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Men's hoops game notes vs. Arizona

January 19, 2010

Defense-minded Sun Devils take early Pac-10 lead (Associated Press/Jan. 19, 2010)

60-28 (.681) Past three seasons
The Arizona State's men's hoops team, in its fourth season under 322-game winner Herb Sendek and coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1980-81, starts a three-game homestand on Saturday, Jan. 23, with a 7:30 p.m. MT tip against Arizona broadcast by FOX Sports Arizona. ASU (14-5 and 4-2 in the Pac-10 and at the top of the league standings which seem to change every television timeout) is on a four-game win streak and ranked first in the nation in scoring defense at 54.68 points per game. The Sun Devils have held 13 of their first 19 opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting, as 30 of its past 54 opponents have shot under 40 percent. At the other end of the floor ASU has the tough-to-defend matchup combination of leading the league in three-pointers made per game (8.3) and percentage (.381). That. .381 three-point shooting is currently ASU's best three-bomb percentage since the 1987-88 team also tossed them in from long-range at that same pace. In the 23 seasons since the three-pointer has been used (1986-87), only five teams have led the league in both three-bombs made and percentage (Oregon in 2007-08, 2003-04, 2002-03 and 2001-02 and Stanford in 1999-2000).

About the four-game win streak
ASU has won four straight Pac-10 games by an average scoring margin of +17.4 points with wins at Oregon State (66-57 on Jan. 16), at Oregon (76-57 on Jan. 14), vs. Washington State (71-46 on Jan. 10) and vs. No. 24 Washington (68-51)...ASU has taken control early, as in the 160 minutes in those four games it has been in the lead for all but just 12:04 of clock time, including trailing or tied for just 31 seconds in the second half...ASU never fell behind at Oregon (Jan. 14) and trailed for only 49 seconds vs. Washington (Jan. 8) those four games ASU is scoring 34.3 points in the first half while allowing just 23.7 and is holding its opponents to just 34.6 percent field goal shooting (37-107) in the first half...Rihards Kuksiks is averaging 18.5 points and five boards and Ty Abbott 17.8 points and 5.3 boards in the four games. Kuksiks is 23-of-41 (.561) from the floor, 12-of-24 (.500) from the three-point stripe and is 16-of-17 (.941) from the foul line...ASU is shooting 67-of-83 (.807) from the foul line in that time while holding opponents to 52.8 points per game, 76-of-207 (.367) from the field, 17-of-55 (.309) from the three-point stripe and has forced 57 turnovers while allowing only 49 assists.

League leaders
The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense (54.68 points per game which also leads the nation), three-point percentage (.381), scoring margin (+13.9 points per game/26th in nation), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2/32nd in nation) and three-pointers made per game (8.3 with 158 made in 19 games/24th in nation). They are second in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage defense (.386/24th in nation), turnover margin (+3.3) and free throw percentage (.732) conference games, ASU leads the loop shooting .793 (88-of-111) from the free throw line and also tops the league in scoring margin (+9.7), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) and three-pointers made per game (7.7)...Derek Glasser (17-of-18/.944), Rihards Kuksiks (16-of-17/.941) and Ty Abbott (15-of-16/.938) are the top three free throw shooters in the league in Pac-10 tilts.

ASU quickly
After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), the Sun Devils are 60-28 (.681) and giving up just 60.3 points per game in his 118 games. ASU has had to replace two NBAers from last year in first-team consensus All-American James Harden and first-team All-Pac-10 pick Jeff Pendergraph, but returns three starters from last year's team in point guard Derek Glasser (2009 Pac-10 All-Tournament Team), Rihards Kuksiks (third-best returning three-point shooter in the nation according to NCAA minimums) and 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 19 games and has five players who have had a 20-point game in their career.

