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Bobby Hurley won't be MAC Coach of the Year, but he deserves more plaudits

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Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Central Michigan's Keno Davis is going to win MAC Coach of the Year tomorrow. It's not quite as much of a sure thing as Ohio's Bob Boldon on the women's side, but it's going to happen.

I'm not going to argue that Buffalo's Bobby Hurley deserves the award, especially after CMU won the MAC West from a fifth-place prediction in the preseason poll. You'll note that someone did indeed vote the Chippewas to win their division, though.

I have plenty of anti-Chippewa things to say about CMU, but I'm hoping to need them later in the week. Right now, I can't deny that it was a strong season, and great work from Keno Davis, who spent three years at Providence in the pre-breakup Big East.

But consider the work Hurley has done this year. I'm not sure if all these things are considered by voters, but they are certainly evidence of the second-year coach doing a good job:

  • Graduated a MAC Player of the Year and All-MAC Honorable Mention, now has a likely MAC Player of the Year, All-MAC Second Teamer, and All-MAC Freshman
  • Graduated a three-year starter at point guard, now has the best tandem in the conference with a combined 2.0 A/TO ratio
  • 19-9 in the regular season, now 21-9 in the regular season
  • Returned only five players from last year, now gets 18 ppg from newcomers
  • Picked fourth in the East, now East champions, again.
  • Won ten true road games, a program record
Statistically, this team is nearly identical to last season's (more on that later in the week), despite graduating perhaps the best player UB's had in decades and two further senior starters. It's easy to look around and say 'there's lots of talent,' but there were plenty of folks anticipating a step back this year.

Once again, I don't expect Hurley to win, and I don't think he should. But the success this year is the sign of a great coaching job and a rapidly improving program, not a program that was obviously set to reload and contend immediately after Javon McCrea.

In tomorrow's announcement, keep an eye for Chris Jans of Bowling Green as well. The Falcons were voted fifth in the East in the preseason poll, but did receive a first-place vote. Jans and Hurley are cut from similar cloth in their gameday demeanour, but no one talks about that.

Anyway, Bobby Hurley won't win MAC Coach of the Year, but I'm really hoping he gets some votes and beats out Jans, because he's done a great job and no one is really talking about it other than bringing up his name for every job ever.


Go Bulls.