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Men's hoops game notes vs. Washington

February 05, 2010

Past three seasons
The Arizona State's men's hoops team, in its fourth season under 324-game winner Herb Sendek and coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1980-81, heads to Seattle for a 7:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. MT tip vs. Washington on Saturday, Feb. 6, on FOX Sport Net and KTAR 620 AM. ASU is one of four teams with a share of the lead in the Pac-10 as ASU, Arizona, Cal and UCLA all are 6-4. The Sun Devils have held 14 of their 23 opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting, as 31 of their past 58 opponents have shot under 40 percent. ASU is now 26-20 (.565) in Pac-10 games the past three seasons, tied for the second-best record in that time with Washington (UCLA leads at 34-11/.761).

On the road:
After losing its first eight Pac-10 road games under Herb Sendek, ASU is 13-11 since after its sweep at the Oregon schools on Jan. 14-16 and its win over Washington State on Feb. 4. ASU won four straight Pac-10 road games last year for the first time since the 1980-81 team won five straight. 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.

Fact checking:
ASU had a winning record (5-4) at the halfway mark of the Pac-10 season for just the third time in the past 15 seasons (1995-96-present) and for the second straight season. ASU also was 5-4 at the turn last year en route to the NCAA Tournament with NBA draft picks James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph. In 2002-03, ASU also was 5-4 with Freshman of the Year Ike Diogu (and eventual NBA Lottery pick) leading ASU to the NCAA Tournament.

A note from the past game and for the next game:
ASU posted 23 assists vs. Stanford on Jan. 30, the most by a Pac-10 team in a league game this year, as it had assists on its first 18 baskets. The second-most assists by a Pac-10 team in a league game this year is the 22 by ASU against Washington State on Jan. 10. Also, ASU's 10 steals vs. Stanford was its most in a Pac-10 contest since it had 10 vs. Oregon on Jan. 3, 2008 (45 league tilts). ASU also had 12 three-pointers vs. Stanford, the most by a Pac-10 team in a league game this year, as ASU led 54-22 at the half.

Most improved
The Pac-10 last season started a Most Improved Player Award and the inaugural honor went to Washington's Justin Dentmon. This year's first-half leader might/could/should be/is there any doubt it is Sun Devil junior Ty Abbott...he is averaging 18.5 points and 7.3 boards in the past eight games and is 30-of-63 (.476) from the three-point stripe in that league games, he ranks seventh with both 16.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game and is second in three-pointers made per game (3.1) and fourth in percentage (.443)...posted a season-high 29 points vs. Stanford, including seven three-pointers, and also added a career-best 12 rebounds, all on the defensive end...played a season-high 38 minutes, posted 20 points and matched season highs in assists (four) and steals (three) vs. California on Jan. marked the first time he posted back-to-back 20 point games in his career...and why the most improved tag? Abbott is 53-of-116 (.457) from the floor, 31-of-70 (.443) from the three-point stripe and is averaging 16.4 points and 6.8 boards per game in Pac-10 play. Last year he shot 19-of-86 (.221) from the floor, 8-of-59 (.136) from the three-point stripe and averaged 2.9 points and 3.7 rebounds in Pac-10 play...missed just one game after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in mid-October...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...has played in 91 games in his three-year career and started in 80...when Abbott scores in double digits, ASU is 34-9 (.791) and 22-5 (.815) the past two seasons.

At the other end:
ASU has the tough-to-defend combination of leading the league in three-pointers made per game (8.4) and percentage (.379). That .379 mark is ASU's best percentage since the 1988-89 team tossed them in from long-range at a school-record .430 pace. In 23 seasons (1986-87), only five teams have led the league in both three made and percentage (UO in 2007-08, 2003-04, 2002-03 and 2001-02 and Stanford in 1999-2000).

Against Wazzu:
ASU led by as many as 19 in the second half after taking a 40-26 halftime lead and held off WSU at the end for a 81-70 win, ASU's first win in Pullman since Feb. 6, 2003 and its first sweep of the Cougars since that same ASU players posted at least seven points, led by Ty Abbott's 18 points and nine boards...Derek Glasser posted 15 points, Eric Boateng was 6-of-7 from the floor en route to 13 points and eight boards and Trent Lockett added 10 points...Jamelle McMillan added seven points and five boards in his first game since the Jan. 14 Oregon game in 19 minutes...ASU held WSU to 3-of-18 (.167) from three and shot 26-of-46 (.565) from the field.

Good starts:
In the past eight games ASU is scoring 36.4 points in the first half while allowing just 26.0 and is holding its opponents to just 34.3 percent field goal shooting (76-221) in the opening 20 minutes. ASU is 6-2 in that stretch and is outscoring opponents by 9.0 points per game.

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. His 17 points against Stanford (Jan. 30) matched his second-best scoring night, as he had 19 vs. USF on Nov. 20 and 17 vs. Texas State on Nov. 16. He also added a career-best eight assists (he had 15 assists entering the game). In the past eight games he is averaging 10.5 points, has taken 43 free throws (making 31 for .721) and has nine double-figure scoring games on the year, including each of the past three games (14.0 points per game).

Pac-10 stat leaders overall games:
In overall game statistics, ASU leads the league in scoring margin (+11.6), three-point percentage (.379), assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.3), fewest turnovers per game (11.7) and three-pointers made per game (8.4). It is second in scoring defense (57.5 points per game), field goal percentage defense (.396), assists per game (14.6) and turnover margin (+2.6) and third in free throw percentage (.729).

