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Sun Devils Head To Big 12; Look To Improve History

© Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Arizona State Sun Devils’ time in the Pac-12 has come to an end. Now the Sun Devils head to the Big 12, and will look to improve upon their basketball history as they do so.  Overall, the Sun Devils have been to the NCAA Tournament 17 times since they started playing in Pac-12 back in 1978. Since joining the Pac-12, the Sun Devils have never gotten as far as the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament. Let’s look at some of the history as the Sun Devils head to the Big 12 for the 2024-2025 season.

Sun Devils Head to Big 12; Look to Improve Basketball History

Zero Pac-12 Titles

When starting the history of the Arizona State Sun Devils basketball program, it needs to be known they never won the Pac-12 regular season or conference tournament title. Obviously, that is the first order of business as the Sun Devils head to the Big 12.  With the move to the Big 12, that marks the loss of some of the biggest rivalries for Arizona State. The Sun Devils will no longer get annual battles with UCLA and USC, two of their biggest rivals. The basketball rivalry has gone array for the Sun Devils, as they are 44-46 against the Trojans and 24-76 against the Bruins. As the Sun Devils head to the Big 12, they will still be in the same conference with the Arizona Wildcats, Utah Utes, and Colorado Buffaloes. Arizona State has struggled big time against state rival Arizona, at 87-161. Their record against Utah is 28-37 and against the Colorado Buffaloes, they are 12-16.

Very Little NCAA Tournament Success

As we mentioned earlier the Arizona State Sun Devils do not have much NCAA Tournament success. In fact, since the 2000 season, the Sun Devils have made the big dance just six times. The 2023 team won a game in the first four round over Nevada but then was downed by their now soon-to-be conference foe TCU Horned Frogs. The last time the Sun Devils were in the Sweet 16 was in 1995. That season, the Sun Devils beat Ball State, and downed Manhattan, but then fell to the Kentucky Wildcats by 24 points. Before the move to the Pac-12, Arizona State reached the Elite 8 in 1975, only to fall to UCLA by 14 points.

Coaching History in Tempe

Since the move to the Pac-12 in 1978, the Sun Devils have had 9 head coaches. The Sun Devils saw Ned Wulk for 25 seasons, which included the entrance into the Pac-12. Wulk won 406 games in school history, the most at Arizona State. Following Wulk was Bob Weinhauer.  He went 44-45 in three seasons in Tempe. Steve Patterson was next for the Sun Devils and was also under .500 through four seasons. Bob Schermerhorn finished the 1989 season for the fired Patterson. After that, Bill Freider won 130 games through 8 seasons. Don Newman lasted just one season for the Sun Devils. Rob Evans won 49% of his games and lasted through the 2006 season. Then came Herb Sendek. Sendek coached 9 seasons and won 159 games. Finally, that leads to Bobby Hurley. Hurley took over in 2015 and has won 155 games. Hurley is, of course, the older brother of UConn national title-winning head coach Dan Hurley and a former star player at Duke.

Top Players for Sun Devils

The best player during the Pac-12 era for the Arizona State Sun Devils is arguably James Harden. Harden played three seasons for the Sun Devils from 2007-2009. He is one of 8 guys retired by the Sun Devils basketball program. Some other notable names include Fat Lever, Byron Scott, Eddie House, and Lionel Hollins. House is the current scoring leader for Arizona Sun basketball. House scored more than 2,000 points from the 1999-2000 season.  He is also the season leader with 736, and the single-game leader with 61 in a game. Jeremy Veal is second on the list, and Ike Diogu comes in third. Tony Cerkenik is the leading rebounder for the season and career. He ripped down more than 1,000 in his career. Jeff Pendergraph is the leader during the Pac-12 era for the Sun Devils. He is second and was 58 shy of 1,000 for his career.

2024-2025 Sun Devils Head Into Big 12

The 2024-2025 Arizona State Sun Devils, as they head into the Big 12 are going to see all sorts of new faces and locations. The Big 12 has said they are going to be playing a 20-game schedule, which means the Sun Devils should see all 15 of the other teams, and get two of their opponents twice. One notable game already announced outside of Big 12 play is a battle of November 14th against Grand Canyon. The Sun Devils and Antelopes will play as part of the Hall of Fame series in Phoenix. It will be an interesting season, as the Sun Devils missed out on the NCAA Tournament a season ago. The seat is a big hot for Coach Hurley, but he has been noted to reshuffle the roster through the transfer portal and has five-star Jayden Quaintance coming in as an elite freshman.


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