Men's hoops off to Orlando for Old Spice Classic

--PITCHFORK POST: Give Coach Sendek five days between games and the Sun Devils have a tendency to produce
--Click here for 2011-12 ASU Men's Basketball Roster
--Sun Devils sign three Arizona prep student-athletes in fall signing period
--Coach Sendek still the nation's leader in former assistants now D-I coaches with nine
--For ASU updated stats in HTML format click here

Sun Devil Game Notes for 2011 Old Spice Classic in PDF form Get Acrobat Reader

Sixth-year Sun Devil coach Herb Sendek and Arizona State (1-2) travels to Orlando to take on the Fairfield Stags on Thursday, Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving), at 9:30 ET in the Old Spice Classic. ESPN2 (Mark Jones/Len Elmore) have the visuals while KTAR 620 AM and the Sun Devil Network (Doug Franz/former ASU point guard Kyle Dodd) provide the audio. After posting just three 20-win seasons in the previous 25 seasons, ASU posted three 20-win seasons under Herb Sendek in his first five years. ASU was 8-22 in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), but is 81-55 (.596) in past five and giving up just 61.9 ppg. in his 166 games as Sun Devil head coach. Seven lettermen return including 2010-11 All-Pac-10 second-team and first-team Pac-10 All-Academic performer Trent Lockett. ASU is off to a 1-2 start with all three games decided by less than six points. ASU beat Montana State 78-72 in the opener (Nov. 11), fell to to hot shooting Pepperdine 66-60 (Nov. 15) and then got beat by New Mexico 76-71 on Nov. 18.

The 2011 Old Spice Classic is held Nov. 24 (Thursday), Nov. 25 (Friday) and Nov. 27 (Sunday) at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. The field for the sixth annual Old Spice Classic includes ASU, Dayton, DePaul, Fairfield, Indiana State, Minnesota, Texas Tech and Wake Forest. Three of the teams have new coaches (Dayton, Texas Tech and Fairfield), as former Herb Sendek assistant Archie Miller has taken over the Dayton program. ASU has never played Fairfield or Wake Forest and is 0-4 vs. Dayton, with the last meeting taking place on Dec. 5, 1959. Coach Sendek has never coached against Fairfield but is 3-0 vs. Dayton and went 9-16 vs. Wake Forest, but was 5-4 in his final nine meetings.

Junior wings Carrick Felix and Trent Lockett have jumped out of the gates with good starts through three games. Felix, a junior college transfer last year as a sophomore, had 20 points, seven boards and was 7-of-8 from the free throw line in a career-high matching 39 minutes vs. New Mexico on Nov. 18. He also has eight steals on the year and is 18-of-20 (.900) from the free throw line. Felix saw action in 30 games last year and showed great flashes but was sidelined by illness in the middle of year that basically cut his season in half. Lockett had his second career double-double with 17 points/10 rebounds vs. MSU and followed that up with 23 points vs. Pepperdine. He also added a career-high four steals vs. MSU and has 33 double-figure scoring games. He has led ASU in scoring 15 times in his career. The Golden Valley, Minn. native averaged 13.4 points and 5.3 boards in 30.7 minutes last year (37.3 minutes, 17.7 ppg. and 7.7 this year). As the Sun Devils head towards a neutral site, probably worth mentioning that Lockett averaged more in the 14 games away Tempe last year (15.2) than in home games (11.8).

The Sun Devils are 14-5 (.736) in the past four years when Herb Sendek and his staff have at least five full days in between games (like they do for the Fairfield game), with seven of the wins coming against teams that would make the NCAA Tournament in that season. Wins in 2009-10 included MWC Tournament champion San Diego State (five-game win streak at the time), home win over Pac-10 Tournament champ and No. 24 Washington and a win at Arizona. In 2008-09 the five-day layoff wins included ASU's first NCAA Tournament win since 2003 (over Temple), a win over Arizona that entered the game on a seven-game win streak and a neutral site win over a 10-0 BYU team that had a guy named Jimmer as a sophomore. In 2007-08, the wins included ASU's first win in Tucson in 13 seasons, an overtime win at California in which ASU was playing as a ranked team for the first time in 13 seasons and a 22-point win over #17 Xavier in December of 2007 that is ASU's largest victory margin over a ranked opponent in history.

