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Men's hoops hosts Trojans


January 25, 2011

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SUN DEVILS HOST TROJANS AND BRUINS
The Arizona State's men's hoops team (9-10; 1-6 in the Pac-10), the only Pac-10 team to post 20 wins in each of the past three seasons, plays host to the Los Angeles schools this weekend, starting with a 6:30 p.m. MT tip Thursday (Jan. 27) vs. USC and then a 1:30 p.m. MT tip on FOX Sports Net vs. UCLA on Saturday (Jan. 29). ASU and USC have held serve on their home courts in the Coach Sendek-era at ASU with each team winning four, while ASU has won three of the past four with UCLA including the past two in Tempe. The Sun Devils have swept the LA-schools at home in each of the past two seasons, a first since the 2002-03 season.

NO EXCUSES, BUT JUST ODD
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. Reserve Chanse Creekmur also missed last weekend's tilts due to passing away of his grandmother.

HE HAS BEEN SOLID
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 five games is averaging team bests of 18.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 35.2 minutes. He is 22-of-43 (.512) from the three-point stripe in that time and also is the team leader with 16 assists...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 34.2 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 now has 1,221 career points which is 20th on the Sun Devil career list. Arthur Thomas ranks 19th at 1,268...also has 108 starts, one of only seven Sun Devils to have started 100 games in their careers. Jeff Pendergraph has the ASU record with 120 starts...Abbott missed the Nov. 25 Houston Baptist game due to a knee bruise.

QUICK RECAP
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. ASU was 8-22 in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), but is 77-44 (.637) in past four and giving up just 61.3 ppg. in his 151-game tenure.

TRYING EVERYTHING
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.

QUICKLY ON JMAC IMPACT
You try not to make too big of a deal about one injury but the facts are that in the past three seasons ASU is 50-26 (.658) with Jamelle McMillan and 6-5 (.545) without. In the past two seasons those numbers go to 28-17 (.622) and 3-4 (.429). Last year ASU gave up 57.1 points per game in the 29 games Jamelle played yet gave up 70.5 in his absence (four games)...as the point man in the zone, ASU opponents shot .450 from the field and .363 in the games he was missing last year, yet in the games he played those numbers dropped to .394 and .311.

ANOTHER CLOSE STATISTIC
Arizona State has done a solid job of winning the close ones. In games of five points or less in the four years of its current senior class, ASU is 17-10 (.627), the best mark in the Pac-10.

TOP PAC-10 TEAMS IN GAMES OF FIVE POINTS OR LESS (2007-08 THROUGH 2010-11)
Arizona State 17-10 (.627)
UCLA 20-12 (.625)
Washington State 16-14 (.533)
Oregon 12-9 (.571)

ASU SUCCESS ON FSN
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 Fredette-led and NCAA Tournament-bound BYU Cougars in December of 2008. The Sun Devils were 9-0 on FSN in 2008-09.

WITH TRENT OUT
When Trent Lockett was not in the lineup 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 in minutes per game (33.5).

FINAL NON-CONFERENCE THOUGHT
ASU topped Tulsa 69-59 Jan. 12 behind a season-high 45 points in the first half and season-highs of 25 points and nine boards from Ty Abbott. Carrick Felix added a season-high 21 points as ASU was 13-of-16 (.813) from the foul line and made seven three-pointers in the first half. 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.

KEEP IT CLOSE
ASU is 21-12 (.636) in games games decided by six points or less/OT in the past four seasons, including a 5-2 mark this year. ASU is 3-0 this year in games of three points or less.

GAMES OF SIX POINTS OR LESS OR OVERTIME(2007-08 TO PRESENT/PAST FOUR SEASONS)
UCLA (22-12/.647)
Arizona State (21-12/.636)
Oregon (13-10/.565)
Washington State (18-14/.563)
Washington (13-15/.464)
Oregon State (17-20/.459)
USC (18-23/.439)
California (17-19/.472)
Stanford (14-17/.452)
Arizona (17-23/.425)

ASU WINS IN GAMES OF SIX POINTS OR LESS IN 2010-11
ASU 69, UAB 66 (Nov. 20, 2010)
ASU 59, Weber State 58 (Nov. 26, 2010)
ASU 78, @Nevada 75 (Dec. 17, 2010)
ASU 56, North Carolina A&T 50 (Dec. 23, 2010)
ASU 60, @Oregon 55 (Jan. 1, 2011)

MINUTE MAN
Ty Abbott is currently third 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).

