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ASU’s Bobby Hurley reflects on getting angry, animated on sidelines

Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, right, makes his point to official Dave Hall during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Arizona, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona defeated Arizona State 84-78. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

LISTEN: Bobby Hurley, ASU Men's Basketball Coach

Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Bobby Hurley had a national reputation for being one of the best collegiate point guards of all time, but now he’s gaining recognition across the country for other reasons outside of his team’s success.

Hurley is one of the most animated coaches in all of college basketball. He’s known for not only visibly reacting to calls made by officials, but he will also spend more than just a few seconds raising his voice to a referee to let him know how he disagrees.

He has had a few technical fouls and ejections on his record with the Sun Devils, and it’s hard not to feel, at times, that his actions are a bit much.

Hurley discussed his philosophy and thought process on those conversations with referees Wednesday morning.

“I just trust my instincts and do what I feel I need to do for our team,” Hurley said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf. “Generally, our players respond to my intensity and the fire that I coach with. The times that you see it, it’s gonna get put out there.”

For Hurley, though, it goes beyond outright yelling in the moment. He will back up his argument after games have taken place.

“I do work behind the scenes,” he said. “I try and send some videos and talk about plays that transpired during the course of the game that angered me. With our head of officials so they’re aware of understanding why I might be upset about why something was missed in my estimation.”

As much as Hurley gets into those discussions, he knows there’s only so much he can do while also being able to focus on all the attention the game deserves.

“You have to be able to move on,” he said. “As much as you need to make your points, maybe with an official during a timeout, you got to get in the huddle and get something done there too.”


Hurley will take his Sun Devils squad to the Oregon schools this week. At home in mid-January, the Sun Devils split the series, with a tight 76-72 loss to Oregon and a close 77-75 win against Oregon State.

Getting a win over the Ducks will be a tough task on the road.

“Tough place to play, they get great support there,” Hurley said.

The former Duke point guard spoke highly of Oregon’s floor general.

“Payton Pritchard, one of the better point guards in the conference, really orchestrates things very well for their team and can really shoot the three very well,” he said.

Pritchard played a big role in slowing the game down in Tempe and was the best player on the floor, finishing with 18 points, four rebounds and six assists.

The game against the Ducks is on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station while they take on the Beavers on Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM.


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