When you take it all into consideration...Barrett Honors College, second-team All-Pac-10 pick, first-team Pac-10 All-Academic pick, two solid is hard to not say Trent Lockett is the best overall men's basketball student-athlete in the Pac-12 this year. He is the only first-team Pac-10 All-Academic pick from last year who earned All-Pac-10 honors.

Herb Sendek has eight victories in Florida, the most relevant being a 2004 NCAA Tournament win in Orlando and ASU's NCAA 2009 NCAA Tournament win, its first since 2003, over Temple. North Carolina State (20-10 overall/second in the ACC at 11-5) topped Louisiana Lafayette 61-52 on March 19 and then fell to Vanderbilt 75-73 on March 21. He was 5-3 while at NC State when coaching at Florida State and 1-1 at Miami.

ASU is averaging 18.7 turnovers per game in the first three games, and that is unusual for a Coach Sendek team. ASU finished tied for second in the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers per game at 12.2 last year (USC was best at 11.4) and averaged 11.6 turnovers in final 15 games. It averaged 11.9 in 2009-10 (first in the league).

2010-11: 12.2 (t2nd for fewest in Pac-10)
2009-10: 11.9 (1st in Pac-10)
2008-09: 11.5 (2nd in Pac-10/15th in nation)
2007-08: 12.6 (t3rd in Pac-10)
2006-07: 14.5 (7th in Pac-10)

ASU is 7-4 in neutral site non-conference tournaments under Herb Sendek. Last season ASU beat Weber State and Houston Baptist the Great Alaska Shootout before falling to St. John's. In 2009-10 ASU fell to Duke but beat LSU in the Preseason NIT at Madison Square Garden. The 2008-09 season had ASU beating Charlotte, falling to Baylor and then beating UTEP in the Anaheim Classic, while in 2007-08 ASU lost to Illinois but then beat Princeton and LSU. Princeton was coached by current Fairfield coach Sydney Johnson.

ASU is 11-8 under Herb Sendek on the ESPN family of Networks. He is 5-2 on ESPNU, 5-5 on ESPN2 and 1-1 on ESPN.

Sophomore Keala King had his best game vs. Montana State, as he had career-highs in points (15) and was 3-of-4 from three. In his freshman season he was 1-of-18 on the year from three-land. He was also matched his career-high with eight boards. He averaged 13.8 minutes and 6.8 points in the final six games and was 14-of-17 (.824) from the free throw stripe. He started season 16-of-38 (.421) from the charity stripe. Against UNM on Nov. 18, he had another solid outing in a career-high 36 minutes with 13 points and seven boards.

The Pac-12 has five current coaches who have earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Herb Sendek earned the honor in 2009-10, while Sean Miller (2010-11), Lorenzo Romar (2008-09 and 2004-05) and Ben Howland (2005-06) earned kudos at their school. Mike Montgomery earned it four times at Stanford (2003-04, 2002-03, 1999-2000 and 1998-99).

Junior Ruslan Pateev, who entered the season 23-of-42 (.548) from the free throw line, has made all six of his free throw attempts and has six blocks...newcomer Chris Colvin is averaging nine points and 26.5 minutes at point guard...Iowan Chanse Creekmur led ASU to its 73-72 Feb. 19 win over Washington State with 18 points (five three-pointers). Creekmur averaged 17.8 minutes and 5.3 points in final nine games and made 13-of-33 (.394) three-pointers in final eight...7-2 sophomore Jordan Bachynski has added about 15 pounds.

Trent Lockett averaged 13.4 points last year en route to All-Pac-10 second-team honors, and that makes him the fifth-leading returning scorer. He ranked 12th, but top eight scorers departed. His return also means he is one of five All-Pac-10 players returning from the 15-man 2010-11 squad. Others are Jorge Gutierrez (Cal/14.6), Reeves Nelson (UCLA/13.9), Jared Cunningham (Oregon State/14.2) and Harper Kamp (Cal/14.2).

