After somehow managing to avoid a technical foul despite twin first-half meltdowns against Colorado on Jan. 15, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley did not go unscathed for his actions on Saturday against Stanford.
Following the Sun Devils’ 79-76 loss at Stanford, an incensed Hurley confronted the officials while leaving the floor, making clear his disdain for the free throw differential that doomed the Sun Devils in a fan-less arena on the road.
On Sunday night, the Pac-12 Conference handed Hurley a one-game suspension for ASU’s Monday night makeup date at No. 15 USC. Hurley was assessed a $20,000 fine, and sophomore guard Jay Heath also was suspended for the USC game. Hurley, Heath and Jalen Graham were reprimanded for their actions immediately after the game.
Stanford attempted 41 free throws, the final three occurring with one second left when Graham fouled Stanford’s Brandon Angel on a 3-point attempt with the game tied 76-76. ASU attempted just nine free throws. That discrepancy would be enough to turn any coach up to 11, let alone a coach as combustible as Hurley.
The late foul on Graham was an easy call, but certainly a 41-9 advantage in free throw attempts is difficult to justify. Still, ASU is a perimeter-oriented offense that attempts the fewest free throws in the league (13.7 per game; the next fewest is Cal at 14.1 per game). Colorado posted a 22-15 free throw attempt advantage in that Jan. 15 Buffs win in Tempe.
“The actions of the head coach and student-athletes were in clear violation of the Conference’s standards of conduct, and will not be tolerated,” Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said in a statement. “The Pac-12 and its membership has established regulations requiring all institutional personnel, especially head coaches, to conduct themselves in a sporting manner, and those involved in this situation failed to meet those standards.”
The week won’t get any easier for the struggling Sun Devils, who follow Monday’s road date at USC with a rivalry battle at No. 3 Arizona on Saturday.
In part due to his performance at the CU Events Center, UCLA’s Johnny Juzang on Monday was named the Pac-12 player of the week.
Juzang averaged 25.5 points and 4.5 rebounds as the Bruins recorded a road sweep against Utah and CU. The junior guard scored a season-high 28 points against Utah while going 9-for-13 from the field. At CU, Juzang went 9-for-18 with 23 points, including a pair of clutch jumpers late that kept the Buffs at bay. In the two games, Juzang went 4-for-7 on 3-pointers and 11-for-12 at the free throw line.
Utah guard Lazar Stefanovic was named the Pac-12 freshman of the week after averaging 11.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three games, all Utes losses.
With Arizona leading the way, the Pac-12 NET rankings at the start of the week: Arizona (1), UCLA (16), USC (24), Oregon (49), Washington State (62), Colorado (87), Stanford (93), Utah (121), Cal (129), Washington (139), Arizona State (148), Oregon State (223)…While the Buffs and Ducks battle in Eugene on Tuesday night, the league’s game of the year so far will unfold in Los Angeles as No. 3 Arizona visits No. 7 UCLA (9 p.m. MT, ESPN)…On Monday, the Pac-12 announced two makeup dates. Arizona at Arizona State (originally Jan. 8) will be played on Feb. 7. UCLA at Stanford (originally Jan. 6) will be played on Feb. 8.