Shannon Evans was riding high after the 2014-15 college basketball season. He had averaged 15.4 points and 4.6 assists per game helping lead the University of Buffalo to an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Then Bobby Hurley was hired as the head coach at Arizona State and Evans had a decision to make. Stay at Buffalo where the first half of his career had been a success, or join the coach who recruited him and lead him to be the college player that he was becoming. Evans chose the ladder and transferred to ASU to stay with coach Hurley and move to a part of the country that had never been on his radar growing up in Virginia and living on the east coast.
“I trust him with my life actually,” Evans told Sports360AZ of Hurley. “There’s those few people in life you trust like your parents, your grandma, cousins and Coach Hurley is one of those guys I give 100 percent trust to.”
Sitting out for the 2015-16 season was a challenge for Evans. He was not used to being a spectator at games and it was hard for him at times to strictly practice and participate in film study but not be able to implement what he was working on in games. Now having gone through the year, he found he learned a lot about himself.
“I learned that I’m more mentally tough than I thought I was,” Evans explained. “Sitting out for the whole year coming off of a NCAA Tournament run. It was kind of depressing at times.”
Evans added his teammates and the ASU coaching staff helped him get through it and now as the team gets ready for it’s 2016-17 season, Evans’ first in an ASU uniform, all the practice and preparation from the year off has elevated his game on the court.
“I learned a lot,” Evans stated. “Just working on a floater because these guys are bigger here, their stronger, their faster. I’m trying to get my jump shot off quicker, picking my spots after sitting in the film room and seeing where I will get my shots from.”
For a 6-1 point guard, there is an art form to be successful at the floater in particular. Evans spent a lot of time studying those who do it best at the highest level.
“I watched a lot of Chris Paul this summer,” Evans said. “I studied a lot of his film. Chris Paul, Jeff Teague. Guys like that I watch a lot of film of.”
Evans along with fellow junior Tra Holder will command a lot of the time of possession with the basketball this season making the guard play under a former great college guard in head coach Bobby Hurley an aspect that expects to be a big strength of their team this season.