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NBA, Video / Jul 18, 2008 / 11:32 am

Bobby Hurley: Top 5 Greatest College PGs of All-Time


Fast-forward about three minutes into the video for the action…

A couple of minutes into this video, the great Bill Raftery points out that Bobby Hurley led the USA Basketball Select Team against the greatest collection of ballplayers, the ’92 Dream Team in preparation for the Barcelona Games. And “the first time, they beat the Dream Team – Hurley’s group,” says Raftery.

So in addition to the two national championships at Duke, the Final Four MVP honor in ’92, and his place atop the NCAA all-time assist leaderboard to this very day (1,076 assists), add beating John Stockton to Bobby Hurley’s hoop resume. The 6-0, 160 lbs. St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) product went 115-5 in high school, leading his team to four state titles, including a perfect 32-0 season during his senior campaign on arguably the greatest high school team ever assembled. That group included former Seton Hall all-time leading scorer (2,494 points) Terry Dehere, the forward Jerry Walker, and the younger phenom Rod Rhodes.

But the real proof of Hurley’s greatness is in the video. Even if he looks like a 1940’s player transplanted into the modern era, Hurley had NBA quickness and speed. Most importantly, his court vision was, and is still to this day unparalleled. How effortless do those long passes into his teammates’ bread baskets look?

Every time he set foot on the hardwood, Hurley was the most fierce and fearless competitor. Raftery references how Hurley “gives eyes” to Michael Talley, Michigan’s PG after raining a triple on his dome. Though Hurley couldn’t necessarily embarrass his man with an ankle-breaking crossover a la Allen Iverson at Georgetown, he still beat opponents down mentally over the course of 40 minutes.

Next to Isiah Thomas at Indiana, Magic Johnson at Michigan State, and Jason Kidd at Cal, comes the kid who was drafted 7th to the Kings after tallying 17 points and 8.2 assists his senior year at Duke in the line of the greatest college point guards of all time.

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  • Dime Magazine

    This post comes from an argument in the office yesterday afternoon when some of the guys were making ridiculous statements like “Travis Best at G-Tech would have killed Bobby Hurley.”

    – PC

  • Luigi

    Bobby Hurley? was his peak in college or the NBA? kuz ive never heard of him well besides my friend Kate shes a duke fanatic n she tells me about him

    How good was this guy? was he a NBA baller or a bust?

  • yallallreadyknow

    i’m suprised pat aint write this piece. as soon as i saw bobby hurley in the headline, i assumed pat wrote this….

    enuff of the duke bums….
    …what next?….chris carawell mentioned as an all time great too?

  • JarrJohnson

    Wow. It’s crazy to see Hurley givin’ the Fab Five buckets like that. I forgot how sick he was. Too bad his game didn’t translate to the League. I do remember seein’ Kenny Anderson cross him up somethin’ terrible tho……

  • D

    yeah, I still remember how Kings fans were so hopeful that he would resurect the franchise…..and then came that accident. The dude killed it at Duke, and seeing his stat lines only reaffirms that notion. Most people don’t hear about him because his professional career got cut short when he got into an accident. If I recall, it was a drunk driver who hit him, but my memory is sketchy and I’m too lazy to verify that. I think he tried to come back, but like Jay Williams, he just wasn’t the same player post-accident. I hate Duke, but you couldn’t deny Hurley had game and would have had a significant impact in the NBA. Why he doesn’t get mentioned? Who knows. But stats don’t often lie.

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…D P G C and tha R O C

    Can’t stand Duke. The name alone is horrid. How can you feel straight saying “Yea I’m a Dukie” man please!

    Anyway as a G-Town fan Imma throw A.I. down to straight serve Hurley.

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…D P G C and tha R O C

    Oh yea I do think Travis would have served Hurley too 1 on 1. Team game Hurley was real nice I’ll say that.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Give me Jonathan Wallace or Joey Brown any day of the week …

    OK, I’m not THAT anti-Duke. Hurley was sick, I have to admit, but the “He’s the greatest college PG ever” stuff in the office needs to stop. Apparently anarchy has taken over since I took off.

  • http://www.ballerblogger.com Brandon Hoffman

    Bobby Hurley: Top 5 Greatest College PGs of All-Time. A bold proclamation. But with a whole lot of evidence to support it.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/h/hurlebo01.html

    I’m surprised at Hurley’s NBA 3-point percentage…

  • gary

    @ the 1st comment….trav would have given hurley buckets…i saw him play through h.s and while he was not the true pg that hurley was , he definitly would of given him problems. also kenny anderson should get some mention for college pg’s he only played a year or two but he did hurt hurleys feelings….chibbs was the truth. and i might be a lil bias on the whole trav thing he is from my hometown!!

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…D P G C and tha R O C

    I am cool with top 5. The greatest college pg ever??? Naw now I know it’s getting hot and gas is high but ain’t no need to go insane.

    AB anyone in yo office saying that needs to be put in the
    cobra clutch
    figure four
    pedigree
    stfu
    stone cold stunner
    rock bottom
    crippler crossface
    triangle choke hold
    the chicken wing

    take yo pick but feel free to abuse anyone saying he is the best pg ever. That is just crazy on so many levels.

    Matter of fact just go get some rocks outside the office and stone they *** lol. For real throw them sh**s. LOL

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    LOL @Gee. But isn’t the Crippler Crossface off-limits now considering whose move it was? That’s like shaking somebody on the football field and saying “OJ!”

    Wasn’t Johnny Dawkins better than Hurley?

    As we speak I’m watching a replay of G’town/Louisville from this past year. How do you guys think Roy Hibbert will be as a pro?

