Dan Hurley might not be as prolific to the college basketball faithful as his brother, Bobby, but has the same determination and drive.
The latter had one of the best collegiate playing careers in NCAA history as a member of the Duke Blue Devils. Meanwhile, Dan was a relatively unknown commodity during his time at point guard for Seton Hall.
When trying to compare the Hurley brother’s it’s a no contest when it comes to their on court abilities. However, their coaching resume tells a much different tale.
Bobby still might have the edge on brother, Dan, as he lead the Buffalo Bills to their first MAC title and NCAA Tournament berth in school history. And now with a prestigious job at Arizona State, Bobby is firmly established as one of college basketball’s best up-and-coming coaches.
Dan hasn’t had the honor of leading a team to a conference title or an NCAA Tournament berth. But after taking the Rhode Island Rams to the NIT a season ago, opportunity for the youngest of the two Hurley brother’s is knocking feverishly at the front door.
Rhode Island was am afterthought before Dan Hurley took the reigns in 2012. And while it took time to form a winning culture, the Rams took a giant step forward last season. They went 13-5 in Atlantic 10 play, and secured a first round win in the NIT.
With Shaka Smart leaving VCU for Texas, many teams in the Atlantic 10 are going to be clamoring for the top spot in the conference. Rhode Island is considered a heavy favorite to do just that, and by doing so will earn then their first bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1999.
The Rams boast a stellar collection of talent. The team’s brightest star is Junior, E.C. Matthews. The 6-5 forward from Detroit, Michigan had a breakout 2014-15 campaign for the Rams.
He averaged 16.9 points and collected 4.6 rebounds. Matthews recorded 10 games of 20 or more points, two of which came against power conference teams in Nebraska and Kansas.
While Matthews is an integral part to the Rams frontcourt, both Kuran Iverson and Hassan Martin are going to be just as crucial to any success the team may have.
Iverson was one of the most sought after transfers in the Nation prior to the 2014 season. He was let go by Memphis due to disciplinary issues. After sitting out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules, the 6-9 junior is hoping to tap into his enormous potential that at one point pegged him as a top-30 recruit out of high school.
Martin could be one of the A-10 Conference’s best big men. He is a 6’7 forward that has proven to be a one man wrecking crew, leading the A-10 in blocks and field goal percentage despite only playing 28.8 minutes per game.
The Rams aren’t only loaded at the frontcourt with Matthews, Iverson and Martin, but also have a talented set of guards in sophomore’s Jared Terrell and Jarvis Garrett. The duo combined to score 15 points a contest for Rhode Island, and will be looked upon to make great strides in their second year.
With a healthy collection of players at virtually every position, Dan Hurley has assembled quite the formidable roster. While Bobby, might get greater acclaim due to his more established playing career, both he and Dan have carved out a decent niche in the coaching world.
Bobby Hurley will certainly have his hands full trying to restore the once dominant Arizona State basketball program, and more than likely won’t be in the postseason conversation for quite some time. On the other hand, Dan is ready to lead his Rhode Island team to the NCAA Tournament. Let’s just hope he brought his dancing shoes.