ASU CAREER MINUTES/GAMES/MPG
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)--3,690/119/31.0

HERB PAC-10 NOTE
Last season's second -place Pac-10 finish matched ASU's best in its 32 seasons of Pac-10 play and its 12 wins were the most since 1994-95. ASU has notched at least 11 Pac-10 wins eight times, Herb Sendek has done it in each of the past two seasons.

MOST SUN DEVIL WINS IN PAC-10 PLAY
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

USC SERIES
USC leads the ASU series 49-32 but the contest has been predictable the past four seasons under Coach Sendek, as each team has won at home during Pac-10 regular season play...USC has won two games in the Pac-10 Tournament in that time as well...ASU has averaged 68.0 points per game in the four home wins vs. USC but just 47 in the four losses at Galen Center...Rihards Kuksiks had 24 in the 59-54 home Tempe win last year on March 4...ASU is 17-15 (.531) vs. USC in Tempe in its 32 previous Pac-10 meetings.

UCLA SERIES
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 also lost to UCLA 79-78 in the Pac-10 Tournament held in Tempe on March 10, 1990.

TRIO STEPPED UP
With leading scorer Trent Lockett out and all three of ASU's seniors in foul trouble at Oregon on Jan. 1, a trio stepped up. First-year players Carrick Felix had then-season highs of 19 points, six boards, four assists and 34 minutes while Brandon Dunson did the same with 14 points and 29 minutes. Sophomore Ruslan Pateev (career highs with 10 points in 28 minutes) also helped the cause as ASU continued its solid work in close games.

RIK UPDATE
Senior Rihards Kuksiks is 41-of-93 (.441) from the three-point stripe in the past 16 games. Kuksiks posted his eighth 20-point game of his career with 20 points at Nevada on Dec. 17, and ASU is 6-2 in those games. He now has 256 career three-pointers in his career, seven short of Ron Riley for the second spot. He became the 34th member of ASU's 1,000-point club against Long Beach State, as he now has 1,074. The senior is 28-of-55 (.509) from the three-point stripe in his past nine 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 (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.

TOP SCORING GAMES FOR RIHARDS
27 vs. #24 Washington (Jan. 8, 2010)
27 vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20, 2009)
25 at Oregon (Jan. 14, 2010)
24 vs. USC (Mar. 4, 2010)
24 vs. UCSB (Dec. 21, 2009)
21 vs. Jacksonville (Mar. 16, 2010/NIT)
20 at Nevada (Dec. 17, 2010)
20 vs. Syracuse (Mar. 22, 2009 @Miami/NCAA)

PAC-10 COACH OF YEAR
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).

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)

HEAD COACH
Herb Sendek, 85-66 (.563) 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 339-224 (.602) 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).

CURRENT LONGEVITY AMONG PAC-10 COACHES (YEARS AT SCHOOL)
Lorenzo Romar, Washington-9th
Ben Howland, UCLA-7th
Herb Sendek, ASU-5th
Johnny Dawkins, Stanford; Mike Montgomery, Cal; Craig Robinson, OSU-3rd
Ken Bone, Washington State; Kevin O'Neill, USC; Sean Miller, UA-2nd
Dana Altman, Oregon-First Year

LET'S TALK ABOUT TRENT
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. A native of Golden Valley, Minn., and a student in Barrett, the Honors College, he 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 22 double-figure scoring games, 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 missed both games of the Oregon road trip on Dec. 30-Jan. 1 with a sprained big left toe.

TRENT'S TOP 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)
19 vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20, 2009)
18 vs. Houston Baptist (Nov. 25, 2010)
17 at Arizona (Jan. 15, 2011)
17 vs. Stanford (Jan. 30, 2010)
17 vs. Texas State (Nov. 16, 2009)

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 in 2010-2011. 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).