DePaul or Buffalo? Making Bobby Hurley's Decision for Him

 Bobby Hurley was named one of sixteen finalists for Mid-Major Division One Coach of the Year on Monday.  (Photo Courtesy: University at Buffalo)

Bobby Hurley was named one of sixteen finalists for Mid-Major Division One Coach of the Year on Monday.  (Photo Courtesy: University at Buffalo)

Just days after University at Buffalo’s tough loss to West Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Bulls head coach Bobby Hurley has a very important decision to make; a decision so tough, we don’t even want him to make it. We will. Should he stay or should he go? To us it seems like an easy call but someone must play devil’s advocate, check that, demon's advocate, better demon's advocate. That’s right Bulls fans, we risk losing our head man to our new Windy City rival, the DePaul Blue Demons.

Let’s meet our competitor…

School: DePaul University Blue Demons

Location: Chicago, IL

Conference: Big East

Most Recent NCAA Tourament Appearance: 2004

Round 1: Location- Buffalo vs. Chicago

One of the few lopsided match ups in the fight. I love Buffalo just as much as the next guy but Chicago is just different. The third largest city in our great nation is a fantastic basketball town, that’s big enough for Hurley to slip under the radar and do his thing. Buffalo on the other hand is a tenth of the size and doesn’t create nearly the buzz. Even though we can’t read Hurley’s mind on which type of city he prefers we’ll declare the round one winner: DePaul

Round 2: Conference- Mid-American vs. Big East

The match up for round two is much closer than it may seem. On paper the Big East looks like a no brainer but not so fast my friend (I don’t even like Lee Corso, I’m sorry for that). Just because it’s a far better conference doesn’t mean it’s a better fit. The Big East sent six teams to the tournament this year, which means Hurley would instantly have six hurdles to jump. By staying in the MAC, he can build a power and pretty much guarantee an AQ bid nearly every year. Therefore after consulting with Mark Few, Gregg Marshall, and Shaka Smart we have decided the round two winner is: Buffalo.

Round 3:  Roster

DePaul is returning most of their top minute’s guys, including leading scorer, sophomore G Bill Garrett Jr, which Hurley has to love. Both teams’ rosters strongly resemble each other, relatively short with strong guard play. At Buffalo, the former Duke point guard returns MAC Player of the Year Justin Moss, Second Team All MAC guard Shannon Evans, and MAC All-Freshman Guard Lamonte Bearden. It’s hard to think they will skip a beat at all under a third year with Hurley and continuity is everything. Winner: Buffalo

Round 4: Recruiting

Yet another tough match up. The Bulls incoming class is probably the best in team history, reeling in JUCO transfer Maurice O’Field and former top 100 recruit Torian Graham. On the other hand DePaul resides in a recruiting hot bed. The Midwest, more specifically the Chicago Metro is one of the best areas for high school basketball in the entire country. With Hurley’s exceptional recruiting skills in such a talent rich area, chalk round four to:  DePaul

Round 5: Potential

Potential is everything and the sky’s the limit for the Bulls. The New York Bulls Initiative is in full effect and it looks to be working so far. Our city is one of the more up-and-coming cities in the country and seems to be moving at the same pace as UB2020. Full steam ahead for Hurley in Buffalo. But can that compete with the all mighty Chicago? If the 43 year old coach can resurrect college basketball in the Windy City, he would almost certainly have a statue built outside Allstate Arena. However, that may be too tall an order. DePaul hasn’t made an NCAA Tournament since 2004 and not as an at large since 2000 and it likely won’t get easier. The Big East is one of the deepest conferences in basketball and Bobby may get lost in the shuffle, giving round five to:  Buffalo

The Decision:

Here we go! Decision time. It was a close fight, between two worthy opponents but only one can come out on top. It seems like there is almost no wrong move here for Bobby Hurley but as the saying goes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Which is why he should (and I think ultimately will) stay in Buffalo. And the reason is a complete wildcard…Duke. Yes, that Duke. Why would he leave to go to a mediocre program when he could stay, build a giant, and become a front runner to succeed Mike Krzyzewski at his alma mater when he decides to retire. No need to jump ship to a below average program in a good conference, just ask Turner Gill.