Dec. 31, 2012
PAC-12 PLAYS BEGINS
The Sun Devil men's hoops team (11-2) tips Pac-12 play on Wednesday, Jan. 2, against Utah in an 8 p.m. tip on the Pac-12 Network (radio on 860 AM). ASU matched its win total from last year with a 77-62 road win over Texas Tech on Dec. 22 behind Jahii Carsonand Jon Gilling's 18 points (third-highest in Gilling's career), which included a career-high six three-pointers from Gilling and 16 of Carson's points coming in the second half. Jahii outscored Texas Tech 12-4 in a key 5:50 stretch late in the second half to seal the deal as a seven-point lead lead went to a 15-point win. ASU then took care of Coppin State on Dec. 29 68-52, improving its home record to 9-1, one year after going 7-10 on Ned Wulk Court. ASU will open its Pac-12 season at home for the first time since the 2007-08 season (five years) and for just the 14th time in 35 Pac-10/12 seasons. Most teams win when you shoot well, but with ASU it seems to be a given as it is 52-8 (.867) under Coach Sendek when it shoots 50 percent.
ASU is fourth in the nation in blocks per game at 7.9 per game, trailing only St. John's (9.3) and Kansas (8.1), led by junior Jordan Bachynski's 59 (4.54 per game) as he also ranks third. Jordan has seven more blocks than the Utah team (52) and as many as 288 other D-I schools...in the first six seasons (197 games) of Coach Sendek's ASU tenure, ASU had nine blocks in a game four times. It has had at least nine blocks seven times this season..an overlooked block statistic for Jordan is keeping it in play. Of his 59 blocks, more than 60 percent (37) have resulted in direct possessions for ASU, and only six have gone out of bounds. He has now 120 career blocks, seventh in Sun Devil history. The Sun Devil career record is 191 (Mario Bennett from 1991-95). Next up is Jeff Pendergraph, who had 131 from 2005-09. Also, in the first 41 games of his ASU career Jordan shot 42-of-88 (.478) from the field, but in the past 26 games he is 94-147 (.640).
SUN DEVIL SEASON BLOCKS
1. 115 - Mario Bennett, 1994-95 (Pac-12 Record)
2. 113 - Rodger Farrington, 1996-97 (Second in Pac-12 history)
3. 75 - Ike Diogu, 2004-05
4. 69 - Tommy Smith, 2002-03
5. 59 - Jordan Bachynski, 2012-13
The last time the Sun Devils hosted its Pac-12 (then Pac-1) opener, James Harden was in a Sun Devil uniform and hardly had any facial hair. This year is the first time the Sun Devils have hosted a league opener since a 62-54 win over Oregon on Jan. 3, 2008 (first time in five seasons). That victory was ASU's first in a Pac-10 opener since 2002-03...ASU has opened at home just 13 times since joining the league (it is 5-8)...ASU is 9-25 in Pac-10/12 openers, 3-11 in its past 14 and 5-18 in past 23...it is 2-4 under Coach Sendek...ASU won openers in 1978-79, 1979-80, 1982-83, 1987-88, 1994-95, 1997-98, 2002-03, 2007-08 and 2008-09...Bill Frieder and Rob Evansboth went 1-7 in Pac-10 openers at ASU.
PAC-12 OPENERS UNDER COACH SENDEK
@Arizona 68, ASU 51 (Dec. 31, 2011)
@Oregon State 80, ASU 58 (Dec. 30, 2010)
@UCLA 72, ASU 70 (Dec. 31, 2009)
ASU 90, @Stanford 60 (Jan. 2, 2009)
ASU 62, Oregon 54 (Jan. 3, 2008)
Stanford 71, ASU 60 (Dec. 28, 2006)
ASU had 14 three-pointers at Texas Tech on Dec. 22, just the 12th time in school history it had hit 14 and it tied for the second-most in a road game. ASU hit 16 at Brigham Young on Dec. 1, 1992, and also had 14 at Oregon on Jan. 30, 1993. Eight of the top 12 games have happened under Coach Sendek's watch. It then made 10-of-30 against Coppin State on Dec. 2, as the 30 three-point attempts is the most since ASU had 40 vs. Oregon on March 5, 2011.
