Next week House of Sparky will begin our #SunDevilMoments tournament, with the 16 best moments from the athletic season. This week we will randomly introduce all 16 moments, then reveal our seedings and match-ups next week where you, the reader, will vote on what was the ASU athletics Moment of the Year.
In most seasons, a postseason victory over the defending national champions would qualify as a shining moment in a successful campaign. But for ASU, it was one of few moments of exhilaration the team experienced in the 2014-15 season.
Following Arizona State bowing out of the NIT in the second round, head coach Herb Sendek was let go after nine seasons at the head of Sun Devil basketball. Sendek's tenure had mixed success, making a pair of runs to the NCAA tournament, but failing to permanently ascend the Sun Devils into the upper echelon of college basketball finally cost him following ASU's 18-16 season.
After a two week search, Ray Anderson announced the hiring of Bobby Hurley, who had led Buffalo to its first conference championship and first NCAA Tournament appearance in just his second season at the reins. While his limited coaching history bodes well, it's Hurley's pedigree as a player that made his hiring a national news story.
A point guard at Duke from 1989-1993, Hurley was the field general for a Blue Devils team that experienced an extraordinary run of success. Hurley went to three Final Fours in his time in Durham, bringing home a pair of championships en route to becoming the NCAA all-time leader in assists.
Hurley's NBA career is more notable for the near-fatal car crash he endured in his rookie season for the Sacramento Kings than it is the six years he spent with the team, but the former Blue Devil ranks as one of the greatest collegiate basketball players the game's known.
After retiring and spending a few years owning and breeding racehorses, Hurley returned to the game in 2010 as an assistant coach at Wagner, joining his older brother's staff. When Dan Hurley moved to Rhode Island in 2012, Bobby followed, and after a season of working as an associate head coach earned his shot at Buffalo. Two MAC East Division titles and a 2015 MAC Tournament championship later, Hurley had shown Anderson enough to warrant his hire at ASU.
Hurley's father Bob Hurley Sr. is a legendary high school basketball coach at St. Anthony High School in New Jersey, and won four of his 27 state titles with his son running point. In his introductory press conference, Hurley referenced both his father and his coach at Duke, Mike Krzyzewski, fresh off another national championship, as major influences to his coaching style. I
f he experiences success anywhere near that of the two Basketball Hall of Famers, this moment will go down as one of the best decisions made in program history.
We saw the hiring of Bobby Hurley as the eighth best moment of the ASU athletic season. It is up to the readers to decide how far this moment goes in our bracket.