ESPN: 16. Bobby Hurley, Duke
Hurley might have been the third-most celebrated player on his own team — Grant Hill and Christian Laettner were the stars of Duke’s back-to-back national championship teams in 1991 and ’92 — but perhaps no one was more valuable. A year after UNLV routed the Blue Devils 103-73 in the 1990 national championship game, Hurley never left the floor in Duke’s 72-65 victory over Kansas in the ’91 final. Hurley scored 12 points with nine assists in 40 minutes against the Jayhawks. A year later, Hurley scored nine points with seven assists in 37 minutes of a 71-51 victory over Michigan’s famed “Fab Five” squad in the 1992 championship game. Hurley averaged 12 points and 7.3 assists in 20 NCAA tournament games, leading the Blue Devils to victories in all but two. — Mark Schlabach
Well look at that! Bobby Hurley almost cracked the top 20 NCAA Tournament players OF ALL TIME. Duke in the early 90’s were some incredibly talented teams and Hurley was one of those very talented players. In addition to his back-to-back national titles, Bobby was also selected to be on a college “all-star” type of team that went and played an exhibition game against the ’92 Dream Team in Puerto Rico. The college players ended up beating the Dream Team which is quite the feat to pull off*.
Bobby was an exceptionally gifted player and had a bright future in the NBA until his terrible car accident made it so he could not play anymore. He is such a key person on this coaching staff as the A-10 is such a guard-centric conference. I know Dan was also a guard at Seton Hall and he is a great X’s and O’s coach, but Bobby can really work with URI’s guards and take them to the next level from talented but raw to extremely valuable A-10 players. I think Bobby has the past experience which can help him relate and get on the same level as the players now and can tell them stories that will help hammer points home on these players (especially Mike Powell – who has grown by leaps and bounds this season compared to last season).
*There was some speculation that Coach Chuck Daly purposely lost the game to try and reign in all of the ego’s on the Dream Team. I guess in that game Michael Jordan barely played any minutes and all of the players now think Daly lost on purpose. The NBA TV station played a special a while back (before this past summer Olympics – for the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team) on the Dream Team and I suggest that if anyone hasn’t seen it that they find it somewhere and watch it.