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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 27th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

Arizona State Sun Devils

 

Overall Rank: #109

Conference Rank: #8 Pac-10

 

2005-06: 11-17, 5-13, 8th (t)

2005-06 postseason: none

 

With Herb Sendek taking over the head coaching job and six of the top seven scorers returning, Arizona State fans have good reason to be optimistic.  Bryson Krueger will once again lead the way and big things are expected from him as a senior.

 

Who’s Out: Kevin Kruger opted to take advantage of a new transfer rule and play for his father at UNLV this season.  The unexpected departure of the teams leading scorer leaves some concern in the backcourt.  The next six highest scorers return, but the eight, nine and ten guys are gone.  Guard Tyrone Jackson started 13 games, averaging 4.3 points and 2.5 assists.  The frontcourt will spend the season without Craig Austin and Chad Goldstein.  Each player has opted to transfer and scored 2.8 points and grabbed nearly two rebounds per contest.

 

Who’s In: The group of four newcomers will solidify Arizona State’s depth.  Combo guard Christian Polk is a solid ballhandler and a tenacious defender.  Small forward Jerren Shipp averaged 18.5 points per game last year at Fairfax High School in California.  Being the brother of UCLA Josh Shipp should provide some interesting family rivalries in the Pac-10.  Derek Glasser won’t wow Sun Devil fans, but the incoming freshman point guard is a heady player who can run a team.  George Odufuwa, a 6-7 power forward, needs to bulk up a bit, but will be a contributor for Coach Sendek’s squad. 

 

Who to Watch: Haven’t heard of Jeff Pendergraph yet?  You will soon.  As a freshman, the 6-10 forward averaged 10.9 points and a team high 6.1 rebounds, and that was after missing some early practices and conditioning due to a benign tumor being removed from his left femur.  With a full offseason of conditioning and a year of experience under his belt, Pendergraph will become a major presence under the basket in the Pac-10.  He’s not alone up front either with Serge Angounou by his side.  The Cameroon native averaged 7.3 points and 5.1 boards last year and, if past injuries are behind him, has the potential for a surprising senior season.  When Pendergraph and Angounou need a rest, Allen Morill and Sylvester Seay are quality options off the bench.  Morill started two games last year before suffering an injury.  After receiving a medical redshirt, Morill is back to provide experienced depth to the forward spots.  Seay started 11 games as a freshman and is best suited as a long 6-9 wing player, but can handle the four as well.

 

Final Projection: ASU had a problem finishing games last year.  It is hoped the regime change will solve that problem.  With the departure of Kruger, the newcomers, especially Polk and Shipp, will be asked to contribute quite a bit.  If one of those two can start hitting from the outside, it will help ease the pain of the loss of Kruger.  Point guard Antwi Atuahene needs to keep his turnovers down.  He turned the ball over 3.0 times per game his first season with the Sun Devils after spending one season at the junior college level.  If those numbers don’t improve, the rebuilding process will take a little longer than Arizona State hopes.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: none

 

Projected Starting Five:

Antwi Atuahene, Junior, Guard, 7.1 points per game

Bryson Krueger, Senior, Guard, 12.3 points per game

Sylvester Seay, Sophomore, Forward, 4.7 points per game

Serge Angounou, Senior, Forward, 7.3 points per game

Jeff Pendergraph, Sophomore, Forward, 10.9 points per game

110 Seton Hall » Complete List » 108 IUPUI

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