Men's hoops in fast matches for Pac-10 at home

<p> SUN DEVILS OPEN HOME SLATE OF PAC-10 GAMES ON FSN: The No. 20/16 (Associated Press/ESPN Coaches' Poll) Arizona State's men's hoops team, 21-13 and 9-9 in the Pac-10 last year and 12-2/1-1 this season under third-year head coach <a href="">He… Sendek</a>, hosts Oregon State on Thursday, Jan. 8 (8:30 p.m. MT), and Oregon on Saturday, Jan. 10 (noon MT) with both games on Fox Sports Net and Barry Tompkins and Dan Belluomini calling the action. ASU had its eight-game winning streak (third-best ASU streak in past 28 seasons) snapped at Cal Sunday in an 81-71 loss as the Sun Devils grabbed a split in the Bay Area to open Pac-10 play. It defeated 10-0 Stanford in Palo Alto 90-60 on Jan. 2 to tip league play, its second win over a 10-0 team this year (ASU defeated 10-0 BYU on Dec. 20 in Glendale, Ariz.).</p><separator></separator><p>*Four Sun Devils are in double digits: <a href="">J… Harden</a> (23.4, which leads the Pac-10 and is tenth nationally), <a href="… Pendergraph</a> (14.3), <a href="… Kuksiks</a> (10.6) and <a href="">Ty Abbott</a> (10.2), as Kuksiks is 12-of-16 (.750) from the three-point stripe in the past four games.</p><separator></separator><p>*ASU started 12-1 for first time in 34 seasons (1974-75 Sun Devil squad started 15-1) and leads the Pac-10 and is 17th in the nation in free throw shooting at 76 percent (school-record pace), but no player is in the national top 70 (<a href="… Pendergraph</a> is 74th at 83.6 percent).</p><separator></separator><p>*ASU's starting five is shooting 78.3 percent from the free throw line (187-of-239).</p><separator></separator><p>*After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year, the Sun Devils are 33-15 (.688). <!-- STORY AD BEGINS HERE --></p><separator></separator><p>*ASU also is third in the nation shooting 51 percent despite playing eight games away from Wells Fargo Arena.</p><separator></separator><p>HITTING FREEBIES: ASU shot .739 from the free throw line last year, the fifth-best mark in ASU history and second-best in past 21 seasons, and is shooting at a school-record 76.0 percent pace this year. In his 10 seasons at NC State, Coach Sendek's teams led the ACC four times in FT percentage (including three straight seasons, 2002-04). In 2004 NC State led the nation and set the ACC record by shooting .799 from the charity stripe. While at NC State, his squads shot 71.3 percent. One good note on his 2003-04 NC State team is in the past nine seasons, that squad's .799 FT percentage is tied for the best in the NCAA with St. Joseph in 2005-06. ASU has led the league twice in free throw percentage, in 1997-98 and in 1986-87, shooting 74.6 percent both years. Two Sun Devils have led the league as Alex Austin was 69-of-80 (.863) in 1988-89 and Chris Beasley was 112-of-128 (.875) in 1983-84.</p><separator></separator><p>ASU FREE THROW PERCENTAGE<br /> 1. 2008-09 (12-2/1-1 in Pac-10/212-278)-76.0<br /> 2. 1977-78 (13-14/6-8 in WAC)=75.6<br /> 3. 1954-55 (10-14/8-4 in Border)-75.4<br /> 4. 1997-98 (18-14/8-10 in Pac-10)-74.6<br /> 4. 1986-87 (11-17/6-12 in Pac-10)-74.6<br /> 6. 2007-08 (21-13/9-9 in Pac-10)-73.9<br /></p><separator></separator><p>SHOOTING IT: ASU is averaging 9.8 three-pointers made in the past nine games (88-of-209/.421). It leads the Pac-10 in three-pointer made per game at the beginning of the week ASU ranked 23rd in nation in three made per game (8.8) and 24th in three-point shooting (.397), one of just six schools to be in the top 25 in both long-range bomb categories (Oklahoma State, Illinois State, Iowa, Creighton and Notre Dame)...ASU had five players in double digits in back-to-back games (Dec. 23 vs. Idaho State and Dec. 29 vs. Central Connecticut State) for first time February of 2004...ASU shot 65.3 percent from the field in its Dec. 29 win over Central Connecticut State, including 14-of-14 from inside the three-point arc in the first half...ASU hit a school-record 17 three-pointers in its 90-55 Dec. 23 win over Idaho State.