Glasser Elevates His Game in Pac-10 Play

Can you quickly name the player on the Sun Devils roster who is leading the team in conference minutes played? No, it isn't Jeff Pendergraph or even Christian Polk, but rather Derek Glasser, who started the season as a backup point guard. The true freshman has shown extreme poise and leadership, and has started in all the team's six Pac-10 games to date.

When a freshman first joins a program, it may be hard for him to immediately gain the trust and support of other players. However, with the way the 6-1 180 Derek Glasser has been playing as of the late, Arizona State cannot help but be feel confident in the manner he's running the point. Currently Glasser is leading the team in minutes played per Pac-10 contest at 35.3, and is averaging 25.6 per game overall for the season.

"I knew coming in that I had an opportunity to play," said Glasser in response to seeing his minutes per game increase. "We have a great bunch of guys and a coach that has always told me to play hard and good things will happen. I've tried to play as hard as I can and my teammates have been really supportive of me."

The guard had shown his ability to step up his level of play and be a leader on the court. As the point guard of Artesia High school, where he won the C.I.F Division III California State title last year, Glasser honed his basketball skills and leadership abilities, which are now manifesting themselves with the maroon and gold. "I think playing my position you do what you're expected to do, which is run the team and get guys to where they're supposed to be," he explained. "Coming from the high school I came from, being the leader on that team, helped me a lot in having to do the same thing here."

The biggest progress Glasser has shown lately has been in his assist per turnover ratio. The freshman has dished out 58 assists on the season, while committing just 26 turnovers – an impressive 2.23 ratio. In his last two games he has just two turnovers, despite logging a plethora of minutes in each of those contests. Yet, the freshman, like the rest of his teammates, is disappointed losing close games in the conference, and coming close to upsetting then 15th ranked Oregon. On the other hand, as a player who's favorite quote is: "Never let anyone tell you that you can't do it", Glasser won't sulk or keep his head down, as the squad needs to turn the page and get ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

The next three games, all on the road, against both L.A schools and Arizona, appear to be the toughest stretch the Devils have encountered thus far, as they seek to get off the snide and capture that elusive first Pac-10 victory. Glasser, who hails from Marina Del Rey, will have a bittersweet homecoming. He relishes playing in front large contingents of family and friends, especially as a starter. Nonetheless, playing conference leader UCLA Bruins, and the emerging USC Trojans, is a tall task for a young player and his inexperienced squad. "I think playing in a conference like this every game is going to be tough one," he admitted. "Of course it's going to be fun going home, but the two teams back home are top 5 in the conference and top 30 in the country."

As the team slowly improves Glasser said it has been difficult to learn the system head coach Herb Sendek runs, but adds that sometimes the system gets changed on the go which has helped the Sun Devils. Overall, he credits Sendek for helping the team improve through out this trying season. "He's an amazing coach," said Glasser. "I've never meet anybody who knows more basketball than he does. He really cares about the guys, and we're only going to get better from here on out."

Surely Derek Glasser is proof of that statement.

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