Another solid note
Eight of ASU's opponents have had season-lows in points against ASU...Duke is averaging 84.6 but had 64 on Nov. 25...San Diego State is at 71.3 ppg. but had just 52...UW is at 80.7 but and had 51, while WSU is at 78.1 and had 46...UCSB is averaging 65.4 ppg. but ASU held the Gauchos to 42...others with season-low in against ASU are USC (47), Delaware State (34) and Western Illinois (35).

Oregon/OSU road trip chatter
ASU swept the Oregon trip for the second straight year Jan. 14-16, just its second Pac-10 road sweep since January of 2005 and its third Pac-10 road sweep in the past six seasons...ASU now has swept the Oregon road trip five times (2010, 2009, 2001, 1996, 1993 and 1981).

60 in three is noteworthy
ASU has produced 60 wins in the past two-plus seasons, just the seventh-time in school history a three-year period has produced 60 wins.

Most wins over a three year period in ASU history
1960-61 TO 1962-63 (73-13/.849)
1961-62 TO 1963-64 (66-18/.892)
1959-60 TO 1961-62 (63-17/.788)
1972-73 TO 1974-75 (62-22/.738)
1978-79 TO 1980-81 (62-25/.712)
1973-74 TO 1975-76 (60-23/.723)
2007-08 TO 2009-10 (60-28/.682)

Steel curtain-like defense
ASU's defense under Herb Sendek has always been rock solid, but the last five tilts it has been suffocating as it has held its opponents to 91-of-249 from the field (.365), 18-of-62 (.290) from the three-point stripe and just 51.6 points per has forced 71 turnovers in that time and allowed only 45 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 19.9 points and is shooting 44.8 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...WSU's Klay Thompson, averaging 22.7 points, was 3-of-11 from the floor and posted nine points on Jan. 10.

Five days to gameday
The Sun Devils are 11-2 (.846) in the past three years when Herb Sendek has at least five full days in between games. Included in the wins last year were ASU's first NCAA Tournament win since 2003, a win over Arizona who entered the game on a seven-game win streak and a neutral site win over a 10-0 BYU team. In 2007-08, the wins included ASU's first win in Tucson in 12 seasons, an overtime win at California in which ASU was playing as a ranked team for the first time in 13 seasons and a 22-point win over #17 Xavier in December of 2007 that is the school's largest victory margin over a ranked opponent in ASU history. ASU's most recent wins after a five-day layoff was when it had five full days to get ready for its Jan. 8 game with #24 Washington and won 68-51. ASU had six full days to get ready for San Diego State on Dec. 19 who was 5-2, on a five-game win streak and had topped Arizona 63-46 in its previous meeting. ASU won 55-52, forcing 24 Aztec turnovers.

Best tree in the land
As stated a million times but probably needs to be pointed out one more time this week, 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).

Herb vs. former assistants
Coach Sendek is 3-1 against his former assistants, as he is 1-1 vs. Sean Miller when he was at Xavier and 1-0 vs. both IUPUI's Ron Hunter (59-58 ASU win on Dec. 14, 2008) and TCU's Jim Christian (52-49 win on Nov. 17, 2009). The two Xavier games are actually noteworthy in Coach Sendek's ASU tenure. Eventual Atlantic-10 Tournament champion Xavier thumped ASU 76-58 on Dec. 16, 2006, in Cincinnati in Coach Sendek's eighth game as Sun Devil coach. The 76 points was the most ASU gave up all year and Xavier's biggest lead was the final margin, as it shot 50 percent from the field, one of just 16 teams to do so in Herb Sendek's 118 games as Sun Devils coach. ASU had zero field goals in the final 6:43 while Xavier had zero field goals in the final 4:04. With a two-week break prior to that game, it marked the first game that ASU experimented with now somewhat famous zone defense.

