Sun Devils Gear Up for Stanford

The smiles and confidence have returned to the maroon and gold after an historic win in Tucson. If ASU looks to continue their momentum, they will have to do so not only against one of the best teams in the league, but also a national Top 10 squad. ASU Head Coach Herb Sendek addressed the media on Tuesday concerning the road win against Arizona and the upcoming home match up against Stanford.

How's James Harden (who's battling the flu) doing?

"He's doing better. Hopefully he'll continue to bounce back. Sometimes viruses can linger. I expect him to (practice). I hope he will. I hope he continues to gain strength as we get closer to game day. He gave us a valiant effort on Sunday, far less than feeling good or having energy. Just his presence alone is so important to our team."

You often talk about what's immediately in front of you – next possession, next game. How much did that mentality affect what happened in the Arizona game (coming back from 16 down) ?

"Perhaps there's some carryover. It's a mindset you try to develop – next play or next game. You learn from every experience, and you have to learn quickly to turn the page. I think our guys did a great job of keeping their poise and kind of squeaking by one possession at a time. There are no 16-point plays. We found a way to pull even and that's the nature of games anyway - basketball can be a game of runs. You gotta play the thing out."

Were you surprised that Arizona for most of the game could not stop the lob play from Glasser to Pendergraph?

"I wouldn't say that. I thought they made pretty good adjustments. It wasn't a high scoring game. It's isn't like we had an easy time scoring. We had to work hard for our points."

Can you speak of the play of Derek Glasser against Arizona?

"I thought Derek arguably had his best game of the season. He had eight assists. He made four field goals. He made some assists that led immediately to dunks or easy baskets, which I think amplified how he played for everyone that was watching."

Now you go to a very different match up and Stanford with a huge front line…?

"It's incredible. Very contrasting styles of plays as you would expect with the personnel differences. Stanford right now, is playing as well as anyone in the country…they're really on a roll. They're second in the country in rebounding. They out rebound their opponents by 10.5 a game. Defensively, they're as rock solid as you would find. They're difficult to score against. When you guard them you really have to account for their size. They have talent, experience, very well put together and coached. Right now they obviously have a lot of confidence."

When you played Stanford up there you were up by ten at the half. Pendergraph got into foul trouble and was really emotional during and after the game. Does he have to keep a reign over his emotions?

"We talk to our guys about ‘we don't want to be emotional – we want to be passionate.' There's a difference. It's OK to be positively emotional with your own teammate, but you don't want to be emotionally reactive. These comments don't pertain to Jeff in particular, but just in general. You're always better to be focused than emotional. You can be focused and passionate and that's a good combination."

"We took it on the chin at Stanford. We played a great first half and then we had a hard time dealing with the foul trouble and Stanford turned it up a few notches and took us behind the woodshed…it's easy to be emotional when you're taken behind the woodshed."

There was some talk about the scoring balance with Lawrence Hill at Stanford and it looks like he has found his role…

"He's so good. Here's a young man that's 6-8, can play either forward position. He can score in the post, shoot the three, rebounds…he's such a luxury to have. Dating back to last year when I first saw him, he's somebody I was immediately impressed with. I have a great deal of respect for him as a player."

What have you seen from Rihards Kuksiks this last few starts and do you keep him in the starting lineup this week?

"It's just a function of our team needing an extra boost right now. I've been anxious for him to come along, plus I thought it was gonna important for our team's continued improvement. The last four games in particular, we really inserted him into the rotation and hopefully he'll continue to get more comfortable and produce even more."

You like what you saw from Jamelle McMillan the last few minutes of the Arizona game?

"I liked that left handed drive (smile). That was a big time shot, wasn't it? In a lot of respects it really was (the game winner)."

Just like some other players on the team, Jerren Shipp has been struggling with his outside shot, but he did play better offensively at Arizona…

"He got some baskets in the context of our offense, couple of guys made great passes to him."

Sweeping Arizona this season – what kind of reaction are you seeing and hearing?

"I really haven't, but I have been on lockdown. I haven't been out too much. (Former ASU) Coach Frieder did call me to congratulate, and he did remind me that he had done it."

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