Coaches made Evans decision easy

Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley's first recruiting addition is an all-league Division player he's already extremely familiar with because he coached him the last two seasons.

Shannon Evans was a key early addition for Bobby Hurley at Buffalo and now he's reprising that role, as Hurley's first commitment at Arizona State.

A 6-foot-1, 170 pound point guard, Evans averaged 15.4 points, 4.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds last season for Buffalo, leading the team to a Mid-American Conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth. He'll have to sit out the 2015-16 season and then have two seasons to play.

"I had a great time in Tempe," Evans said Sunday. "I committed because the coaching staff is the same staff almost that I started with in Buffalo. The facilities are amazing, top the of the line. They've got a great group of guys already there, just a few missing pieces. It's a great conference and opportunity to play at a high level with people I trust."

Evans earned second-team all-league honors last season and shot 38.2 percent from 3-point range and 79.9 percent from the free throw line.

The opportunity to move up a level is fulfilling a dream he's always had but never was able to realize earlier in his career.

"It was definitely equal as far as being able to play for the same coaching staff and with coach Hurley, who I look up to so much, and then being able to play in a league like the Pac-12," Evans said. "I always wanted to play at the high level but I was under-recruited coming out of high school and never really had the opportunity. I also just trust coach Levi (Watkins) and coach Hurley and we fit well together.

"I have no idea why I was under-recruited, I just feel like I have a lot to prove and this is another opportunity. Coming out of high school I only had three Division III offers and then I went to prep school and got a few at the mid-major level and then I went to the mid-major level and proved myself, so now I want to prove myself in a Top-5 conference."

The facilities in Tempe surprised Evans, the administration represented itself well, but the familiarity of the coaching staff and how he knows he'll blend into the style of play is what the floor general said gave him the most comfort with his decision.

"I play with enthusiasm and a lot of passion and with a chip on my shoulder," he said. "I like to scream and get my teammates involved and bring a lot of energy as well as get the crowd involved. I like the whole atmosphere of playing at a high level. Coach Hurley's style is very well suited to my game because he allows me to play free with a ton of confidence. He's really tough on you in practice but in the games he lets you play freely with a ton of confidence.

"We like to get up and down in transition. He's real big into skill development and on the fast break we just do the things we do in practice. We don't like running plays as much, we like to get up and down with the ball, play in transition, the way we practice is a lot of skill stuff and high tempo stuff."

During the year he has to sit out, Evans is planning on fleshing out some of the skill elements to his game as well as add size.

"I'm a competitor," he said. "I'm going to compete and work hard this summer and the year I have to sit out as well and just keep trying to get better so that when my time comes I'll be ready to play. It's skill development, working to get stronger and bigger. At the mid-major level the bigs aren't as good, so I'll be working on developing more of a floater and things like that."

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