Senior Carrick Felix(B.S., Communications 2012) is averaging 9.1 rebounds per game in the past seven games and in the past 10 games he is averaging 16.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, has 17 blocks and is shooting 62-of-103 (.602) from the field and 13-of-33 (.394) from the three-point stripe...Cal State Northridge game marked sixth time he played turnover free-game (minimum 15 minutes)...Pac-12 Player of the Week for his efforts from Nov. 26-Dec. 2...after not having a double-double in the first 65 career games he posted them in back-to-back games with 11 points and 11 boards vs. Hartford (Dec. 5) and 21 points/12 boards vs. Sacramento St. (Dec. 1) and now has three in his career...nine field goals and five assists vs. Sacramento St. were career-bests, as was 14 rebounds and five blocks vs. Dartmouth on Dec. 15...eight 20-point games and three this year (24 vs. Arkansas, 21 vs. Sacramento St. and vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff).
TURNOVERS BACK TO NORMAL
ASU has had less turnovers than its opponent in five of the past six games and in the past seven games is averaging just 12.0 turnovers per tilt. In the first six games they were at 15.5 turnovers per game.
Freshman Jahii Carsonis averaging 17.7 points and 5.7 assists per game. According to ESPN Stats, no freshman has averaged 17 points and five assists in a season since Shaheen Holloway of Seton Hall in 1996-97 (17.3/6.3). Jahii has led or shared the team lead in scoring in nine of 12 games this season. He has 74 assists through 12 games, just about halfway to 150 which has been done by just 11 freshmen at current Pac-12 schools.
ASU records have the Utes on top of the Sun Devil series 26-18 in an old Border Conference and Western Athletic Conference rivalry that dates to the early 1960s...prior to the teams split last year with each team winning on its home floor, Utah and ASU had not met since the 2002-03 season prior to last year, with ASU winning an 83-79 double overtime game in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 27, 2002 and then the Utes beating ASU in Salt Lake City 79-55 on Dec. 7 (yes, they played twice that year)...ASU also beat NCAA Tournament bound Utah 71-62 at America West Arena in Phoenix on Dec. 4, 2001...current ASU radio analyst Kyle Doddplayed in all three of those games...ASU has lost six straight at Salt Lake City...Coach Sendek had never coached against the Utes prior to last season...in the 57-52 Feb. 9 win in Tempe last year over the Utes, ASU led Utah 23-18 at the half. It was the fewest points allowed by ASU in the first half since a Feb. 11, 2010, game with Oregon State when it led 26-18...ASU held Utah to .304 from the field (17-of-56), the fourth-best defensive effort in a Pac-10/12 game under Coach Sendek...Jordan Bachynski notched his first career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds in 30 minutes...Utah's 52 points, 17 field goals made and .304 shooting percentage (17-of-56) all were ASU opponent 2011-12 lows...Utah won 64-43 on Jan. 21, 2012 in the first meeting last year, the fourth-fewest points under Coach Sendek,as ASU had 20 turnovers, tied for the fourth-most under Coach Sendek...Carrick Felix averaged 14 points in the two games vs. the Utes last year, shooting 11-of-17 (.647) from the floor...Bachynski was 8-of-13 (.615) from the floor and averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds against the Utes...ASU was just 6-of-25 (.240) against Utah last year from the three-point stripe...last year Jonathan Giling was 3-of-10 from the floor against Utah and each field goal attempt was a three-pointer.
