Bobby Hurley takes a different approach after ASU basketball’s tough losses

Arizona State men’s basketball head coach Bobby Hurley is known for his outbursts during games against officials on the sidelines, and he admittedly brought that same energy to the USC locker room after tough losses like Saturday’s.

Hurley told reporters Wednesday he had resisted the temptation to go back to what he could have done in his early years as head coach.

“We didn’t play with the proper energy on defense and really struggled at that end of the floor, especially in the USC game for 36 minutes,” Hurley said. “In the last four minutes of this game we mixed things up, forced some turnovers and played with effort.

“Usually I would freak out when that happened and it was mentally tough for the guys with a mentally draining movie. Then track-style physical training, but we didn’t do that.”

The game against USC came just days after a hard-fought loss to UCLA, which was ranked No. 5 in the country at the time.

“Those games were emotionally and physically taxing,” Hurley said. “The team performed well over long stretches of the season.”

Arizona State (15-5, 6-3 Pac-12) had dominated conference play until the loss to USC, with the only other losses coming to UCLA and another in a hard-fought bout against then-fifth-ranked Arizona on 11-31.

“I don’t know what the UCLA game took out of us, but we certainly didn’t do our best in the USC game,” Hurley said. “You could be really angry, yell at everyone and do that. I’ve decided to go in a different direction to be more supportive and grateful that the players have put the season together to this point.

“I noticed that the lads were unhappy with our performance on Saturday night and so there was no reason to take the point further, except for me and the coaches to convey to them the things we need to go back to in order to be successful again being. ”

The approach may have worked, as Hurley said the team had good experiences over the past two days in preparation for Thursday night’s away game against Washington.

“I thought that was the best way and we’ve been fighting with much better energy the last two days and I feel good about what we’re doing,” he said.

The game against Washington (12-9, 4-6 Pac-12) starts at 9 p.m. and can be heard on ESPN 620 AM, 98.7 FM HD-2, the Arizona Sports App and


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