So during the "Bucky & Sully" show New UB Basketball coach Bobby Hurley was asked a question that most new coaches dodge, and Hurley was no different. The question was along the lines of "When Will UB win their Conference"
On the surface Hurley's response was disheartening:
"I don’t think you could set a goal that high right out of the gate. I’m going to talk to the guys about that, about competing for the championship. But the record is what the record is. It was 7-9. We got a lot of work to do and guys got to be very committed." -- Bobby Hurley
Yes Buffalo was 7-9 in MAC play, they also lost more than half of those games while leading with under five minutes left. They also notched that record after losing two point guards to injury. What else? Oh yea, they also notched that record in a very Senior heavy conference in which will see most of the power players moving on after this year.
Among the fans who wanted to see Witherspoon retained the common thought was that next year is his make or break season. It would have been Witherspoons best roster he ever had and teams like Ohio and Akron are getting obliterated by attrition. Even the most ardent Reggie supporter would have agreed that it might be time for a change after next season if UB did not win.
So in comes Bobby Hurley a couple of weeks ago to take UB to the next level, but if he is already saying it won't happen next year then when? Is there another Javon McCrea ready for 2014-2015?.
This coaching move seemed timed to make sure the new coach could avoid having to put fans through a painful rebuilding project. Hurley has one of the best rosters in the conference next season. UB played everyone in the conference tight down the stretch, including Ohio, Akron, and the Kent Sate team that bounced the Bulls. The difference seemed to be end of game coaching, and fortune.
I have to agree with Bob Dicesare of the Buffalo news who stated, quite simply, that there is no grace period for success here. 20 Wins is the floor for success next years squad and the ceiling should be a MAC Championship. I would not, however, go so far as to agree with him that a failure to win the MAC *NEXT YEAR* makes the hire a failure. No team is guaranteed to win their conference in any one given year, no matter how stacked and well coached.
It seems to me that Hurley is playing the modest and humble new guy in front of the press. A new coach in the conference does not want to pull a Kiffin, that is to come into a conference and talk about how you will own it before a single game is played.