The Arizona State University Sun Devils will need all hands on deck if they are to upset the 16th-ranked University of Arizona Wildcats on Thursday.
The Sun Devils have been up-and-down so far this season on their way to a 9-8 record, but have been a good offensive team, ranking 35th in the country by averaging 82 points per game.
Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley hopes that this will allow his team to secure the school’s first victory in Tucson since the 2009-10 season.
“We have to bring our A-game on offense,” Hurley said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf. “The times that we’ve shot well have usually translated into us playing well and having a chance to win.”
Hurley may find scoring hard to come by against the No. 12 defense in the country. A big part of the 15-2 Wildcats’ success is their stifling defense, which is holding opponents to 60.8 points per game.
The Sun Devils coach knows it will take more than a good offensive game to take down Arizona, who ASU has lost seven of their previous 10 matchups with.
“We’ve gotta do what we do and just be scrappy and change up our looks and how we defend the post and make sure our guards are rebounding and doing those things,” he said.
As far as the controversy surrounding his speech after last Thursday’s win against Colorado, in which he said, “If anyone wants to win here, they better go to [expletive] Tucson,” Hurley was not worried about it.
“Everyone can look at it however they want to look at it, but my words are what they were,” the ASU coach said. “If Arizona fans need more ammunition against me then that’s great. Go ahead if you feel you need that.”
He also praised how Arizona coach Sean Miller handled the situation.
“I thought Sean Miller’s comments were very appropriate,” Hurley said. “I have a lot of respect for him just acknowledging what I said and not making it anything more than what I said.”
Tipoff will be Thursday at 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on television on ESPN2 and on the radio on 620 AM.