BEST DEFENSIVE FG% PERCENTAGE BY ASU IN LEAGUE GAME UNDER COACH SENDEK
.246/14-57 by Oregon State (Feb. 11, 2010)
.298/17-57 by Washington State (Jan. 10, 2010)
.296/16-54 by Oregon (Mar. 3, 2011)
.304/17-56 by Utah (Feb. 9, 2012)
DEVELOPING BIG MAN
After not playing his senior year in high school (2007-08) due to an injury and then taking two years off from hoops for LDS Mission to Miami (2008-10), Jordan Bachynski (ba-CHIN-ski) is developing into a solid post presence. One thing to keep in mind about his development is how two of ASU's past big men developed, as in his senior year (2008-09) Jeff Pendergraph led the nation in field goal percentage (.660) en route to become the first pick of the second round in the 2009 NBA Draft, while Eric Boateng, who played for the 2012 Great Britain Olympic team, led the Pac-10 in field goal percentage in 2009-10 (.665)...has three double-doubles on the year and four in his career including a the first triple-double in ASU history on Dec. 8 with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks vs. Cal State Northridge.
JORDAN'S FIRST 41 GAMES
JORDAN'S PAST 26 GAMES
GILLING AND ABLE
Sophomore Jonathan Gillinghas 93 rebounds (7.2 per game) after posting 54 all of last season. He also is 10-of-21 (.476) from the three-point stripe in the past two games. His past two games are his best scoring games of the season, as he had 18 at Texas Tech on Dec. 22 and 14 vs. Coppin State on Dec. 29.
CARRICK IS KEY
How big of a key is Carrick Felixto Sun Devil success in 2012-13? Consider this: he averaged 14.4 points in Sun Devil wins last year and 8.8 losses. How important are those 5.6 points per game? ASU's scoring margin in 31 games last year was -5.3 ppg.
EVAN HEATING UP
Evan Gordonstarted the year 7-of-34 (.205) from the three-point stripe, but he is 21-of-46 (.457) in his past seven games from long distance. His 29-point effort vs. Sacramento State on Dec. 1 is a career high including his two years at Liberty. He then came back with 20 vs. Cal State Northridge on Dec. 12 as he has 10 20-point games. He averaged 14.4 points as a sophomore at Liberty in 2010-11 and made 112 three-pointers in his two-year career. Evan led Liberty in scoring (14.4 ppg., eighth in Big South) in his sophomore year (2010-11) before transferring to ASU. He has 980 career points.
MOST POINTS BY A SUN DEVIL UNDER COACH SENDEK
40, James Harden vs. UTEP @Anaheim (Nov. 30, 2008)
36, James Harden at Oregon (Feb. 5, 2009)
33, James Harden vs. Pepperdine (Nov. 23, 2008)
32, James Harden vs. Baylor @Anaheim (Nov. 28, 2008)
31, Jeff Pendergraph at Stanford (Jan. 2, 2009)
30, Jahii Carson vs. #14 Creighton @Las Vegas (Nov. 24, 2012)
30, Ty Abbott vs. California (Feb. 16, 2008)
29, Evan Gordon vs. Sacramento State (Dec. 1, 2012)
29, Ty Abbott vs. Stanford (Jan. 30, 2010)
29, Jeff Pendergraph at Arizona (Feb. 10, 2008)
28, Ty Abbott at Arizona (Feb. 21, 2010)
As of Monday (Dec. 31), Jahii (say it Jah-hEE) Carson is tied for fifth-best freshman scorer in nation at 17.7 points ppg...vs. Creighton he became the fourth Sun Devil freshman to score 30...91 free throw attempts entering Monday games was second among freshman in the nation and tied for 21st overall...five 20-point games (30 vs. No. 14 Creighton, 21 vs. CS Northridge and Cornell, 20 vs. Hartford and Florida A&M) already is tied for fourth-best among ASU freshmen....with 74 assists and 76 field goals made, he has played a part in 43.8 percent of team's 342 buckets....30 points vs. Creighton is tied for sixth-most points scored by a Sun Devil in the Coach Sendek era...35.1 minutes per game is sixth in the nation among freshman
SOME NOTES ON HERB'S SCORING
It is early in the year, but in looking at the numbers easy to see that ASU is averaging 75.2 points per game. In Coach Sendek's final five seasons at NC State (2001-2006), his team's averaged 73.7 points per game (192 games) including 75.4 points per game in 2001-02. His final team at NC State averaged 74.5 points per game. How does that 74.5 points per game from 2005-06 compare to the current Pac-12? It would have been the third-highest scoring team in the Pac-12 in each of the past two seasons.
