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Men's hoops hosts Bruins


February 09, 2009

NOTE: A PDF OF THE RELEASE WILL BE AVAILABLE TUESDAY AFTERNOON AT THIS SITE.

COACH SENDEK LEADING SQUAD FOR 500TH TIME: The No. 18 (both AP and ESPN Coaches' Poll) Arizona State's men's hoops team, 21-13 and 9-9 in the Pac-10 last year and 18-5/7-4 this season under third-year head coach and 301-game winner Herb Sendek, takes on three-time defending Pac-10 champion and No. 11 UCLA on Thursday (Feb. 12) at 7 p.m. on ESPN with Dave Pasch and Len Elmore on the call. Westwood One will have the national radio call, with Brad Sham and former ASU head coach Bill Frieder (who led ASU to the Sweet Sixteen in 1994-95 and six straight postseason appearances from 1989-90-1994-95) calling the action. ASU's Herb Sendek, the second-youngest active coach with 300 Division I wins, will enter the arena as a head coach for the 500th time while ASU will try and end one of the most impressive streaks in Pac-10 history as the Bruins have won 32 straight front-end games of Pac-10 weekends (in other words, the Thursday game in most cases), a streak dating to a Jan. 20, 2005 home loss to Stanford. James Harden enters this week 14th in the nation in scoring at 21.9 points per game is one of only seven players to average 20 points and shoot 50 percent from the field, while Jeff Pendergraph leads the nation in field goal percentage at 67.6 percent, currently tied for the fifth-best mark in Pac-10 history and is even better in Pac-10 play (69.7 percent). ASU topped ninth-ranked UCLA 61-58 in overtime on Jan. 17, the Bruins only home loss of the year. The Sun Devils then take on USC on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. MT on Fox Sports Net. After going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year, the Sun Devils are 39-18 (.684) since and giving up just 61.0 points per game in his 87 games and are second in Pac-10 in points allowed this year at 58.4 per game, best by a Sun Devil team since 1948-49 (47.6) and 10th in the nation.

RECENT HAPPENINGS: ASU has clinched back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since the 1993-94 team went 15-13 and the 1994-95 team went 24-9...ASU is two wins away from clinching back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1979-80 team went 22-7 and the 1980-81 team went 24-4...ASU swept the Oregon road trip last weekend, its first Pac-10 raod sweep since January of 2005 and just its second Pac-10 road sweep in the past six seasons...ASU had a winning record at the halfway point of the Pac-10 season (5-4) for just the second time in the past 14 seasons (also 5-4 in 2002-2003) and just ninth time in 31 Pac-10 seasons as in the previous three years it was 5-22 in the first half of Pac-10 play...ASU made 16-of-17 (.914) free throws at Oregon on Feb. 5, the third-best percentage in school history with a minimum of 15 attempts...James Harden¹s 36 points at Oregon on Thursday (Feb. 5) is the third-most in school history in a road game...ASU is shooting 78.2 percent from the foul line (104-of-133) in its eight road games...ASU held Oregon State to 13 first-half points on Saturday (Feb. 7), ASU's best first-half defensive effort since it led Oregon State 33-13 on Feb. 25, 1995...ASU is averaging just 9.3 turnovers in its past six contests... ASU leads the Pac-10 in three-point defense, allowing just .322.

NEXT MAN UP: ASU was without a a starter in each of its two wins in Oregon. Rihards Kuksiks missed the Oregon game with a bad virus that kept him on the shelf all week, which meant ASU had to find his 10.4 points per game, his 30.7 minutes per game and 46.5 three-point shooting from someone else. James Harden shouldered the load with the third-best road scoring output in ASU history with 36 points, including five three-pointers in 40 minutes. At Orego State on Saturday, Jamelle McMillan had to step in for Derek Glasser at the point guard spot after Glasser had his neck snapped and bell rung by a pick late in the Oregon game and missed the Oregon State game with a neck strain. McMillan, who had started only one game all year (season opener), responded with career-highs in points (14), steals (five), minutes (39) and three-pointers (four) and did it in front of his dad, current Portland Trail Blazer coach Nate McMillan as the NBA travel schedule allowed him to be in Corvallis Saturday.

