Men's hoops opens Pac-10 against UCLA

<p>56-26 (.683) Past three seasons<br />The Arizona State's men's hoops team, in its fourth season under 318-game winner <a href="">He… Sendek</a> and coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1980-81, opens Pac-10 play in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve when it takes on UCLA in a Thursday matinee at 1:30 p.m. PT/2:30 p.m MT on FOX Sports Net and KTAR 620 AM. ASU then takes on the hot USC Trojans at 7:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. MT on Saturday, Jan. 2 (FOX Sports Arizona and KMVP 860 AM), as the Trojans have won six straight, the best mark of anyone entering Pac-10 play. ASU is 10-3, as after going 8-22 (.267) in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), the Sun Devils are 56-26 (.683) since and giving up just 60.5 points per game in his 112 games. ASU has had to replace two NBA draft picks from last year in first-team consensus All-American <a href="">J… Harden</a> and first-team All-Pac-10 forward <a href="… Pendergraph</a>, but returns three starters from last year's team in senior point guard <a href="">… Glasser</a> (2009 Pac-10 All-Tournament Team), junior <a href="… Kuksiks</a> (third-best returning three-point shooter in the nation according to NCAA minimums) and junior <a href="">Ty Abbott</a> (121 career threes and 65 starts entering this year). ASU has had eight players lead or share the team lead in scoring in its 13 games and has five players on its roster who have had a 20-point game in their career. The Sun Devils have held nine of their first 13 opponents to under 40 percent field goal shooting, as 26 of its past 48 opponents have shot under 40 percent. ASU is 2-1 in Pac-10 openers under <a href="">He… Sendek</a>, including last year's 90-60 win at Stanford, after going 3-15 in the previous 18 seasons. ASU will hope to continue strong shooting against UCLA, as it shot 52.9 percent from the field (46-of-87) in its two wins last year.</p><separator></separator><p>Liking the road<br /><a href="">… Glasser</a> is averaging 19.7 points in ASU's three games away from Tempe this year and is shooting 16-of-30 (.533) from the field, 7-of-11 (.636) from the three-point stripe and 76.9 percent (29-of-26) from the line and has led or shared for the team lead in scoring in each game. He had 13 vs. #7 Duke on Nov. 25 in New York City and followed that up with 24 vs. LSU two days later, and then had 22 at Brigham Young on Dec. 8. This trend can go back to last season as well...Glasser averaged 13.2 points in the final five games last year, all of them away from Tempe, as ASU played three games in Los Angeles at the Pac-10 Tournament and two in Miami for the NCAA Tournament.</p><separator></separator><p>More Glasser<br />Senior <a href="">… Glasser</a> is averaging 11.8 points and is shooting 88.7 percent from the free throw line (47-of-53) this year, third-best in the league. He leads the Pac-10 in assists per game (5.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7 with 74 assists and 27 turnovers)...seventh in the league in three-point shooting at 47.6 percent (20-of-42) the past seven games he has 47 assists and just 15 turnovers...already is the ASU career assist record holder with 467, topping the mark held by the late Bobby Thompson, who had 454 from 1983-87, and his 229-of-274 (.836) shooting from the free throw line currently is the best in school history...has played 19 turnover free games in his 111-game career...posted a career-high 24 points in the Nov. 27 win over LSU...earned 2009 Pac-10 All-Tournament honors by averaging 13.7 points in the three games. He shot 16-of-31 (.516) from the field, made 5-of-11 (.455) from the three-point stripe and had 12 assists and just four turnovers while averaging 37.3 minutes per game...also played 42 minutes without a turnover in the Jan. 17 overtime win at ninth-ranked UCLA.</p><separator></separator><p>Road notes from last year<br />ASU won four straight Pac-10 road games last year for the first time since the 1980-81 team won five straight and finished 6-4 on the road overall. 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. After losing its first eight Pac-10 road games under <a href="">He… Sendek</a>, ASU is 10-9 since.