ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL
Hurley: D.J. Horne will return to ASU basketball after 1-game suspension
Guard D.J. Horne will be in the Arizona State lineup Thursday when the Sun Devils host Oregon State, head coach Bobby Hurley told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta.
Horne was suspended Saturday against the Washington State Cougars for “conduct detrimental to the team,” but Hurley called the penalty a “one-off.”
“I think D.J. epitomizes how we all feel,” Hurley told Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday. “Teams that have a lot of winners in the locker room and have won a lot of games and have that expectation and that standard, when you go through some struggles like that, things could boil over. I think for him personally, he has a very high standard for his quality of play.
“He has not reached that mark the last couple of games, and following the game (Thursday against Washington) he was highly frustrated and it resulted in the disciplinary action. He and I have had really good conversations over the last couple of days and he was in practice yesterday. It’s a one-off and he’ll be back in the lineup on Thursday night.”
Arizona State (15-7) has lost four straight games in sweeps by the Los Angeles and Washington schools.
The offense has hit a wall, with ASU’s shooting percentages in the last three games plunging to 39%, 30% and then 34%.
Horne, who joined ASU as a 41% three-point shooter in two seasons at Illinois State, has struggled this year, his second with the Sun Devils. He’s shooting 35% from the field and 32% from three-point range, and an 0-for-5 stretch of just 17 minutes played on Jan. 21 against the USC Trojans saw the inaccuracy issue bleed into other parts of his game. Hurley benched Horne, citing a lack of engagement.
He did the same the next game, a loss to the Washington Huskies, that led to the suspension.
ASU inserted forward Alonzo Gaffney into Horne’s starting slot on Saturday in a 75-58 loss to Washington State, but Hurley and Horne have worked things out.
“We’ve been through a lot together,” Hurley said. “We’ve played a lot of games together. He’s a guy that I’ve counted on the last two years. He’s played winning basketball for us … like I said, very frustrated after the Washington game and how we lost.
“Unfortunately, I had to do something in the best interest of the team in that moment and D.J. is on the same page with everybody and is invested and wanting to win and get back on track.”