STEADY SEVEN: The fine folks at STATS LLC came up with this efficiency nugget. James Harden is one of only seven players to average at least 20 points a game (21.9) and shoot at least 50 percent (.516) from the field entering the week. The others are Oklahoma's Blake Griffin (22.3/.631), Drake Reed of Applachain State (21.0/.576), Kevin Tiggs of East Tennessee State (20.7/.547), Chavis Holmes of VMI (21.7/.531), UNC's Tyler Hansborough (22.1/.519) and Wake Forest's Jeff Teague (20.9/.512).

IF THIS WAS FOOTBALL, HE WOULD RETURN PUNTS AS WELL: James Harden currently leads the Pac-10 in scoring (21.9) and steals (1.8). Only four players have notched the offense/defense duo in the 30-year history of the league (no one in the past nine years), the last being Jason Terry of Arizona in 1998-99 with 21.9 points per game and 2.8 steals per game. Others are Terrell Brandon of Oregon in 1990-91 (26.6/2.3), Gary Payton of Oregon State in 1989-90 (25.7/3.4) and Don Collins of Washington State in 1978-79, the first year of the Pac-10 (23.1/2.7).

PRETTY NIFTY ROAD NOTE: With its Oregon road sweep last weekend, ASU has won four straight Pac-10 road games for the first time since the 1980-81 team won five straight and is 6-2 on the road overall. The 1980-81 team had three starters eventually become NBA first round draft picks in Alton Lister (21st overall pick in 1981), Fat Lever (11th overall pick in 1982) and Byron Scott (fourth overall pick in 1983). ASU has top-100 RPI road wins over UCLA (26), San Diego State (47), Arizona (53) and Stanford (82). ASU also has top 100 wins over #34 BYU and #87 UTEP at neutral sites and vs. #66 Nebraska in Tempe. ASU has won five Pac-10 road games for just the fifth time in its 31-year history. It went 8-1 in 1980-81, seven in 1979-80 and five in 1994-94 and 1982-83.

SUN DEVIL DATA: ASU has two wins over 10-0 teams (vs. BYU and at Stanford), a win at then ninth-ranked UCLA on Jan. 17 (ASU trailed 54-43 with just over eight minutes to go but won 61-58 in overtime) and a win at Arizona for the second straight year (just the third in 23 seasons) as its road record is 6-2, including a Nov. 18 win over RPI No. 47 San Diego State, its only loss at home...three Sun Devils are in double digits: James Harden (21.9, which leads the Pac-10), Jeff Pendergraph (13.7 and shooting 67.6 percent, tops in the nation) and Rihards Kuksiks (10.4, sixth in the nation at 46.5 three-point percentage per official NCAA standards...Pendergraph is shooting 69-of-99 (.697) from the field in Pac-10 games and is averaging 10.6 rebounds in his past five games including a 21-point, 15-rebound performance against Washington's huge front line on Jan. 31..ASU is third in the Pac-10 and 21st in the nation in field goal percentage (.480), and is second in the league and 26th nationally in free throw percentage (.741). STEADY JEFF: Jeff Pendergraph, who earned his B.S. in Economics in December in just three and a half years and has 108 career starts (third best in ASU history), is shooting .758 from the free throw line in his career (315-of-414) and is 62-of-80 (.775) on the year. He has 1,395 points in 114 career games (12.2 points per game) and 836 career rebounds (7.3 per game). He has 24 career double-doubles (six this year). Pendergraph leads the nation shooting 67.6 percent and is averaging 10.6 boards in his past five contests.

BIG WIN: ASU's win at ninth-ranked UCLA on Jan. 17 was its first top-10 road win since it beat fourth-ranked Stanford on Jan. 31, 1998, and just the second in the past 24 seasons. ASU won at Pauley Pavilion for just the sixth time in 32 times, and just the third time in the past 22 seasons. Herb Sendek now has 33 wins against ranked teams in his career and four at Arizona State. In his past five years he has 15 wins against ranked teams and a dozen top-10 wins in his past nine seasons.

UCLA SERIES NOTES: ASU was down 54-43 with just over eight minutes to go but did not allow a UCLA field goal in regulation the rest of the way and topped the Bruins 61-58 in overtime at Pauley on Jan. 17. ASU had several players step up big, including Jeff Pendergraph (9-of-10 shooting for 18 points in 42 minutes), James Harden (24 points including two free throws to tie the game near the end of regulation) and point guard Derek Glasser (not a single turnover in 42 minutes against the team that leads the Pac-10 in turnovers forced currently at 16.4 per game). ASU shot 52.4 percent in the first half (11-of-21) and led 27-25 at the break. ASU held the Bruins to just 7-of-25 (.280) from the three-point stripe and had just eight turnovers, fewest on the road since Feb. 12, 2005, when it also had eight at USC in an 82-71 loss, a span of the past 37 roadies.

