The UB Men’s Basketball coaching search is underway as Nate Oats is just over a week removed from the top spot. Several names of assistants from high-major programs have circulated through social media as being in the running for the Buffalo job.
Here are some names we have heard are or were involved at Buffalo— Coaching Changes (@CoachingChanges) April 3, 2019
There’s also at least 1 mystery candidate that I think I have figured out but can’t mention due to the preferences of my source
The mystery candidate in the tweet above was likely Turner Battle, UB Basketball alumnus and 2005 MAC Player of the Year, but he has since been removed from consideration per The Buffalo News.
One name that hasn’t cropped up a ton, but does appear in the aforementioned tweet, is Luke Murray, and to say the least would be an intriguing hire.
Unlike some other candidates named in the running for the UB job, Murray does not have head coaching experience, but he still has an intriguing background and success wherever he went.
Murray currently serves as an assistant coach for the University of Louisville under Chris Mack, who led the Cardinals to a 20-14 record and an NCAA Tournament berth this year. Murray held the same role under Mack at Xavier University for the three years before that as well, helping the Musketeers to a combined 81-26 mark in that span.
He’s also spent time with UConn’s Dan Hurley as an assistant, making two-separate stops—a one-year stint with Wagner in 2010 and a two-year venture with Rhode Island beginning in 2013. In between his years supporting the brother of former UB coach Bobby Hurley, Murray helped orchestrate a dramatic turnaround at Towson University, where a one-win campaign was followed by and 18-winner.
Murray is also lauded as an exceptional recruiter and has served as recruiting coordinator at both Louisville and Xavier. According to 247Sports, the Cardinals currently have the best recruiting class in the ACC with six four-star recruits committed, five of which are top-100 recruits.
He was also able to recruit on the mid-major level. In 2012, Murray assembled the top class for the Colonial Athletic Association at Towson, which featured two-time CAA player of the year Jerrelle Benimon.
However, Murray is young at 34 years old, so UB would need to keep that in mind and maybe pair him up with an highly-experienced associate head coach like Jim Whitesell, who’s holding down the fort as interim head coach.
We’ll see if this is the direction that UB wants to go. For now, the search continues as the NCAA Final Four, which is also a networking extravaganza for coaches and athletic directors, begins on Saturday. UB could very well have a coach this time next week.
Here’s some goodies on Murray:
I’m also partial to this hire because we can fill the Bull Run twitter with Bill Murray GIFs. (I’m just kidding, Matt, don’t hurt me)