Providence Journal: For the final few minutes of Wednesday night’s game, University of Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley could only sit and stare at the court.
The three barely spoke. They could only stew about the Rams’ poor performance, an 81-44 loss to Saint Joseph’s at Hagan Arena that left Hurley perplexed at how his team could struggle so badly.
“They played like the best team in the league and we played like a bad high school team,” Hurley said. “We played like a team that had nothing left to play for, which is a reflection of our coaches doing a very bad job, of me doing a bad job, of mentally preparing our team once we’ve been eliminated from the conference tournament.”
Truth be told, I didn’t watch the first half and barely watched the second half of this debacle. The parts I did watch were some of the ugliest basketball I have ever seen. Jacking up terrible shots, no movement on offense, and no effort on offense or on defense. This team flat out quit. They quit and they made it as obvious as possible that they quit. I know they had nothing to play for as they were eliminated from the A-10 tournament. This team committed the ultimate sports sin by quitting. They disrespected themselves, their coaches, and their school. Even without a tournament to play for, couldn’t they at least play for personal pride?
Judging by Coach Hurley’s comments, I foresee a lot of pain for this team over the next couple of days before the UMass game. I expect Hurley to really work this team hard in practice. I hope the players enjoy doing suicide sprints and crazy plyometric workouts. If Hurley does work this team as hard as he can (within the allowable practice time limits) and punishes this team for the disrespect they showed to the uniforms, I support him 1000000%.
The team quitting like that is like watching the 2012 Red Sox. I don’t think anyone realistically thought URI could go into St. Joe’s and win. It is not the fact that URI lost, it is how they lost. They just didn’t seem to give a shit about the game or their own sense of pride. Fans of teams can forgive a team that loses as long as they work as hard as they can and leave it all on the field/court/rink. Quitting at any point, but especially before halftime, is just inexcusable. Shame on those players and shame on Andre Malone and Nikola Malesevic. Where was the senior leadership demanding the team step up the effort? Absolutely disgusting display. I doubt Hurley will allow it to happen again, but should the URI team from last night show up for the final game against UMass on Saturday, the team should not be surprised to hear some booing from the crowd.