FIRST TIME IN 28 SEASONS: Arizona State did something in 19 days that no Pac-10 team had done in in the previous 27 seasons. ASU won at Stanford (Jan. 2), at UCLA (Jan. 17) and at Arizona (Jan. 21) as the last time a Pac-10 team won at those three NCAA Tournament regulars in the same season was in 1980-81 (Oregon State and USC). The only time ASU won at all three was in 1979-80. ASU was a combined 22-69 (.242) in games at Maples, Pauley and McKale entering play this year, but won all three games in a span of 19 days with a 90-60 win at Stanford, a 61-58 overtime win at #9 UCLA and a 53-47 grinder at Arizona.

ABOUT LAST WEEKEND: ASU¹s road sweep in Oregon (Feb. 5-7) was its first Pac-10 road sweep since it swept the Bay Area in 2004-2005 and just its second in the past six seasons. It held Oregon State to 38 points in both meetings this year, the fewest points by an ASU Pac-10 opponent in its 31 years in the league. ASU played the Thursday game at Oregon without Rihards Kuksiks (illness) and without starting point guard Derek Glasser (neck strain) at Oregon State Saturday. ASU swept Oregon for the first time since 2004-2005 and for the 10th time in its 31-year Pac-10 history with the win Thursday. ASU swept Oregon State for the second straight year and for the ninth time overall with its win Saturday.

APPROACHING 300: Even with a resume that includes coaching in 499 games at three schools, six NCAA tournaments, 12 NCAA Tournament games and having eight former assistants currently serving as head coaches at the Division-I level, ASU head coach Herb Sendek is still the third-youngest coach in the Pac-10 even with two new hires this year. Oregon State's Craig Robinson is a little older than Coach Sendek (about 10 months) while Stanford's Johnny Dawkins is about seven months younger. With one more win Coach Sendek also will become the second-youngest active coach with 300 Division I wins, only Florida's Billy Donovan is younger, as he is 43 years old (born May 30, 1965).

HOW IS HE SIXTH IN NATION BUT FOURTH IN PAC-10?: According to the official NCAA statistics, Rihards Kuksiks is the sixth-best three-point shooter in the nation at 46.5 percent, as there is a minimum of 2.5 made per game to qualify. According to Pac-10 statistics, a player only needs to make one per game and appear in 75 percent of the team's games, so Theo Robertson of Cal (.550), Michael Roll (.529) and Rickey Claitt (.480) all appear in the Pac-10 rankings but don't have enough makes to qualify nationally.

ODDS AND ENDS: ASU is second in the Pac-10 in assists (15.7 per game/39th in nation), leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.33/13th in nation) and is second in Pac-10 and 26th in the nation in free throw shooting (.741) as its starting five is shooting 77.3 percent from the foul line (297-of-384)...ASU shot 16-of-18 (.889) from the field in the second half against Oregon State on Jan. 8...ASU shot 65.3 percent 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...ASU is 24-1 when it shoots 50 percent under Herb Sendek and has won 22 straight. Its only loss was on Jan. 4, 2007, when it fell at Washington State 75-55 despite shooting 54.8 percent (23-of-42). ASU had 16 turnovers and forced just six. It was 12-0 last year and is 10-0 this year when it shoots 50 percent. ASU has not shot 50 percent against UCLA in the past 12 games. Last time was on Jan. 16, 2003, when ASU was 28-of-47 (.596) from the field in a 75-64 Sun Devil win at Pauley Pavilion.

AUTOMATIC: Sophomore Rihards Kuksiks is averaging 11.4 points, including 47-of-100 (.470) from the three-point stripe, in his past 16 games. He has 333 points and 19 double-figure scoring games in his past 34 contests (9.8 ppg.) dating to last year after scoring 42 points in his first 22 games. He has posted double digits in 10 of his past 15 games.

