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Jeff Ayres (AKA Pendergraph) Trying To Be Fifth Sun Devil To Win NBA Title
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 06/03/2014
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WHY THE NAME CHANGE FOR PENDERGRAPH TO AYRES? CLICK HERE FOR ANSWER...

PAOLA BOIVIN OF AZCENTRAL.COM WITH AN AYRES UPDATE (MAY 24, 2014) 

Some folks have asked, and we have researched.
 
Here is a list of Sun Devils who have been part of the NBA Finals, a list that Jeff Ayres (Sun Devils know him as Jeff Pendergraph) will join when the Spurs and Heat tip Thursday night in game one. He led the nation in field goal percentage and set the ASU record in his senior year of 2008-09 (.660).

Ayres, who in December of 2008 earned a B.A. in Economics from Arizona State, signed with the Spurs last summer after playing in Portland (2009-10) and Indiana (2011-13). He was the 31st overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft after establishing himself as one of the most efficient and productive players in Sun Devil history after leading ASU to 25 wins in 2008-09 for the first time since 1974-75 and just the third time in school history. In his four years as he set Sun Devil records for games (126) and starts (120) while his 1,588 career points (12.6 per game) was good for sixth on the school career list, just ahead of Byron Scott's 1,572. His 942 career rebounds (7.5 per game) is second on the career list.

Four Sun Devils have won seven NBA titles, as Eddie House has one (2007-08 with Celtics), Byron Scott won three with the Lakers (1987-88, 1986-87 and 1984-85), Mark Landsberger won two with the Lakers (1981-82 and 1979-80) and Lionel Hollins won one with Portland in 1976-77. The two Sun Devils to play in the NBA Finals and not win a ring? Sun Devil 1,000-point club member Dennis Hamilton played for the 1967-68 Los Angeles Lakers, his rookie season, but they fell to Boston 4-2. James Harden was with the Thunder in 2012 when it fell to the Miami Heat in five games.

SUN DEVILS IN THE NBA FINALS
Jeff Ayres (Pendergraph), 2013-14, San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat)
James Harden, 2011-12 Oklahoma City Thunder (lost to Miami Heat 4-1)
Eddie House, 2007-08 Boston Celtics (beat Los Angeles Lakers 4-2)
Byron Scott, 1990-91 Los Angeles Lakers (lost to Chicago 4-1)
Byron Scott, 1988-89 Los Angeles Lakers (lost to Detroit 4-0)
Byron Scott, 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers (beat Detroit 4-3)
Byron Scott, 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers (beat Boston 4-2)
Byron Scott, 1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers (beat Boston 4-2)
Byron Scott, 1983-84 Los Angeles Lakers (lost to Boston 4-3)
Mark Landsberger, Los Angeles Lakers 1982-83 (lost to Philadelphia 4-0)
Mark Landsberger, Los Angeles Lakers 1981-82 (beat Philadelphia 76ers 4-2)
Lionel Hollins, 1981-82 Philadelphia 76ers (lost to Los Angeles 4-2)
Mark Landsberger, Los Angeles Lakers 1979-80 (beat Philadelphia 76ers 4-2)
Lionel Hollins, 1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers (beat Philadelphia 4-2)
Dennis Hamilton, 1967-68 Los Angeles Lakers (lost to Boston 4-2)

Ayres earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors in 2005-06 (despite missing all of fall conditioning and most of November after fall surgery to remove a benign tumor in his left leg), Pac-10 honorable mention honors in 2006-07, third-team All-Pac-10 in 2007-08 and first-team honors in 2008-09.. He helped lead ASU to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in 14 seasons and for just the fourth time in 28 seasons in 2009.

MORE ON THE FIRST SUN DEVIL TO PLAY IN THE NBA FINALS...
Dennis Hamilton, who passed away in the summer of 2012, is a member of the Sun Devil 1,000-point club and was a three-year starter on teams from 1963-66, including the Sun Devil's NCAA Tournament team in 1963-64 under Ned Wulk. He started in all three seasons, averaging 6.2 points in his first season followed by 17.3 in 1964-65 and 17.0 in 1965-66. He earned second-team All-WAC in 1965-66 after earning honorable mention honors in 1964-65. In his Sun Devil career he played in 80 games and notched 1,079 career points (13.6 points per game) and shot .813 from the free throw line (261-of-321). He signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 21, 1967 and was selected by the Suns in the NBA expansion draft in May of 1968. He was traded on September 11, 1968 by Phoenix Suns to the Atlanta Hawks for a 1969 third-round draft pick. He played professionally for the Lakers (1967-68), Atlanta Hawks of the NBA (1968-69) and the Pittsburgh Pipers (1969-70) and Kentucky Colonels (1970-71) of the ABA. Hamilton had a career-high 35 points vs. Utah State on Jan. 23, 1965.

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