One year later
ASU had six full days to prepare for No. 17 Xavier on Dec. 15, 2007, while the Musketeers (8-1), on a seven-game win streak and coming off a rivalry win over Cincinnati three days earlier, led 8-0 early but ASU simply was too ready and rested and cruised to a 77-55 win in Tempe. It marks the largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent in ASU history, who started four freshman for the first time in school history (Rihards Kuksiks, Ty Abbott, Jamelle McMillan and James Harden) and held XU to just 7-of-32 (.219) from the field in the second half as it outscored the Musketeers 44-27. Xavier shot just 30.6 percent from the floor (19-of-62), its worst shooting night since the 2004-2005 season, while ASU's 59.5 percent shooting (25-of-42) was the best by an XU opponent since the famous St. Joseph's undefeated regular season team of 2003-04 shot 60 percent in a game that year. Six current Sun Devils played in that game.

Modest streak after what happened prior
ASU swept UA in the regular season for the second straight time last season and then topped the Wildcats in the Pac-10 Tournament for a five-game win streak against the state rival for the first time since a nine-game streak from its 53-47 win in Tucson on Jan. 21, ASU held Arizona to its second fewest points in a Pac-10 game (Oregon 43, UA 40 in 1985) and it was the fewest points by Arizona against Arizona State since a 45-44 Arizona win in also marked the first time ASU had won back-to-back games in Tucson since 1982-83...prior to the current five games, UA had won 24 of 25 over the Sun Devils, with two 12-game Wildcat win streaks sandwiched around a Jan. 23, 2002 Sun Devil win in Tempe...ASU has held UA to 56.8 points per game in the five games and just 29-of-99 (.293) from the three-point stripe and 97-of-265 (.366) from the field...Derek Glasser has 33 assists and 11 turnovers in his seven career games against UA... ASU has held the Wildcats to just 59.4 ppg. in seven games under Herb Sendek and is 5-2, while in the 39 games prior (1987-88 season through 2005-06) UA had averaged 86.6 points and went 34-5.

Current Pac-10 streaks (Jan. 18, 2010)
UCLA over Oregon State, 9
UCLA over Cal, 6
Arizona State over Arizona, 5
Arizona State over Oregon State, 5
UCLA over Oregon, 5
Washington over Oregon State, 5

At home
ASU is 38-9 (.809) 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 23-4 (.852) the past two seasons at home, including 11-1 (.917) 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.

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 92 the past nine games he is averaging 13.9 points while shooting 15-of-17 (.882) from the free throw line and is averaging 4.7 boards...has played in 87 games in his three-year career and started in 76...when Abbott scores in double digits, ASU is 32-7 (.821), including 20-3 (.869) the past two seasons.

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) 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's 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

Jamelle all over stat sheet
Junior Jamelle McMillan has been all over the stat sheet the past eight games, although he missed the Oregon State game on Jan. 16 due to a left foot injury. In that time he is averaging 32.8 minutes, 9.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and has 12 steals and just 11 turnovers. He is shooting 26-of-62 (.419) from the floor in that time and 13-of-37 (.351) from the three-point stripe.

The wins you notice
ASU has notched a double-digit win over a ranked team in each of Herb Sendek's 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. ASU's 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 & 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

The point guard
Senior Derek Glasser is averaging 10.4 points and is shooting 90.1 percent from the free throw line (64-of-71) this year, second-best in the league...tied for best in the league in assists per game (5.2) and is third in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.1 (98 assists and 43 turnovers)...already is the ASU career assist record holder with 491, topping the mark held by the late Bobby Thompson, who had 454 from 1983-87, and his 244-of-290 (.841) shooting from the free throw line currently is the best in school history...posted a career-high 24 points in the Nov. 27 win over LSU...has played 19 turnover free games in his 117-game career...has four 20-point games in his career.

ASU set the school record for three-pointers made (288) and attempted (778) in 2008-2009. ASU's top three returning scorers entering this year had combined to make 392 three-pointers in their careers and all three are in the ASU career top-10 list, as Rik Kuksiks has 180 (sixth), Ty Abbott 158 (seventh) and Derek Glasser 131 (tenth). ASU is shooting 158-of-415 (.381) from the arc, with nine Sun Devils hitting three pointers, including four who have made at least 24.