VS. RANKED TEAMS: Coach Sendek has 33 career wins against ranked foes, including 12 top-10 wins in his past nine seasons. He notched his first at ASU on Feb. 18, 2007, as ASU topped No. 22 USC 68-58 and won his first attempt in the 2007-08 season 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 overtime win at No. 4 Stanford on Jan. 31, 1998...against seventh-ranked Stanford on Feb. 14 in Tempe last year, ASU earned its first win over a top-10 team since Jan. 23, 2002 (88-72 win over No. 10 Arizona)...Herb Sendek is 2-1 against top 10 teams in his past three games...in the nine years prior to Harden¹s arrival (1998-99 to 2006-07), ASU went 1-24 against top-10 teams. In its past three games against top-10 teams, ASU is 2-1 (seventh-ranked Stanford last year and at ninth-ranked UCLA this year)...from 1995-1996 until 2005-2006 (11 seasons after Sweet Sixteen), ASU went 5-66 against ranked foes (2-28 at home). Under Herb Sendek in the past three years ASU has four wins, three of them at home.

COACH SENDEK'S WINS VS. RANKED TEAMS AT ASU
#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

NO TO's: ASU had just eight turnovers in the overtime win at UCLA on Jan. 17, the fewest turnovers on the road since Feb. 12, 2005, when it also had eight at USC in an 82-71 loss, a span of the past 37 road games. Derek Glasser had zero turnovers in 42 minutes. ASU followed that up with nine turnovers at Arizona on Jan. 21, and then had just six turnovers vs. Washington State on Jan. 29, its fewest turnovers since it also had six vs. Oregon on Feb. 19, 2005. ASU is averaging just 9.3 turnovers per game in its past six contests and is 17th in the nation and second in the Pac-10 at just 11.8 turnovers per game.

SOLID: Derek Glasser, who took a shot to the back on a pick and suffered a neck strain against Oregon and then sat the Oregon State road win on Feb. 7, played 42 minutes without a turnover in the Jan. 17 overtime win at ninth-ranked UCLA and followed that up with clutch shots at Arizona on Jan. 21. He is 145-of-174 (.833) from the free throw line and has played 17 turnover free games in his 86-game career. In Pac-10 games he is 14-of-32 (.438) from the three-point stripe (ninth in the league) and 31-of-33 (.939) at the free throw line (best in the league). In his first six games he was 2-of-13 (.154) from three-point stripe but is 22-of-46 (.478) in his past 16 games. He had a career-high 11 assists (most by a Sun Devil since Jason Braxton had 12 at USC on Jan. 17, 2004, a span of the past 159 games) vs. Oregon on Jan. 10 and has 107 assists and just 51 turnovers on the year (2.09-to-1 ratio). He has 338 career assists (3.93 per game), on pace to break the ASU record of 454 set by Bobby Thompson from 1983-87.

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 just above that pace this year (.741). 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.

ASU FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
1. 1977-78 (13-14/6-8 in WAC)--75.6
2. 1954-55 (10-14/8-4 in Border)--75.4
3. 1997-98 (18-14/8-10 in Pac-10)--74.6
3. 1986-87 (11-17/6-12 in Pac-10)--74.6
5. 2008-09 (18-5/7-4 in Pac-10)--(332-448)--74.1
6. 2007-08 (21-13/9-9 in Pac-10)--73.9

WINNING TOUGH ONES: ASU is 13-7 in the past two 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 4-1 this year with victories at San Diego State, vs. IUPUI, vs. BYU and at Arizona...ASU has now won six straight overtime games after its 61-58 win at ninth-ranked UCLA on Jan. 17, with four of them away from its home arena. It also beat IUPUI in Phoenix 59-58 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)...in ASU's first season under Herb Sendek, it was 3-12 in two-possession games (six points or less), in the past two seasons it is 10-4 including 4-0 this year...after losing its first 10 away from home (neutral or road games) in the Herb Sendek era, ASU is 17-12 since, and is 10-7 in Pac-10 road games after losing its first eight.

DON'T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED: ASU had an eight-game win-streak from Nov. 30-Jan. 2, its third-longest in the past 28 seasons. Last year ASU won 10 straight, while the 2004-05 team won nine straight.

ONE-POINT GAMES: The Dec. 20 BYU and Dec. 14 IUPUI contests marked for the first back-to-back one-pointers for ASU since 2005-06, as ASU lost to #7 UCLA 61-60 on Jan. 7 just two days after losing 66-65 to USC. 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 Herb Sendek in one-point games..

