/T-3rd/Bill Frieder

Herb Sendek became the second Sun Devil to earn Pac-10 Coach of the Year in ASU's 32 Pac-10 seasons in 2009-10 (Ned Wulk/1978-79). What is even more eye opening is the 30 years between Sun Devil winners. That is nothing new as his 2003-04 ACC honor was NC State's first in 15 seasons (Jim Valvano/1988-89).

First-team 2009-10 All-Pac-10 performer Ty Abbott had some back, knee and shoulder issues all season, as he missed all but four minutes of the game at Stanford on Feb. 5 and all of the Feb. 19 WSU game, but he earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for March 3-5 after posting 22 points in each win over Oregon and Oregon State...has 12 20-point games in his career, including five this year...he is averaging 32.5 minutes per game this year. Only James Harden in each of his two seasons (35.8 in 2008-09 and 34.4 in 2007-08) has averaged more than 34 minutes per game in Herb Sendek's first four seasons at has 1,330 career points which is 15th on the ASU career list. Mario Bennett is 14th with 1,368...also has 118 starts, second on the ASU career chart. Jeff Pendergraph has the ASU record with 120 starts...Abbott missed the Nov. 25 Houston Baptist game due to a knee bruise and the Feb.19 Washington State win with a shoulder injury...currently second on the Sun Devil career chart for minutes played. Eddie House has the career mark, playing in 124 games from 1996-2000 while notching 4,164 minutes (33.6 per game). Abbott is at 3,985 and should become just the second Sun Devil to play 4,000 career minutes.

1. Eddie House (99-2000)--4,164/124/33.6
2. Ty Abbott (07-11)--3,985/129/30.9
3. Jeremy Veal (94-98)--3,980/122/32.5
4. Derek Glasser (06-10)--3,955/131/30.2

If something hasn't happened in 18 years, it is probably safe to say that it is an an anomaly. Consider a team struggling at the free throw line under Coach Sendek just that (.629). Consider the following when talking about Coach Sendek's teams his 18 seasons as a head coach: NC State led the nation and set an ACC record for free throw shooting (.799) in 2003-04. That mark is tied for the best in the nation in the past 12 seasons with St. Joseph's in 2005-06 (Jameer Nelson and Delonte West) and is tied for seventh-best in NCAA history...has coached four teams at ASU and two of them rank fifth (.739 in 2007-08) and sixth (.737 in 2008-09) on the ASU charts for best free throw seasons...last year's team shot .713 in Pac-10 games, third-best in the loop. In overall statistics, ASU has been a top-five Pac-10 free throw shooting team in each of the past three his 10 seasons NC State led the ACC in FT percentage four times, including three straight seasons from (2001-02 to 2003-04).

Herb Sendek is 19-17 (.528) in 17 years of conference tournament action. He went 13-10 (.565) in his ten years at NC State, 4-3 (.571) in his three years at Miami (Ohio) and is 2-4 at first-round action, he is 12-5 (.706)...8-2 at NCSU, 3-0 at Miami and 1-3 at ASU...Coach Sendek made history when Wolfpack became the first team to knock off the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament in consecutive years when it beat second-ranked Maryland (2002) and ninth-ranked Wake Forest (2003).

The Pac-10 has five current coaches who have earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Herb Sendek earned the honor in 2009-10, while Sean Miller (2010-11), Lorenzo Romar (2008-09 and 2004-05) and Ben Howland (2005-06) earned kudos at their school. Mike Montgomery earned it four times at Stanford (2003-04, 2002-03, 1999-2000 and 1998-99).

ASU topped Tulsa 69-59 Jan. 12 behind 25 points and nine boards from Ty Abbott. Carrick Felix added 21 points as ASU was 13-of-16 (.813) from the foul line. Tulsa, which finished 23-12 last year and had a final RPI of 68 and has posted four straight 20-win seasons, is one of seven teams ASU had on its non-conference schedule who won at least 20 games last year and one of eight that was in the top 100 of the RPI. New Mexico (30-5/RPI of 10), UAB (25-9/45), Weber State (20-11/85), Baylor (28-8/9), Richmond (26-9/25) and Nevada (21-13/73) all won 20, while St. John's finished with a RPI of 82 in 2009-10.

Senior Rihards Kuksiks is 59-of-141 (.418) from the three-point stripe in his past 20 games after starting the year 8-of-30 in the first four games. Kuksiks posted his 10th 20-point game of his career with 22 points vs. Oregon on Mar. 3, and ASU is 7-3 in those games. He now has 77 career three-pointers in his career, second spot on the ASU career list and seventh on the Pac-10 list. He became the 34th member of ASU's 1,000-point club against Long Beach State, as he now has 1,161 points. The senior is 29-of-60 (.483) from the three-point stripe in his past 10 games against ranked opponents. He has been clutch in close games the past two years, as ASU has played eight games of two points or less (4-4), and he is 29-of-59 (.491) from three. He matched career-highs in points (27) and rebounds (nine) in the Jan. 8 win over No. 24 Washington last season. He had six 20-point games in 2009-10 with ASU going 5-1 in those games.

27 vs. #24 Washington (Jan. 8, 2010)
27 vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20, 2009)
25 at Oregon (Jan. 14, 2010)
24 vs. USC (Mar. 4, 2010)
24 vs. UCSB (Dec. 21, 2009)
22 vs. Oregon (Mar. 3, 2011)
22 vs. USC (Jan. 27, 2011)
21 vs. Jacksonville (Mar. 16, 2010/NIT)
20 at Nevada (Dec. 17, 2010)
20 vs. Syracuse (Mar. 22, 2009 @Miami/NCAA)

Herb Sendek, 86-74 (.538) at ASU, is in his 18th season as a head coach in 2010-2011 and has averaged 19.4 wins per season. He led the NC State Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 340-232 (.594) and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 48-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 from 2002-2006. An 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 (13/Oregon) and Ben Braun (12/California).

With leading scorer Trent Lockett out and all three of ASU's seniors in foul trouble at Oregon on Jan. 1, a trio stepped up. First-year players Carrick Felix had then-season highs of 19 points, six boards, four assists and 34 minutes while Brandon Dunson did the same with 14 points and 29 minutes. Sophomore Ruslan Pateev (career highs with 10 points in 28 minutes) also helped the cause as ASU continued its solid work in close games.