Unveiling Arizona State’s Bobby Hurley: A Fascinating Interview with 5 Thought-Provoking Questions

Bobby Hurley: The Architect Behind Arizona State’s Rise

Arizona State University’s men’s basketball program has experienced a resurgence in recent years under the leadership of head coach Bobby Hurley. With three NCAA Tournament appearances in the last five years and a strong roster, the Sun Devils are poised to be one of the top teams in the Pac-12. I had the opportunity to sit down with Hurley in Tempe to discuss the secrets behind building a successful program, the changes happening in the Pac-12, and the impact of key newcomers on the team for the upcoming 2023-24 season.

Jon Rothstein: You’ve achieved what no other head coach has done for Arizona State since the early 1960s, leading the team to three NCAA Tournament appearances in the last five years. What’s the secret behind your success?

Bobby Hurley: Building a winning program takes time and a focus on recruiting the right players. It didn’t happen overnight. We had a breakthrough season when we started with a 12-0 record and became the third-ranked team in the country. That success paved the way for our first NCAA Tournament appearance, and from there, we focused on finding players who fit our style of play and brought a winning mentality.

Rothstein: You had success as a coach at Buffalo before coming to Arizona State. How did your experiences in the Pac-12 shape your coaching career?

Hurley: The Pac-12 is a special conference with a rich history in college basketball. It was a privilege to play against some of the best teams on the West Coast and compete in legendary arenas like Pauley Pavilion. I have great memories of our games against rival teams and the competitive atmosphere. While it’s tough to see the league dissolve, I believe the move to the Big 12 will open up new opportunities for us to compete in another strong basketball conference.

Rothstein: Your team underwent some changes during the offseason. Which newcomers do you expect to make a significant impact this season?

Hurley: While there are still some variables, we have high hopes for Adam Miller, who transferred from LSU and is awaiting a waiver. Shawn Phillips, another LSU transfer, has impressed us with his potential. He brings a strong physical presence with his height and athleticism. Kamari Lands and Malachi Davis have also shown promise. However, we also believe in the players who helped us reach the NCAA Tournament last year. Jamiya Neal and Alonzo Gaffney were instrumental in our success, and Frankie Collins continues to grow as our point guard. These players will be key leaders for us.

Rothstein: Jamiya Neal has been mentioned often by your program. What do you expect from him as his role expands this season?

Hurley: Jamiya has always had the potential to contribute at a higher level, but an injury set him back last season. His ability to make plays on both ends of the floor and his athleticism make him a valuable asset. With the departures of key players, Jamiya will be crucial in filling that void offensively. We rely on him to step up and take on a bigger role this season.

Rothstein: Despite a couple of postseason absences, your program has become a perennial contender for the NCAA Tournament. What’s the plan to get back there in 2024?

Hurley: We stick to our proven plan. Apart from the challenges brought by COVID, we have been consistent and strong. The disruptions caused by lockdowns and safety measures didn’t work well for our program. Now that we are out of that situation, we return to our routine and play a competitive non-conference schedule. We believe in testing ourselves against strong opponents early in the season, which gives us opportunities to prove ourselves.



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