Dan Hurley Signs Extension With URI And I Can’t Be Happier

Dan Hurley Signs

ProJo: The University of Rhode Island and head coach Dan Hurley have agreed to a contract extension that will keep him at the school through the 2019-20 season, the school announced Friday.

The new deal adds two additional years to Hurley’s original contract, but primarily focuses on what URI is calling “programmatic changes and enhancements.” The financial terms of the contract Hurley signed last March when he came to Kingston remain unchanged.

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I know this is old news at this point, but fuck it, I’m not looking to break news; just comment on the news.

Dan Hurley signing an extension, by itself, means nothing. Keeping him under contract longer doesn’t guarantee he stays at URI (it is not an indictment of Hurley but of the sports world in general). Instead, the signing is largely symbolic. He did reject Rutgers offer that would pay him $1M per season but signing the extension really symbolizes his character and loyalty. He knows that he won’t be able to build a championship team by job hopping between schools. He also knows that if he left, he’d be abandoning the kids who transferred and sat out last year just to play for him.

Got to give Hurely credit though. Even though contracts these days aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, Hurley was in a position of power and could have strong-armed URI into a nice raise but, instead, chose to only demand a commitment from URI to make much needed improvements to the athletics facilities and programs (beyond men’s basketball). Very altruistic of Hurley; using his position of power at the negotiating table to benefit all of URI athletics.

Hurley has proven with his actions that he is truly committed to winning and knowing what it really takes to win. URI, and their fans (like myself), can rejoice knowing that Hurley, at least at this moment, is saying he wants to stay and build up the URI program. The only thing that worries me about Hurley succeeding here is the other jobs that will be offered to him that he would be dumb to turn down. An example being Syracuse. Jim Boeheim has hinted that he is really close to retiring. If the basketball gods look unfavorable at URI, it could be bad timing where Hurley turns the URI program around and gets them to the NCAA Tournament just in time for Boeheim to retire and Syracuse may want a younger, high energy, good recruiting coach. Syracuse may come calling for Hurley and I think Hurley would be foolish not to accept the job if they offer it to him. Of course, that’s just speculation. For now, Hurley is committed to being a Ram.

Hold The Phone, Is Pernetti Really To Blame?

Pernetti Rice

Rutgers Athletics: I always tried my best to do what is right. I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the events which led to today. As you know, my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice’s behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel. Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal. I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved.

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If what Tim Pernetti is saying in this letter is true, I was completely wrong in my assumption of his role in this shit storm.  I believe Pernetti here.  I believe he is telling the truth.  He is a very smart individual and know knows just how the media works (now more than ever).  He knows there will be countless numbers of reporters digging into everything he said; fact checking every word he wrote in this letter.  It would be basically career suicide to lie in this letter and have it get found out.

After reading this letter, I now think Rutgers needs to completely overhaul their institutional policies.  How can their internal policies and procedures direct them to suspend and fine Rice instead of firing him?  On second thought, I have a hard time believing Rutgers policy doesn’t call for immediate termination.  Something doesn’t add up here.  If a professor was throwing chalk/dry erase markers at underperforming students calling them “faggots,” “pussies,” or “retards” that professor would immediately be “suspended pending investigation” followed up with the professor being fired.  The same thing should have happened here.  Someone was on Rice’s side here and wanted to protect him.  Not sure why as the results aren’t there (probably because he is a shitty coach).

If the New Jersey State Senate really wants to get involved here (like they have been), they should probably focus on Rutgers’ documented policies and procedures and see if they need to be overhauled.  If they really do show that Rice should have been fired back in December, then President Barchi should be fired too.  If Pernetti is right and the policy called for a fine and a suspension, then the policies need to be torn up and completely rewritten.

Rutgers Cleans House

Mike Rice

I wanted to wait for all the chips the fall before commenting on this Rutgers story.

We all already know all the details so I won’t waste time recapping.  I think Rutgers absolutely made the right moves.  I know it was obvious that the coach, Mike Rice, had to go.  The other great move was firing the AD Pernetti.  He tried to sweep it under the rug with his slap on the wrist punishment he gave Rice back in December.  Cited things like it was a “first offense.”  First offense?!?!  In every single other workplace, that behavior, even as a first offense get you fired every single time.  Pernetti then went out into the media and defended his punishment when the world was calling for Rice’s head.  Terrible PR move and basically left the Rutgers President with no option but to fire him.

As for what I thought about the video itself; clearly Rice went way over the line.  Look, if you want to be the rough and hard dickhead coach, I get it.  If you think yelling and screaming at your team is what will get through to them, knock yourself out.  Where I draw the line is the name calling referring to sexual orientation and player heritage.  You want to call your big man soft and a pussy because he lets guys 5 inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter box them out and out rebound your big man, go for it.  I also think it is fine to grab a player who isn’t focusing and putting them into the right position on the court.  There is no need to call anyone a fag or pick on their heritage…or in Gilvydas Biruta’s case, both.  No need to call Gil a “Lithuanian faggot.”. Absolutely zero basketball purpose for that.