</p><separator></separator><p>Leading the way<br />The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense (54.5 points per game), scoring margin (+15.8 points per game), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and three-pointers made per game (8.6 with 112 made in 13 games). They rank second in the loop in field goal percentage defense (.380), field goal percentage (.484), three-point shooting (.400) and turnover margin (+3.5)...Rihards Kuksiks eight three-pointers vs. UCSB on Dec. 21 is tied for the most made by a Pac-10 player this year with WSU's Klay Thompson. He is tied for second in the league at 2.8 three-pointers made per game...Eric Boateng is second in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage at 64.1 percent, while <a href="… McMillan</a> is ninth at .526...ASU gave up just 34 points to Delaware State (Dec. 12) and 35 to Western Illinois (Nov. 13), the best defensive marks in the Pac-10 this year...ASU's 104 points vs. San Francisco (Nov. 20) is the second-highest by a Pac-10 team this year...ASU's 29 assists and 18 three-pointers in that game are the most by a league team this year, as are its 17 steals vs. Texas State.</p><separator></separator><p>Sun Devils shoot threes<br />ASU set the school record for three-pointers made (288) and attempted (778) in 2008-2009. ASU's top three returning scorers had combined to make 392 three-pointers in their careers and all three are in the ASU career top-10 list already, as Rik Kuksiks has 165 (sixth), <a href="">Ty Abbott</a> 142 (eighth) and <a href="">… Glasser</a> 127 (tenth). So far this season, ASU is shooting 112-of-280 (.400) from the arc, with nine Sun Devils hitting three pointers.</p><separator></separator><p>Best tree in the land<br /><a href="">He… Sendek</a> 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 <a href="">Ma… Phelps</a> 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).</p><separator></separator><p>Time to prepare equals a victory<br />The Sun Devils are 10-1 when <a href="">He… Sendek</a> has at least five full days in between games the the past three years. Included in those wins are ASU's first NCAA Tournament win since 2003 last season, a win over rival Arizona last year who entered the game on a seven-game win streak, a neutral site win over a 10-0 BYU team, ASU's first win in Tucson in 12 seasons in 2007-08, an overtime win at California in which ASU was playing as a ranked team for the first time in 13 seasons in January of 2008, and a 22-point win over #17 Xavier in December of 2007 that is the school's largest victory over an opponent in school history. ASU's most recent layoff of at least five days was when ASU had six full days to get ready for San Diego State on Dec. 19, who entered the game 8-2, on a five-game win streak and had topped Arizona 63-46 in its previous meeting. ASU won 55-52, forcing 24 Aztec turnovers.</p><separator></separator><p>Going back to Cali<br />ASU returns to Southern California this year after having solid success there last year, as it was 6-3 in SoCal in 2008-09 including a Mountain West Conference road win (at San Diego State on Nov. 18), a Pac-10 road win (at UCLA on Jan. 17) and two Pac-10 Tournament wins in Staples Center (over Arizona on March 12 and vs. #13 Washington on March 13). It also went 2-1 (wins vs. Charlotte and UTEP and loss to Baylor) in the 76 Classic in Anaheim Nov. 27-30.</p><separator></separator><p>Boat<br /><a href="">E… Boateng</a> already has his degree in Global Studies, speaks a little bit of Chinese and an African dialect called &quot;Twi&quot; also is taking advantage of the 24-hour access for ASU's new practice facility (Weatherup Center). He is averaging 8.3 points and 6.3 boards while shooting 64.1 percent from the field (41-of-64), as he has scored 108 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 26-of-41 (.634) this year.</p><separator></separator><p>Player quick notes<a href=""><… />Jerren Shipp</a> is shooting 16-of-32 (.500) from the field on the year...sophomore <a href="">T… Rohde</a> has already played more minutes (135) than he did all of last year (73). In the past five games he is averaging 14.8 minutes and 6.4 points while shooting 12-of-21 (.571) from the floor...junior <a href="… McMillan</a> has been all over the stat sheet the past three games. In that time he is averaging 35 minutes, 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and three steals. He is shooting 16-of-30 (.533) from the floor in that time and 7-of-15 (.467) from the three-point stripe...Ty Abbott also has been active the past three games, averaging 12.7 points and shooting 14-of-29 (.483) from the field and 10-of-21 (.476) from the three-point stripe.