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Bobby Hurley rants after ASU’s loss to Arizona on lack of foul call

Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, right, argues with an official after one of his players was issued a technical foul during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against UCLA on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

There were a whole lot of whistles on Thursday night but a brief moment without one really bothered Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley.

In the Sun Devils’ 84-82 loss to rival Arizona, senior guard Remy Martin drove the ball into the lane with 10 seconds left and a tie score.

Now, with a two-second difference between the game and shot clock, Martin would have been better off holding for the last shot. But, alas, there he went to give Arizona potentially another shot before the end of regulation.

Martin drove right into Arizona big man Azuolas Tubelis, and after Tubelis initially kept his arms straight up to contest the shot, his left arm came slightly down to get a piece of the ball.

There was no whistle, Arizona drove down the court and Tubelis’ putback bucket won the game at the buzzer.

Multiple replays make it difficult to see any point in which Tubelis’ arm hit anything but the ball. Hurley had one of the best angles in the house, so he obviously saw Tubelis’ arm come down as Martin fell and thought there was contact on the arm.

If anything, it’s a debatable call, but not as obvious as Hurley would make it out to be.

Of course, given the way Pac-12 officials call games, almost any contact from a defender is often called a foul. Martin taking the bump would have earned a whistle on some nights. And this felt like one of those nights, given the Sun Devils shot 21 free throws in that second half.

While Hurley is known for showing his temper on the sidelines in an over the top manner, he is normally well-reserved when speaking with the media after a game.

And while he wasn’t raising his voice Thursday, he was clearly upset, maybe the most he’s ever been after a game when speaking to reporters.

“I thought that Remy Martin — after watching it live and then watching it on film again after — clearly was fouled by a player in the restricted area. That player did not leave his feet, he was contacted, his arms did not go straight up and the guy should have been whistled a foul and put on the free-throw line,” Hurley said. “So you’re talking about a guy that is as decorated a player in this conference as it’s seen that goes to the hoop in a critical moment in the game and they swallow their whistles.

“And that kid goes, gets knocked on his (expletive) and obviously they went down and scored and the rest is history tonight.”

Hurley went through his more general observations in an opening statement on the game before looping his way back around to that play.

“I could sit here and talk about our turnovers in the first half and some other things that I wasn’t pleased with about our performance but I thought that we played a winning game and that Remy Martin deserved to go to the free-throw line because he was fouled in the restricted area and the player did not have his arms go straight up,” he said.

“One of his arms contacted Remy Martin as he was shooting the ball and it was not straight up. I don’t know what else we really need to discuss tonight.”

It was an amusing close to his remarks before opening it up to questions.

“So we could really dive into this whole game and talk about it but I might just keep talking about that last possession,” he said.


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