Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Harden Questionable for Thursday's Game

Arizona State's surprising season could hit a speed bump this week.

Sun Devils' freshman guard James Harden is "day-to-day" with a groin injury he suffered in Saturday's loss to Stanford. Arizona State faces Washington at home on Thursday.

"It's really a function of how he feels," head coach Herb Sendek said in the Pac-10 coaches' conference call earlier today. "We're really just going to have to wait and see like everybody else."

The 6-5 Harden has been one of the best freshmen in the country this season, averaging 18.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, while also shooting 55 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range. In Pac-10 play, Harden has improved his numbers, putting up 22.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

"I don't know that any team is the same when you take out a guy who's as important as he is," Sendek said. "All anybody can do is hope guys collectively step up and do the best they can."

He didn't underestimate the potential loss of Harden, though.

"You take a player of his caliber out of any lineup and it certainly changes the set-up of your team," Sendek said.

Harden, who finished Saturday's game with a noticeable limp, did not practice today or Monday. Arizona State, picked to finish near the bottom of the Pac-10 this season, is 4-1 in conference play and 14-3 overall.

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