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Men's hoops visits Bay Area

February 02, 2011

ASU's free throw percentage an anomaly for a Coach Sendek team


ASU Notes and Statistics in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


Preview of game at California Feb. 3 (Keith Jennings/Feb. 2)

Preview of game at Stanford Feb. 5 (Keith Jennings/Feb. 2)

Coach Sendek's news conference (Keith Jennings/Feb. 2)

Jamelle's news conference (Keith Jennings/Feb. 2)


The Arizona State's men's hoops team (9-12; 1-8 in the Pac-10), the only Pac-10 team to post 20 wins in each of the past three seasons, is off the to Bay Area to start the second half of Pac-10 play with a pair of FOX Sports Net games. First it travels to California for an 8 p.m. PT tip in Berkeley on Thursday, Feb. 2, tip and then goes across the Bay for a 3 p.m. PT tip on Saturday, Feb. 4, against Stanford. ASU is 2-2 at each site under fifth-year Sun Devil head coach Herb Sendek. ASU fell to both Stanford and Cal early in the Pac-10 season as senior Jamelle McMillan sat both tilts with a groin injury.

Entering this season ASU was 14-22 (.389) in the first half of Pac-10 play under Coach Sendek but 20-16 (.556) in the second half. In the past three seasons prior to this year ASU is 14-13 in the first half of Pac-10 play (.519) but 18-9 (.667) in the second half.

ASU has had some poorly-timed injury and illness items 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. The Washington trip the scrambling continued as Carrick Felix and Brandon Dunson couldn't travel for the first game as both were ill. 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.

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 seven games is averaging 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 34.0 minutes. He is 27-of-55 (.491) from the three-point stripe in that time and also has 21 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 33.9 minutes per game this year. Only James Harden in each of 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 1,248 career points which is 20th on the Sun Devil career list. Arthur Thomas ranks 19th at 1,268...also has 110 starts, third on the ASU career chart, just four behind Eddie House. Jeff Pendergraph has the ASU record with 120 starts...Abbott missed the Nov. 25 Houston Baptist game due to a knee bruise.

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 has won 17 road games in the past four seasons, and a big reason why is the clutch free throw shooting of seniors Rihards Kuksiks and Ty Abbott. Kuksiks is now 30-of-36 (.833) from the charity stripe in road games, while Abbott is 50-of-66 (.758).

If something hasn't happened in 17 years, it is probably safe to say that it is an an anomaly. Consider a team struggling at the free throw line under Coach Sendek just that (.639). Only his first team at Miami of Ohio back in 1993-94 shot free throws at a pace lower than this year's Sun Devil squad. Consider the following when talking about Coach Sendek's teams and how they have shot free throws his 18 season as a head coach: NC State led the nation and set an ACC record for free throw shooting (.799) in 2003-04. That mark is tied for the best in the nation in the past 12 seasons with St. Joseph's in 2005-06 (Jameer Nelson and Delonte West team) and is tied for seventh-best in NCAA history...he has coached four teams at ASU and two of them rank fifth (.739 in 2007-08) and sixth (.737 in 2008-09) on the ASU charts for best free throw shooting seasons...last year's team shot .713 in Pac-10 games, third-best in the loop. In overall statistics, ASU has been a top-five Pac-10 free throw shooting team in each of the past three his 10 seasons at NC State, his teams led the ACC in free throw percentage four times, including three straight season from (2001-02 to 2003-04).

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 50-28 (.641) with Jamelle McMillan and 6-5 (.545) without. In the past two seasons those numbers go to 28-19 (.586) 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) 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.

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 17-12 (.586), the second-best mark in the Pac-10.

UCLA 21-12 (.636)
Arizona State 17-12 (.586)
Oregon 12-9 (.571)
Washington State 16-14 (.533)

Cal and Stanford will mark six of eight scheduled FOX Sports Net Sun Devil games this year. ASU is 11-9 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.

Some say it is the great preparation. Maybe it had something to do with having two NBA draft picks two years ago. Some of it was Derek Glasser being the school's best free throw shooter. Whatever it is, Coach Herb Sendek has turned ASU into a solid road team. ASU is the only league team to post a winning road record in league tilts in each of the past two seasons, as it has gone 5-4 in each season.

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).

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.

ASU is 21-12 (.600) in games games decided by six points or less/OT in the past four seasons, including a 5-4 mark this year. ASU is 3-2 this year in games of three points or less.

UCLA (23-12/.657)
Arizona State (21-14/.600)
Oregon (13-10/.565)
Washington State (18-14/.563)

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). Abbott is at 3,752 and could become just the second Sun Devil to play 4,000 career minutes.

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)--3,752/121/31.0

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).

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.

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

Stanford leads the series 40-30 that according to ASU records started in 1957-58...ASU is 12-20 on The Farm in its 32 Pac-10 seasons...ASU is 4-6 under Coach Sendek vs. the Cardinal...ASU lost the first three, won four of the next five but has dropped the past two...the teams met on Jan. 6 and Stanford topped ASU 55-41 as ASU had season-lows for points (41), field goals (17), three-pointer shooting (1-of-14/.071), assists (10), blocks (none) and points in a half (10)...Stanford had ASU opponent season-lows in threes made and attempted (2-of-10) and field goal attempts (45)...ASU shot .269 from the field in the second half (7-of-26)...ASU had 15 turnovers and 17 made field goals as Jamelle McMillan did not play due to groin injury...ASU swept the regular season series from Stanford last year but fell 70-61 in the Pac-10 Tournament...the Sun Devils have won the past two at Maples Pavilion...last year on Feb. 25 ASU trailed 35-28 at the half but came back for a 68-60 win as it had just five turnovers in the game and Eric Boateng tied a Pac-10 record by going 11-of-11 from the field...the year prior, ASU opened the Pac-10 season with a 90-60 win over 10-0 Stanford as it shot 36-of-61 (.590) from the field.