STEPPING UP WHEN NEEDED: In the four games ASU has won when it trailed at the half (at SDSU, vs. IUPUI at Phoenix, vs. BYU at Glendale and at Arizona), James Harden is 13-18 (.722) from the floor, 4-5 (.800) from three and 24-31 (.774) from the foul line and is averaging 13.5 points in the second half. ASU is 4-1 when it trails at the half.

BIG GAME JAMES: James Harden, the most heralded Sun Devil southpaw since Phil Mickelson, became the 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 Eddie House had 40 vs. UCLA on Feb. 17, 2000, and just the third Sun Devil to notch 40 points (six occasions). Through 57 career games, Harden has led ASU in scoring 42 times, rebounding 18 times and led it in assists in 23 gamesÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ�has 30 career 20-point games and 14 this year (ASU is 24-6/11-3)...has five 30 +point games this year (33 vs. Pepperdine, 32 vs. Baylor, 40 vs. UTEP, 30 vs. BYU and 36 at Oregon)ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ�36 points at Oregon on Feb. 5 is the third-most by a Sun Devil in a road game...11-of-11 from the foul line vs. Charlotte on Nov. 27...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 steals...ASU is 7-6 in Pac-10 home games with Harden, in the previous four years, it was 9-27...after starting the season 2-of-14 (.143) from the three-point stripe in the first four games, he is 38-of-94 (.404) in the past 19 games.

AGAINST OREGON: ASU has now held the Ducks to 37-of-115 (.321) from the three-point stripe and to 58.5 points per game in the past six outings after its 66-57 win at Oregon on Jan. 5...James Harden led the way with 36 points as the Sun Devils played without Rihards KuksiksJeff Pendergraph added 13 points and eight rebounds as ASU held Oregon to seven field goals in the second half (7-of-21/.333)...ASU topped the Ducks 76-58 back on Jan. 10 in Tempe as it shot 14-of-23 (.609) from the field in the first half in racing to a 41-25 lead...ASU led by as many as 26 in the second half, as the Sun Devils placed five players in double figures in a Pac-10 game for the first time since February of 2006...James Harden led the way with 19 points while Derek Glasser posted his sole career double-double with 15 points and 11 assists...ASU held the Ducks to .292 from the field in the first half (7-of-24)...ASU had season highs in free throw attempts (33) and blocks (six), while Glasser's 11 assists is the most by any Sun Devil in the Herb Sendek era...ASU is 37-31 against the Ducks all-time...James Harden has averaged 24.3 points and 5.3 boards against the Ducks in four games. (illness).

AGAINST OREGON STATE: ASU, without starting point guard Derek Glasser (neck strain), got a career-high 14 points from Jamelle McMillan and 15 second-half points from Jeff Pendergraph in its 49-38 road win against Oregon State on Feb. 7...ASU held OSU to just 38 points in both games, the fewest by an ASU Pac-10 opponent in its 31-year history...ASU shot .651 from the field vs. Oregon State on Jan. 8, its sixth-best shooting effort vs. a Pac-10 team and second-best in the past 19 seasons, in a 69-38 win in Tempe... ASU held the Beavers to 13 first-half points on Feb. 7, ASU's best first-half defensive effort since it led Oregon State 33-13 on Feb. 25, 1995...ASU held OSU to opponent season lows in points (38), field goal attempts (44), free throws made (two) and assists (six) in the Jan. 10 win...ASU has shot 52.9 percent from the field (91-of-172) in the past four games against OSU and held the Beavers to 62-of-212 (.311) from the field...OSU leads the series 38-35...ASU swept the regular season series from the Beavers for the second straight year in 2008-09 for the ninth time since joining the Pac-10.

RALLY CAPS: ASU has fallen behind five times this year but rallied to win late. ASU trailed at Arizona at the half 21-18 on Jan. 21, was behind by eight midway through the first period and was down 37-33 at the 4:28 mark of he second half before rallying for a 53-47 win...on Jan. 17 against ninth-ranked UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, ASU was down 54-43 with just over eight minutes left but held UCLA scoreless the rest of the way and then won 61-58 in overtime...on Dec. 20 against previously undefeated BYU (10-0) 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...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.

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&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).

THE HEAD COACH: Herb Sendek 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 301-198 (.603) 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).

TREE: Herb Sendek has eight former assistants who are D-I coaches as 12-year sidekick Mark Phelps 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.

AT HOME: ASU is 23-7 (.767) at home in the past two seasons (8-2 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.