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Men's hoops hosts Gardner-Webb


December 10, 2010

Online Coverage: Gametracker | Live Audio

Give Herb's staff five days between games, and you usually get a win

71-38 (.651) PAST FOUR SEASONS
The Arizona State's men's hoops team, the only Pac-10 team to post 20 wins in each of the past three seasons, plays four games before the holiday season begins, including three at home with a noon tip vs. Gardner-Webb on Saturday leading the way. After opening with five games away from Tempe in its first six, the Sun Devils play four non-conference home games out of the final five. The Sun Devils are in their fifth season under 2009-10 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Herb Sendek and return three senior starters and five total lettermen from last year's second-place Pac-10 team which finished 22-11, marking the first time ASU has 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 20-win seasons under Herb Sendek in his four years. ASU was 8-22 in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), but is 71-38 (.651) in past four years and giving up just 60.9 ppg. in his 139 games as the Sun Devil head coach. The Sun Devils recently finished a six-game stretch to start the year that had them playing at home just once, a 69-66 win over UAB on Nov. 20. Among major conference teams, only ASU and Virginia Tech played just one home game in their first six contests. ASU also was the last major college team to play just one home game, as its second home game wasn't until Dec. 5.

FIVE FULL DAYS BEFORE GAMEDAY

The Sun Devils are 12-3 (.800) in the past three years when Coach Sendek and his staff have at least five full days in between games, with seven of the wins coming against teams that would make the NCAA Tournament in that same season. Included in the tilts last year were wins over MWC Tournament champion San Diego State (on a five-game win streak at the time last December), Pac-10 Tournament champion and then No. 24 Washington and a road win at Arizona. In 2008-09 the five-day layoff wins included ASU's first NCAA Tournament win since 2003 (over Temple), 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.

COACH SENDEK WITH IN GAMES WITH AT LEAST FIVE FULL DAYS TO PREPARE (PAST THREE SEASONS)
2007-2008 (4-0)
ASU 77, #17 Xavier (NCAA) 55 (Dec. 15, 2007)
ASU 95, Saint Francis (Pa.) 56 (Dec. 20, 2007)
#22 ASU 99, @California (NIT) 90, 2 OT (Jan. 17, 2008)
ASU 59, @Arizona (NCAA) 54 (Feb. 10, 2008)

2008-2009 (5-1)
#20 ASU 59, IUPUI 58, OT (Dec. 14, 2008)
#20 ASU 76, BYU (NCAA) 75 (Dec. 20, 2008 @Glendale)
#17 ASU 84, Central Connecticut State 47 (Dec. 20, 2008)
Washington State (NIT) 65, #14 ASU 55 (Jan. 28, 2009)
#14 ASU 79, Arizona (NCAA) 68 (Feb. 22, 2009)
#19 ASU 66, Temple (NCAA) 57 (Mar. 20, 2009 @NCAA)

2009-2010 (3-2)
ASU 55, San Diego State (NCAA) 52 (Dec. 19, 2009)
@UCLA 72, ASU 70 (Dec. 31, 2009)
ASU 68, #24 Washington (NCAA) 51 (Jan. 8, 2010)
Arizona 77, ASU 58 (Jan. 23, 2010)
ASU 73, @Arizona 69 (Feb. 21, 2010)

LET'S TALK ABOUT TRENT
Sophomore Trent Lockett has 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 short of very good since. He had a new career-high with 24 points vs. Weber State on Nov. 26 in Alaska. A native of Golden Valley, Minn., and a student in Barrett, the Honors College, he is averaging 34.1 minutes and comes from one of the top high school programs in the country (Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn.). He earned a spot on the five-man Pac-10 All-Freshman Team in 2009-10. He has 15 double-figure scoring games in his career, including a 17-point, six-rebound and eight assist effort against Stanford on Jan. 30, 2010. He posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 boards vs. Richmond on Dec. 5.

TRENT'S TOP SCORING GAMES
24 vs. Weber State (Nov. 26, 2010)
22 at New Mexico (Nov. 16, 2010)
19 vs. UAB (Nov. 20, 2010)
19 vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20, 2009)
18 vs. Houston Baptist (Nov. 25, 2010)
17 vs. Stanford (Jan. 30, 2010)
17 vs. Texas State (Nov. 16, 2009)
15 vs. California (Jan. 28, 2010)
13 vs. #7 Duke (Nov. 25, 2009)

WINNERS WHEN CLOSE
ASU is 18-11 (.621) in games games decided by six points or less/OT in the past four seasons.

