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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.
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Friday / July 20.
  • Bob Hurley isn’t offering any coaching carousel advice to Dan Hurley — unless he’s asked

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    PITTSBURGH Bob Hurley Sr. is here to support Rhode Island in the NCAA Tournament, not to provide any coaching advice to Rhode Island’s coach.

    Dan Hurley has been linked to the coaching openings at both UConn and Pitt, and hardly a day goes by here that the younger Hurley son isn’t asked about his future plans. No. 7 Rhode Island will face No. 2Duke in a second-round matchup on Saturday at 2:40 ET (CBS).

    So does Bob Sr. have any advice for Dan on the Coaching Carousel front?

    “None, whatsoever,” he cracked. “I coached in one school for 50 years. He has an agent. I’m enjoying this. When this ends, I’ll feel bad because the season’s been so much fun and then I’ll watch closely. And if the phone rings and if I’m asked for advice then I’ll answer. But I can’t hardly talk to him about making any moves. I never made one in my life.”

    Hurley Sr., 70, led St. Anthony’s to 28 state championships and 13 New Jersey Tournament of Champions crowns before the school closed last year.

    “You always follow Bob Hurley because he could have coached at any level, and maybe it changed a little bit of how he would run his practice if he was at the NBA level, but maybe not,” Duke coach Mike  Krzyzewski said.

    Coach K inducted the elder Hurley into the Hall of Fame in 2012 — and the two men are engaged in a virtual love fest here.

    “You needed someone that was in the Hall of Fame so when we looked at the group probably of the people I was most comfortable talking to, Mike was the one I was most comfortable talking to,” Hurley said.

    “And I knew also that the was going to be there because I was fortunate enough to go in with the ‘Dream Team,’  and he was one of the assistant coaches with P.J. [Carlesimo] and Lenny Wilkens, so I knew that he would be there. So my wife and I said, “Let’s ask Mike it because we knew he’d be there.”

    Coach K returned the love by praising what he called the Hurley family’s “dignity of work.” Bobby Hurley led Duke to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1991 and ’92, and Coach K said he was always the most competitive guy on the team.

    “The Hurley family epitomizes the dignity of work, and, you know, we feel we do, too,” said Coach K. “So  we get along really well. Look, obviously, we want to beat them, but it’s an honor to play against them. And win or lose, you can be sure I’ll hug him and wish him well if they beat us, and, you know, wish them well if we beat them. But we’ll go after each other hard, I know that.”

    If Rhode Island does beat Duke, it will not only add another chapter to the Hurley family/Coach K saga, but it will surely add to the buzz surrounding the Rams’ coach.

    “I can put my friendship with coach K aside immediately,” Bob Sr. said. “This is blood and he’s had a good career. I hope he doesn’t add a win tomorrow and I’m 100 percent behind everything  that Rhode Island does and I think that’s understandable. We hope that we are the best team tomorrow.”

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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.