ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL

ASU, Bobby Hurley forced to ‘shift gears’ after Utah game postponement

Dec 22, 2020, 10:49 AM | Updated: 10:49 am
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Arizona State Sun Devils were nearly finished with their practice on Sunday when they found out their upcoming game against Utah would not go on as planned.

Due to a positive coronavirus case within the Utes program, Tuesday’s Pac-12 matchup was postponed with the hope it can be rescheduled at a later time.

Throw in last Thursday’s canceled matchup against Incarnate Word, and the Sun Devils (4-3) have now had back-to-back games called off this month.

“It’s been a bit of a crazy week as it’s been throughout most of this year,” head coach Bobby Hurley told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Tuesday. “We had another good workout yesterday, and actually now the guys get in an extra additional day for Christmas break and then we’ll get back to work on the 26th.”

Now, ASU must wait until Dec. 31 to resume play against Washington State.

For Hurley and Co., the timing of the cancellation and postponement isn’t ideal.

Following a devastating loss to UTEP, the Sun Devils were looking forward to returning to the hardwood to get over their bad showing last Wednesday.

In the 76-63 defeat, the Sun Devils were outrebounded 46-26 and were outscored 43-22 in the second half. ASU connected on just one of its 18 3-point attempts (5.5%).

“It’s tough and the kids are kinda scratching their heads really,” Hurley said. “We didn’t perform well vs. UTEP and kinda got a bad taste in your mouth with that effort.

“You’re just thinking that based on the quality of practices, because you have the full attention of the group based on a poor loss, that we’d have an opportunity to redeem ourselves a little bit before the holiday but … you have to be prepared to shift and be adaptable to the changes that are going on.”

If there’s one sliver of silver lining with the latest postponement, it’s the fact that freshman forward Marcus Bagley gets a little more time to get back to 100% following a calf injury against California on Dec. 3.

The Sun Devils have been itching to get the forward back, Hurley said, but reiterated that the team will not put Bagley in harm’s way by rushing him back to the starting lineup.

“As far as Marcus goes, we’ve been mindful of his future and long-term he’s a first-round pick, whether it’s this year or if he wants to stay another year and play again at Arizona State,” Hurley said. “We would certainly respect his wishes with either of those scenarios.

“Just to be protective of him and make sure that first, initially, he was pain-free and got some confidence back. Then we had a week under his belt to practice to strengthen his calf to make sure he felt 100%. He was doing some pretty special things in practice.”

The return of Bagley would be huge for the Sun Devils as they enter the bulk of their conference play, as he’s averaging 13.0 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game.

Penguin Air

Arizona State Basketball

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12 exploring all expansion options with USC, UCLA heading to Big Ten

The Pac-12 is looking into expansion following the decisions from USC and UCLA on Thursday to head to the Big Ten as early as 2024.
6 days ago
Basketballs are rolled off the court during the NCAAB game at McKale Center on January 03, 2022 in ...
Arizona Sports

Arizona ‘extremely disappointed’ in USC, UCLA leaving Pac-12 for Big Ten

The Arizona Wildcats broke their silence Friday regarding USC's and UCLA's plans to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten as early as 2024.
6 days ago
UCLA plays Oregon during a Pac-12 NCAA college football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., ...
Arizona Sports

UCLA, USC to leave Pac-12 for Big Ten in 2024

UCLA and USC will be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, beginning in the 2024-25 season, the two schools confirmed on Thursday evening.
7 days ago
Arizona State guard Shannon Evans II (11) celebrates with the cheering crowd after a making basket ...
Wills Rice

ESPN’s Gasaway: ASU, Arizona’s best basketball transfers wins

ESPN’s John Gasaway took a stab at what he thought to be the best transfers in and out of each basketball program in Pac-12 history.
1 month ago
Pac-12 logo on the field during the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tempe, ...
Associated Press

Pac-12 Conference suffers 36% decrease in revenue in 2020-21

The Pac-12 suffered a 36% decrease in revenue for the 2020-21 fiscal year due to pandemic-related cancellations in football and basketball.
2 months ago
Frankie Collins #10 of the Michigan Wolverines drives to the basket against Fatts Russell #4 of the...
Arizona Sports

Arizona State lands Michigan transfer, former 4-star recruit Frankie Collins

Point guard Frankie Collins will transfer to Arizona State after playing one season at Michigan, he announced on Twitter.
2 months ago
ASU, Bobby Hurley forced to ‘shift gears’ after Utah game postponement