36, James Harden at Oregon (Feb. 5, 2009)
31, Jeff Pendergraph at Stanford (Jan. 2, 2009)
30, Ty Abbott vs. California (Feb. 16, 2008)
29, Ty Abbott vs. Stanford (Jan. 30, 2010)
29, Jeff Pendergraph at Arizona (Feb. 10, 2008)
28, Ty Abbott at Arizona (Feb. 21, 2010)

ASU is 13-19 at Cal in its 32 Pac-10 seasons...after 70 tilts, ASU records have the series tied at 35 each...Herb Sendek is 4-7 vs. California and 3-6 at ASU, as he also faced the Golden Bears twice in NCAA Tournament action...Herb Sendek's last win at NC State was a 58-52 NCAA Tournament win over California on March 17, 2006 in Dallas...the visiting team has won 10 of previous 13 in the series...Ty Abbott had 10 20-point games in his career, three of them against California...Abbott had a career-high 30 vs. California on Feb. 18, 2008...also had 25 at California in a double-overtime ASU win on Jan. 17, 2008...posted 20 vs. the Bears on Jan. 28, the 65-61 Cal win in Tempe on Jan. 8 Cal led by as many as 15 in the first half...Cal had a 43-27 rebounding edge as ASU actually shot better (.434) than Cal from the floor (.383) but the Golden Bears had seven more field goal attempts...Cal had 18 offensive boards, an ASU opponent season-high.

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.

Senior Rihards Kuksiks is 45-of-99 (.453) from the three-point stripe in the past 17 games after starting the year 8-of-30 in the first four games. Kuksiks posted his ninth 20-point game of his career with 22 points vs. USC on Jan. 27, and ASU is 6-3 in those games. He now has 263 career three-pointers in his career, tied with Ron Riley for the second spot on the ASU career list and both are eighth on the Pac-10 list. He became the 34th member of ASU's 1,000-point club against Long Beach State, as he now has 1,111. 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 eight games of two points or less (4-4), and he is 29-of-59 (.491) 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.

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)
22 vs. USC (Jan. 27, 2011)
21 vs. Jacksonville (Mar. 16, 2010/NIT)
20 at Nevada (Dec. 17, 2010)
20 vs. Syracuse (Mar. 22, 2009 @Miami/NCAA)

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).

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)

Herb Sendek, 85-68 (.556) 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 339-226 (.600) 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).

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

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 24 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.

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 vs. UCLA (Jan. 29, 2011)
17 at Arizona (Jan. 15, 2011)
17 vs. Stanford (Jan. 30, 2010)
17 vs. Texas State (Nov. 16, 2009)

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. 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. He then posted 16 boards vs. Long Beach State in 26 minutes on Dec. 21 and had 14 boards (but zero points) in just 23 minutes vs. North Carolina A&T on Dec. 23.

18 by Ike Diogu vs. Oregon @Pac-10 Tournament (March 13, 2003)
17 by Kyle Cain vs. Houston Baptist @Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 25, 2010)
17 by Mario Bennett vs. Oregon (Feb. 1, 1992)
16 by Kyle Cain vs. Long Beach State (Dec. 21, 2010)

ASU is now 6-2 when it leads at the half in 2010-11 and 63-16 under Herb Sendek...ASU has won 17 games under Herb Sendek when it has trailed at the half including the Dec. 23 56-50 win over North Carolina A&T when it trailed 29-23 at intermission. ASU shot just 20-of-57 (.351) in the victory, its second-lowest mark in a win under Coach Sendek. The lowest shooting mark was a 16-of-56 (.286) mark in a 53-47 win at Arizona on Jan. 21, 2009...senior Jamelle McMillan has 285 career assists and just 138 career turnovers. He had six steals vs. Long Beach on Dec. 21, the most by a Sun Devil since James Harden had seven vs. USC on March 13, 2008, in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament.

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.

Sean Miller (42), Arizona, 11/17/68
Johnny Dawkins (47), Stanford, 9/28/63
Herb Sendek (47), ASU, 2/22/63

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).

1. Derek Glasser, 2006-10, 131
2. Jerren Shipp, 2006-10, 129
3. Jeff Pendergraph, 2005-09, 126
4. Eddie House, 1996-2000, 124
5. Four players, 122
9. Ty Abbott, 2007-present, 121
Rihards Kuksiks, 2007-present, 115

ASU's Jan. 29, 2011, 73-72 loss to UCLA was its first overtime game since it lost back-to-back overtime games on Feb. 26-28, 2009. In that season, ASU went to the Apple State 10-4 and with a chance to win the Pac-10 title but fell 73-70 to Washington and then 51-49 to Washington State on Feb. 28 (on a Taylor Rochestie three-pointer at the buzzer from just inside halfcourt). ASU is now 6-4 in overtime under Coach Sendek, and that includes a 4-0 mark in 2007-08.

In his 565-game head coaching career, only three teams have scored 100 points against Herb Sendek. No team has posted triple digits against a Coach Sendek-led squad in the past 291 games. The last team to do it was No. 1 Duke in a 108-71 at Cameron on Feb. 14, 2002.