Sendek, Harden earn notice
Herb Sendek and freshman James Harden have earned honors in the past week. Coach Sendek has earned District IX Coach of the Year honors by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), as the District includes all schools in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Hawaii, while Harden has earned All-District IX honors along with NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) District 15 honors.
Coach Sendek has led ASU to the fifth seed in the Pac-10 Tournament after being picked to finish ninth. ASU posted a 9-9 record, becoming just the fifth team in the history of the Pac-10 to go from a last place finish (2-16 in 2006-07) to a .500 record the next year. ASU swept Arizona for the first time since 1995, beat a top 10 team (seventh-ranked Stanford) for the first time since 2002 and has six wins over RPI top-60 teams. ASU won nine Pac-10 games for just the third time in the past 13 seasons.
Harden, a member of the five-man first-team All-Pac-10 squad, ranks fourth in the league in scoring (17.7 points per game), sixth in three-point percentage (.422), first in steals (2.03 per game), 10th in field goal percentage (.531) and ninth in minutes per game (33.7). His numbers in the Pac-10 games increased to 18.2 points per game (tied for fifth) and 2.06 steals per game (first) as he has posted 15 20-point games on the season, the most by a Sun Devil freshman, and set the school freshman record for minutes played in the 18 league games (35.9 per game). His 61 steals set an ASU freshman record. He also earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors along with Mayo, Love, Jerryd Bayless of Arizona and Davon Jefferson of USC.
Harden was joined on the District IX team by freshmen Kevin Love of UCLA (also District Player of the Year),sophomore Ryan Anderson of California, freshman Jerryd Bayless of Arizona, junior Jon Brockman of Washington, junior Darren Collison of UCLA, senior Maarty Leunen of Oregon, sophomore Brook Lopez of Stanford, freshman O.J. Mayo of USC and senior Kyle Weaver of Washington State.
The NABC picks five-man All-District teams, with ASU District 15 which is made up of all schools in southern California, New Mexico and Arizona. Also selected were Love, Mayo, Bayless and Collison.