Also, maybe there are better ways to get your point across without rocketing balls at players’ heads.

People Still Think Dan Hurley Is Going To Coach At Rutgers

c'mon man

NYDN: For more than 35 years, Rutgers has been the wasteland of college basketball. The university hired one nondescript or ill-fitting coach after another. The only hire never made was the only one that made sense — a New Jersey native with college head coaching experience, a coach whose name was universally known and respected throughout the state. It’s shocking it never happened because the best thing Rutgers has going for it is this: It is the State University of New Jersey. New Jersey, at its core, is a state populated by loyal, passionate, proud people, people who trust their own, people who know a Jersey guy speaks their language, people who know there are values dating back to the state’s roots in farming and factories. Pernetti may be the next Rutgers employee fired, but whomever sits in the AD chair can begin restoring the school’s image with one hire and only one hire — Danny Hurley. But wins and losses — important for certain in the million-dollar world of college basketball — shouldn’t be the primary focus of this hire. Character should be. Commitment should be. Community should be. Now more than ever, with the nation sure the inmates are running the asylum at Rutgers, Danny Hurley is exactly what the State University of New Jersey needs.
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I know a lot of people will think this author is saying that Rutgers needs to do whatever it takes to lure Coach Hurley out of URI. I took it another way. Granted, the author certainly doesn’t seem like he’d complain if Rutgers went after Hurley, but I think his greater point is that Rutgers needs a certain type of coach and that Hurley is the poster child for that “type.” To me, the author says that Rutgers fucked up by not hiring Hurley when they had the chance (before hiring Mike Rice) and now they need to find a coach who is exactly like Hurley. He is inferring that in order for Rutgers to dig themselves out of this shithole they have dug themselves into they need to find a coach like Hurley who commands respect without having to be over the top to the point of abuse. In the end, I think the author is trying to say that Rutgers needs who and what Hurley embodies not necessarily Hurley himself. Of course, I’ve been wrong before; so what the fuck do I know, right? I will reiterate my sentiments from before. Coach Hurley isn’t leaving URI for Rutgers. It just doesn’t make any sense at this point. As the article said, he is building a foundation at URI and won’t just abandon the team to join a floundering bottom feeder just because they are in a BCS conference. Hurley is smart enough to know that if he turns URI around, he will have opportunities to join BCS schools that are actually good. Rutgers can hope and wish all they want, Hurley is not taking that job.

Catching Up On A-10 News

paperwork2

I know it’s been a while since my last post. Been swamped at work and couldn’t find time to sneak in a blog post like I have been able to. A lot has happened. NCAA second round, Bobby Hurley leaves URI, and George Mason.

Anyway, on to what I’ve missed:

NCAA Tournament
After starting 5-0 during the first round (if you call the play-ins the first round, you’re a huge asshole), the A-10 goes 1-4 in the next round with only La Salle advancing to the Sweet 16.

Temple certainly played a good game and could very well have beaten Indiana if it weren’t for Oladipo:


Skip to 0:26.

Khalif Wyatt’s first half performance showed why he was the A-10 player of the year. Unfortunately, the 15 minute break for halftime was just enough time for Wyatt’s hot hand to go cold and he had a very pedestrian second half. Temple should hang their heads high. they took the #1 seed (and at certain points during the season – the #1 team in the country) to the very brink of defeat.

Not much to say about VCU. They were just completely overmatched by Michigan. Like I’ve said before, the best way to beat the Havoc defense is to have smart, instinctive guards. That is exactly what Michigan has in Burke (possibly the best guard in all of college basketball) and Hardaway Jr. Just a bad game for VCU. Missed a lot of open jump shots and missed a bunch of easy lay-ups. Too bad. Still a great season overall for the Rams and they will be a top team in the A-10 for a long while (unless Shaka Smart goes to UCLA).

St. Louis, whose foundation was built on tough defense, really didn’t look very competitive against Oregon (who may be the best 12 seed in tournament history – hyperbole, saying they were shafted by the Selection Committee). The usually stout defense of SLU gave up 76 to Oregon and couldn’t really seem to stop them.

Butler now, they looked like they had the game won for a while, but Marquette showed a lot of grit and balls in coming back and taking the lead with about 7 or 8 minutes left. Then it was truly a back and forth game; a lot of fun to watch. Unfortunately, Butler couldn’t pull out the victory in the end.

On to La Salle. Great win over Ole Miss. What makes it a great win? The win means that fucking menace Marshall Henderson is finally out of the tournament. Good riddance. La Salle played great and hit a lot of key shots. not only did their star player (Ramon Galloway) have a good game, but so did VA Tech transfer Tyrone Garland. Garland hit the game winning lay up with only a second left. Southwest Philly Floater for the win (literally)!!!

Next up for La Salle is Arizona. Zona is a very talented team (coached by former Xavier coach Sean Miller) who was one of the last unbeaten teams in the country. I hope La Salle can keep it rolling and become the next VCU (from 2011) in that they go from Play-in to Final Four.

