With their its first game four weeks away, the start of the season is quickly approaching for the Arizona State men’s basketball team.
Head coach Bobby Hurley addressed the media Wednesday morning at the Carson Center on campus to discuss the team heading into the season.
"Injury" was one of the first words out of Hurley’s mouth. It is something he and his team managed to avoid this offseason.
Hurley said ASU is going to have some depth issues. With freshman Romello White academically ineligible the Sun Devils will lose a lot of depth and height in the frontcourt.
"We're not as even as I anticipated on the front line," Hurley said. "We're going to have to do some things defensively I may have not done in the past to compensate for that."
Hurley has always been a defensive-minded coach. He pointed out that in his basketball life his focus has always been on the defensive end of the court. Even though this season may take him outside his defensive comfort zone.
He said this year the Devils strong suit will with out a doubt be its talented frontcourt.
"We're going to be led by our perimeter," Hurley said. "I wouldn’t trade our perimeter for anyone in the country."
Junior guard Tra Holder makes up half of ASU’s talented backcourt. Hurley said Holder is still trying to adjust to his new role of a veteran leader on such a young Sun Devil squad.
"He was very quiet at times," he said. "But he’s starting o be more vocal, and lead our team more."
Hurley said after red-shirting last season, Shannon Evans will be playing alongside Holder come November.
"Shannon Evans is the equivalent of a McDonald’s All-American," he said.
The second-year head coach compared Evans to a volcano waiting to erupt. After not being able to play last season, Evans couldn’t be more excited to get back out on the court and compete.
Hurley himself appeared to be more than confident about the Evans-Holder duo that will make up his backcourt.
"Once we turn those guys loose together, they have a chance to do something special," he said.
Hurley then acknowledged the fiery attitude which comes out during game time.
"I’m really laid back now," he said, smiling. "If that helps at all."
Hurley cited evidence from his time in Buffalo, saying in his first season as head coach he accumulated seven technical fouls; the following season he only had four.
"If the guys are playing at the level they are capable of playing and we’re playing well, then I’m not going to have to engage as much who the officials," he said.
However, come game time it may be a different story. In his first season at ASU, Hurley had his fair share of technical fouls.
"I didn’t know a lot of the officials," said Hurley. "There’s always a transition of getting to know people, there’s a learning curve there for me. But I’m always going to be passionate and fiery, that’s just my personality."