Bobby Hurley Says ASU Men’s Basketball Has War Practices

After going 25-31 the past two seasons, Arizona State men’s basketball has a new sense of intensity in practice.

Top teams led by head coach Bobby Hurley had competitive practices. These practices helped prepare the team for battle on a nighttime basis.

“My team with Lu Dort and Zylan Cheatham — those practices were wars,” Hurley told the media after Wednesday’s practice. “I kind of feel the same way about this group just because of our athleticism, our length, our size around the hoop and some older guys who played a lot of college basketball.”

This 2018-19 Sun Devils team with Dort and Cheatham ranked 17th in the nation. However, this team doesn’t get the same kind of national attention despite Hurley’s feelings for the roster.

This lack of national attention creates a chip on the team’s shoulders this season.

“[The players] read the magazines and they see the screenings and they don’t see their names mentioned,” Hurley said. “So I think there’s been an upside in what we’re doing and hopefully that will continue over the next few weeks.”

Although the Sun Devils only finished 14-17 last season, they finished 8-4 after starting 6-13. Returning keeper DJ Horne said it was his responsibility to continue those successes this season.

“This is the year for us to make a big statement,” Horne told the media after practice on Saturday. “It’s important for me to instill those things that we did to end the season last year and bring them into this season – winning habits.”

Instilling these winning habits won’t come without challenges, as several key items on this year’s list are new. Guards Frankie Collins, Desmond and Devan Cambridge and forward Wayne Washington came to Tempe this season through the transfer portal.

Additionally, junior guard Marcus Bagley played just 15 games in his two seasons at Tempe. Reacclimating it, while teaching newcomers, makes gelling as a unit before the season more important. However, this team came together faster than expected.

“This year’s team definitely came in and clicked a lot faster than last year’s team,” Horne said. “I think it will definitely show at game time.”

ASU opens the season at 5 p.m. MST on Nov. 7 against Tarleton State at Desert Financial Arena. The Sun Devils are looking to win their third consecutive opener, despite several newcomers taking on key roles in the rotation.

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