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Coach Hurley: Competitive Sun Devils need to get over the hump

Arizona State guard Tra Holder dives for a loose ball during the first half of Arizona State's NCAA college basketball game against Washington State, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
LISTEN: Bobby Hurley, ASU basketball coach

Conference play has not gone according to plan for Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley and his team after the Sun Devils posted a 10-3 mark in the non-conference part of the schedule.

Since Pac-12 play has started, the Sun Devils are 1-4, with their lone win coming last Thursday against Washington State. Arizona State has had opportunities in their losses to Arizona, USC, UCLA and Washington, but can’t seem to finish the job.

“We’ve been really competitive, we’ve gone to the well and been in every game,” Hurley told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “We’ve had a chance to win down the stretch, but we haven’t been able to get over the hump and make enough plays to do that.”

One big reason for Arizona State’s competitiveness has been the performance of sophomore guard Tra Holder. Holder leads the Sun Devils with 16.2 points per game, but Hurley says this team can be better.

“We have our work cut out for us; this isn’t the start we’ve hoped for,” Hurley said. “We’ve gone after it pretty hard the last couple day in practice, and hopefully we can start to turn things around.”

Hurley, in his first year with Arizona State, has noticed the talent level of the teams ASU has faced early in the season.

“I’ve been very impressed with it, coming from the east there’s a perception of West Coast basketball as a finesse conference and a high scoring conference, which I think is true,” he said. “The stigma that isn’t true is how competitive these teams are, and how well coached they are.”

Arizona State travels to California on Thursday and Stanford on Saturday.

“Hopefully the guys will understand the urgency and where things stand now, and we can go out on the road and try to get something done.”



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