Duke basketball: Bobby Hurley proves he can recruit in big leagues

Former Duke basketball player Bobby Hurley (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Former Duke basketball player Bobby Hurley (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

Former Duke basketball star and current head coach of Arizona State Bobby Hurley proved that he can truly recruit with the big leagues after landing a major prospect on Monday night.

Since becoming the head coach at Arizona State starting in the 2015-16 season, Bobby Hurley has constantly improved the Sun Devils, making the last two NCAA Tournaments.

Arizona State was primed to make that three seasons in a row had the 2020 NCAA Tournament not been canceled because of COVID-19.

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Hurley led the Sun Devils to a 20-11 record (11-7 Pac-12), which was a tie for third in the conference.

As Mike Krzyzewski continues to get older, names are always floated around by Duke fans on who will, or could, replace the Hall of Famer. Hurley’s name always seems to sneak in near the end of those lists, despite never being on any of Coach K’s staff in Durham.

Hurley played under Krzyzewski from 1989-1993 and won two National Championships (1991, 1992), being named as the Most Outstanding Player of the 1992 NCAA Tournament and a consensus All-American in 1993. And his No. 11 hangs from the rafters inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The short-tempered coach has a 93-69 record at Arizona State, and overall he is 135-89 as a college head coach, which includes two seasons at Buffalo, where he led the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament in his final year before moving on to Tempe.

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Hurley has always slowly built the Arizona State program, something Mike Krzyzewski had to do at Duke, but since the 2011-ish season, the Blue Devils have become known for bringing in top freshmen year in and year out.

Arizona State is not one of the many programs that land one-and-dones, but Hurley might have one of his firsts in Joshua Christopher, the No. 10 ranked 2020 recruit, according to 247 Sports Composite Rankings, who committed to the Sun Devils on Monday night.

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Not only is Christopher the highest-ranked recruit to commit to Hurley at either Buffalo or Arizona State, but he’s also the highest-ranked recruit to play for the Sun Devils, surpassing James Harden, who was No. 14 in the Class of 2007.

The expectation was for Josh Christopher to land at Michigan before committing to the Arizona State Sun Devils.

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If Bobby Hurley can continue to out-recruit the big league (ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big East, and his fellow Pac-12 members) for one-and-done players, then the former Blue Devil could be positioning himself very well to be the heir apparent to his former coach, Mike Krzyzewski.