</p><separator></separator><p>SUN DEVIL DATA: <a href="">J… Harden</a> has four 30-point games on the year, the most by a Sun Devil since <a href="">Ike Diogu</a> had six in 2004-2005. ASU is now 20-5 when Harden scores at least 20 (7-2 this year). After starting the season 2-of-14 (.143) from the three-point stripe in the first four games, he is 26-of-50 (.520) in the past 10 games...ASU is 10-6 in the past two 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 3-0 this year as it trailed at San Diego State and vs. IUPUI and BYU...ASU has now won five straight overtime games under <a href="">He… Sendek</a> after its 59-58 overtime win over IUPUI on Dec. 14. Last year ASU was 4-0 in overtime, beating LSU in Maui 87-84 (Nov. 21), topping Arizona at home 64-59 (Jan. 9), winning at Cal in double overtime 99-90 (Jan. 17) and beating seventh-ranked Stanford 72-68 in Tempe (Feb. 14)...after losing its first 10 away from home (neutral or road games) in the <a href="">He… Sendek</a> era, ASU is 13-11 the Dec. 8 64-44 victory over previously undefeated Nebraska, ASU held the Huskers to 18 first-half points, ASU's second-best first-half defensive effort in the past six years (192 games)...the Sun Devils are giving up 61.5 points per game in Coach Sendek's 78 games...Ty Abbott has three eight-rebound games this year, he grabbed eight rebounds in two games all of last year...Derek Glasser is 117-of-144 (.813) from the free throw line in his career.</p><separator></separator><p>STEADY JEFF: <a href="… Pendergraph</a>, who earned his B.S. in Economics in December in just three and a half years and has 99 career starts, is shooting .769 from the free throw line in his career (299-of-389) and is 46-of-55 (.836) on the year. He has 1,279 points in 105 career games (12.2 points per game) and 758 career rebounds (7.2 per game). He is averaging 8.2 boards in the past 11 games and has 22 career double-doubles (four this year). Pendergraph is sixth in the nation shooting at 66.4 percent. That means he has taken 116 field goals (made 77) and 55 free throws (made 46) and has missed just 48 shots (123-171).</p><separator></separator><p>SHOOT IT KUKSIKS: In ASU's past eight games, sophomore <a href="… Kuksiks</a> is averaging 12.9 points and 5.0 boards, including 27-of-47 (.574) from the three-point stripe. He has 253 points and 15 double-figure scoring games in his past 26 contests (9.7 ppg.) dating to last year after scoring 42 points in the first 22 games last season. The sophomore had the best game of his career on Dec. 14 in ASU's one-point overtime win over IUPUI. He matched his career high with 18 points (set previous game on Dec. 8 against Nebraska after setting then-career high with 16 vs. Jackson State on Dec. 4, so yes, that was three straight career-highs), made a career-high six three pointers, grabbed a career-best nine boards (after a then career-high six boards against Nebraska), matched a career-high with four assists and had a career-high three steals.</p><separator></separator><p>AT HOME: ASU is 21-5 (.808) at home in the past two seasons (6-0 this year), as it won 15 home games for first time in the 32-year history of Wells Fargo Arena last year. It was15-5 with wins over NCAA Tournament teams Arizona, Xavier, Stanford, USC, Oregon and Coppin State.</p><separator></separator><p>BIG ROAD WIN: ASU's 30-point win (90-60) at Stanford on Jan. 2 is the third-largest Pac-10 road win in ASU's 31 Pac-10 seasons (272 road games) and largest since a 33-point win at Washington State (87-54) on Feb. 6, 2003.