Bobby Hurley Examines Tournament Visibility, Roster Composition

Bobby Hurley met with media on Tuesday to discuss his new contract extension and vision for the ASU men’s basketball program moving forward. 

One topic that came up time and again to help reach his goals is roster building, roster building and more roster building. 

Hurley focused on finding players that fit the Sun Devil culture and the new reality for many college teams that a revamp will happen virtually every year with the transfer portal’s pull to so many players.

ASU struck gold last year through the portal, bringing in the Cambridge brothers, Frankie Collins and Warren Washigton. While Desmond Cambridge Jr. has exhausted his eligibility and Washington’s future has not been revealed, the Sun Devils got a big boost when Devan Cambridge announced his return to Tempe. Collins also is looking to do some recruiting of his own. 

One thing helping them this year is the Sun Devils’ tournament run, including Arizona State’s 98-73 First Four win over Nevada. 

โ€I think the visibility of our program has increased due to what we did in Dayton,” Hurley said. “It was the only game people were watching that night. There are players that see our style of play, and how attractive that could be. They saw how hard we play, how we defended and scored 98 points in that game. I think then people watched our TCU game and it was a war. People recognized that the Big-12 was really good with really good teams and we went toe-to-toe with them.”

The Sun Devils will have some work to do as four ASU players have entered the portal: Enoch Boakye, Jamiya Neal, D.J. Horne and Austin Nunez, who announced his intention to enter the portal on Tuesday.

โ€œI think there’s a variety of factors that go into it and every person’s situation and reasons (for entering the portal) are different, and their motivations are different,” Hurley said. “So I would say that (NIL) has an impact. There are guys all over the country that are in the portal, and they’re trying to find out what they could do with NIL and stuff. So NIL plays a big role, believe me, we’ve lost guys to the NIL, and all the places that have had a serious commitment to that. Things that we couldn’t compete with. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not trying. Arizona State is trying the Sun Devil Collective, Sun Angel Collective, and stuff. So we can’t pretend that’s not important but I don’t think that’s the sole reason why anybody would, you know, specifically go into the portal.โ€

Hurley said the Sun Devil coaching staff has been working the phones hard to bring in key pieces on the roster and hopes to have the majority of the roster configured by the first week of May.