In Bobby Hurley’s fourth season, ASU basketball accomplished a 23-11 record, won an NCAA Tournament game and finished second in the Pac-12.
As Buffalo and Texas Tech prepare for a Round of 32 matchup in Tulsa, other teams are already at the drawing board for next season.
One of them is Arizona State.
The Sun Devils (23-11, 13-7 Pac-12) were eliminated from postseason play Friday afternoon, falling to the Bulls, 91-74, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The loss capped a journey where ASU accomplished many firsts — and missteps — in Bobby Hurley‘s fourth season at the helm.
For the first time since 1980-81, the Sun Devils reached the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons. Within that run was the program’s first home victory over a top-ranked opponent (Kansas), a top-2 finish in the Pac-12 and a series sweep of Arizona.
In the next few weeks, the program might also have its first ‘one-and-done’ prospect, freshman guard Luguentz Dort, who was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after averaging 16.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 34 games. Along with Dort, redshirt senior Zylan Cheatham was named to the all-conference Defensive Team and made a large impact during his only season in Tempe.
Despite injuries, sophomore guard Remy Martin was also named to an All-Pac-12 team (Second), leading the league in assists (6.2) during conference play. He showed signs as a floor general and leader that will likely carry over to next season.
However, like 2017-18, ASU had its frustrations. The Sun Devils lost to some inferior opponents (Vanderbilt, Princeton, Washington State) and often looked inconsistent in Pac-12 play. While they finished with a winning record, that is something that still needs to be corrected.
ASU was also one win away from its first Pac-12 Tournament championship. In that regard, there were things left on the table.
But, at the end of the day, this team did make forward progress. As the national tournament continues on, here’s how our coverage directors reflected on ASU’s 2018-19 season.