I worked a 12 hour shift last night, and went to bed as soon as I got home so I just missed this story breaking cause I fell asleep around 7:30 am, but man talk about shitting news to wake up to at noon on a Thursday.
The day we as URI fans knew had been coming for years has finally arrived, Dan Hurley is spurning the University of Rhode Island for a bigger program. It fucking kills me that it's UCONN, I fucking haaaaaaaate UCONN and all things Connecticut. I really wish he just took the money from Pittsburgh. I could live with that, but losing him to UCONN is extra salt in the wound. I partly blame Kevin Ollie for this, if you were a better coach this would've never had to happen to us. I love Jim Calhoun for his antics but I can't stand that program. Part of it is jealously, because there is no reason for the fucking University of Connecticut in God damne Storrs, CT to be a basketball powerhouse (although they've been v bad lately). Part of it is just hating the state of Connecticut as a whole (it's a trash state), but man oh man this news stinks on ice. Gonna sting for a while.
IMO Dan Hurley is kind of a fraud here. After URI's blowout loss to Duke in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament claimed he could "give two craps" (sweet use of the word crap like an 11 year old) about other coaching vacancies. The lie detector shows that was a lie, as less than a week later he's headed to Storrs, CT to fill a coaching vacancy at the University of Connecticut.
He said he'd be willing to take less money if URI decided to invest in their program. TBH I figured they wouldn't, but to their credit if this offer that has been rumored is correct, then you can't help but think Hurley was full of shit when he said that.
That's a legit offer by URI. 2 million a year, nearly identical to Ed Cooley's contract at PC from a money standpoint. They were going to build a practice facility, pay assistants more and charter flights for away games. They offered everything he asked for. Hurley would talk about how this program is a family and how he wanted to build it into something special, then jumps ship right as we're getting there. Idk how factual that tweet is but if it's true then I really have to credit my university for going all in. I thought they'd just cheap out and let Hurley leave, but by the looks of it they did all they could to keep him.
IMO Hurley's legacy at URI is mixed. He did turn this program around. and I'll always appreciate that. URI went from irrelevant to a team that could've been playing the second weekend of the NCAA tournament. At the same time I feel like URI could've done a little more, some of that is on the players, but a lot imo is on the coaching. I'm not going to hold E.C. Matthews tearing his ACL against him because that would be lunacy, but 2015-16 turned into a lost season after he went down after a 2014-15 season where URI was a win or two away from making the big dance. It felt like for 3 years URI was always that hot pick to make the next step, but they never did. Then last season in 2016-17 they finally did, but they really almost blew it. That season was so strange, started the year out ranked, beat Cincy, then stumbled and nearly played themselves out of the tournament discussion. Luckily to their credit the Rams finished strong, winning out after the Fordham loss to win the A-10 tournament. But that team should've never been an 11 seed, and this year the Rams should've never been a 7. After winning 16 games in a row, after clinching the A-10 regular season title, which frankly doesn't mean shit, even though it was the first in program history that the Rams took the foot off the gas.
They went 2-3 to finish the regular season and lost the A-10 title game. They fell from from a potential 4 seed all the way to a 7, where they ended up matching up with Duke in the 2nd round and got absolutely embarrassed. Had this team gotten a better draw by finishing strong they're probably still playing tonight or tomorrow. I've said it many times, Hurley is a great recruiter, but not a great coach. He'd get all pissy, and his team's offenses never seemed to click. Don't get me wrong, I'm really bummed we're losing him because he was great at getting talent, but think most basketball people would agree his actual coaching was a tad overrated.
As for who replaces him I have no idea, I hope it's David Cox but we'll have to wait and see. One of my friends was saying he wanted Rick Pitino but I don't think that would ever happen. Better chance that URI football finishes with a winning record, which says all you need to know about URI football. What I really hope happens, but probably won't is that URI still invests in their program like they were willing to do for Hurley. Build a basketball-only practice facility, spend more $ on the program, charter flights like a real program. Don't allow losing Hurley to set this program back into the barren Jim Baron days. Build off the momentum of the last two seasons. Have fun getting your ass kicked by MY Wichita State Shockers, Cincy and Houston, Danny boy.
As of now many recruits and returning players say they're staying at URI. Let's see how that goes. Not holding my breath