</p><separator></separator><p>ASU'S BIGGEST ROAD WINS IN PAC-10 HISTORY (31st SEASON)<br /> 36--ASU 91, Cal 55 (Feb. 3, 1979)<br /> 33--ASU 87, Washington State 54 (Feb. 6, 2003)<br /> 30--ASU 90, Stanford 60 (Jan. 2, 2009)<br /> 28--ASU 90, Washington 62 (Jan. 10, 1981)<br /> 27-ASU 99, Oregon 72 (Feb. 4, 2001)<br /></p><separator></separator><p>OSU SERIES: ASU shot 54 percent from the field (47-of-87) in the two wins over OSU last year and held the Beavers to 41-of-122 (.336) from the field...James Harden averaged 15 points, 5.5 asissts and five boards against the Beavers...Eric Boateng was 8-of-11 (.727) from the field...OSU leads the series 38-33... ASU's 72-53 win on Jan. 5, 2008, in Tempe over Oregon State was its biggest margin of victory in the Pac-10 since a 108-78 win over USC on Feb. 13, 2003, prior to this year's 30-point win at Stanford on Jan. 2...James Harden had 24 points while <a href="… Pendergraph</a> had 18 points and nine boards in the Tempe win...ASU shot 57.9 percent from the field in the second half and held the Beavers to just 10-of-31 (.323) after halftime...ASU swept the regular season series from the Beavers in 2007-08 for the eighth time since joining the Corvallis on the final day of the regular season last year (March 8), ASU got solid games from <a href="… McMillan</a> (12 points) and <a href="">E… Boateng</a> (12 points) off the bench as OSU was 13-of-39 from the three-point stripe but fell 77-64 as ASU clinched a 9-9 regular season mark in the Pac-10.</p><separator></separator><p>ASU VS. OREGON NOTES: Oregon topped ASU in the final weekend of the regular season 67-61 at McArthur Court as it was 10-of-23 from the three-point stripe...ASU held the Pac-10's highest scoring team Oregon (77.4 ppg.) to 54 points on Jan. 3, 2008, UO's fewest points in a 61-game span prior to its 72-43 loss at Stanford on Feb. 7...ASU trailed at the half 30-26 but forced 16 Duck turnovers and held Oregon to just 9-of-24 (.375) in the second half from the floor, including 1-of-9 (.111) from the three-point stripe, as <a href="">J… Harden</a> led the way with 20 points in his Pac-10 opener and Jeff Pendergraph added 17...ASU is 35-31 against the Ducks all-time...James Harden averaged 21 points and 6.5 boards against the Ducks last year...ASU held the Ducks to 12-of-40 (.300) from the three-point stripe in each of the past two years...ASU has held Oregon to 59 points per game in the past four outings.</p><separator></separator><p>ONE-POINT GAMES NOTE: The Dec. 20 BYU and Dec. 14 IUPUI contests marked for the first back-to-back one-point games for ASU since 2005-2006, as ASU lost to #7 UCLA 61-60 on Jan. 7 just two days after losing 66-65 to USC (Jan. 5). Prior to that, the last back-to-back one-point games were an 87-86 loss at #6 UCLA on Jan. 10, 1983, which was followed by a 75-74 loss at Washington State on Jan. 13, 1983. The BYU and IUPUI tilts marked the first-time in ASU history the Sun Devils posted back-to-back one-point wins. ASU is now 3-2 under <a href="">He… Sendek</a> in one-point games.</p><separator></separator><p>WAY TOO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT THIS, BUT SO WHAT: <a href="">J… Harden</a> enters play this week tenth in the nation in scoring (23.4 points per game). Since the league expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79, six Pac-10 players (seven occasions) have finished in the national top ten in scoring, with the most recent being Sun Devils (<a href="">Ed… House</a> in 1999-2000 and <a href="">Ike Diogu</a> in both 2003-2004 and 2004-2005). Diogu and House both led the Pac-10 in scoring those years, as did Sun Devil <a href="">Je… Veal</a> (20.8 in 1997-98) and <a href="">By… Scott</a> (21.6 in 1982-83).