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The Mashup Thinking out loud: What does Dan Hurleys extension at URI mean?

Time:2017-05-21 10:13Shoes websites Click:

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Thinking out loud: What does Dan Hurley’s extension at URI mean?   05.19.17 at 1:08 pm ET  

By John Rooke

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Thinking out loud…while wondering whatever happened to “Never Nervous” Pervis Ellison?

— Dan Hurley’s contract extension was made official at URI this week, with a deal in place that can keep the coach around through the 2023-24 season. It’s a smart, necessary PR move for Rhody in an always-changing world, and his second extension in two years. Does this “lock him in” now, Rams fans? No, it doesn’t. But that’s the reality of big-business college basketball these days.

— The same is true for PC’s Ed Cooley. Coaches can say and DO all the right things, but in a business as volatile as coaching – and it very much IS a business – it’s better to “never say never.” You’ll be right more often.

— Providence’s home games in the 2K Classic have been scheduled, and include playing Houston Baptist University on November 10th – which would serve as PC’s season-opener – and Belmont on Nov. 22nd, which would come AFTER playing at Madison Square Garden on the 16th and 17th.

— But since Rhode Island Comic Con is scheduled for the Dunkin Donuts Center on Nov. 10-12, the Friars may be forced to play the Houston Baptist home game at Alumni Hall. The season opener on campus? That would certainly increase interest in a game with HB-who, wouldn’t it? But what season-ticket holders would be left out? Glad that call is above my pay-grade.

— Bryant’s basketball program has been hammered with two significant losses recently, largely unexpected. North Providence’s Marcel Pettway is leaving the program after playing his way into prominence within the NEC the past two seasons. Last year’s leading scorer Nisre Zouzoua also left the Bulldogs’ team and transferred to Nevada.

— It might not be time to panic, but when two of your better players decide it’s in their best interest to play elsewhere? It might be time for a little program introspection, at the very least. 6-6 forward Malik Smith will transfer into Bryant, coming from North Carolina-Asheville.

— URI picked up a commitment from Brooklyn native, junior college forward Ryan Preston out of Trinity Valley (Texas), and the 6-7 junior will have two years of eligibility. Smart move on his part, as the Rams will have one of the deepest and perhaps one of the most talented backcourts around next year. He should see a lot of playing time – somebody in Kingston needs to rebound.

— I’ve surmised for two years that Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado has, at the very least, one super skill that makes him pro-worthy – his ability to rebound. The same was said of former PC all-Big East forward Michael Smith two decades ago, and his career in the NBA spanned eight seasons.

— Delgado led the nation in rebounding last season, and is the best pure rebounder seen in the Big East since the days of “Michael, Michael motorcycle.” Yet with his apparent decision to test the NBA draft waters this year and not return to school, especially with him not having received an invitation to the draft combine, it seems a bit foolish.

— Bottom line – some athletes just don’t like school. And some athletes just think they’re better than they really are. I know both thoughts will come as a shock to many.

— For now, the “still way too early” Big East projections for next season have taken on a new twist. Defending champ Villanova is at the top, thanks in large part to Jalen Brunson’s return. Xavier – if Trevon Bluiett returns, and he worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers this week – is next, and can seriously challenge the Wildcats in their present form.

— With five starters returning and help on the front line coming in, Providence gets the nod – for now – in the three-spot.

— Creighton, Seton Hall, Marquette, Butler and St. John’s can all challenge for the post-season. DePaul, with a new arena to break in, will be improved. Georgetown, under college-coaching neophyte Patrick Ewing, has its hands full. But Big East basketball will be monstrous next year. There really won’t be a weak-sister in the bunch.

— Big East league meetings were held in Ponte Vedra, Florida this week. Strengthening current initiatives were talked about, but what about future projects? There is underlying concern over attendance at Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament, and while the crowds have slowly improved since the league’s “re-birth,” there will be a huge spotlight glaring on the league next March with the Big Ten sharing the arena just before the Big East hits the stage.

— And don’t forget the ACC returns for another year to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center at the same time, too. If there was ever a place for basketball-heaven-on-earth, it might be the first and second weeks of March in New York next year.

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