Dec. 27, 2012
SUN DEVILS PREPARE FOR PAC-12
The Sun Devil men's hoops team (10-2) hosts Coppin State on Saturday, Dec. 29 at noon in its final non-conference game before the Pac-12 season tips on Wednesday, Jan. 2 against Utah (8 p.m.). ASU matched its win total from last year with a 77-62 road win over Texas Tech on Dec. 22 behind Jahii Carson and Jon Gilling's 18 points (third-highest in 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 and Coppin State have met once, a 60-43 Sun Devil win over a NCAA Tournament-bound Coppin team on Dec. 8, 2007 as current NBA players Jeff Pendergraph (13 points and seven boards) and James Harden(12 points and nine boards) led the way. The Eagles went the final seven minutes of the game without making a field goal. The Pac-12 is 20-3 in past 23 games heading into two Friday games (College of Idaho at Utah and Missouri at UCLA). Saturday's Sun Devil game against Coppin State is broadcast by Pac-12 Networks while the radio options are Arizona Sports 620 AM, Sirius 139 and XM 193.
MADE SOME THREES LAST GAME
ASU had 14 three-pointers at Texas Tech, 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.
Senior Carrick Felix is averaging 9.7 rebounds per game in the past six games and in the past nine games he is averaging 16.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, has 16 blocks and is shooting 57-of-93 (.613) from the field and 12-of-29 (.414) from the three-point stripe. ASU has used the same starting lineup (Jahii Carson, Evan Gordon, Carrick Felix, Jonathan Gilling and Jordan Bachynski) after having 12 starting lineups last year, the most since the 2003-04 squad also used a dozen...freshman Jahii Carsonis averaging 17.9 points and 5.3 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 when he averaged 17.3 and 6.3...ASU is 52-8 (.867) under Coach Sendek when it shoots 50 percent...ASU is 8-1 at home (7-10 last year).
TURNOVERS BACK TO NORMAL
ASU has had less turnovers than its opponent in the past five games and in the past six games is averaging just 11.7. In the first six games they were at 15.5 turnovers per game.
5 DAYS BEFORE GAME
The Sun Devils are now 18-8 (.667) in past six years when Herb Sendekand his staff have at least five full days in between games, and seven of the wins have been against teams that would make the NCAA Tournament in that season (2-0 this season). Last year's notable was an 87-80 win over NCAA-bubble worthy Arizona in the regular season finale on March 4. Wins in 2009-10 included MWC Tournament champion San Diego State (five-game win streak at the time), a 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 (entered the game on 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.
Junior Jordan Bachynski is one of the top shot-blockers in the nation with 54 through 12 games, but an overlooked block statistic is keeping it in play. Of his 54 blocks, more than 60 percent (33) have resulted in direct possessions for ASU, and only six have gone out of bounds. He has 115 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...ASU's 13 blocks vs. Cal State Northridge on Dec. 8 was the most since it had 13 vs. Washington on Jan. 9, 2003...in the first 197 games of Coach Sendek's ASU tenure, ASU had nine blocks in a game four times. It has had at least nine blocks six times this season.
SUN DEVIL SEASON BLOCKS
1. 115 - Mario Bennett, 1994-95
2. 113 - Rodger Farrington, 1996-97
3. 75 - Ike Diogu, 2004-05
4. 69 - Tommy Smith, 2002-03
5. 56 - Jeff Pendergraph, 2007-08
6. 55 - Mario Bennett, 1991-92
6. 55 - Alton Lister, 1979-80
8. 54 - Jordan Bachynski, 2012-13
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 pp.
As of Thursday (Dec. 27), Jahii (say it Jah-hEE) Carson was sixth-best freshman scorer in nation at 17.9 points ppg...vs. Creighton he became the fourth Sun Devil freshman to score 30...89 free throw attempts entering Thursday games was tops among freshman in the nation and tied for 13th 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 64 assists and 70 field goals made, he has played a part in 42 percent of team's 317 buckets....30 points vs. Creighton is tied for sixth-most points scored by a Sun Devil in the Coach Sendek era.
MOST POINTS BY A SUN DEVIL FRESHMAN
35, Mario Bennett vs. #5 Arizona, Feb. 20, 1992
31, Byron Scott vs. #18 Arizona, Feb. 23, 1980
30, Jahii Carson vs. #14 Creighton @Las Vegas, Nov. 24, 2012
30, Ty Abbott vs. California, Feb. 16, 2008
TOUGH TO SCORE
In his 618-game head coaching career, only three teams have scored 100 points against Herb Sendek. No team has posted triple digits against him in past 341 games. The last team to do it was top-ranked Duke on Feb. 14, 2002 (108-71 at Cameron).
Carrick Felix(B.S. Communications, 2012) is averaging 9.7 rebounds per game in the past six games...in the past nine games is averaging 16.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, has 16 blocks and is shooting 57-of-93 (.613) from the field and 12-of-29 (.414) from 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).
Junior Jordan Bachynski's 13 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.