Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Update on . . . Bob Hurley, Sr. & Tyshawn Taylor

Yesterday I spoke separately to both St. Anthony's (NJ) head coach Bob Hurley, Sr. and one of the Friars' star seniors, 6'4 guard Tyshawn Taylor. My discussions with the two came within 24 hours of Marquette naming Brent "Buzz" Williams its new head basketball coach, replacing the departed Tom Crean. Taylor--who has signed a Letter of Intent to play ball for the Golden Eagles--and his coach both expressed their views on the Marquette situation. "He's going to come in Friday," said Hurley, adding that the pair need to talk about what the differences between Brent Williams as a head coach and an assistant coach will be. Williams is the coach that did Taylor's recruiting, causing Tyshawn to tell me that he feels as if he is "in a better position, . . . because he was talking about what Coach Crean was going to do, but now he's in that position, but at the same time, I asked for my release, and a lot of schools are calling Coach Hurley about me." As of now, he has not been officially let out of his LOI, though he did say that he did "expect to be released," also adding "at the same time, I might end up back at Marquette." Taylor informed me that the schools he is considering are "Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Kansas, Florida, . . . and Marquette, of course." Tyshawn, though, has not "really been talking to [the schools] a lot [because he] can't talk to them [until] he [is granted his] release." For those of you who have followed Taylor's recruitment, you may notice one school that is surprisingly not on his list: Virginia Tech. "Coach Hurley has talked to them a bit, . . . but their name hasn't popped up a lot [in conversations of who is calling]," said Taylor of the Hokies. Another school absent from his list is North Carolina, which Taylor had previously told me was one of his finalists prior to choosing Marquette. Of the Roy Williams' program, Tyshawn had this to say: "Before I had committed to Marquette, they had contacted me, . . . [but] not since asking for my release." The two wild cards on the list are Tennessee and Florida, SEC programs that Taylor had not previously mentioned as finalists for his services, yet they are now on his list because they are "just a couple new schools that called Coach Hurley." I asked the him where he would sign if he had to pick a school right then and there: "I don't know, I think if I had to choose right now, I don't know. It's tough because I like Marquette, but a lot of other teams have been [involved the process since Tom Crean left]. . . . I don't know." Clearly, Taylor is up in the air about where he plans to go, even telling me he is "going to wait as long as possible [to sign because he wants] . . . to make sure [that he makes] the right decision." Going back to what Coach Hurley was saying about Taylor and his recruitment, the living legend in the hoops world said that he has "only met the [new] head coach [Buzz Williams] one time," and informing me upon my inquiry about the subject that Taylor won't be following Crean to Indiana due to the possible "NCAA sanctions" that the Hoosiers could be handed. "I think that as soon as a coach leaves [a school], the kid [who has committed there] should be able to open up [his] recruitment again," said Hurley of his views on coaches walking out of contracts. He also added that Tyshawn "wouldn't be going to Milwaukee [where Marquette is located] to play for just anybody," regarding the player's feeling for Tom Crean. "Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech" are the two other schools that Taylor visited prior to choosing Marquette, and "he's got two visits" left now. I asked Coach Hurley what his role in the recruitment process of a player generally is: "We want everything to go [smoothly] since most of the families are only going to do this once. . . . I'll keep a tab on the schools that are reaching out [to a player]," adding "you got to see that people are coming to practice, coming to games [to see the recruit]." In addition, Hurley mentioned that he'll meet with a player to chop the player's list to around six schools and then "bring the remaining schools in for school visits and home visits, and then make the [campus] visits." It's evident that Bob Hurley is invested in his players and their future.
Let's move on to some other points regarding Hurley, his school, and his players. "It was . . . what everyone shot for. It was a great feeling. . . . Saying it's your goal and doing it can be two different things," said Coach Hurley of his squad's national title. The Friars were ranked number one in just about every ranking out there, including the USA Today Super 25, ESPN High Elite 25, Fab 50, and MaxPreps. USA Today, EPSN, and all had St. Benedict's (NJ) at number two on the list, a squad that is coached by Bob Hurley's son, Danny Hurley. About the impressive family one-two finish, Bob Hurley said "it's not going to happen again," also mentioning that "Danny [will] complain about the bad foul shooting in the one game they lost, . . . and I'll remind him about the [long layoff they had between games, and tell him that] . . . he should have scheduled a game in the middle." I inquired as to whether or not the two national powerhouses might ever play each other, to which the elder Hurley said "you got a better chance of games being played on the moon." On going undefeated, Hurley remarked that "it can only happen. Your goal is to get better all year. . . . You just got to go out and play the games." The coach mentioned that there is a time in every season with a stretch of tough games, and for the Friars this season "it was Paterson Catholic [in New Jersey] on a Monday and St. Patrick's [in New Jersey] on a Wednesday." The Friars are losing a lot of talent to graduation this year, with nine seniors departing, including Fordham-bound Jio Fontan, Rutgers-commit Mike Rosario, future Pitt Panther Travon Woodall, and Tyshawn Taylor. Hurley said that players will "move up from the freshman [and] JV [teams]," saying that the team will "have to build around Dominic [Cheek]," and also mentioning that "Jamee Jackson" may be a key part of the squad in 2008-2009. I also questioned Coach Hurley about the recruitment Dominic Cheek, a 6'6 junior guard: "We really haven't made a list," also saying that "the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, and even the SEC," are the primary conferences that Cheek is getting interest from. Coach Hurley even went as far as to say that "he's on just about everybody's wish list." Make sure to check back soon for an interview with Dominic Cheek that I got at the Playaz Spring Fling this past weekend.
There is a lot going on with the St. Anthony's Friars right now, and I'll try to fill you in on happenings with the players, including Taylor and Cheek.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your write up on Tyshawn Taylor and Bob Hurley. Have you had any contact with either since the meeting with Buzz Williams on Friday?

Those of us at Marquette are not feeling so confident, but there is definitely some hope left.

Hopefully, Buzz gave Tyshawn a look at our roster for next year and showed him the potential playing time that could he could easily earn.

Any updates would be greatly appreciated, we're anxiously awaiting some kind of sign!

North Star Basketball said...

No, I have not had any contact with either of the two since Williams came to speak with Taylor and Hurley. I will likely contact one of the two sometime soon for an update. Check back soon!