ASU lost 47 percent of its scoring from last season. One thing to remember...after the 2008-09 season the team lost 49 percent of its scoring and two NBA draft picks and then went out and won 22 games in 2009-10 and finished second in the Pac-10 at 12-6. ASU was winners of 20 games (22-11) in three straight seasons for the first time since JFK was President that season, made its third straight postseason appearance for the first time since the mid-1990s and finished second in the Pac-10 (12-6) for the first time since 1980-81.

Last season saw the careers of seniors Ty Abbott (B.S., Sociology), Rihards Kuksiks (B.I.S., Communication/Sociology) and Jamelle McMillan (B.S., Communication) come to a close as the trio produced 80 wins, the most by any seniors in ASU history. The Sun Devils were 21-13 (2007-08), 25-10 (2008-09), and 22-11 (2009-10) in their first three seasons. Prior to their arrival, ASU won 37 games in the previous four seasons. ASU's best four-year span of total wins was 88 from 1959-60 to 1962-63 and also from 1960-61 to 1963-64, but that was before freshman were eligible. The 80 wins by each of the seniors is the best by any four-year player, as Gary Jackson (1973-76) was with the program for 79 wins. One thing that has to be accounted for is the three-point shooting of Kuksiks and Abbott, as they combined for 553 career three-pointers. Kuksiks is seventh in Pac-10 history with 280 while Abbott ended eighth with 273.

If something hasn't happened in 18 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 (.628 last season). The ship seems to have been steered back to normalcy as ASU is 63-of-83 (.759) for this year. Consider the following when talking about Coach Sendek's teams his 18 seasons 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) and is tied for seventh-best in NCAA history...has now coached five 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 his 10 seasons NC State led the ACC in FT percentage four times, including three straight seasons from (2001-02 to 2003-04).

From the 2001-2002 season through 2005-2006 (Herb Sendek's final five seasons) NC State won 53 total ACC games (regular season and ACC tournament). Only Duke was better (76) in that time frame. Maryland also had 53.

Trent Lockett (Golden Valley, Minn.) earned 2010-11 second-team All-Pac-10 honors from the league's coaches in his sophomore season. It marked the second Pac-10 honor for the Hopkins High School product, as he earned All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honors in 2009-10. The league selects a 10-man first team and a five-man second team. Lockett became the fourth Sun Devil to earn All-Pac-10 honors under Coach Sendek in his five seasons, joining Ty Abbott (first-team in 2009-10), James Harden (first-team in 2007-08 and 2008-09) and Jeff Pendergraph (2007-08 third-team and 2008-09 first-team). Lockett is the first player from Minnesota to earn All-Pac-10 honors. He also earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors and was the only first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honoree to earn All-Pac-10 honors.

Off to a solid start in 2011-12 with a double-double vs. Montana State (17 and 10) and 23 points and nine boards vs. Pepperdine on Nov. 15...finished last season with 22 points in the Pac-10 Tournament as he made his first 10 shots vs. Oregon on March 9...had a then career-high 22 points in last year's season opener at New Mexico (Nov. 16) and two of his dunks placed him No. 2 on SportsCenter's Top-10 that night...earned 2010-11 second-team All-Pac-10 honors...had a career-high 24 points vs. Weber State on Nov. 26 in Alaska...also had 20 points at Washington on Jan. 22 and then had 20 in 71-69 Washington State win on Feb. 19...native of Golden Valley, Minn., and a student in Barrett, the Honors College...comes from one of the top high school programs in the country (Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn.)...earned a spot on the five-man Pac-10 All-Freshman Team in 2009-10...has 33 double-figure scoring games...missed both games of the Oregon road trip on Dec. 30-Jan. 1 with a sprained big left toe...12-of-28 (.429) from the three-point stripe in past 14 games after starting last season 2-of-13...led team in scoring in each of the first two games averaging 20.0 points and has led ASU 15 times in his career...led team in rebounding a team-best 13 times in 2010-11 and 17 times in career...shared team lead or led team in assists eight times...also earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors.

