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ASU’s Hurley: Need to ‘re-establish how we need to play’

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 photo, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley yells during the first half of his team's NCAA college basketball game against Washington State in Tempe, Ariz. Bobby Hurley had to make do with recruits from the previous coach in his first season at Arizona State. Now that Hurley has been able to bring in some of his own recruits, expect the Sun Devils to play much faster than they did a year ago. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
LISTEN: Bobby Hurley, ASU basketball coach

Arizona State is fresh off their 46-point drudging at the hands of No. 1 Kentucky in the Bahamas, and head coach Bobby Hurley is regrouping his team to try and iron out the problems.

Hurley felt like his team lacked confidence and effort, and he wanted to see more.

“I think we progressively became demoralized as the game went on,” Hurley told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday morning. “I feel we had the right intentions to start the game, I think like the guys wanted to play well, and they were excited for the moment and I think we were a little nervous early in the game, especially on offense.”

The first five minutes of the game went well enough for ASU. At the 16:13 mark, ASU hung tough with Kentucky, as the Sun Devils only trailed by four. But then things unraveled, badly. Kentucky suffocated ASU, en route to a 17-4 run spanning five minutes, and they never looked back.

When reflecting on the game, Hurley noticed issues that a team a month in the season shouldn’t have, and he plans on addressing it during practice.

“It’s unacceptable. I think we have to improve, we have to play harder, we have to work on our secondary effort plays,” Hurley said. “We’re not making those secondary multiple-effort plays on possessions, so we’ll get to that, we’ll do more conditioning today and hopefully guys will be in better shape to do more of that as we move forward.”

Hurley said it was demoralizing what happened to his team on Nov. 28, and he expressed disappointment in the play of his guards.

The four starting guards — Shannon Evans, Torian Graham, Tra Holder and Sam Cunliffe — shot a dismal 29.8 percent combined and had nine of the team’s 13 turnovers. He talked to individual players about what transpired against Kentucky and what needs to happen next time out, but after a loss like that, Wednesday’s practice will be like hitting the reset button for ASU.

“I think you can only talk so much, you got to have action, so we’ll have plenty of action today on the court with the guys. It’ll be a very physical practice today to try and re-establish how we need to play,” Hurley said.

ASU returns to action on Dec. 3 against the UNLV Rebels in Tempe at 6 p.m.

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