</p><separator></separator><p>Team quick notes<br />In the past three years, ASU has played 37 of its 82 games away from its campus, and has gone 20-17 overall and 10-11 in true road games...ASU held Delaware State to 34 points on Dec. 12 in a 76-34 win, the fewest since it won 47-34 over Washington of Saint Louis in the 1949-50 season...ASU made a school-record 18 three-pointers and shot 61.3 percent from the field en route to a 104-65 win vs. San Francisco on Nov. 20. It marked the most points by ASU since a 108-78 win vs. USC on Feb. 13, 2003, as ASU led 58-23 at the half. ASU's 29 assists were the most since it had 29 vs. Long Island on Dec. 29, 2004. Eight Sun Devils registered an assist as ASU notched an assist on its first 12 baskets. <a href="… Kuksiks</a> had a career-high eight dimes...ASU topped Texas State 84-62 in the opening round of the NIT on Nov. 16, and then came back with a gut-check win vs. TCU 52-49 the next night. ASU was down 48-40 with 3:46 mark when <a href="">He… Sendek</a> called a 30-second timeout. <a href="… Kuksiks</a> hit a three that sparked a 12-1 run to send ASU to NYC...ASU opened the season Nov. 13 with an 87-35 win over Western Illinois as 11 players scored and the 52-point margin was the biggest since 1996-97.</p><separator></separator><p>Abbott update<br /><a href="">Ty Abbott</a> missed just one game after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in mid-October and seems to be getting back in shape, averaging 7.9 points and going 21-48 (.438) from three. Abbott has played in 81 games in his three-year career and started in 70. He set ASU freshman records for starts (34) and three-pointers made (76) in his first season of 2007-08, as the 76 three-pointers is fourth-best by a freshman in Pac-10 history. He averaged 29.9 minutes while playing all 35 games and starting in 31 last year and was second on team with 16 blocks and 33 steals. He posted 13 games of double-digits, and ASU was 11-2 in those contests, and scored a season-high 20 points against No. 13 Syracuse in NCAA Tournament on 6-of-10 three-point shooting. Abbott also averaged 11.7 points in the Pac-10 Tournament, going 13-of-23 (.565) from the field and 8-of-15 (.533) from the three-point stripe as ASU advanced to the Pac-10 title game for the first time in history. Entering this season he was one three current Pac-10 players who could claim a 30-point night (30-points in his freshman season vs. Cal on Feb. 16, 2008). Tajuan Porter did the trick with 33 at Washington on Feb. 14, 2009 while Jerome Randle had 31 at Arizona on March 5, 2009. When Abbott scores in double digits, ASU is 28-6 (.824), including 16-2 (.889) the past two seasons.</p><separator></separator><p>Impressive Frosh<br />Freshman <a href="">… Lockett</a>, 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 stepped on campus and made a solid first impression. He is averaging 7.8 points, 3.8 boards and is shooting 36-of-66 (.545) from the field. He also has a tendency to make &quot;splash&quot; plays as his leaping ability has allowed him to grab 16 offensive rebounds. He also is among the best in the classroom, as he is a member of the honors program at ASU. <a href="">Ike Diogu</a> set the ASU freshman record for field goal percentage (.608) in 2002-03 (209-of-344), while Mario Bennett is second in the ASU record books at 57.4 percent (159-of-277) in 1991-92.</p><separator></separator><p>Past two seasons<br />ASU is 20-16 (.556) in the past two seasons in Pac-10 regular season play, tied for the third-best mark in the league behind UCLA (29-7/.806) and Washington (21-15/.583). The rest of the Pac-10 in the past two years: USC 20-16 (.556), Washington State 19-17 (.528), Stanford 19-17 (.528), Arizona 17-19 (.472), Cal 17-19 (.472), Oregon 11-25 (.306) and Oregon State 7-29 (.194).</p><separator></separator><p>Remember this about the defense<br />Just how good has the Sun Devil defense been since <a href="">He… Sendek</a> took over? ASU has given up less than 62 points per game in each of the past three seasons , the best three-season span since the middle of the past century. 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 at NC State 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 a Sun Devil team since the 1949-50 team gave up 59.8. ASU is currently giving up 54.5 points per contest.