While Luguentz Dort and Zylan Cheatham aren’t expected to go as high as their former coach did, that hasn’t stopped Arizona State basketball head coach Bobby Hurley from guiding the duo through the draft process.
“I’m really really excited for my guys,” he said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf Show. “They’ve done an outstanding job through the draft process and all the interviews and the workouts. It’s a grueling process.”
Hurley called into the show from New York City, where he will be at for the 2019 NBA Draft, hoping to hear the names of his two former players.
Cheatham, he said, is someone who could have boosted his stock leading up to the draft.
“A guy like Zylan is so charismatic and would come across tremendous in those interview rooms,” he said. “The story of what Zylan has been through in his life, and has always been an underdog… he’s coming into his own.”
In interview rooms, Hurley said, it comes down to one thing.
“I think they have to be who they are,” he said. “They were the best for me as far as guys who were so coachable.”
While ASU won’t need a point guard this fall, about 10 minutes to the west it’s a different story. The Suns hold the No. 6 overall pick in Thursday’s draft, and many mocks have them going with a player who fits the position.
Hurley, considered one of the best college point guards ever, had some thoughts on the transition that the possible Suns draft pick could be making.
“You got to have thick skin,” he said. “You’re leading a team, and with veteran guys in the league, you’re going to have to earn their respect.
“The level of talent that’s just going to be coming at you every night… it was crazy for me as a rookie, playing against Kevin Johnson, Gary Payton and Jason Kidd, all these guys.”
Hurley said going up against players of that level was a challenge.
Hurley thinks Dort and Cheatham will be fine though.
“I think both these guys are going to make the organization that they go to extremely happy,” he said. “I know the coaches will be happy to coach two guys like them.”
Hurley also announced that ASU will play a home-and-home series against Creighton starting this season.
“We do have a series contract signed,” he said when asked about the rumors of the series.
The Sun Devils will play their side of the home series in Tempe on December 21.