No. 15 ASU ready to tip off season

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona State went from 8 victories in Herb Sendek's first year to 21 in his second.

This year, Sendek is planning to take the leash off. The first glimpse of the new offense will come on Friday night, when the 15th-ranked Sun Devils open the season against Mississippi Valley State in Wells Fargo Arena.

The reserved Sendek is typically cautious about his plans for the offense this season. But he acknowledged that ASU will play faster than it has the last two seasons, not that it could play much slower.

It all starts with James Harden, who surprised many outside the program when he decided to return for his sophomore year, likely to be his last on campus.

Harden earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors, leading ASU with 17.8 points per game.

Along with Harden, the Sun Devils welcome back 6-foot-9 senior forward Jeff Pendergraph.

Pendergraph averaged 12.4 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game as a junior.