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Men's hoops to play exhibition game at Grand Canyon


November 03, 2011

ASU basketball ready for fresh start (by Doug Haller, Arizona Republic/October 12, 2011)
Click here for 2011-12 ASU Men's Basketball Schedule
Click here for 2011-12 ASU Men's Basketball Roster

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SUN DEVILS TIP IT SOON
Sixth-year Sun Devil head coach Herb Sendek and Arizona State begins the season real soon as the Sun Devils go across town on Saturday, Nov. 5 to help Grand Canyon open its new arena in an exhibition game and then plays host to Montana State on Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, at 2:30 MT at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. After posting just three 20-win seasons in the previous 25 seasons, ASU has posted three 20-win seasons under Herb Sendek in his five years. ASU was 8-22 in Coach Sendek's first year (2006-2007), but is 80-53 (.602) in past four years and giving up just 61.9 ppg. in his 133 games as the Sun Devil head coach. Seven lettermen return for ASU this year including 2010-11 All-Pac-10 second-team and first-team Pac-10 All-Academic performer Trent Lockett.

GRAND CANYON HISTORY
Sun Devil records show ASU beating Grand Canyon 80-68 on Jan. 22, 1980, behind Alton Lister's 21 points and 16 rebounds. Sam Williams added 16 points and nine board while Byron Scott had 14 points and Fat Lever chipped in with eight. The team's also played an exhibition game at Wells Fargo Arena on Nov. 3, 2007, with ASU winning 80-53 in beardless James Harden's first appearance in a Sun Devil uniform.

REMEMBER THIS ABOUT TRENT
Junior Trent Lockett averaged 13.4 points per game last year en route to All-Pac-10 second-team honors, and that makes him the fifth-leading returning scorer from last year's league. He ranked 12th in the loop, but the top eight scorers all departed. The other four returning All-Pac-10 players from last year are Jorge Gutierrez (Cal), Reeves Nelson (UCLA), Jared Cunningham (Oregon State) and Harper Kamp (California). Interesting note on Lockett...he averaged more in the 14 games away Tempe last year (15.2) than in home games (11.8).

THIS FEELS EARLY
When ASU opens the season on Nov. 11, it will be the second-earliest start date in school history. ASU opened the season on Nov. 10 in 2000-2001. It matches Coach Sendek's earliest opener as on Nov. 11, 1997, NC State beat #19 Georgia in East Rutherford, N.J. As a point of reference, ASU's first game 20 seasons ago in 1981-82 was Nov. 30 and in the year it joined the Pac-10 (1978-79) it was Nov. 24. Herb's first game as a head coach in his first season at Miami of Ohio? A 108-68 win over Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Nov. 27, 1993.

ASU'S EARLIEST SEASON OPENERS
Nov. 10, 2000: Tulsa 69, ASU 67 (Raleigh, N.C.)/Rob Evans
Nov. 11, 2011: Montana State at ASU/Herb Sendek
Nov. 13, 2009: @ASU 87, Western Illinois 35/Herb Sendek
Nov. 13, 2006: Nothern Arizona 75, @ASU 71/Herb Sendek
Nov. 13, 1998: @ASU 68, San Jose State 49/Rob Evans

COACH SENDEK'S EARLIEST SEASON OPENERS
Nov. 11, 2011: Montana State at ASU
Nov. 11, 1997: NC State 47, #19 Georgia 45 (East Rutherford, N.J.)
Nov. 13, 2009: @ASU 87, Western Illinois 35
Nov. 13, 2006: Northern Arizona 75, @ASU 71

CAIN WAS ABLE
Kyle Cain, then a freshman, was the only Sun Devil to play in all 31 games in 2010-11.