Another solid D note:
Six of ASU's 21 opponents have had season-lows in points against ASU...San Diego State is at 70.7 ppg. but had just 52...UW is at 81.4 but had 51, while WSU is at 75.8 and had 46 on Jan. 10...UCSB is averaging 67.1 ppg. but ASU held the Gauchos to 42...others with season-lows against ASU are Delaware State (34) and Western Illinois (35)...Jimmer Fredette of BYU, who had 49 at Arizona and is averaging 21.5 points, 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 21.5 points, was 3-of-11 from the floor and posted nine points on Jan. 10 and was 7-of-20 from the field and 2-of-10 for 20 points on Feb. 4...Duke is averaging 81.2 but had 64 on Nov. 25. Duke had a season-low 60 in its Jan. 23 win over Clemson.

All over stat sheet:
Junior Jamelle McMillan has been all over the stat sheet in his past nine games, although he missed four (at OSU, UA, Cal and Stanford) due to a left foot injury. In that time he is averaging 31.2 minutes, 9.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and has 12 steals and just 13 turnovers. He is shooting 14-of-39 (.359) from the three-point stripe.

60+ in three is noteworthy:
ASU has produced 62 wins in the past two-plus seasons, just the sixth-time in school history a three-year period has produced 62 wins. Also, ASU is trying to reach 20 wins for the third straight season after reaching 20 wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1979-80 and 1980-81. ASU has not had three straight 20-win seasons since the 1960-61 (23-6), 1961-62 (23-4) and 1962-63 (26-3) teams racked up 73 victories. Entering this year UCLA, Stanford, USC and ASU were the only Pac-10 schools to notch 20 wins in each of the past two seasons.

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)
2007-08 TO 2009-10 (62-30/.674)

ASU'S 88 points vs. Stanford on Jan. 10 is the second-most in a Pac-10 regulation game for ASU under Herb Sendek. It won at California 99-90 in a double overtime game on Jan. 17, 2008 and won at Stanford 90-60 last year to open Pac-10 play on Jan. 2, 2009. ASU has posted 80+ points in back-to-back Pac-10 games for the first time since Jan. 13-15, 2005, when it lost to UCLA 86-82 and then fell to USC 98-94.

Most points in Pac-10 gameby ASU under Coach Sendek (55 games)
ASU 99, @California 90, 2 OT (Jan. 17, 2008)
ASU 90, @Stanford 60 (Jan. 2, 2009)
ASU 88, Stanford 70 (Jan. 30, 2010)
ASU 83, California 66 (March 7, 2009)
ASU 81, @Washington State 70 (Feb. 4, 2010)
ASU 80, USC 66 (March 1, 2008)

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).

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. He has made 190-of-464 (.410) 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 and Washington, 25 at Oregon and 24 vs. UCSB. He is averaging 14.8 points and is 22-of-49 (.449) from the three-point stripe in the past eight games. THE POINT GUARD: Derek Glasser is averaging 10.3 points and is shooting 88.3 percent from the free throw line (83-of-94) this year...already is the ASU career assist record holder with 512, topping the mark held by the late Bobby Thompson, who had 454 from 1983-87, and his 265-of-315 (.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 120-game career...has four 20-point games in his career...also has a chance to become the first Sun Devil with 1,000 points (933) and 500 assists (512).

ASU career free throw percentage
1. Derek Glasser, 2006-10, 84.1 (265-of-315)
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)

Eric Boateng already has his degree in Global Studies and is taking advantage of the 24-hour access for ASU's new practice facility (Weatherup Center). He is averaging 8.1 points and 6.7 boards while shooting 65.2 percent from the field (75-of-115), as he has scored 187 points after scoring 57 last year. He is 34-of-51 (.667) from the field in Pac-10 play and notched 19 points and 13 boards vs. Cal on Jan. 28.

The head coach:
Herb Sendek, 70-52 (.574) 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 323-210 (.607) 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.

Against UW notes:
After its Jan. 8 68-51 win in Tempe, ASU leads the series 36-33 and has won the past two, but UW has won 13 of past 16...Herb Sendek is 3-6 vs. the Huskies, 1-3 in Tempe, 1-2 in Seattle and 1-1 in the Pac-10 Tournament...ASU won a meeting over the No. 13 Huskies 75-65 in the 2009 Pac-10 semifinals on March 13 as James Harden had 24 points, Jeff Pendergraph had 18 and Derek Glasser 16...#14 ASU fell in Seattle 73-70 in overtime on Feb. 26, 2009, as #21 UW was 25-of-31 from the free throw line and ASU was 9-of-13...UW grabbed an opponent season-high 41 boards...James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph both had 10 fouls while the Husky starting five had 10 total...UW's 84 points is the third-most given up by an ASU team under Coach Sendek, and second-most in regulation...Derek Glasser is 30-of-35 (.857) from the free throw line against Huskies and has averaged 9.1 points in his nine meetings...ASU has held the Huskies to 66.3 points per game in the Herb Sendek era in the nine meetings, the Huskies are averaging 77.8 in their other 110 games in that time frame.

Three-dot data:
ASU is 21-16 (.568) in the past three seasons in 10 points or less games after going 4-17 in Herb Sendek's first year...after going 10-29 in Herb Sendek's first two seasons when trailing at the half, ASU is 6-9 the past two years...ASU is 6-2 in its past eight overtime ASU's first season under Herb Sendek, it was 3-12 in two-possession games (six points or less), in the past three seasons it is 13-9...ASU is 15-4 in Fox Sports Net national games in the past three years, including 9-0 in 2008-2009...ASU is 15-2 this year and 53-12 in the Herb Sendek era when it leads at the half.