</p><separator></separator><p>ASU vs. UCLA<br />ASU swept the series last year with UCLA with a 74-67 win over the No. 11 Bruins on Feb. 12 in an ESPN contest. It marked ASU's third sweep of the Bruins in its 31-year Pac-10 history, as ASU also swept UCLA in 1979-80 and 2002-03. ASU ended one of the most impressive streaks in Pac-10 history as UCLA had won 32 straight front-end games of Pac-10 weekends (in other words, the Thursday game), a streak dating to a Jan. 20, 2005 home loss to Stanford. ASU shot 60 percent (24-of-40) from the floor, 11-of-18 (.611) from the three-point stripe and 15-of-18 (.833) in the win...ASU's win at No. 9 UCLA on Jan. 17, 2009, 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...ASU had 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. <a href="">… Glasser</a> had zero turnovers in 42 minutes against the team that was leading the Pac-10 in turnovers forced at 16.4 per game).</p><separator></separator><p>Last year at Pauley<br />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 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.</p><separator></separator><p>Good on the tube<br />ASU is 14-3 in Fox Sports Net national games in the past three years, including 9-0 in 2008-2009. It lost its first appearance this year vs. Baylor 64-61 on Dec. 3..ASU was 3-2 in CBS games last year with wins over UCLA, Cal and Temple. In the previous 11 years, ASU was 1-4 in CBS games...ASU is 27-9 in national or network regional games (games on FSN, CBS or any of the ESPN networks), and 6-2 in past eight against ranked teams in TV games.</p><separator></separator><p>Glasser making run at ASU free throw mark<br />Senior <a href="">… Glasser</a> not only set the school's career assist mark, he also is making a run at the school free throw percentage mark. Glasser is currently at 83.6 percent for his career (229-of-274), a shade better than Alex Austin's 81.5 percent from 1986-90. He also has a chance to become the first player in Sun Devil history with 1,000 points and 500 assists. He has 848 career points and 467 assists.</p><separator></separator><p>ASU career free throw percentage<br />1. <a href="">… Glasser</a>, 2006-10, 83.2 (229-of-274)<br /> 2. Alex Austin, 1986-90, 81.5 (255-of-313)<br /> 3. Rick Taylor, 1974-78, 81.4 (253-of-311)<br /> 4. Dennis Hamilton, 1963-66, 81.3 (261-of-321)<br /> 5. <a href="">K… Kruger</a>, 2003-06, 81.2 (229-of-282)<br /></p><separator></separator><p>The shooter<br />Junior <a href="… Kuksiks</a> is the third-best returning three-point shooter in the nation according to official NCAA statistics. Kuksiks was 93-of-210 from the arc last year, which was 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 was 17-of-37 (.459) in the six games against ranked opponents. He also was clutch in close games, 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 in school history. The junior has made 165-of-405 (.407) three-pointers in his three-year career and had career-highs in points (27), three-pointers (seven) and assists (eight) in the win over USF on Nov. 20. He also posted a then career-high 20 points in the NCAA Tournament second-round loss to Syracuse with six three-pointers.</p><separator></separator><p>The head coach<br /><a href="">He… Sendek</a>, 64-48 (.571) 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 318-206 (.606) 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).</p><separator></separator><p>Winning tough ones<br />ASU is 20-13 (.606) in the past three seasons in 10 points or less games after going 4-17 in <a href="">He… Sendek's</a> first year...after going 10-29 in <a href="">He… Sendek's</a> first two seasons when trailing at the half, ASU was 5-4 in 2008-2009 with victories at SDSU, vs. IUPUI, vs. BYU, at Arizona and vs. Arizona in Pac-10 Tournament. It is 1-2 this year with a 71-52 win vs. LSU on Nov. 27 as it outscored the Tigers 44-18 in the second half...ASU is 6-2 in its past eight overtime ASU's first season under <a href="">He… Sendek</a>, it was 3-12 in two-possession games (six points or less), in the past three seasons it is 13-8 (7-4 past two seasons).</p><separator></separator>Games of 10 points or less, past htree seasons (2007-08 THROUGH 2009-10/AS OF DEC. 27)<br /> 1. UCLA, 21-12 (.636)<br /> 2. ASU, 20-13 (.606)<br /> 3. Stanford, 20-17 (.541)<br /> 4. USC, 21-17 (.553)<br /> 5. Cal, 23-19 (.548)<br /> 6. Washington, 19-16 (.543)<br /> 7. WSU, 18-17 (.514)<br /> 8. OSU, 19-20 (.487)<br /> 9. Arizona, 18-20 (.474)<br /> 10. Oregon, 15-21 (.417)</p>