ESPN: ASU men’s basketball has one of the toughest schedules in the country

Sep 16, 2015, 11:34 AM | Updated: 12:47 pm

Arizona State traditionally hasn’t had the most difficult men’s basketball schedule.

But first-year coach Bobby Hurley is laying the groundwork for that to change.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman ranked the 2015-16 schedules in terms of difficulty and the Sun Devils landed in the No. 4 spot.

New coach Bobby Hurley said he always wanted to play against quality teams when he was at Duke. The Sun Devils, who could struggle this season, have three true road games: Kentucky, Creighton and UNLV. ASU plays Texas A&M, Stephen F. Austin and Belmont in Tempe and will face NC State and possibly LSU in Brooklyn as part of the Legends Classic.

The most notable road trip is Hurley’s face off against John Calipari at the Rupp Arena, but the Wildcats aren’t the only 2015 NCAA Tournament team that the Sun Devils will see in the 2015-16 season.

ASU has the possibility of facing four more non-conference opponents who made last year’s tournament.

“I think our fan base wants a tough schedule, wants to see us playing in those types of games. Arizona State has strength in numbers, so you have alums across the country that want to see your team, and the opportunity to play in places like Kentucky or in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn against quality competition gets our fans excited,” said Hurley in the 2015-16 Sun Devil basketball media guide.

The Sun Devils’ season tips off at home on Friday, Nov. 13 against Sacramento State.

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ESPN: ASU men’s basketball has one of the toughest schedules in the country