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The pioneers are gone, but ASU’s Hurley expects Guard U to remain

(AP Photo/Matt York)

ASU basketball lost three of the key guards who made last year’s offense tick: Tra Holder, Shannon Evans II and Kodi Justice.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean Guard U is dead.

“They laid the foundation for it, but still having Rob Edwards and Remy Martin and Luguentz Dort, those three guys will carry on that tradition fairly well,” head coach Bobby Hurley said at Pac-12 Media Day on Thursday.

Edwards, a transfer student who played two seasons at Cleveland State, was named to the Horizon League All-Freshman team and then averaged 16.5 points per game as a sophomore.

Martin was the fourth ASU guard last season, the spark off the bench whose energetic defense and quick, crafty ball handling surged the team — and the crowd.

And Hurley sees similar defensive prowess in Dort, comparing him to former Arizona guard Rawle Alkins.

“With his strength and his athletic ability, even for an incoming freshman, and his mindset and approach to defending, he just wants to lock you up,” Hurley said. “He’s got the physical tools to do it.”

The unit still has parts of the game to figure out: Are any of them a sharpshooter like Justice? Can any catch on fire like Evans? Will one of them be able to lead the team like Holder?

But outside of helping the Sun Devils this year, Hurley sees Guard U as a stepping stone for years to come.

It already attracted Taeshon Cherry, a four-star guard who chose ASU over schools like Arizona and USC.

“I think in the future we’re going to have the ability to bring in guards to Arizona State because of our style of play, and our system is very friendly to guard play,” Hurley said. “I don’t think you’ve seen the last of it.”

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