Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hurley takes team into home of beast: Kentucky

TEMPE, Ariz. — As Buffalo's coach last season, Bobby Hurley took his team to one of the most difficult environments in college basketball, hoping it would build toughness and character.

The Bulls lost by 19 to Kentucky but being able to play against a team that long and talented helped lay the foundation for the best season in school history.

Hurley enjoyed the experience so much, he's taking his new team, Arizona State, to Lexington to face the No. 5 Wildcats on Saturday.

"We want to try and go to the top of the mountain and see what it's like there," Hurley, 44, said. "Sometimes it's not always good, but we're willing to go there and take the chances."

Hurley is a firm believer in testing his teams with tough nonconference games, that the experience, win or lose, will strengthen his team by season's end.

In two seasons at Buffalo, he scheduled games at Kentucky, Wisconsin and Texas A&M. The Bulls lost all three, but the games helped become the building blocks for a program record-tying 23 wins and its first NCAA Tournament trip last season.

Hurley brought the same mentality to the desert, scheduling tough nonconference games against Kentucky, Texas A&M, UNLV and Creighton. Three of those are on the road, marking the second time since 1989-90 that the Sun Devils will play three nonconference road games.

Arizona State beat Creighton on the road and knocked off then-No. 18 Texas A&M last weekend in Tempe, but the next step will be a big one.

Coach John Calipari has assembled another roster full of potential NBA players, and the Wildcats are considered national title contenders despite losing at UCLA a week ago. The game is at Rupp Arena, where UK (8-1) has won 26 straight. "It goes to a different level there," Hurley said. "The way people feel about basketball there, there's very few places in the world that can simulate that … environment."

Arizona State (6-2) has gotten off to a solid start in its first season under Hurley, the fiery former point guard at Duke.

No. 4 Iowa State 83, Iowa 82: Monte Morris hit a runner with nine seconds left as the host Cyclones (8-0) rallied from a 20-point deficit. Morris and Jameel McKay each had 20 points for the Cyclones, who scored the game's final nine points. Des Moines Register columnist Randy Peterson, who has covered sports in Iowa for four decades, suffered what the paper said is a broken leg when fans stormed the court after the win.

Alabama: Freshman starting point guard Dazon Ingram will miss the rest of the season with a broken foot, coach Avery Johnson said.


No. 8 Kentucky 72, L'ville 54: Makayla Epps made 10 of 11 shots en route to a season-high 24 points to lead the host Wildcats (8-0) over their archrival.

UF 91, Wisconsin 75: Florida's guards combined for 75 points to carry the visiting Gators (8-1).

Hurley takes team into home of beast: Kentucky 12/10/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 10, 2015 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)
  2. NFL Week 3: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions


    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) pumps his fist to the crowd after Tampa Bay's 29-7 victory over Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. The Bucs play at Minnesota at 1 p.m. Sunday. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Sorting through the Bucs' injuries


    Greg Auman sorts through the Bucs players sidelined with injury and illness in the latest edition of our Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Kwon Alexander left the Bucs' game against the Bears with a hamstring injury. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. College football week 4: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions


    The Times' college football coverage team makes its picks for week 4 of the college football season:

    USF coach Charlie Strong and the Bulls face Temple in a 7:30 p.m. game Thursday at Raymond James Stadium. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Young girl injured by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium renews call for more netting


    NEW YORK — A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during Wednesday's game against Minnesota, leading some players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is tended to before she is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive in the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at Yankee Stadium in New York. [Associated Press]