SUN DEVILS SIGN BIG-TIME POINT GUARD
Arizona State inked Mesa, Ariz., senior Jahii Carson in the November signing period. The 5-11 energizer is a consensus top-50 pick by anyone who follows the recruiting world, and Clark Francis' Hoop Scoop rankings in Basketball Times he is the second-highest Pac-10 recruit at No. 24, behind only Washington's Tony Wroten (No. 22).

HOOP SCOOP CLASS OF 2011 RANKINGS (BASKETBALL TIMES/NOVEMBER 2010)
Pac-10 Conference Top-50 Signings
22. Tony Wroten (Washington)
24. Jahii Carson (Arizona State)
34. Norman Powell (UCLA)
40. Josiah Turner (Arizona)
44. Jabari Brown (Oregon)
47. Nick Johnson (Arizona)

HE IS CAIN AND ABLE
Freshman Kyle Cain had 17 rebounds vs. Houston Baptist on Nov. 25, the most by a Sun Devil since Jeff Pendergraph had 19 at Oregon on Feb. 8, 2007, a span of the previous 112 games. The 17 boards is tied for second-most by a freshman in ASU history with Mario Bennett, who had 17 vs. Oregon on Feb. 1, 1992. Ike Diogu has the ASU freshman record with 18 vs. Oregon on March 13, 2003, in the Pac-10 Tournament.

20-WIN THEORY
ASU will play seven teams in its non-conference schedule that won at least 20 games last year. New Mexico (30-5), UAB (25-9), Weber State (20-11), Baylor (28-8), Richmond (26-9), Nevada (21-13) and Tulsa (23-12) all won 20.

DEFENSE
ASU is one of just nine teams to finish in the top 25 in scoring defense the past two seasons. ASU finished eighth at 58.7 ppg. in 2009-10 and was 24th in 2008-09 at 60.5. The others are Princeton, Wisconsin, Old Dominion, Butler, Stephen F. Austin, Northeastern, Bethune-Cookman and Wright State. ASU is seventh in the nation in scoring defense the past two seasons and eighth in the past three seasons.

THE SHOOTER
Rihards Kuksiks is 12-of-23 (.522) from beyond the arc over the last four games. The senior is 25-of-51 (.490) from the three-point stripe in his past eight games against ranked opponents. He has been clutch in close games the past two years, as ASU has played six games of two points or less (and is 4-2), and he is 22-of-46 (.478) from three. He matched career-highs in points (27) and rebounds (nine) in the Jan. 8 win over No. 24 Washington last season. He had six 20-point games in 2009-10 with 27 vs. USF and #24 Washington, 25 at Oregon, 24 vs. USC and UCSB and 21 vs. Jacksonville, with ASU going 5-1 in those games. He has seven 20-point games in his career.

YOUNG
After coaching in more than 500 career games at three schools and in seven NCAA tournaments and having eight former assistants currently serving as head coaches at the D-I level, Herb Sendek is still the third-youngest coach in the Pac-10 even with seven new hires in the past three seasons.

ONE OF JUST SIX TO OPEN ON THE ROAD
Of the 73 teams in the major conferences, ASU was one of only six to open with a true road game. No Big 12, SEC or ACC teams did it. The six were Georgetown winning at ODU (Nov. 12); Seton Hall losing at Temple (Nov. 12); Northwestern winning at Northern Illinois (Nov. 12); Rutgers losing at Princeton (Nov. 15); St. John's losing at St. Mary's (Nov. 16) and ASU losing at New Mexico (Nov. 16).

FIRST-TEAM ALL-PAC-10
Senior Ty Abbott averaged 15.2 points and 5.5 boards in the final 18 games and was 56-of-138 (.406) from the three-point stripe in that time last season...had monster road tilt last year with 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting, including 5-of-8 three-pointers, in season-high 39 minutes in 73-69 win at Tucson on Feb. 21...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 38 minutes, posted 20 points and matched season highs in assists (four) and steals (three) vs. Pac-10 champion California on Jan. 28...missed one game after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in mid-October...has played in 107 games in his four-year career and started in 96.

TY'S 20-POINT GAMES
30 vs. California (Feb. 18, 2008)
29 vs. Stanford (Jan. 30, 2010)
28 at Arizona (Feb. 21, 2010)
25 at Cal, 2OT (Jan. 17, 2008)
22 vs. St. Johns (Nov. 27, 2010)
21 at Oregon St. (Jan. 16, 2010)
20 vs. California (Jan. 28, 2010)
20 vs. #13 Syracuse, NCAA @Miami (March 22, 2009)

HEAD COACH
Herb Sendek, 79-60 (.568) at ASU, is in his 18th season as a head coach in 2010-2011 and has averaged 19.4 wins per season. He led the NC State Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 333-218 (.604) and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 47-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 from 2002-2006. An 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 (13/Oregon) and Ben Braun (12/California).