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Men's hoops game notes for UCLA tilt

January 28, 2011

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Jan. 28, 2011

The Arizona State's men's hoops team (9-11; 1-7 in the Pac-10), the only Pac-10 team to post 20 wins in each of the past three seasons under 2009-10 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Herb Sendek, plays host to UCLA on Sat., Jan. 29 at 1:30 p.m. MT (FOX Sports Net) after falling to USC 63-61 in a tough contest on Thursday. ASU has won three of the past four vs. UCLA, including the past two in Tempe, and will try and win three straight in Tempe vs. the Bruins for the first time in school history. Saturday's UCLA game is the fourth of eight scheduled FOX Sports Net Sun Devil games this year. ASU is 11-7 in the past three years on FSN, including three victories over Arizona, a win over No. 13 Washington in the 2009 Pac-10 Tournament and another victory over the Jimmer-led and NCAA Tournament-bound BYU Cougars in December of 2008.

ASU and UCLA have both done a solid job of winning close ones recently. In games of five points or less in the past four years, ASU is 17-11 (.607), the second-best mark in the Pac-10. UCLA leads the league at 20-12 (.625).

ASU was led by a season-high 22 points from Rihards Kuksiks, who had 13 second-half points and was 5-of-8 from the three-point stripe...ASU had a season-high eight blocks, led by Ty Abbott's three, as the 6-3 guard now has 52 career blocks. The eight blocks is tied for the second-most in the Herb Sendek era, as ASU had 11 vs. Southern Illinois in the 2008 NIT on March 20 and also had eight at Washington last year on Feb. 6...USC had 20 assists, the most by an ASU opponent all season...ASU lost its chance to win the game at the free throw line, going 12-of-25 (.480) but ironicially it was .474 (9-of-19) from the three-point stripe...senior Ty Abbott added 19 points while Trent Lockett had 13...senior Jamelle McMillan, who enters Saturday game ranked 12th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.88, had six assists and one turnover...ASU led by 11 early in the game and was up 31-29 at the marked USC's first win in Tempe in the Herb Sendek-era (1-4).

ASU had been hit with the injury and illness bug since the opening of the Pac-10 season, as it split the Oregon trip, losing at Oregon State 80-58 (Dec. 30) and winning at Oregon 60-55 (Jan. 1) to close Mac Court, as the Sun Devils were without leading scorer Trent Lockett (14.7 ppg.), who missed both games with a sprained left big toe. Then starting point guard and senior leader 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. Last weekend the scrambling continued as Carrick Felix and Brandon Dunson couldn't travel for the first leg of the Washington State trip as both were really sick. The main bummer of all that? 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.

While ASU has struggled to get momentum going, one Sun Devil that has played very well recently is returning first-team All-Pac-10 performer Ty Abbott. Abbott in the past six games is averaging team bests of 18.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 35.7 minutes. He is 25-of-50 (.500) from the three-point stripe in that time and also is the team leader with 17 assists and seven steals...he has 10 20-point games in his career, including three this year...another solid note on Ty that shows how important he is: he is averaging 34.4 minutes per game this year. Only James Harden in 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 ASU. He currently ranks third in the league in minutes per game...he now has 1,240 career points which is 20th on the Sun Devil career list. Arthur Thomas ranks 19th at 1,268...also has 109 starts, tied for third on the Sun Devil career list with Ron Riley. Jeff Pendergraph has the ASU record with 120 starts...Abbott missed the Nov. 25 Houston Baptist game due to a knee bruise.

The Sun Devils are in their fifth season under 2009-10 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Herb Sendek as last year's second-place Pac-10 team finished 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.

With the inordinate amount of injuries/illnesses that have led to missed practices games to several players, ASU has been forced to use nine starting lineups in its 19 games and nine Sun Devils have made starts this year.

You try not to make a big deal about one injury but the facts are that in the past three seasons ASU is 50-27 (.649) with Jamelle McMillan and 6-5 (.545) without. In the past two seasons those numbers go to 28-18 (.609) and 3-4 (.429).

When Trent Lockett missed the opening Pac-10 weekend ASU had to replace a player who in the Pac-10 ranked at the time 11th in scoring (14.7) and rebounding (6.5) and fifth in field goal percentage (.571) and minutes per game (33.5).

ASU topped Tulsa 69-59 Jan. 12 behind season-highs of 25 points and nine boards from Ty Abbott. Carrick Felix added a season-high 21 points. 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 final 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.

Ty Abbott is currently fifth 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).

1. Eddie House (99-2000)--4,164/124/33.6
2. Jeremy Veal (94-98)--3,980/122/32.5
3. Derek Glasser (06-10)--3,955/131/30.2
4. Jeff Pendergraph (05-09)--3,801/126/30.2
5. Ty Abbott (07-11)--3,728/120/31.1

ASU has won three of the past four against UCLA after losing eight straight...Sun Devils and Bruins split a pair last year with each team winning at home...ASU swept the Bruins under Herb Sendek in 2008-09 for the first time since 2002-03 and for just the third time in the program's history...ASU is 10-23 (.303) vs. UCLA in Tempe in its previous 32 Pac-10 regular season meetings and a 79-78 loss in the Pac-10 Tournament held in Tempe on March 10, 1990...ASU has won home games against UCLA in 1979-80, 1980-81, 1983-84, 1985-86, 1988-89, 1999-2000, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2008-09 and 2009-10.

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).

Last season's second -place finish matched ASU's best in its 32 seasons of Pac-10 play. Its 12 wins were the most since 1994-95.

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

Rihards Kuksiks started the season 8-of-30 (267) from the three-point stripe in the first four games, but has gone 43-of-94 (.457) in the past 16 games. Kuksiks posted his ninth 20-point game of his career with 22 points vs. USC on Jan. 27, and ASU is 6-3 in those games. He now has 261 career three-pointers in his career, two short of Ron Riley for the second spot.

27 vs. #24 Washington (Jan. 8, 2010) and vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20, 2009)
25 at Oregon (Jan. 14, 2010)
24 vs. USC (Mar. 4, 2010) and vs. UCSB (Dec. 21, 2009)
22 vs. USC (Jan. 27, 2011)

Herb Sendek, 85-67 (.559) at ASU, is in his 18th season as a head coach in 2010-2011 and has averaged 19.4 wins. He led NC State to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 339-225 (.601) and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. Only Duke posted more ACC wins (regular season and ACC Tournament) than NC State's 53 from 2002-2006.

Lorenzo Romar, Washington-9th season
Ben Howland, UCLA-7th season
Herb Sendek, ASU-5th season

Sophomore Trent Lockett opened some eyes real quick in 2010-11. It started with 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 and he has been nothing solid since. He had a career-high with 24 points vs. Weber State on Nov. 26 in Alaska. Trent is a native of Golden Valley, Minn., a student in Barrett, the Honors College, earned a spot on the five-man Pac-10 All-Freshman Team in 2009-10 and has 23 double-figure scoring games.

24 vs. Weber State (Nov. 26, 2010)
22 at New Mexico (Nov. 16, 2010)
20 at #20 Washington (Jan. 22, 2011)
19 vs. UAB (Nov. 20, 2010) and vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20, 2009)

Herb Sendek is still the third-youngest coach in the Pac-10 even with seven new hires in the past three seasons.

Sean Miller (42), Arizona, 11/17/68
Johnny Dawkins (47), Stanford, 9/28/63
Herb Sendek (47), ASU, 2/22/63