As the University of Rhode Island Rams play their second round matchup of the NCAA Tournament versus the Oregon Ducks tonight, the IPZ family is rooting for Rhody! Coached by Dan Hurley – son of IPZ Board Member Bob Hurley – URI earned its way to the tournament by winning the A10 Championship a week ago, and advanced to the round of 32 following their 84-72 victory against Creighton in the first round of the tournament on St. Patrick’s Day.
Hurley family values: Rhode Island batters and beats Creighton in NCAA tournament
SACRAMENTO — Hurley spent his formative years learning basketball from one of its greatest teachers: his father, Bob Hurley Sr., the Naismith Hall of Fame coach of the legendary St. Anthony High Friars in Jersey City. And while the Friars have produced plenty of big-name players over the years — including Dan and his brother, Bobby — the fundamental values of the program have never changed: namely, that basketball games are won through ferocity, intensity, physicality and a commitment to defense.
Those are the values Dan Hurley has taken with him to the various stops in his own coaching career, beginning at St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey, which he turned into a national power, before spending two years at Wagner College and then heading to the University of Rhode Island in 2012. Those are the values that propelled the Rams on Friday to their first NCAA tournament victory since 1998.
With his father and his brother Bobby watching from the stands, Hurley’s Rhode Island team, the No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region, battered and bruised No. 6 Creighton on its way to an 84-72 victory in the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 18 years. The Rams advanced to face No. 3 seed Oregon on Sunday for spot in the Sweet 16 and a trip to Kansas City next weekend.
“I think we’re built in the image of my family,” Hurley said. “Obviously, we’re all very intense, very passionate about basketball, very passionate about helping young people develop. And I think we also … this team reflects a little bit of the city I grew up in, Jersey City.