</p><separator></separator><p>NOT TAKING IT FOR FOR GRANTED: ASU had an eight-game win-streak from Nov. 30-Jan. 2, its third-longest in the past 28 seasons. Last year's team won 10 straight and the 2004-2005 team won nine straight.</p><separator></separator><p>AT THE POINT: <a href="">… Glasser</a> made 58-of-69 (.841) free throws last year and is 117-of-144 (.813) in his career. He matched a career-high with nine assists (one turnover) vs. Idaho State in 29 minutes. He has 69 assists and just 32 turnovers on the year (2.16-to-1 ratio). He also has 300 career assists (3.85 per game), on pace to break the ASU career record of 454 set by Bobby Thompson from 1983-87.</p><separator></separator><p>BIG GAME JAMES: <a href="">J… Harden</a>, the most heralded Sun Devil southpaw since Phil Mickelson is first player to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks (Nov. 24 and Dec. 1) since Washington's Brandon Roy notched the feat in February of 2006 in three straight weeks...first Sun Devil to score 40 points (against UTEP on Nov. 30) since <a href="">Ed… House</a> had 40 vs. UCLA on Feb. 17, 2000, and just the third Sun Devil to notch 40 points (six occasions). Through 48 career games, Harden has led ASU in scoring 36 times, rebounding 16 times and led it in assists in 19 gamesÂÂÂ�has 25 career 20-point games and nine this year (ASU is 20-5/7-2)...has four 30 +point games this year (33 vs. Pepperdine, 32 vs. Baylor, 40 vs. UTEP, 30 vs. BYU)ÂÂÂ�11-of-11 from the foul line vs. Charlotte and is 92-of-119 (.773) from the free throw line on the year and 261-of-343 (.761) in his career...the 19-year old Harden (born August of 1989) was the youngest player in the Pac-10 in 2007-08 and he led the Pac-10 with 73 ASU's five Pac-10 home wins he averaged 23.4 points, six boards, three assists and two steals as he led ASU to 5-4 Pac-10 home mark. In the prevous four years, ASU was 9-27 in Pac-10 home games.</p><separator></separator><p>RALLY CAPS: ASU has fallen behind three times this year but rallied to win. On Dec. 20 against previously undefeated BYU in Glendale, ASU was down 66-56 at the 9:31 mark before outscoring BYU 20-9 for a 76-75 victory...against IUPUI on Dec. 14, ASU was down 18 early and 34-18 at the half but came back to win 59-58 in overtime. ASU outscored the Jaguars 15-3 in the final 8:27 to tie the game, as it matched the largest halftime deficit overcome in 15 years as ASU came back from 45-29 against New Mexico State in Tempe (NIT) on March 15, 2000...ASU also trailed at San Diego State 15-2 at the 12:46 mark but outscored the Aztecs 57-37...ASU came back from double-digit deficits in two big wins in 2007-08, as it put the brakes on a five-game losing skid in dramatic fashion on Feb. 10 in Tucson, falling behind 22-6 but coming back to take a 13-point second-half lead and winning 59-54 to sweep Arizona for the first time since 1994-95 (its first win in Tucson since March 11, 1995)...on Feb. 14 against seventh-ranked Stanford, ASU was down 14 in the second half and seven with 1:49 left before winning 72-68 in overtime.</p><separator></separator><p>THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD NOTE LAST YEAR, BUT WE MISSED IT, BUT IT IS STILL SOLID: ASU became just the second team in the 30-year history of the Pac-10 to lose at least 20 games one year (ASU was 8-22 in 2006-07) and then win at least 20 the next season (ASU was 21-13 in 2007-08). Only California in 1988-89 can match the feat, as it was 9-20 in 1987-88 and 20-13 in 1988-89. Miami (Fla.) also notched the feat last year, going 22-10 after going 12-20 in 2006-07, the first time in the ACC's 55 seasons that has happened. Texas A&amp;M is the only team to do it in the 12-year history of the Big 12 , as it was 7-21 in 2003-04 and went 21-10 in 2004-05. Among the other major conferences, this manufactured note has never happened in the Big East (28 seasons), Big Ten (103 seasons) or the SEC (76 seasons).