24 vs. Weber State (Nov. 26, 2010) 23 vs. Pepperdine (Nov. 15, 2011)
22 vs. Oregon @Pac-10 Tournament (Mar. 9, 2011)
22 at New Mexico (Nov. 16, 2010)
20 vs. Washington State (Feb. 19, 2011)
20 at #20 Washington (Jan. 22, 2011)

Kyle Cain finished the 2010-11 season averaging 5.4 rebounds per game, the sixth-best mark by a freshman in ASU history and third-best by Sun Devil freshman in the past 19 seasons. He 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. Cain 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. He also shot .545 from the field (78-of-143), fifth-best by a freshman in ASU history. Kyle also led the Sun Devils in rebounding 11 times on the season.

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)

1. .608, Ike Diogu, 2002-03 (209-of-344)
2. .574, Mario Bennett, 1991-92 (159-of-277)
3. .570, Dwayne Fontana, 1990-91 (102-of-179)
4. .568, Eric Holloway, 1983-84 (79-of-139)
5. .545, Kyle Cain, 2010-11 (78-of-143)

Herb Sendek earned the Miami of Ohio job in the spring of 1993 at age 30. Three years later he took over the NC State program at age 33. Some 18 years later he ranks near the top of the youngest coaches with at least 300 career Division I wins, as he will turn 49 on Feb. 22, 2012. Joining the list soon will be Thad Matta at Ohio State (292 entering this season and born July 11, 1962), Greg Marshall at Wichita State (276 wins and born Feb. 27, 1963) and Ron Hunter at Georgia State (274 wins and born on March 7, 1964).

Billy Donovan, Florida, 395 (May 30, 1965)
Greg McDermott, Creighton, 303 (Nov. 25, 1964)
Steve Alford, New Mexico, 328 (Nov. 23, 1964)
Herb Sendek, Arizona State, 342 (Feb. 22, 1963)
Bill Self, Kansas, 444 (Dec. 27, 1962)
Mark Few, Gonzaga, 316 (Dec. 27, 1962)
Jay Wright, Villanova, 346 (Dec. 24, 1961)
Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt, 359 (Oct. 1, 1960)
Jeff Jones, American, 327 (June 29, 1960)

Herb Sendek earned his first head coaching job at age 30 at Miami of Ohio, which has allowed him to compile the best list of former assistant coaches turned current D-I head coaches in the nation. Currently there are nine former Coach Sendek assistants leading programs.

The latest addition to the list is Dayton's Archie Miller, who spent three seasons on Coach Sendek's staff at ASU (2006-07) and North Carolina State (2004-06), the last two years as a full-time assistant. In 2004-05, Miller was the Wolfpack's director of basketball operations. In each of his final two years in Raleigh, NCSU won more than 20 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. His coaching career began at N.C. State in 2002-03, where he filled the role of intern under Sendek.

Prior to that was 12-year sidekick Mark Phelps, who 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, formerly at Kent State and now at TCU (Miami assistant from 1994-96), 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 Georgia State (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).

Herb Sendek became the second Sun Devil to earn Pac-10 Coach of the Year in ASU's first 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).

ASU's second-place Pac-10 finish in 2009-10 matched ASU's best in its three-plus decades 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 two of the past three 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

ASU had four players notch a total of nine blocks vs. Pepperdine on Nov. 15, tied for second-best in the Herb Sendek-era. ASU had 11 blocks vs. Southern Illinois on March 20, 2008 in a NIT contest. ASU blocked 115 shots last year, ninth-most in ASU history. Sophomore Ruslan Pateev blocked 24 shots while freshman Jordan Bachynski had 20 swats, seventh-most by a freshman in ASU history.

Herb Sendek, 89-77 (.536) at ASU, is in his 19th season as a head coach in 2011-2012 and has averaged 18.9 wins per season. He led the NC State Wolfpack to five straight NCAA appearances from 2002-06 and is now 343-235 (.593) and was 191-132 (.591) at NC State. The 48-year-old (born Feb. 22, 1963) Pittsburgh, Pa., native is the fourth-youngest coach in the Pac-12. 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 six 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), Ben Braun (12/California) and Lorenzo Romar (10th at Washington this year).