Arizona State basketball getting closer to whole with Shawn Phillips Jr. nearing return

Dec 19, 2023, 11:09 AM

Shawn Phillips Jr....

Shawn Phillips Jr. #9 of the Arizona State Sun Devils dunks the ball against Shawn Jones Jr. #5 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the first half in the Barstool Sports Invitational at Wintrust Arena on November 8, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Arizona State men’s basketball is getting closer to full strength with Pac-12 play less than two weeks out.

Head coach Bobby Hurley told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday center Shawn Phillips Jr. is “very close” to playing again after he has missed the last seven games with a foot injury.

“If it was up to Shawn, it would be tomorrow,” Hurley said ahead of Wednesday’s game against Northwestern at the Jerry Colangelo Hall of Famer Series. “He’s finally feeling like himself. He’s still got a lot of work to do to get the foundation back under him before we can get him to the floor.”

Hurley said Phillips had a good day in practice on Monday and is getting more involved. If Phillips has another positive day at practice on Tuesday, Hurley expects the big man to participate in pregame warmups and dress on Wednesday at Footprint Center, but he is not expected to play.

Phillips is a seven-footer who started the first three games of the season after transferring from LSU, and the Sun Devils have missed his size.

Arizona State will have a break between games after Wednesday with the conference slate starting Dec. 29 against Stanford.

ASU also got back guard Adam Miller after an NCAA eligibility saga ended with a court’s restraint on rules that keep two-time transfers from playing this season.

Miller debuted on Saturday against TCU and led the team with 20 points. He also transferred from LSU with Phillips.

“It was disappointing he had to sit out that many games, but his state of mind has completely changed now that he’s been able to play,” Hurley said. “He’s been a different person these last few days, and you just want these kids ultimately to be happy and have a great experience.”

Hurley said Miller will continue to help with the Sun Devils’ perimeter and free-throw shooting while adding a veteran presence.

The Sun Devils will face a Northwestern team coached by Chris Collins, Hurley’s roommate for a time while they played at Duke. Boo Buie is the Wildcats’ top scorer at 18 points per game, and Hurley called Northwestern a high IQ team that is defensive-minded.

Arizona State Basketball


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Exclusive Interviews: ASU Athletic Director Graham Rossini & head football coach Kenny Dillingham

Jeremy Schnell talked to ASU Athletic Director Graham Rossini about his short time as full-time AD so far and the future of Desert Financial Arena. He also talked to head football coach Kenny Dillingham about Big 12 Media Days and finishing last in the Big 12 preseason media poll.

12 days ago

Koa Peat, #4 of the USA, in action during the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup match between the USA a...

Arizona Sports

Gilbert Perry’s Koa Peat scores 26 points, leads USA to gold at U17 World Cup

The USA won gold at the U17 World Cup behind 26 points from Gilbert Perry's Koa Peat, winning gold at the event for a record second time.

15 days ago

Koa Peat #10 of the Perry Pumas scored 19 points in the USA's 145-65 win versus New Zealand. (Photo...

Bailey Leasure

Gilbert Perry’s Koa Peat shines as USA U17 team advances to the gold medal game

Gilbert Perry's Koa Peat shines as the United States' U17 World Cup team advanced to the gold medal game after a win versus New Zealand.

16 days ago

ASU's Bobby Hurley speaks with Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd...

Kevin Zimmerman

Big 12 announces 2024-25 conference opponents for ASU, Arizona basketball

The Big 12 released its 2024-25 men's and women's basketball matchup assignments without times or TV information.

25 days ago

Final Four logo...

Associated Press

NCAA presents a plan to expand March Madness tournaments

The NCAA has presented a plan that would expand the lucrative men's and women's basketball tournaments by four or eight teams.

1 month ago

Koa Peat #10 of the Perry Pumas scored 19 points in the USA's 145-65 win versus New Zealand. (Photo...

Damon Allred

Gilbert Perry’s Koa Peat headlines USA Basketball U17 World Cup team

Koa Peat, a star forward at Gilbert Perry and top-5 overall prospect in the 2025 class, will represent USA at the U17 World Cup this summer.

1 month ago

Arizona State basketball getting closer to whole with Shawn Phillips Jr. nearing return