'I felt helpless': Hurley on return to McKale

Posted at 10:47 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 00:47:21-05

On Feb. 24, 1991 -- almost 25 years to the day -- then-Duke point guard Bobby Hurley had a terrific performance, albeit in a double-overtime defeat, against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center.

As heartbreaking as that loss was, Hurley's feeling after his Arizona State Sun Devils fell 99-61 to Arizona in his return to McKale Center was that much worse.

"It's a whole different animal here, just as a coach and what you have to go through"

"It's a whole different animal here, just as as a coach and what you have to go through," Hurley said after Wednesday's loss. "You have, I think, a little more control when the ball's in your hands.

"I felt helpless at times in terms of trying to ignite our team, and find the right combinations and find the right group that going to compete hard and play well."

Hurley couldn't find any combination to slow down the bigger, more physical Wildcats on Wednesday. Arizona State, which dropped to 4-10 in Pac-12 play, was out-shot, out-rebounded and out-hustled, as the Wildcats swept ASU for the first time in three seasons.

Throughout the game, Hurley was taunted by UA's Zona Zoo student section -- but Hurley's used to that sort of thing.

What he's not used to is watching his team dominated the way his was Wednesday in his return to McKale -- and unilke 25 years ago, all the first-year Sun Devil coach could do was watch from the bench.

"We were infuriated," he said. "Throughout the whole second half, they saw me in the huddles, and that was enough of a message about how I felt our team played and competed tonight."