Bob Hurley, Sr., widely considered as the most-accomplished high school basketball coach ever, gave high praise to John Calipari for Karl-Anthony Towns’ “transformation” this season. We linked the story on Towns from ESPN’s Ian O’Connor yesterday, but Hurley’s quote in the story deserves its own post:
He’s completely changed his mindset about where he’s playing the game of basketball. I didn’t think he could go from shooting 3s to being this dominant around the basket. I want to write John Calipari a note to say this is the most amazing transformation I’ve seen.
Take a moment to think about that statement and the source it is coming from. Bob Hurley Sr. has won over 1,000 games, 27 New Jersey state championships, was named USA Today’s National Coach of the Year three times and was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Hurley has coached over 100 players at St. Anthony’s who have received Division I scholarships — and that’s not counting the many, like Towns, who he has coached against. Five of Hurley’s players have been first-round NBA draft picks.
Hurley has seen a lot in his 43 years at St. Anthony’s. You could argue he’s seen as much as any active coach at any level in basketball. Bob Hurley’s opinion of Calipari and the development of Karl-Anthony Towns, quite frankly, means a lot more than the USBWA sportswriters who refused to name him Coach of the Year.