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Men's hoops notes heading into Bay Area road trip

January 13, 2008

Here are some notes and numbers for the Arizona State men's hoops team, which plays at California on Thursday (Jan. 17) at 7:30 p.m. PT and then at Stanford on Saturday (Jan. 19) at 7 p.m. PT. Thursday's game is not televised, but Saturday's game is on FSN Arizona. A full release will be posted Tuesday afternoon.

*ASU is 3-0 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1987-88 (4-0) and for just the third time in its 30 years of Pac-10 play (other time was 6-0 in 1979-80) and is on a nine-game win streak for the first time since a nine-game streak from Nov. 27-Dec. 29, 2004. The two nine-game streaks are the best in the past 26 seasons (1981-82 to present).

*ASU has defeated three teams in the top 50 of the RPI (Xavier, Oregon and Arizona). ASU held Oregon, who is leading the Pac-10 at 82.3 points per game, to just 54 points. The Sun Devils rank third in the league in points given up at just 56.7 ppg.

*After starting 6-19 last year, ASU is 15-5 in its past 20 games.

*ASU is 11-0 at home this year after going 7-11 (.389) last year in Tempe. In its previous four seasons ASU was 9-27 (.250) in Pac-10 home games but is 3-0 this year.

*Half of ASU's 30 games last year were decided by six points or less, and ASU was 3-12. It is 3-0 in those games this year.

ASU is led by the Pac-10's youngest player, freshman James Harden (turned 18 on Aug. 26), who leads the team in scoring (18.2 ppg./fourth in Pac-10), steals (27) and minutes per game (31.9) and is shooting .549 from the field (eighth in Pac-10), .788 from the free throw line (10th in Pac-10) and .447 from the three-point stripe (ninth in Pac-10). Harden is the first McDonald's All-American to sign with ASU out of high school since 1984 (it was Chris Sandle before you ask). He already has eight 20-point games, including his past four games, as he is averaging 23.3 points, seven boards and 38.8 minutes in three Pac-10 games. He has posted four straight 20-point games, a first by a freshman in ASU history. He is the only Pac-10 player listed in the league's top 10 in all three shooting categories.

Jeff Pendergraph is shooting a league-best .670 from the field and .821 from the free throw line (eighth in the Pac-10). In his past six games he is averaging 18.5 points and 8.2 boards and is 35-of-47 (.745) from the field and 41-of-48 (.854) from the foul line.

*In 45 games under Herb Sendek, ASU is giving up just 60.2 points per game.

*ASU held Oregon (83.4 ppg.), Oregon State (62.9 ppg.) and Arizona (74.6 ppg.) to an average of 55.3 points per game in its first three Pac-10 games.

*Derek Glasser leads the Pac-1 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.35. He has made 27-of-33 (.818) free throws this year and is 62-of-78 (.795) in his career. He has 51 assists and just 10 turnovers in the past nine games.

*ASU leads the Pac-10 in steals per game at 7.53.

*ASU is second in the Pac-10 in turnover margin (+3.00) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.26).

ASU freshmen accounted for 69 of 150 starts in Herb Sendek's rookie 30-game season. Through 15 games, the numbers have jumped to 110 out of 225 starts in his 45-games. That means in his two years, ASU's has had freshmen make 48.9 percent of the starts.

ASU is shooting .758 from the free throw line (235-of-310), which is second in the Pac-10, as James Harden already is 78-of-99 (.788). Each of the six Sun Devils averaging more than 15 minutes are shooting at least 73 percent, and four of them are shooting better than 80 percent.

ASU held Pac-10 scoring leader Oregon to 54 points on Jan. 3, UO's fewest points in the past 57 games. Last year ASU fell at No. 13 Oregon 55-51 on Feb. 8, 2007, as the 55 points was a Duck season-low last year...ASU's 72-53 win over on Jan. 5 over Oregon State was its biggest margin of victory in the Pac-10 since a 108-78 win over USC on Feb. 13, 2003...ASU has reached 70-points eight times in 15 games, last year it reached 70 points three times ...James Harden has eight 20-point games.

ASU won two of its final five last year, beating #22 USC 68-58 on Feb. 18 and then winning 42-41 at Cal March 3 in the regular season finale, matching the best defensive performance in ASU's 522-game Pac-10 history (ASU beat UW 53-41 on Jan. 31, 1991) and the best in a Pac-10 road game. ASU improved throughout last year as in the second half of the Pac-10 season, its scoring margin was less than a three-pointer (-2.5 per game). Although ASU went 8-22 last year and started 6-19, it is 15-5 in its past 20 games.