Rhody hits road, rather than fly, to Pittsburgh

Rhody hits road, rather than fly, to Pittsburgh
COLLEGES: Weymouths Terrell, URI headed to NCAA Tournament
NORMAN — The name rang out constantly as Oklahoma went through defensive work Monday in preparation for its NCAA Tournament opener against Rhode Island at 11:15 a.m. Thursday at Pittsburghs PPG Paints Arena.

Terrell, Terrell, Terrell, OUs coaches yelled, emphasizing tight defense around the Rams top offensive weapon.

By Barry SvrlugaThe Washington Post For the first time, really, as an adult, the coach had no team of his own, so he could sit in the first row behind the bench wearing a long-sleeved, blue Rhode Island basketball T-shirt, standing when the other fans stood, sitting when they sat, clapping only when the moment proved so significant that keeping his arms crossed would have seemed rude. Neither the Rhode Island Rams nor the Arizona State Sun Devils are Bob Hurley Sr.s team. Try to tell his roiling gut that.

COLLEGES: Weymouths Terrell, URI headed to NCAA Tournament

Jared Terrell couldve been a thorn in the side of Oklahoma mens basketball teams multiple times over the course of his college career.

Instead, Terrell will only get one chance, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Unless asked, Bob does not offer specific thoughts on how to defend or attack another team. But he knows the Rams personnel better than anyone not on Dans staff. A few weeks ago, when the Rams were starting to struggle, he reminded Dan not to give up on senior forward Andre Berry, who was losing minutes to sophomore Cyril Langevine. The fathers message to son: Dont simultaneously wear out Langevine physically and hurt Berrys confidence, because you need them both.

There was a time when Terrell was to be a Bedlam force, a combo guard who would help Travis Fords Oklahoma State Cowboys once again become a tournament regular.

Terrell signed with OSU in late 2013, choosing the Cowboys over the Rams, Providence and Cincinnati.

Hurley is, by definition and profession and demeanor, a coach. Hes in the basketball Hall of Fame. Over a career that spanned more than 40 years, he won 28 state championships and more than 1,200 games at St. Anthony High in Jersey City. But St. Anthony closed last spring. Hurley had no team of his own, so he adopted the two that made the most sense: Rhode Island, coached by his younger son Dan, and Arizona State, coached by his older son Bobby.

He was to be a major piece in a recruiting class that also included Mitchell Solomon, Jeff Newberry, Tyree Griffin and Anthony Allen.

Bobby Hurley was, for a time, the most famous in the family, the point guard for back-to-back national champions at Duke, still the NCAAs career leader in assists. Because Bobby spent five years in the NBA, his coaching career came later. When it began, it did so at Wagner on Dans staff. Bobby followed Dan to Rhode Island and then broke out on his own, landing his first head job at Buffalo before taking the Arizona State gig in 2015.

I wasnt sure if I was going to start — nothing is guaranteed — but I was willing to work for it, Terrell told the Providence Journal recently. It wasnt something that I was worried about.

Dan Hurley isnt a coaching neophyte. He is in his sixth year at Rhode Island, where he was the Atlantic 10s coach of the year after leading the Rams to the regular-season title. Before that came two years at Wagner, nearly a decade as the coach at St. Benedicts Prep in Newark, New Jersey – where he battled his dad for in-state supremacy – and assistant coaching stops at Rutgers and one season under his father on his old bench.

But Terrell never made it to Stillwater from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

When the NCAA tournament begins, that amazing resource will be there for two sons, two teams traveling two paths. The gym in Jersey City will sit closed this week. Bob Sr. and his wife Chris were poised to travel, first to Dayton, Ohio for Bobbys game, then maybe Pittsburgh for Rhode Island or onto Detroit for Arizona State. One legendary coach helping two teams from afar, maybe the best resource for any team in the field.

His grandmother died shortly after he signed and that, combined with Steve Middleton, his lead recruiter, leaving the program after the 2013-14 season led Terrell to ask for and Ford to grant his release from his letter of intent.

That puts the Hurley patriarch in a unique spot when the NCAA tournament opens Tuesday night, when Bobbys Sun Devils face Syracuse for the right to enter the main draw. He is the only man with two sons as head coaches in the field of 68. More than that, though, he is in position to coach those coaches, to father those sons, nearly 30 years after the two boys played on the same St. Anthony team.

Going back, Im glad that I got to remove myself from that situation and take another view on it, Terrell told the paper.

What theyre finding, though, is they also need their dad. And their dad is available – mostly. Bob Hurley Sr. might not have a team of his own. But at 70, he couldnt put down the game altogether. So he runs a nonprofit in Jersey City, and from 3-6 p.m. every day he teaches kids basketball. Bounce pass. Pivot foot. Jump shot. Basics.

So the 6-foot-3 Terrell instead stayed close to home, heading just about an hour south of his hometown of Weymouth, Massachusetts, to play at Rhode Island.

“The two of them together? It was two volcanoes erupting almost simultaneously,” Hurley Sr. said. “Every once in a while, the two of them would have a brief argument on the sideline – which was very much like any time in the house growing up. It would last a little bit, and then itd be gone.”

He had an immediate impact for the Rams, averaging 9.2 points and 1.4 steals for Dan Hurleys team as a freshman.

“I said to my wife that Im more nervous than she could ever be because I know everything that could go wrong,” Hurley said. “Im watching everything under the sun. Nobody knows how many things are going on. Coaches do.”

This year, his scoring took a big hike, averaging 17.2 points per game and leading the Rams into the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.

“But he kind of forces me to ask,” said Dan Hurley, who played at Seton Hall before getting into the family business. “He stays real positive. He would just wait for me to open up the door – and then I get the wisdom.”

Hes also become a deadly shooter from behind the arc, making 41.5 percent from behind the 3-point line this season after shooting just 33.9 percent over his first three seasons.

But like Oklahomas star guard, Trae Young, Terrell struggled a bit down the stretch, especially inside the arc.

While Terrell shot nearly 50 percent from behind the 3-point line in the Atlantic 10 Tournament last weekend, he was just 2 for 20 (10 percent) from inside the arc.

Itll be up to Oklahomas interior defenders to try to limit Terrells looks at the bucket on the inside and on perimeter defenders from keeping him getting open along the 3-point line.

Hell shoot it if youre guarding him or if youre not guarding him, Oklahoma sophomore forward Kristian Doolittle said. But being in the Big 12, were used to that kind of stuff. Not to take anything away from what he does, weve just got to be able to lock in.

Weymouths Jared Terrell will be one of the many players participating in March Madness.

Terrell has had a big senior season for the University of Rhode Island men’s basketball team, which earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will play No. 11 Oklahoma on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. at PPG Arena in Pittsburgh.

The Rams won the Atlantic 10 regular season title before falling to Davidson, 58-57, in the conference championship title game on Sunday.

Terrell was named to the leagues first-team All-Atlantic 10 team, but surprisingly did not receive many for Player of the Year in the league. He was twice named the Player of the Week in the league and raised his scoring average from 12.2 to 17.7 points per game.

Against Davidson, Terrell scored five points to move into ninth-place on the Rams’ all-time scoring list with 1,751 points.

Last season, the URI advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. Terrell scored 12 points in the Rams’ win over Creighton and 15 in the loss to Oregon.

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