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Your University of Rhode Island team is playing Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Sacramento, Calif.

You are Dan Hurley and you were overshadowed by your brother when you were a player at Seton Hall, because how is anyone supposed to follow a comet?

To see you play then was to want to throw you a life raft, because it was all there on your face, a mosaic of pressure and frustration, as if no matter what you did how could it really be enough?

So, in all the important ways, it’s not a big shock that your Rams are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 18 years — five years after that introductory press conference. Not a big shock that you have done what you promised to do in the spring of 2012.

The pressure.

The expectations.

All of it Mitchell And Ness Cheap Jerseys.

So it became one of the great little stories in the sport 15 or so years ago when word surfaced that you were coaching at St. Benedict’s, one of the top basketball high schools in New Jersey.

And it got even better when you began coaching at Wagner in 2010. Lo and behold there was your brother as your assistant — the brother whose pro career essentially had ended in a horrible automobile accident in California.

And like some story out of young adult fiction, you and your older brother Bob were in the basketball spotlight again. Only this time it was the younger brother in the bigger spotlight, Knock Off Cheap Jerseys this time it was the younger brother throwing out the symbolic lifeline to his older brother.

For you are Dan Hurley, and that’s what you do.

So you and your brother came here to Kingston, to a great welcome, one of those press conferences where hope is in the air and the future seems so close you can reach out and touch it.

Bob got his own coaching job at the University of Buffalo the following year, and you kept building a program that would set out to reflect your coaching style: tough, intense, emotional, never-say-die, a basketball version of Marines running up some hill, bullets flying all around you.

Not that it was easy.

Your record tells us that.

The first year your Rams were 8-21, 3-13 in the Atlantic 10. The second year you were 14-18, 10th in the A-10.

And it was all there on your face back then, right there with the bad body language, as if losing was a knife getting very close to your heart. Back then it often seemed as if you were a coach on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

For you are Dan Hurley and Hurleys are not supposed to lose.

Wasn’t that the everlasting lesson of your childhood?

We didn’t have to be a psychologist to know those first couple of years here weren’t easy for you.

How could they have been?

But gradually your team got better as we all knew it would Liverpool Cheap Jerseys.

Wasn’t that the reason you were formally introduced as the new URI coach that day?

Wasn’t that the promise that hovered over that press conference like an unanswered prayer?

But here are your Rams in the NCAA Tournament.

For you are Dan Hurley, and this was the promise of that press conference, the promise of that vision.

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