Danny Hurley

Report: Chris Mullin offered, expected to become St. John’s next head coach


St. John’s has offered Chris Mullin the head coaching job, and he is expected to accept, according to a report from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports on Sunday evening.

The former Red Storm star became a top target once the university parted ways with Steve Lavin after five seasons. The Hall of Fame small forward was a three-time Big East Player of the Year and led St. John’s to the 1985 Final Four.

This hire will definitely win the press conference, but will similar wins happen on the court, too?

For starters, Mullin, who currently serves as advisory role with the Sacramento Kings, has no head coaching experience. Sure, Big East loyalists will love the move, but will all the points he scored back in the 1980s really resonate with recruits who weren’t alive for his Run TMC days?

Of course, he could make up for that disadvantage with a top-notch coaching staff.

It’s worth noting that Mullin had the chance to jump to the bench back in December. After Michael Malone was fired, it was reported that the Kings’ head coaching job was Mullin’s if he wanted it. However, Mullin turned it down, electing not to begin his coaching career midseason.

Rhode Island’s Danny Hurley reportedly had interest in the vacancy, but signed a six-year deal with the Rams earlier on Sunday. Steve Masiello, who has led Manhattan to back-to-back NCAA tournaments, was also believed to be a candidate.

If he does in fact accept, Mullin will be inheriting a team that graduates D’Angelo Harrison, Sir’Dominic Pointer, Phil Greene IV and Jamal Branch. Aside from bringing in several assistant coaches who can help recruit, Mullin’s top priority will be retaining Chris Obekpa and Rysheed Jordan.

Danny Hurley, Rhode Island agree to an extension

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Schools with coaching vacancies can probably cross off Danny Hurley’s name, as Rhode Island and its head coach agreed to a contract extension on Sunday.

Bill Koch of the Providence Journal and Jeff Goodman of ESPN both reported the new deal. According to Koch, the new deal goes through the 2021-22 season and could be finalized during the middle of next week.

Hurley, the New Jersey native, reportedly had interest in the St. John’s opening.

The Rams reached the second round of the NIT, ending the 2014-15 campaign with a 23-10 (13-5 Atlantic 10) record. Rhode Island will be one of the favorites in the A-10 next season, returning the bulk of its core including E.C. Matthews, Hassan Martin and Jared Terrell. Memphis transfer, Kuran Iverson, will also be eligible for the second semester of the 2015-16 season.

Hurley finished his third season at URI, taking over the program after a two-year stint with Wagner.

Rhode Island big man returns to the floor for 2014-2015 season

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Entering his third year at the helm of the Rhode Island program, head coach Danny Hurley has stockpiled enough talent to eventually make a push toward the top of the Atlantic 10 Conference standings. Whether the Rams will do that this season, or remain a year away, they will begin the 2014-2015 season equipped with a full roster.

On Friday night, Bill Koch reported that 6-foot-10 forward Jordan Hare had been ruled eligible to play this season after being granted a waiver by the NCAA. In the spring, reports surfaced that Hare was looking to rejoin the program.

Hare missed the entire 2013-2014 season, taking a leave of absence in November before the season began. As a freshman, he averaged 5.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.

The Rhode Island interior consists of former Rutgers big man Gilvydas Biruta, who averaged 10.6 points and 7.0 boards per game in his first season with the Rams, sophomore forward Hassan Martin, junior forward Ifeanyi Onyekaba and JuCo transfer Earl Watson. The Rams, which will run a three-guard set, will have one of the best perimeters in the conference led by A-10 Co-Rookie of the Year E.C. Matthews — 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game — and four-star freshman Jared Terrell.

Rhode Island finished 14-18 (5-11 A-10) this past season.

Three-star 2015 forward Leroy Butts commits to Rhode Island

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Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley started his 2015 recruiting class on Sunday morning with a verbal commitment from Elev8 Sports Academy (Florida) forward Leroy Butts.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN was the first report this news. It was quickly confirmed by Butts’ grassroots team, D.C. Premier.

The 6-foot-7 Butts had visited the Kingston, Rhode Island campus this weekend. In November 2013, he committed to Rutgers. At the time he held offers from Cincinnati and DePaul. Last week, he decommitted from Rutgers.

Former Rutgers assistant David Cox helped Butts choose the Scarlet Knights. Cox accepted a spot on Hurley’s coaching staff in May. Cox has roots in the Maryland/D.C. area. The Landover native previously served as an assistant coach at Georgetown. He began his coaching career with the D.C. Assault AAU program, which renamed itself D.C. Premier this year.

Butts, the three-star recruit, according to Rivals, is the first commit in Rhode Island’s Class of 2015. The Rams frontline will need to replace the production of Gilvydas Biruta, a Rutgers transfer, who has one year of eligibility remaining.

On the summer circuit, Butts is averaging 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for D.C. Premier in the Under Armour Association. The Washington D.C.-based program is currently third in the East Conference standings with an 8-2 record.

Wagner doubles up on its Hurleys

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It’s not often a college hoops program turns to a high school coach. Wagner didn’t hire a typical prep coach I Danny Hurley, though. He comes with reinforcements.

Hurley’s spent the nine years turning St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., into a national power. He brings D-I playing experience, with time spent at Seton Hall in the early ’90s. He also had his older brother, Bobby, on hand to help recruit and coach.

Yes, that Bobby Hurley, the all-time D-I assists leader and a guy who won two national titles at Duke. The brother form the heart of a fun feature by SI.com’s Seth Davis, who covers the challenges they face in building Wagner.

“Not a lot of staffs have someone who was arguably the best point guard ever to play college basketball and a lottery pick,” Danny told Davis. “Plus, loyalty and trust is at a premium. If you can’t trust your brother, who can you trust?”

Can they turn the Seahawks into a NEC contender? It’ll depend on how they recruit. The coaching acumen is in place. Both Hurleys know their stuff, and they can always turn to their dad, Bob Sr., for advice. (He was just inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.)

But if it gets tough, dad won’t be much help. Not that Danny or Bobby will like it either.

“I know the losing is inevitable, but I don’t ever want to get used to it,” Danny told Davis. “I don’t think Hurleys are built that way.”

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.