Nov 7, 2022 - Sports

ASU basketball hopes new blood will spur a bounce-back season

A coach talking to a referee on a basketball court.

ASU basketball head coach Bobby Hurley. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It's time to celebrate the start of college basketball, as ASU kicks off its season at home Monday night against Tarleton State.

State of play: As the university's disappointing football season draws to a close, the Sun Devil faithful hope the basketball team can renew their spirits.

  • UofA is typically celebrated as Arizona's premier college basketball program, but some offseason changes have sports critics predicting an ASU bounce-back after back-to-back losing seasons.

What's happening: ASU lost a few starters to the transfer portal during the offseason, including forward Jalen Graham and guard Jay Heath.

  • Yes, but: The team is anticipating the return of forward Marcus Bagley, an NBA prospect who missed all but three games last year to a knee injury.
  • The Sun Devils also picked up four promising transfers and two high school recruits.

What they're saying: "It's not about the rankings and who is rated the highest prospect, it's really about who is the best fit. I think with each guy, there is a very specific need and I think we addressed those things the way we wanted to," head coach Bobby Hurley told The Arizona Republic earlier this year.

The intrigue: DevilsDigest.com says Hurley has more talent to work with this year than at any time since he joined the program in 2015.

  • ESPN predicts ASU will finish sixth in the Pac-12 standings, up from ninth last year.

What we're watching: The Cambridge brothers.

  • ASU picked up Desmond and Devan Cambridge from Nevada and Auburn, respectively.
  • In addition to their on-court potential, they've brought a good vibe and chemistry to the team, Hurley told the Republic.
  • "Forget everything y'all have seen from ASU for the past two years. We got a new team, winning culture and a different mindset. Promise y'all we tourney bound," Devan tweeted when his transfer was announced.

Go deeper: UofA basketball looks to build on coach Tommy Lloyd's stellar first year

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