Ray Anderson, ASU committed to head coach Bobby Hurley for 2022-23

Mar 2, 2022, 2:29 PM

It’s been a roller coaster of a season for head coach Bobby Hurley and the Arizona State men’s basketball team.

After opening up the season 2-6, the Sun Devils rattled off three straight wins and looked like a team that finally started knocking the rust off.

But just when it seemed the Sun Devils looked to be coming out of their struggles, they suffered a 1-4 skid, highlighted by Hurley getting suspended and fined for misconduct toward an official in a 79-76 loss to the Stanford Cardinal. Guard Jay Heath was also suspended a game for making contact with an official.

With the optics taking a turn yet again, chatter began to cloud the program over Hurley’s job security moving forward.

However, two days after the Stanford incident, VP for university athletics Ray Anderson put any doubts to bed, calling the talk surrounding Hurley and the program “premature” and committing to the head coach for 2022-23.

“We talked a month ago about, ‘You’re our guy. Get this team playing together the way you want them to play and then let’s finish strong and then let’s go into next year and really show that we can manage this new portal, this new way of having to put together a roster and get them to gel sometimes a lot faster than you thought,'” Anderson said on the Anderson-Healey Show on Tuesday.

“We’ve had some hiccups with COVID and everything else, but … this team is playing really well now. I think we are going to finish strong but we know going into next year with coach Hurley leading this program, we got a chance to continue improving and getting back to this postseason in a big way. Really proud of what this team is doing and really proud of Bobby Hurley.”

Following the discussion, ASU’s wild ride of a season continued on.

Following three more losses, ASU took then-No. 3 UCLA down to the wire, coming away with an 87-84 triple overtime win at home. And despite the back-to-back losses to Arizona and Washington that proceeded their ranked win, the Sun Devils have won five of their last six matchups.

“We had a conversation and I made it very clear to him and he made it very clear to me that we’re in this together,” Anderson said.

“I told him, ‘You’re our coach for 2022, don’t worry about all the noise. You’re our coach here for the way forward, don’t worry about all the noise and the naysayers and the bad messages out there. You do what you need to do to make whatever appropriate adjustments, whatever strategy changes, whatever roster changes, whatever relationship changes you think are appropriate with officials or anybody else. That’s on you.'”

The Sun Devils are back in action Thursday at 6 p.m. against the California Golden Bears. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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