</p><separator></separator><p>THE HEAD COACH: <a href="">He… Sendek</a> is in his 16th season as a head coach and has averaged 18.7 wins per season. He led the NC State Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 295-195 (.602) in 16 seasons and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 45-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963) Pittsburgh, Pa., native is 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), Ben Braun (12/California) and Ernie Kent (12/Oregon).</p><separator></separator><p>TREE: <a href="">He… Sendek</a> has eight former assistants who are D-I coaches as 12-year sidekick <a href="">Ma… Phelps</a> earned the Drake spot 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. The others are Jim Christian, formerly at Kent State and now at TCU (Miami assistant from 1994-96), 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 Xavier's Sean Miller (assistant at both Miami from 1994-96 and at NC State from 1996-2000). Coles, Miller and Matta led their teams to the 2007 NCAA Tournament, then last year Christian led Kent State to the NCAAs, Miller led Xavier to the Elite Eight and Matta's Buckeye squad won the NIT a year after going to the Final Four.</p><separator></separator><p>VS. STANFORD: ASU took control early and then rolled to a 90-60 win at Stanford to open the Pac-10 season on Jan. 2 behind a career-high 31 points and 11 boards from <a href="… Pendergraph</a>...ASU's 30-point win was the Cardinal's largest defeat in Maples Pavilion since a 93-62 defeat to UCLA on Feb. 5, 87, its biggest Pac-10 loss since a 32-point defeat (90-58) at Arizona on Feb. 28, 1998 and ASU's biggest margin of victory over Stanford in the 65-game series...the win was ASU's second in the past 11 games at Maples Pavilion as the Sun Devils were just the second team to win at Stanford in its past 25 home games...ASU is now 11-20 (.355) at Stanford in 31 seasons of Pac-10 play... <a href="">… Glasser</a> had a season-high 13 points at Stanford, as ASU led 43-30 at the half as <a href="… Pendergraph</a> had 21 first-half points...ASU is now 9-22 in Pac-10 openers but <a href="">He… Sendek</a> is 2-1...Stanford was just 2-of-18 (.111) from the three-point stripe and is just 9-of-42 (.214) from the three-point stripe against ASU in the past three games... Stanford leads the series 37-28 and ASU is now 2-9 in it past 10 trips to Maples Pavilion, with eight of the losses by double-digits...Jeff Pendergraph has shot 48-of-83 (.578) from the floor and averaged 16.7 points in seven games against Stanford.</p><separator></separator><p>VS. CAL: Cal shot an ASU opponent's season best 58 percent from the field (29-of-50) in its 81-71 win vs. ASU on January 4...its 29 field goals and its 52.9 percent from the three-point stripe (9-of-17) also were ASU opponent season highs...ASU matched season lows with 11 assists (also at San Diego State), nine turnovers (also vs. Idaho State) and 34 second-half points (also vs. Pepperdine and Nebraska)...ASU's nine turnovers at California were its fewest in a road game since it had eight at USC on Feb. 12, 2005...Jeff Pendergraph fouled out for the first time on the season...Cal matched ASU opponent season lows with eight turnovers (Baylor) and 11 fouls (IUPUI)...the visiting team had won the previous eight games in the series...ASU leads the series 34-32.</p><separator></separator><p>&nbsp;</p>