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Ray Anderson Confirms Bobby Hurley Will Return Next Season

Despite some calling for his job, Sun Devils head coach Bobby Hurley will be around for at least one more season according to AD Ray Anderson.

The Arizona State Sun Devils are hoping patience is truly a virtue.

ASU basketball has fallen significantly short of expectations there were prior to the 2021-22 season, and has ultimately failed to piece together a team strong enough to make the NCAA tournament. 

The Sun Devils currently sit at No. 9 in the Pac-12 standings, with an overall record of 12-16 and conference record of 8-10. ASU has seen nearly everything go wrong this season, whether it be COVID impacting multiple matchups, the health of the roster starting with forward Marcus Bagley, and having difficulty adjusting to life following the loss of three big pieces from their starting rotation last season. 

ASU hasn't played up to par, yet this season was anything but a measuring stick for where the program is. 

That extends to head coach Bobby Hurley, who has managed to turn the tide at seemingly the right time in ASU's recent stretch of games, winning four of the last five and turning into a potential Cinderella candidate in the upcoming Pac-12 tournament.

Hurley's presence at Arizona State is similar to cold pizza in the morning: You either love or hate it; there's no gray area between the two options. While Hurley's job security has been a hot topic of conversation, Sun Devils athletics director Ray Anderson remained cool and collected with his thoughts when he appeared on 98.7's Anderson and Healey show Wednesday.

“We talked a month ago," said Anderson. "‘You’re our guy. Get this team playing together the way you want them to play and then let’s finish strong and then let’s go into next year and really show that we can manage this new portal, this new way of having to put together a roster and get them to gel sometimes a lot faster than you thought.'”

With three new transfers in the backcourt, ASU's offense needed a certain needed a certain amount of time to truly gel together thanks to Hurley's strong emphasis on guard play. After playing only one game in 26 days, it was evident any progress made in the early parts of the season would need to be established once more.

“We’ve had some hiccups with COVID and everything else … this team is playing really well now. I think we are going to finish strong, but we know going into next year with Coach Hurley leading this program, we got a chance to continue improving and getting back to this postseason in a big way," Anderson said. 

"(We are) really proud of what this team is doing and really proud of Bobby Hurley.”

For the moment, Arizona State is playing its best basketball, a sign that perhaps when things are going normal for the Sun Devils, they should be able to hang with most teams in the country. 

ASU's recent turnaround on top of previous strong wins over Creighton, No. 3 UCLA and a sweep of Oregon likely made Anderson's decision for Hurley to return easier.

“I told him, ‘You’re our coach for 2022, don’t worry about all the noise. You’re our coach here for the way forward; don’t worry about all the noise and the naysayers and the bad messages out there," said Anderson.

"'You do what you need to do to make whatever appropriate adjustments, whatever strategy changes, whatever roster changes, whatever relationship changes you think are appropriate with officials or anybody else. That’s on you.'"