Last week, some headlines were made when video of Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley firing up his team while taking a jab at rival Arizona made it to the internet.
If you recall, Hurely, the second-year ASU coach, was essentially telling his team that opponents will not come into Tempe and win games, saying, “If anyone wants to win here, they better go to [expletive] Tucson.”
The comment, whether it was meant to be a shot at Arizona or not, was really just a coach trying to instill confidence in his team after a last-second win over Colorado.
The Sun Devils followed up their big win with a home loss to Utah on Saturday, however, while the Wildcats won both their games last week, and have now been victorious in 64 of their last 65 games in the McKale Center.
ASU (9-8, 2-2 in Pac-12) and UA (15-2, 4-0) will get a chance to battle on the hardwood Thursday evening in Tucson, and ahead of that game, Arizona coach Sean Miller was asked about Hurley’s comments.
Sean Miller on Bobby Hurley’s comments following Colorado game. Hurley said “if anyones wants to win here, they better go to f—— Tucson” pic.twitter.com/IzCUa37oWR
— DailyWildcatHoops (@WildcatHoops) January 9, 2017
“Bobby is a great competitor himself and the challenge as a coach is to get your team motivated and have your team ready to play,” Miller said Monday. “And to run a program, to build a program. Confidence is part of that — there’s a lot of different ways to go about instilling that.
“I don’t think he meant that (his comments) in a derogatory fashion towards our program or things here in Tucson as much as making sure that his guys believe in themselves and know that the objective is to be a tough team to play against and to win, and I respect that.”
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game can be heard on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.