Hailing from one one of the country’s most famous basketball families and coming off two consecutive NCAA Tournament trips at Rhode Island after rescuing the Rams from APR hell, Dan Hurley had his pick of college jobs. He chose UConn, calling it an “elite college basketball program” and promised to right the ship for the Huskies, who despite not having had a losing season in 30 years, went 16-17 and 14-18 the past two seasons under alumnus Kevin Ollie. The Sports Illustrated interview dives into just how Hurley has gone about doing that – from the pace of practice to getting the players to lift their chins to his holistic development approach.
I explained my background as a player, as coach, my family, and then the approach that I was gonna take with these guys. I’m taking a holistic approach with their development. I’m trying to make them better men. ‘You’re gonna be better players and have better careers and we’re all gonna be very successful together.’ I had to explain to them that I expect them to be excellent in every part of their lives. We’re gonna be better than we were last year. We’ll carry ourselves better, the product on the court has gotta look different in terms of how hard we play and how well-connected we are to each other. We gotta see that UConn toughness that has produced four national championships in the last 20 years. I’m gonna set really high standards. I’m gonna develop all-around people. And this is UConn. We just came off two losing seasons. We gotta get this fixed, fellas. Because this is UConn and you can’t really do this here, this whole losing thing.
For more on Hurley:
-Dan Hurley clinic notes (LINK)
-URI set versus 2-3 zone (LINK)
-How Dan Hurley finally chilled out – and Rhode Island roared louder than ever (LINK)
-Hurley’s brutal honesty, tough love, resonates with Jalen Adams (LINK)