Eric Boateng already has his degree in Global Studies, speaks a little bit of Chinese and an African dialect called "Twi" and is taking advantage of the 24-hour access for ASU's new practice facility (Weatherup Center). He is averaging 7.6 points and 6.3 boards while shooting 65.1 percent from the field (56-of-86), as he has scored 144 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 32-of-54 (.593) this year. He posted his first double-digit scoring game since Nov. 30 with 11 points vs. Washington State on Jan. 10 and also grabbed nine boards. He also had nine boards vs. No. 24 Washington on Jan. 8. He is 15-of-22 (.682) from the field in Pac-10 play

Pac-10 poll
The 37 media members who voted in the Pac-10 poll announced on Oct. 29 predicted the Sun Devils for a seventh-place finish. The complete poll: 1. Cal (350/25 first-place votes); 2. UW (330/7); 3. UCLA (302/5); 4. UA (221); 5. OSU (218); 6. UO (175); 7. ASU (144); 8. WSU (123); 9. USC (109); 10. Stanford (63).

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 made a solid first impression. He is averaging 7.6 points, 3.6 boards and is shooting 50-of-96 (.521) from the field. He also has a tendency to make "splash" plays as his leaping ability has allowed him to grab 23 offensive rebounds. In ASU's four-game win streak, he is averaging 10 points per game (third on team), is 12-of-23 (.522) from floor, has taken a team-high 23 free throws (making 16 for .696) and is averaging 3.5 boards. He has six double-figure scoring games on the year with a high of 19 vs. San Francisco on Nov. 20.

Remember this about the defense
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 . 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 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 ASU since the 1949-50 team gave up 59.8. ASU is currently giving up 54.7 points per contest.

Glasser making run at ASU freebies
Derek Glasser not only set ASU'S career assist mark, he also is making a run at the school free throw record. Glasser is at 84.2 percent (246-of-292), a shade better than Alex Austin's .815 from 1986-90. He also has a chance to become the first Sun Devil with 1,000 points (893) and 500 assists (491).

ASU career free throw percentage
1. Derek Glasser, 2006-10, 84.2 (246-of-292)
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)

The shooter
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, eighth in the nation. Only Jared Stohl of Portland (89-of-195 for .456) and Brandon Hazzard of Troy (83-of-185 for .449) were 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 is 22-of-45 (.489) in the past seven games against ranked opponents. He was clutch in close games last year, 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. He has made 180-of-439 (.4010) three-pointers in his career and matched career-highs in points (27) and rebounds (nine) in the Jan. 8 win over No. 24 Washington. He has four 20-point games on the year with 27 vs. USF, 24 vs. UCSB, 27 vs. Washington and 25 at Oregon.

The head coach
Herb Sendek, 68-50 (.576) 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 322-208 (.608) 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).

Minute man
Derek Glasser continues to climb up the ASU career minutes list. Eddie House has the career mark, playing in 124 games from 1996-2000 while notching 4,164 minutes (33.6 minutes per game).

ASU career minutes
1. Eddie House-4,164/124 games/33.6
2. Jeremy Veal-3,980/122 games/32.5
3. Jeff Pendergraph-3,801/126 games/30.2
4. Stevin Smith, 3,657/115 games/31.8
5. Ron Riley-3,501/116 games/30.2
6. Derek Glasser-3,486/117 games/29.8

ASU career starts
1. Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-09, 120
2. Eddie House, 1996-2000, 114
3. Ron Riley, 1992-96, 109
4. Jason Braxton, 2001-2005, 102
5. Alex Austin, 1986-90, 100
6. Steve Beck, 1983-87, 96
7. Chad Prewitt, 1998-2002, 92
7. Derek Glasser, 2006-present, 92