Well it's the beginning of a new era for UB basketball...and regardless of if you think it's a good hire or bad hire UB has made a splash. Bob Hurley, former All-American Duke point guard has been named the new men's basketball coach for the University at Buffalo. Good hire? Hard to say as today is day 1 and we haven't seen any results, but I think this is a very good hire for the University at Buffalo
We have to try to be completely unbiased in regards to how we view the new hire, because I know many of us loved Reggie and didn't want to see him go. I always fell a little on the pro-Reggie side of the fence but the doubt of if he was really going to get UB over the hump was always slightly present. He didn't recruit very well, was always poor in regards to late game situations, and sometimes seemed more interested in constantly trying rotations of players instead of doing what is best for winning the game right in front of you. He loved the University, loves the city of Buffalo, and I don't think he would ever leave if offered a bigger job, but the Reggie era is over. I was a big fan of Reggie's offense, and often seen it as one of the best in the country, but he was never able get his teams over the hump. Remember the lead he blew in the MAC final back in the 04-05 season? Remember how his team pretty much didn't show up for the MAC final back in 08-09? Remember how he failed to reach the MAC tournament Championship 2 years ago with what was probably the most talented team in the MAC and the best mid-major front court in the country? Sure he's a great guy, great for the student's, always cared about the students and made sure they did things the right way, but his results always screamed mediocrity. College basketball is results based business, and 14 years of not making the tourney is going to get you fired in the world we live in.
Now in order correctly opinionate (odd word choice, I know) about the new hire we have to forget about the fact that Reggie was fired. If Reggie was the coach of Buffalo for next season they would probably be the 3rd or 4th best team in the conference, and with 5 seniors on next year's roster you would think that Reggie would be around at least another year. But he's not getting that chance. So think as if Reggie resigned, how would you feel about this hire?
First off, many of us sports fan want to be a part of a University that is always looking for the best, and always looking to win so that we can see our school ESPN and all over sports world. The University at Buffalo has done that over the past 7 years with its hires of Turner Gill, Jeff Quinn and Bob Hurley. So I think we all have to respect that. In regards to this specific hire, we as fans can't really complain. I personally fell in love with the idea of Turner Battle being at the helm of this basketball team. A guy who is very close to the University, hard worker with decent experience, someone who cares about Buffalo and its players, isn't looking to use Buffalo as a stepping stone for bigger and better things...but hiring Turner Battle just wasn't happening.
Bob Hurley comes from a very rich basketball family in terms of its basketball history. Hall of fame coach as a father, played at an extremely high level for Coach K over at Duke, and has both NCAA and NBA experience at different levels. He is an extremely hard worker, and has always built his success off of that as well as understanding the game. He is always motivated, and is going to do everything he can to make this team win, and very importantly he will do it the correct way. I think if he has some immediate success (lets say a tourney bid over the next 3 seasons) he is going to jump ship and leave for greener pastures, but he would then have every right to do so. I would prefer a guy who is going to stay around
for the long run, but I don't think that Bob Hurley. One small thing that I like about this hire (and blame it on my biased from where I am and where I'm from) but he's going to recruit in the NYC metro area, which is where the heart of basketball talent is. Reggie never seemed to have any interest in that, but through his father's program and players as well as his own recruiting contacts Bob Hurley is going to bring some NYC recruits up to Buffalo.
It's sad that Reggie is gone, and the timing of it seemed a little questionable given the experience of the team returning next year but this is, but it is what it is. The University at Buffalo went for a big name who hasn't coached his own team yet just (feels a little like the Turner Gill hire) and this University has had success with it in the recent past. The team that is returning is not one that suits Bob Hurley's style of coaching, but he has a hungry team that is aching to make the tourney next season. Let's see if Bob is the guy to bring this team to the next level.