The Rhode Island Rams have come a long way since the 2012-13 basketball season, Danny Hurley’s first in Kingston.
Arizona State’s Bobby Hurley was an assistant coach on his brother’s original staff at URI, taking over a program that finished 7-24 the previous season. The cupboard was bare, and there wasn’t much the staff could do about it on the Ryan Center court during that first campaign. Rhody finished 8-21.
“I saw the condition of the program and see how far he’s come,” the elder Hurley brother says. “To know about the ups and downs and the adversity he’s been through.”
After winning only 15 games from 2011-13, URI won 14 games in 2013-14. They followed that with seasons of 23 and 17 wins, before busting out this season with 25, an Atlantic 10 Championship and the Rams’ first NCAA Tournament victory since 1998.
If the future was bright when Rhode Island scored some major recruiting victories early in Hurley’s tenure,the past month feels like walking on the sun for the team’s fan base. In just a few years, Rhody progressed from a program in rebuild to one set up to a win now AND in the future, with a solid mix of veterans and underclassmen — and tireless diligence on the recruiting circuit.
“To go on the run that they did,” the Sun Devils coach continues. “It’s great for the program; for the fans that have been waiting a long time to see that happen.”
Today, those fans can celebrate with Danny Hurley’s 2016-17 team at the Ryan Center at 5pm, take pictures with the Atlantic 10 Championship trophy and relive the Rams’ run over the past couple of weeks.
To many Ocean Staters the future doesn’t seem as bright anymore…it’s only as bright as its present.