Two years ago, you suffered from Bobby Hurley Fatigue Syndrome as West Virginia defeated — ahem — Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Hurley is now just a guy in the Pac-12 at Arizona State, but his name remains above what the Mountaineers do in this event.
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, who was an assistant at Duke during the Hurley years, put his point guard, the very good Matt Farrell, above Hurley.
Let’s pause at the blatant fork in the road. Farrell is a player as well as a character. It’s a cool story, particularly in this day and age.
But Hurley owns the NCAA record for career assists. I’m not sure that one’s going anywhere anytime soon. He also played in three Final Fours, won back-to-back national titles and was named the MOP once. Farrell started four games before the start of this season.
Brey’s bravado, as you might imagine, arched brows. On Friday, he explained.
“My comparison is skill set, not honors,” Brey said Friday. “I think [Farrell’s] ability to play fearlessly and make plays off the ball screen, which he’s had to do all year, and then his ability to score and make shots makes him unbelievably valuable to us.
“He shoots it, and he shoots it deep. He can make the runner in the lane. He can get to the hole with his speed and get fouled. He’s pretty much automatic from the foul line.”