Catching Up On A-10 News

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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.

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Top College Players In NCAA Tournament History

Bobby Hurley

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

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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.