Thon Maker was selected 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2016 NBA Draft, and it’s hard not to wonder what might have been if he came to ASU.
When Bobby Hurley was named head coach of Arizona State, he tried to put himself in position to recruit Maker as he was expected to join the 2017 recruiting class.
Hurley hired Brian Merritt as an assistant coach to be a main recruiter for Maker as he worked as a camp director for John Lucas, who was close to Maker and his family. (Merritt was eventually dismissed.)
More from Devils in Detail
- Sun Devils Primer: Game 2 vs Oklahoma State
- Sun Devil Insight: Quarterback Room
- Arizona State Spotlight: Kenny Dillingham
- Arizona State 2023 Season Opener: Off To A Good Start
- Arizona State vs USC Prediction and Promo (Expect Offensive Fireworks)
With the likes of Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana and Notre Dame all interested, some recruiting analysts predicted Maker would land with the Sun Devils.
Fans starting wondering it would be like to have a top recruit come to ASU as it would the biggest commit in the program’s history.
Sadly, Maker made a surprising decision and decided to apply for eligibility in this year’s NBA Draft. NBA deemed him eligible and the rest is history.
At the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, Maker told reporters that his college choice would have been ASU.
Maker would have been a program-changing recruit. It would have put the Sun Devils on the map, and give them a top commit which they have never been able to get.
Arizona State is used to seeing rival Arizona nab multiple top recruits and contend yearly for Pac-12 and national championships. It would have been a nice change to see ASU get a top recruit.
Unfortunately, that won’t happen and Hurley is back on the recruiting trail and has gotten some promising four-star recruits as he continues to put his stamp on the program.
The pursuit of Maker opened the eyes of some, and with Hurley at the helm, ASU has never been a more attractive school than right now.
As Maker starts his NBA career, Sun Devil fanss are left wondering what might have been, but also recognize that ASU basketball is heading in the right direction.