ARIZONA STATE BASKETBALL

Bobby Hurley: ‘I failed miserably’ in Arizona State’s Pac-12 Tournament loss to Utah

Mar 13, 2024, 11:04 PM | Updated: Mar 18, 2024, 7:14 am

The Arizona State Sun Devils basketball season came to an end on Wednesday night in a 90-57 loss to Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament.

The Sun Devils struggled out of the gates in the first half and trailed 47-22 at the break. Utah did not miss a 2-point field goal in the first half.

Utah finished the game shooting 59.6% from the field as a team and 46.2% from the 3-point line.

Frankie Collins led ASU with 20 points.

“I feel like you could say a lot of things about me as a coach, and you could be critical of a lot of areas and different things that you may not like about my coaching style my offense, my philosophies on defense, my in-game decisions, my rotations,” head coach Bobby Hurley told reporters postgame. “I mean, there’s a lot of things that go into being a coach, but I don’t think you would say that he’s not going to fight or battle or get his team ready to compete and fight and battle.

“And I failed miserably in that regard because you know this is not a reflection of my belief system in terms of just effort and will, and knowing what it feels like when your season’s on the line and you have to play for your season and that’s the effort that you get. That’s my responsibility and I failed miserably.”

ASU enjoyed two four-game win streaks and jumped out to a 4-0 start in conference play this year. The Sun Devils were 10-5 at one point of the season in January.

However, at the end of that month, they hit a stretch of losing seven of eight games to push them down in the Pac-12 standings.

The Sun Devils made a push with two wins in a row in the middle of February to climb back to .500 in conference play but ended the year losing five of six and finished 11th in the standings.

Losing one of their best players in Jose Perez late in the regular season was an unusual obstacle the Sun Devils had to navigate through. Perez left to pursue a professional basketball opportunity in the Dominican Republic.

One of the highlights of the season was Collins, who set a new school record for most steals in a single season.

Collins broke the record of 76 — which was set in 1981-82 by Lafayette “Fat” Lever — on Feb. 22 in a game against Washington. Collins would finish the regular season with 83 steals, breaking the previous record of 76 steals set by Fat Lever in 1981-82

Collins, a junior, was honored for his play by earning Pac-12 All-Defensive and Honorable Mention honors.

ASU finished the season with a 14-18 record, the second worst in Hurley’s tenure and the school’s worst since finishing 11-14 in 2020-21. The school has made the NCAA Tournament three times in Hurley’s nine seasons as head coach but has not gotten past the first round in any of its appearances.

“We got to revamp the roster,” Hurley said. “I have to get on the phone and I’ve been on the phone. … I have to go and especially with the transition, I’ve watched a bit of Big 12 basketball. It’s strong, physical … I mean it’s for men — grown ass men — in that league so you know we have to make some changes.”

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