Is Bobby Hurley the Mike Stoops of ASU Basketball?
Is that an insult or a compliment?
Mike Stoops recruited and developed most of the best talent in Arizona football history. This includes future NFL’ers Nick Foles, Rob Gronkowski, Antoine Cason, Brooks Reed, Eben Britton, Robert Golden, Earl Mitchell and more. Over 8 Arizona seasons, he produced 19 NFL Draft picks. In the 7 years since Mike Stoops was fired, Arizona football has produced 6 total NFL draft picks, none higher than a 4th round pick.
Bobby Hurley has recruited two of the most talented rosters in ASU basketball history. Lugentz Dort, Zylan Cheatham, Kimani Lawrence and Taeshon Cherry could all have varying degrees of NBA futures. Shannon Evans, Remy Martin and Romello White are all players that would rank among the best ASU players of the last 25 years. Prior to Hurley, ASU had produced 5 NBA players (most notably James Harden) this century.
Mike Stoops took over a program decimated by John Mackovic and was a win away in 2009 from producing the first Rose Bowl appearance in program history. He snapped a 10 year bowl drought, upset a top ten ranked opponents 5 times, beat 9th ranked Iowa at Arizona Stadium in one of the biggest regular season wins in Arizona football history. He also routinely lost to teams they should’ve beat in the Pac 10/12 and lost to New Mexico and BYU in non-conference games.
Bobby Hurley took over a lifeless program from Herb Sendek and immediately jolted life back into it. He has beaten Kansas in consecutive years, including beating the #1 ranked Jayhawks at home in December in the biggest regular season non conference home win in program history. He’s also notched big wins over Xavier and Kansas State. In conference, ASU has routinely had opportunities to take advantage of a landscape with both UCLA and UofA down and has lost to less talented Pac 12 opponents at an alarming rate.
They both come from proud athletic families with legendary patriarchs. They both have multiple siblings involved in the same profession.
And last, but not least, they both have the exact same sideline demeanor DNA. Mike Stoops looked like an angry Barney Rubble when disagreeing with officials and Bobby Hurley looks like a roid-raging Beaker. It’s not flattering, it’s not good for the program and its absolutely something they cannot control.
The only question remaining is does Hurley end up the same way as Stoops? Stoops act grew tired, his players tuned out, fans turned on him, things went downhill quickly and he got fired.
Will Hurley suffer the same fate? I don’t think so but the similarities are crazy.