Arizona State Sun Devils basketball coach Bobby Hurley gained some media attention, as well as disdain from Arizona Wildcats fans, when he made this comment last Thursday after ASU's last-second home win over Colorado.
— Mat Smith (@RealMatSmith) January 6, 2017
"If anyone wants to win here (in Arizona), they better go to f****** Tucson," Hurley said at the end of the video.
On Monday, as his team prepares to host ASU in Tucson in three days, UA basketball coach Sean Miller said he didn't take offense to Hurley's comment and understands what the second-year ASU coach was trying to accomplish.
Sean Miller on Bobby Hurley's comments following Colorado game. Hurley said "if anyones wants to win here, they better go to f------ Tucson" pic.twitter.com/IzCUa37oWR
— DailyWildcatHoops (@WildcatHoops) January 9, 2017
"Bobby is a great competitor himself, and the challenge as a coach is to get your team motivated and to have your team ready to play, and to run a program, to build a program," Miller said. "Confidence is part of that. There's a lot of different ways to go about instilling that.
"I don't think he meant that in a derogatory fashion towards our program or things here in Tucson as much as making sure his guys believe in themselves and know that the objective is to be a tough team to play against, and to win. I respect that."
The New Jersey-born Hurley won two national championships as a point guard at Duke and was the 1992 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. He was a senior at Duke when Miller was a freshman point guard at Pitt.
"I know him. I know where he's from. I know how he's wired," Miller said. "He's a great competitor; it's what made him such a terrific player.
"Things like that happen. In today's world, the behind-the-scenes things can really be misunderstood, and I think this is a classic example of that."
UA junior point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright said the entire team saw video of Hurley's comment.
"It's just one of those things. You just gotta brush it off," he said. "It's not like it's the end of the world. It doesn't really affect anything that we do basketball-wise. It's just a comment, and you know, we're still gonna go to practice. We're still gonna do the things we do.
"But we saw it. We took notice of it. We'll be ready to go on Thursday."
Parker Jackson-Cartwright on ASU head coach Bobby Hurley's comments: "We all saw it." pic.twitter.com/xznJ4JgxvU
— Justin Spears (@JustinESports) January 9, 2017
The Wildcats have won six consecutive games against ASU at McKale Center. They've won those games by an average margin of 21.3 points, including 28.3 points in their last three meetings in Tucson.
UA is 15-2 overall and 4-0 in the Pac-12. The Wildcats are ranked No. 16 nationally and have won nine straight games, and they have won 62 of their last 63 games at home.
ASU is 9-8 overall and 2-2 in the Pac-12.