George Mason
So George Mason announced that they are joining the A-10 on July 1 of this year. Good pick up by the A-10 to replace one of the many departing teams. I think the A-10 only needs to add one more school to get back up to 14 teams for this year and 12 the year after that (assuming the rumors about Dayton and St. Louis to the Big East are true). I’m still hoping that the A-10 can pull off a miracle and convince Wichita St. to leave the MVC too (Creighton is leaving for the Big East). I know it is unlikely but who knows, they did convince Butler and VCU to join. It could happen. Anyway, I like George Mason. GM would fit in with the rest of the A-10 with the play of their top 2 guys (both guards): Bryon Allen and Sherrod Wright. The A-10 is well known for their guard play and GM will step right in.

Bobby Hurley
Bobby Hurley to Buffalo

So word has it that Bobby Hurley is leaving URI for Buffalo. This is a curious move to say the least. I mean, Bobby must have had other offers in the past (I think Wagner offered him the job when Dan left for URI) and he turned them down to stay with Dan and spend time with Dan and their families. If he turned down offers in the past, why leave now? Why University of Buffalo? No offense to University of Buffalo fans, but I can’t wrap my head around why Bobby would take that job. Is he finally ready to step out from Dan’s shadow and build his own legacy? Is he thinking that turning around a Buffalo program will allow him to land a head coaching gig with a high-major school (like using Buffalo as a stepping stone)? Baffling; but Dan is doing a great job recruiting and coaching up these players and while it would have been nice to keep Bobby around to help mentor EC Matthews and help transition him into an elite PG, I wish Bobby all the luck in the world and I hope he achieves all the success he needs to get to where he wants to in life.

Great Start To The Tournament For The A-10

A-10 Round of 64

Atlantic 10 Teams start the tournament off 5-0.

Truth be told, I didn’t really get to watch much of the Butler/Bucknell game. They started the tournament off for the A-10 and got it started off on the right foot.

SLU just demolished New Mexico State and their gigantic oaf Sim Bhullar. SLU establishing their defensive will against teams and will definitely be a force in this tournament. Teams who get by with their scoring/high FG% have to hope to sustain a hot streak. Unfortunately teams get hot hands shooting and they get cold hands shooting. While teams can go into slumps shooting, good defense is slump proof. Whether SLU is hot or cold shooting the ball, their defense will keep them in all the games.

I don’t want to read too much into VCU’s win against an Akron team with their star player suspended for trying to run enough drugs to make Pablo Escobar blush and two other starters limited with the flu. A good win and a good way to get their “havoc” defense going for when they face real competition in Michigan on Saturday.

La Salle had one of the gutsiest wins of the A-10 teams. They came in after being a play-in team and taking on a much, MUCH bigger K-State. They did blow an 18-point lead but they made enough plays to pull off the second biggest upset of the tournament so far (Harvard as a 14-seed is the biggest upset so far). I thought Henriquez was going to completely shut down the Explorers in the second half. The 3-point shooting started to get cold and Henriquez towered over the smaller Explorers and seemingly swatted every shot taken inside the paint. Glad La Salle won. See if they can be the next VCU (from Play-in to Final Four).

Temple over NC State was a great win for the Owls. NC State was a preseason pick to win the ACC and are considered to have a very talented team. Temple has what it takes to go far in the tournament a dominant player (Khalif Wyatt) and a few good role players (Scootie Randall and TJ DiLeo). Wyatt won’t have to carry a team all by himself but together they all have the talent to be a Sweet 16 team.

PS: Can we please stop calling the play-in games the “first round”? The “First Four” is not the first round. I refuse to recognize a tournament that has 8 teams play in the first round and 60…SIXTY…teams get a first round bye? Get outta here with that shit.

Round 1 Different than Play-ins

Well said, KFC.

PPS: Stat of the day so far…

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This Will Be The First Ever Perfect Bracket….Probably Not

Winning Bracket

Threw in a few upsets here and there which will inevitably back fire on me. Got Wisconsin going to the Elite 8, Cal upsetting UNLV in the Round of 64 (let’s be real here, it’s still the first round – those play-in games can fuck right off), Minnesota over UCLA, and St. Louis to the Elite 8 (what can I say, I believe in this team of destiny).

In the end, I got Michigan St., Ohio St., Florida, and Indiana in the Final Four with Ohio St. beating Florida for the championship.

I am so torn filling out brackets. On one hand I LOVE upsets. Makes the whole tournament more interesting when a VCU, Butler, or George Mason can make it through the gauntlet to the Final Four. On the other hand, the Lehigh’s and the Norfolk St.’s of the world always seem to fuck up my bracket early on and really take away my enjoyment of watching the tournament. The catch here is: everyone fills out brackets. It’s un-American to not fill out a bracket. If I don’t fill out a bracket, then I feel like the terrorists have won. Everybody should feel that way. Don’t support terrorism, fill out a bracket.