The Arizona State Sun Devils transformed into “Guard U” last year, often times running guards and sharpshooters Tra Holder, Shannon Evans, Kodi Justice and Remy Martin at the same time.
It was a unique lineup that helped produce the conference’s top scoring team.
But the Sun Devils were also last in the Pac-12 in rebounding defense and 10th in rebounding margin.
Future rosters may not have that same distinct brand.
Transfers Rob Edwards (6’4″) and forward Zylan Cheatham (6’8″) are now eligible. Mickey Mitchell (6’7″) will have a full season to work with in Tempe.
Center Uros Plavsic (7’1″), small forward Taeshon Cherry (6’8″), guards Elias Valtonen (6’6″) and Lugentz Dort (6’4″) make up not only one of the most talented, but tallest recruiting classes in ASU history.
Add all that to a roster that already has DeQuon Lake (6’10”), Romello White (6’8″) and Kimani Lawrence (6’7″), and Bobby Hurley will have size he has never had while in Tempe.
“I try to get the best players on the floor a lot, as much as possible,” Hurley said. “As it turned out, three of those guys or four of those guys, were 6’4″ or under when you add (Remy Martin) to the seniors. I think the way our roster is constructed this year, we’re going to be bigger, even at the guard positions.”
Hurley said the team won’t have to live or die by the three-pointer as they needed to last year with four guards playing consistently.
Hurley on whether ASU will have a drop out with outside shooting: “We’re not going to be like we were last year. We’re not going to have to rely as much on the 3-point shot.”
— SunDevilSource.com (@SunDevilSource) June 20, 2018
“I learned how to adapt and play that way,” Hurley said. “It’s not even necessarily how I played in my second year at Buffalo when we had more of a traditional front-court with two guards and we would throw the ball inside. We had balance on offense. That’s what I was used to doing as far as coaching.
“I think this year’s roster gives me a ton of options to play a lot of different ways. I could see scenarios where there’s five guys out there that are 6’7″ or bigger.”
It’s a new brand of Hurley-ball in Tempe.