Junior Jordan Bachynski's13 points, 12 boards and 12 blocks vs. Cal State Northridge on Dec. 8 is the only triple-double in Sun Devil history. He set the school record with 12 blocks, topping his own mark of nine set in the opener on Nov. 10 vs. Central Arkansas. It marked the first triple-double by a Pac-10/12 player since Daniel Hackett had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 dimes vs. South Carolina on Nov. 17, 2007. The 12 blocks is tied for the second-most by a Pac-10/12 player along with Stanford's Brook Lopez, who had a dozen vs. USC on Jan. 25, 2007.
A freshmen from a local high school is looking solid recently and this one's name isn't Jahii. Hamilton High School's Eric Jacobsen had 16 points vs. Hartford on Dec. 5, the most by a Sun Devil freshmen off the bench since Trent Locketthad 17 vs. Texas State on Nov. 16, 2009...team's youngest player (born in June of 1994)...entered Sacramento State Dec. 1 game with 10 rebounds on the year and three offensive rebounds and then used his size 17 shoes to post six offensive boards and nine total rebounds in 16 minutes.
MOST POINTS OFF BENCH BY A SUN DEVIL FRESHMEN IN COACH SENDEK ERA
18, Christian Polk vs. Arizona (Feb. 25, 2007)
18, Christian Polk vs. Washington (Feb. 1, 2007)
17, Trent Lockett vs. Texas State (Nov. 16, 2009)
16, Eric Jacobsen vs. Hartford (Dec. 5, 2012)
16, Derek Glasser vs. North Carolina A&T (Dec. 21, 2006)
YOUNG AND COACHING LONG
Herb Sendekearned 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 20 years later he ranks near the top of the youngest coaches with at least 350 career Division I wins, as he will turn 50 on Feb. 22, 2013. Next up on the list: Mark Few at Gonzaga, (342 wins entering this season and born on Dec. 27, 1962), Jeff Jones at American (347 wins and born June 29, 1960), Thad Matta at Ohio State (323 and born July 11, 1967), Greg Marshall at Wichita State (303 wins and born Feb. 27, 1963) and Ron Hunter at Georgia State (296 wins and born on March 7, 1964).
YOUNGEST COACHES WITH 350 DI WINS (NUMBERS ENTERING 2012-13 SEASON)
Billy Donovan, Florida, 421 (May 30, 1965)
Steve Alford, New Mexico, 356 (Nov. 23, 1964)
Herb Sendek, Arizona State, 352 (Feb. 22, 1963)
Bill Self, Kansas, 476 (Dec. 27, 1962)
Jay Wright, Villanova, 359 (Dec. 24, 1961)
Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt, 384 (Oct. 1, 1960)
NBA=NEW BASKETBALL ASSISTANTS
A three-time conference Coach of the Year entering his 20th season, 49-year old Coach Sendek went the NBA route to fill his staff in August, as he named Eric Musselman and Larry Greer as assistants, the first time since the spring of 2008 Coach Sendek had to hire an assistant. Greer spent the past five seasons working with Nate McMillan at the Portland Trail Blazers as an assistant coach (2011-12) and advance scout (2007-2011). Musselman just recently finished earning league Coach of the Year honors with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League. His squad had eight NBA call-ups and won the regular season title with a 38-12 record, including wins in 21 of the final 23 games. He coached the Venezuela National Team in 2011 and 2012 at the Pre-Olympics in Argentina while his 2011 team averaged a tournament-best 94.8 points. His NBA experience includes leading the Sacramento Kings to a 101.3 points per game mark in 2006-07, eighth-best in the league as the Kings sold out every home game. In 2002-03 he was second in NBA Coach of the Year voting as he led the Golden State Warriors to their two best seasons in ten years, including a 51-31 (.622) home record. The Warriors were the most improved team in the league with 17 more wins and the second-leading scoring team in the league at 102.4 points per game. He has served as an assistant under Mike Fratello (Memphis), Lon Kruger (Atlanta), Chuck Daley (Orlando) and Doc Rivers (Magic).