Competition, leadership highlighting Sun Devils’ early practices

In Pac-12 by Ken Cross

By Ken Cross

Looking at the returnees on this Arizona State basketball roster for 2017-18 and then the adding of heralded 6-8 red-shirt freshman Romello White and it feels like there is a rising sun in the Pac-12 in Bobby Hurley’s third season as head coach of the Sun Devils.

As practice started Friday, Hurley features an experienced core in Shannon Evans, Tre Holder, and Kodi Justice plus six newcomers.  The triplicate have set the pace as they have accentuated competitive practices early on.

“How they’ve approached everything in the offseason has been tremendous,” said Hurley, “We have a very strong bond. We talk about leadership, the impact of winning and the experience of possibly playing in the NCAA tournament. I know Shannon has had that with me at Buffalo, but Tra and Kodi haven’t, and they’re really focused on wanting to accomplish that.”

ASU hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament but once since 2008-09 when the program accrued it’s last win, therein, over Temple.  Hurley noted that step is a process, even inside of one season.

“I compare it to my second year at Buffalo; I felt like I had that type of team that can compete against high majors or any one on our schedule,” noted Hurley, “I get the feeling that that’s the kind of team we have right now. We’re still young at some positions and inexperience to some degree on the front court, but I think these guys will get better and better. ”

The home opener is Friday, Nov. 10 against Idaho State.