Bobby Hurley, Arizona State Sun Devils, Bracketology

The Arizona State Sun Devils look to build off a winning season, while Bobby Hurley looks to get off the hot seat.

As is tradition, CBB Review is again ranking the top 100 teams heading into the new college basketball season. Each day, we will reveal the next team until we reach the team slotted at number one. Follow along with #CBBRank on all our social media channels.

If you asked any college expert to make a list of coaches on the hot seat last year, Bobby Hurley would be on every single one. Fortunately for him. he and the Sun Devils went 23-13, which was good enough to make the tournament and keep his job safe for another year. The job’s not finished, as Arizona State needs to see this consistently before settling on him, something he knows he can do.

He’ll have to do it with a very team, as eight players transferred out and six in. They lose four of their top five scorers. Chemistry will definitely be an issue, and there are concerns about the level of talent on this team. However, we saw a similar situation last year and it worked out, so nothing is stopping Arizona State from doing it again.

They do bring in some talented transfers, including Adam Miller, who’s dealt with the injury bug but has high potential if he can stay healthy. With a Big 12 move incoming, the Arizona State Sun Devils will want to end things on a good note.

Click here to learn more about our preseason top 100 teams heading into the 2023-24 college basketball season.

Head coach: Bobby Hurley (11th season, 9th at Arizona State)

2022-23 record: 23-13 (11-9)

Notable Departures: Desmond Cambridge (Graduated), Marcus Bagley (NBA), DJ Horne (Transferred to NC State), Devan Cambridge (Transferred to Texas Tech), Warren Washington (Transferred to Texas Tech), Austin Nunez (Transferred to Ole Miss)

Notable non-conference games: vs. BYU (Nov. 23), NC State OR Vanderbilt (Nov. 24), vs. SMU (Dec. 6), vs. TCU (Dec. 16), vs. Northwestern (Dec. 20)

Projected Rotation

PG: Frankie Collins (6-1, 185, Jr.)

2022-23 stats: 9.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.3 SPG

SG: Adam Miller (6-3, 180, Jr.)

2022-23 stats: 11.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 82.9 FT% (LSU)

SF: Kamari Lands (6-8, 220, So.)

2022-23 stats: 5.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.8 APG, 87.5 FT% (Louisville)

PF: Alonzo Gaffney (6-9, 198, Gr.-Sr.)

2022-23 stats: 3.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.6 APG, 35.3 FG%

C: Zane Meeks (6-9, 215, Sr.)

2022-23 stats: 10.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 0.8 APG, 47.5 FG% (San Francisco)

6: Jamiya Neal (6-6, 185, Jr.)

2022-23 stats: 4.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.5 APG, 41.7 FG%

7: Shawn Phillips Jr. (7-0, 245, So.)

2022-23 stats: 1.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.2 APG, 45.5 FG% (LSU)

8: Brycen Long (6-2, 175, Sr.)

2022-23 stats: 14.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.2 SPG, 41.6 3P% (Houston Christian)

Arizona State Sun Devils MVP: Frankie Collins

While the stats don’t pop out, Collins is a really solid all-around player. He does the little things and doesn’t command the ball, making life easier for more high-volume scorers like Cambridge last year and Miller this year. He took a huge jump last season and should do the same this year.

Defensively, he needs to be a little better. At 6-1, he is already a minor liability but did a good job with on-ball pressure last year. This team is really bad defensively on paper, so having Collins ease that pain will be extremely helpful.

Arizona State Sun Devils make-or-break player: Kamari Lands

The Louisville transfer exited stage left after a 4-28 season under Kenny Payne. A top-100 recruit last cycle, Lands has the potential to be a big difference-maker for the Sun Devils this year. However, even with the team struggles of the Cardinals last season, Lands himself struggled to carve out a large role, only averaging 21.1 MPG.

The hope is the 6’8″ forward will benefit from a change of scenery. While he only shot 32.1% from three last season, his FT% was 87.5 with 1.8 attempts per game. That suggests he’s a better shooter than his outside numbers show, and with Frankie Collins getting him the ball, he should get plenty of open looks.

Arizona State Sun Devils key analytic: Opponent rebounds per game

The Sun Devils struggled with cleaning the boards last year, giving up 38.4 RPG, good for 349th out of 363 division one programs. Unfortunately, their leading rebounder Warren Washington is gone, as is 2nd-leading rebounder Devan Cambridge. The aforementioned Lands, along with forward Alonzo Gaffney and San Francisco transfer Zane Meeks, need to fill last year’s shoes and more.

Giving up so many second chances is bound to hurt against any good program, and there’s plenty of those on the Arizona State schedule. Part of the issue was scheme, but personnel takes some of the blame too. Off the bench, 7-footer Shawn Phillips Jr. from LSU could be a valuable piece in terms of keeping opponents off the board. While it’s easy to say any improvement should be welcomed, realistically, cutting the number down to 33-35 PG should really allow for the Sun Devils to breathe easier.

Projected conference finish: 7th in the Pac-12

Projected postseason ceiling: NCAA Tournament – Round of 64

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