January 20, 2008
Jeff Pendergraph Q&A
It was a frustrating night for ASU junior forward Jeff Pendergraph, and the rest of the No. 25 ranked Sun Devils. Following a 67-52 loss to the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion, the emotional leader of the Sun Devils spoke candidly about their first loss in conference play.
Because of a few ticky-tack fouls, Pendergraph spent most of the game in foul trouble, playing for only 24 minutes totaling seven points and three rebounds. Here's what he had to say about the officiating, Brook Lopez, and the new expectations for ASU Basketball.
Would you say that the team is happy to split the Bay Area road series, and leave town with at least one victory?
Pendergraph: That was our whole goal all of last year and the year before - just to try and get one. That's not my thing. I'm trying to win everything.
Were you ok with Coach Sendek leaving you out on the floor after you picked up your third foul?
I thought it was fine, it was a quick foul. It wasn't a big thing like I was frustrated and I was wrestling with him - it was a weak call. It was an uphill battle the whole second half. It was some of our fault, they came at us and tried to attack us and take it to us and we just sat there..
Was the team drained from the double overtime game against Cal?.
We don't make excuses. That's what this league is about, you play every two days. Every Thursday and Saturday - it doesn't matter - they're big games. They're not going to reschedule the game because you had a double overtime game the night before. That's not how it works.
Why was Brook Lopez able to get going offensively when you were on the bench?
He started kicking [butt]. If he starts getting in rhythm he's going to score, and he's going to punish you and that's what he did to us. He had a ridiculous double-double. What was (it) 19 point and 16 rebounds?
When you were guarding him initially, how were you able to slow him down?
I was trying. I was really trying -he was big as heck. When I got in the second half it was too late, it didn't matter what I did. He was lights out. When he faced-up around the basket, everything was going in for him. He had the touch.
Although the loss wasn't a good feeling, would you say being able to leave town with one road victory gives the team confidence?
We didn't lose both, compared to previous standards of how we are supposed to do that is really damn good but to me that is [nonsense]. To me, we are supposed to win every game. I want to win every game. I don't like quitting. Especially right now because we are doing so well it seems like if we quit people are expecting us to quit.
But the team still has a chance to hold on to its ranking.
I don't give a damn about the rankings. You see what that got us? It doesn't mean anything. Us being tough as hell got us a win. A ranking doesn't mean anything during the season, that's mumbo jumbo so people can talk about on Sportscenter.
You're one of four teams with one loss in the loss column, have you thought about that?
In the Pac-10, I wasn't expecting for us to go undefeated, we knew it was going to be tough, but I didn't expect to show up like this and I didn't expect to lose.
So that is motivation for next week against Washington?
Of course, we already know we are going to get back in there time to go work. We'll get better and get ready. Everybody is beating everybody; eventually Oregon State is going to beat somebody.
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