Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Ahead of Rhode Island-Duke, Coach K says Hurley family ‘epitomizes the highest level of love for the game’
By ADAM ZAGORIAPITTSBURGH — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is a big fan of the Hurley family.
It was Coach K who inducted Bob Hurley Sr. into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2012.
Before that, of course, Coach K recruited Bobby Hurley out of St. Anthony’s High School and Hurley then led Duke to back-to-back NCAA championships in 1991′ and ’92. Along the way to the 1992 title, Duke beat Dan Hurley and Seton Hall before the infamous Christian Laettner game with Kentucky.
Now here comes another chapter in the relationship between Coach K and the Hurleys. Krzyzewski and No. 2-seeded Duke (27-7) will face Dan Hurley and No. 7 Rhode Island (26-7) here in a second-round Midwest Region matchup on Saturday. Bob and Chris Hurley were courtside for Rhode Island’s win after watching on a TV at a restaurant in Pennsylvania as Bobby and Arizona State lost to Syracuse in a First Four game Wednesday night.
“Their family epitomizes the highest level of love for the game,” Coach K said when I asked his thoughts on the Hurleys following Duke’s 89-67 blowout of No. 15 Iona at PPG Paints Arena.
“And the father, you’re talking one of the great coaches. It doesn’t matter what level. That’s why he’s in the Hall of Fame. And his two sons have learned a lot, learned a lot. And Danny’s team, he hasn’t built a team, he’s built a program there. You know, that’s the difference. That’s what you want to do is build a program that develops teams year after year, and he’s done that at Rhode Island.”
On Nov. 20, 2016, Duke beat Rhode Island, 75-65, in the championship game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“They’re very experienced and their guards are very tough,” said Duke’s Grayson Allen, who went for 16 points and 9 assists against Iona. “We played against them last year, and I remember that game, their guards were very tough. They go at you both offensively and defensively, and they’re a very experienced team. They have a pretty good amount of guys back from that team that I played, so it will be a very tough match-up because of how experienced they are and because they are a team that wins.”
Dan Hurley continues to gain momentum to possibly land the open jobs at UConn and Pitt, although he has said for now his team is not distracted by the rumors.
For at least one more game, he’ll have his parents courtside watching him coach….against Duke.
“It’s always thrilling and emotional with me to coach with my dad there, my mother there, but also with my wife, Andrea there, and my two sons, Danny and Andrew,” Dan Hurley said. “We create such a family atmosphere around our program, that, you know, just such a great feeling.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.