It's no secret that I was not as giddy about the Bobby Hurley hire as some of my fellow UB fans.
Many saw the son of the legendary high school coach and NCAA assist record holder as a great hire. I saw a formerly great player with only two years of coaching experience under his belt. And those years were as an assistant coach for middling teams under his brother.
It's not that I thought he would be a flop. I just wanted a coach with more experience.
While I merely questioned the wisdom of hiring such an inexperienced coach some people went off the deep end when Hurley came to Buffalo. Bobby Hurley became an emblem of the "young, brash" Athletic Director who "didn't understand Buffalo." Firing the venerable Reggie Witherspoon was bad, but hiring a guy whose sideline disposition was 180 degrees away was even worse.
And of course the haters were already cheesed off about the New York Bulls Initiative.
As the 2013-2014 season went on Hurley's demeanor also created a crowd of MAC beat writers from other schools that stalked him. I would run through a list here but Conrad is putting together a history of Hurley hatred. Sad to say you'll see one tweet from me in there but at least I owned it as being out of line at the time.
Then came Cleveland and a flat performance which saw the Bulls, who got a bye to the quarterfinals, dropped by EMU, who did not get a bye and was playing their third game in four days. There is no other way to describe the game than as a choke. Of course those who hated Hurley and NYBI took the chance to remind us that nothing had changed.
To add insult to injury a 19-win UB team passed up an invitation to the CIT. While it's a decision I still disagree with I see the merits of using that money to invest in the future of the program. The Bulls passing up the CIT is one of those things where reasonable people can disagree.
But Hurley haters are not generally reasonable people. They took the decision to abstain from a tournament you need to pay for as evidence of arrogance. In reality it was about the fact UB would have been playing three starting seniors in a tournament that they had been in two of the past three seasons.
That brought us to this preseason and the predictions of doom and gloom from know-nothing commentators like.... me. Hat tip to guys like Matt and Johnathan Snyder who were Bullish on UB this season.
It was not Hurley hate that led me to the conclusion this would be a .500 team. It was just the fact we lost perhaps our best player ever (Javon McCrea) on top of a great guard (Jarrod Oldham) and a super three point threat (Joshua Freelove).
Then the Bulls tore through their out-of-conference schedule and were doing well in MAC play. People kind of quieted down until a three game skid reignited a fire under the doubters. The Spectrum was quick to talk about how the team falling short of expectations was a product of the Danny White and Bobby Hurley hype machine.
Then the Bulls started to roll, kept rolling, and last night UB won their division, took a share of the overall conference championship, and earned a #2 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Throughout the game and even after the usual suspects missed no opportunity to take a jab at the school, NYBI, or the teams postgame celebrations.
Even watching the home team win and succeed was not enough to overcome for the haters to overcome their irrational hatred of White and Hurley.
As for me, well Bobby Hurley has served me up a heaping plate of crow. Now I'm hoping for a second course after Cleveland.