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.
Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti has reached out to a group of people for advice, including Hurley, former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy and NBA Commissioner David Stern, a Rutgers alum. Tara Sullivan of The Record reported the Van Gundy and Stern news.
“I’m one of a group of people,” Hurley said. “I shared my feelings about some of the candidates.”
Among the names in the mix at Rutgers are Fran Fraschilla, Eddie Jordan, Jim O’Brien and Fran Dunphy.
“Those are among the names that we’ve talked about,” Hurley said.
Former Nets coach Lawrence Frank has been touted as a potential candidate, but he told me at a recent Knicks game that he had no interest in coaching at the college level.
Fraschilla’s name has been linked with the Rutgers job for some time now and the former St. John’s and Manhattan coach could be at the top.
Yet Hurley said he doesn’t think Fraschilla will end up taking it.
“Both of his sons are in school in Dallas,” Hurley said of Fraschilla. “I have a feeling that he’s just going to stay with ESPN.”
Hurley is also high on Dunphy, the Temple coach, whom he also recommended for the Seton Hall job to Pat Hobbs, Dean of the Seton Hall Law School.
“I think everybody would like the opportunity to talk to Fran Dunphy,” Hurley said. “He’s a great coach. He’s been in Philadelphia a long time. He’s very set there. He’s got good teams. What would cause him to leave Philadelphia?”
Lafayette coach Fran O’Hanlon echoed those feelings of doubt that Dunphy would leave for Rutgers.
“I guess it’s conceivable,” O’Hanlon told Jerry Carino of Gannett New Jersey, “but I don’t know how likely it is.”
Hurley continues to support Mike Rice, the Robert Morris coach who has led the Colonials to two straight NCAA tournament appearances. Yet despite tremendous connections in the New York/New Jersey recruiting corridor, Rice has not heard from Pernetti.
“I think Mike Rice would be a very good choice for Rutgers,” Hurley said.
As for Jordan, he has the support of former Rutgers star Phil “The Thrill” Sellers, but it remains unclear how effectively he could do the job.
Would a former NBA coach who’s owed $6 million be up for the heavy recruiting and rebuilding necessary at Rutgers?
Jordan’s agent, Mark Carmony, has not returned numerous calls seeking comment.
Whoever gets the job will have a lot of work to do. Rutgers got some good news Thursday when I first reported that St. Benedict’s Prep forward Gilvydas Birutawill remain committed, but the program needs to add several pieces, including a big man to replace the graduating Hamady N’Diaye, a scorer to replace the departed Mike Rosario and potentially another point guard.
“The Rutgers person they choose has an awful lot of work to do,” Hurley said. “It’s harder than St. John’s, it’s harder than Seton Hall because the roster is really decimated.”
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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.