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College basketball insider believes turning down Kentucky was a sign Dan Hurley could explore NBA

Screen Shot 2024-05-28 at 9.09.17 AMby:Kaiden Smith06/06/24


NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that the Los Angeles Lakers would be pursuing UConn‘s Dan Hurley for their head coaching vacancy following back-to-back national championship-winning seasons with the Huskies.

Dialogue surrounding Hurley’s decision has dominated the discourse across college and professional basketball. But college basketball insider Jeff Borzello believes that Hurley passing up on Kentucky‘s vacant head coaching job this offseason could have potentially been telling for his next move.

“When he turned down the Kentucky job a couple of months ago I think that was sort of a sign,” Borzello told ESPN’s Rece Davis and Pete Thamel. “Maybe he said if I’m turning down the biggest job in the sport, there’s really nothing else for me to do in college. And I think there really isn’t, I mean there’s no other job he’s gonna take, and I think that everyone assumed because he’s such a perfect fit at UConn he was just going to coach there till he retired.”

Hurley has spent the past six seasons with UConn, boasting a 141–58 record at the helm as one of the most intense and fiery head coaches in college basketball. A coaching style that would be fascinating to see translate to the NBA despite his X’s and O’s being undeniable.

“And I think that the NBA, when it comes around, it’s always been an option. I think when you have the tactical acumen that he’s shown over the past couple of years, NBA teams are going to take notice. And I do think that he kind of views it, especially that Lakers job, as sort of a I’m at the pinnacle of college basketball. Can I be at the pinnacle of the NBA also?” Borzello asked.

Many media personalities have also discussed how the nuances of college athletics with NIL and the transfer portal could pull Hurley away from college basketball and thrust him into the spotlight of Los Angeles. A new opportunity and challenge that Borzello believes he would be up for.

“That ambition that he has, I don’t think it lends itself to hey, I’m just gonna coach out the string. Coach out the next 12 years in Storrs and call it a day. I think he would want to test himself. And people are gonna say hey, he’s comfortable at UConn, I just don’t know how much he wants to be comfortable,” Borzello explained. “I think he always wants to push himself and test himself. Some of that’s from himself, some of that’s from his family

“But it does seem like this would be kind of the chance he has to really really test himself at the highest level and take one of the biggest franchises in American sports and take them to the next level and coach one of the two greatest players to play basketball,” Borzello concluded.