  • http://www.barackobama.com Jim

    Easily. I’m no fan, and I hated this crap at the time. Hearing Rafterty jock him for giving an A-Hole look at Jimmy King takes me back to my hatred for this guy. But yes, clearly he is a Top-5 college PG. Who cares about what someone would do to him one on one?

  • Fraz

    As a lifelong Carolina fan, I will spout some blasphemy and actually say in print that true indeed Bobby Hurley was the truth playin at the point for the hated dookies. He and Grant Hill are the only dookies I’ve ever had respect for ball wise. Laettner was always over rated but truth is Hurley made those Duke squads go. Dude was nice

  • Dime Magazine

    Anyone who doubts how nice Hurley was is absolutely crazy. No, he would probably get worked over one-on-one by Travis Best, A.I., and whoever else, but so what? You mean to tell me you’d rather have Travis Best running your college team than Bobby Hurley? Get outta here. You’ll lose every time. Go kick rocks.

    – PC

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…D P G C and tha R O C

    LOL @ shaking somebody on the football field and saying “OJ” lol.

    How bout hitting a three pointer and yellin “McVeigh!”

    I can’t let the crossface go though.

    Dawkins was nice. A lot of young cats won’t know him and some prolly don’t remember but yeaaa Dawkins.

    Hibbert lol didn’t you all print it or either I heard it somewhere that dude was known as “The Big Stiff” that ain’t right on so many levels either.

    Still if he can get agile and drop 8-10 I think he will be an awesome back up, can’t see him as a dominant starter. Prolly will give 10 and 7 or 13 and 10 depending on minutes.

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…D P G C and tha R O C

    LOL wait at the limited number or good centers though 13 and 10 is like a good startin center huh lol dang that is messed up. The game done changed.

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…D P G C and tha R O C

    wait lol PC brought back the Kick rocks lol I ain’t heard that in a minute hahaaaaa.

    Naw PC as a floor General most def. top 5. Most def. you want him running the show for a team game I thought you all meant 1 on 1 though.

    If you going as a floor general then yeaaaa I’ll dare say top 3 arguably but I ain’t kickin no rocks pimpin lol.

  • Dime Magazine

    GEE – I would never tell you to kick rocks.

    – PC

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…D P G C and tha R O C

    No doubt I didn’t take it personal it was just funny.

    Exactly how many people work at DIME? Cause if you all like in the 20’s or so and each have a different college team you like.

    Awww man I can only imagine the drama come March Madness time. Crazy.

  • http://dimemag.com Andrew Katz

    Bobby Hurley would put his foot in Travis Best’s ass. Hurley had a rep in Jersey City, the tough-as-nails New Jersey neighborhood, as the best young player in the city. Growing up he went park to park, playing a game different than what we saw on TV. He can get in the lane and no-look dish with the best of ‘em.

    No doubt Travis Best could have muscled him around in a game of 1v1, but Best could have done that with John Stockton, too. And no one argues that Best could hold Stockton’s jock, do they?

  • http://www.barackobama.com Jim

    Completely off topic, great article on Myron Rolle (FSU OLB/Rhodes Scholar Finalist)in SI.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/the_bonus/07/17/rolle/index.html

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Question for Duke fans (all 4 of you):

    How big is the gap between Hurley and Jay Williams? Was Hurley light-years better? Only slightly better? Were they equal? Was Jay better?

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…D P G C and tha R O C

    AK foot up the bung hole??? Come on pimpin I don’t kno bout that one, but he might have held his own somewhat.

    What just because dude had a rep makes him unbeatable? You think Travis Best didn’t have a rep?
    Basically on the ability just to muscle dude around gives him that edge as you said but ain’t like Travis was a scrub on the other elements of the game either.

    Perhaps a wash at best but I think Travis takes it, but Hurley wouldn’t want no paaaaaaarrrrrtzzzz (Schooldaze) of A.I.

    Tough for some means yo a** can take a good beatin and still be ok. It don’t always equate to winning over someone. Sure Hurley might be tough, but he would get beasted in the post 1 on 1.

  • Dime Magazine

    Austin – Hurley was much, much better than Jay Williams.

  • shake&bake

    I’m assuming this list means Pistol would be considered a shooting guard because I’m pretty sure that he would top the list. Also Oscar Robertson has to be up top too.

  • Jinx FTW

    I guess nobody seems to remember that Bobby Hurley was in a car accident in his Rookie season where he suffered life threatening injuries.

    He never really was the same afterwards.

    To this day… i still call Hurley “the greatest Point Guard that never was”

  • Lee

    Who cares about a game of one on one ???

  • http://dimemag.com Andrew Katz

    Gee,

    I’m with you Hurley gets beat up in the post. It would even get ugly. But I bring up his tough rep to say that he’s not just a wily white 6-0 guard with great court vision. Travis Best beats Bobby Hurley in 1-v-1. But if I’m taking a point guard for a college team, it’s undoubtedly Bobby Hurley.

    If you’re up for some more footage, check this out: http://www.truveo.com/Bobby-Hurley/id/1955677427
    It’s a ton of Hurley, but this does a better job showing the creativity behind his passes.

    And A-Train, I’m a huge Jay Williams fan, but I would still go with Hurley. I don’t think he’s muuuch better than Williams, but I think that he is one of the most outstanding passers in the history of college ball. Maybe the folks at Better Basketball would disagree with me, but I think that’s the most important skill in the game.

  • Lee

    Dude led the kids to beat the dream team

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Nice Better Basketball reference:

    “Even I’ve learned some things … Better Basketball … uhhhh … It’s unbelievable.”

    WAKE UP CHAUNCEY!!

  • Dime Magazine

    If we can get our hands on the jersey that Chauncey wears in that commercial, it’s immediately going into the Dime summer giveaway. 100 comments easy

    – AK

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…D P G C and tha R O C

    Fa Show AK, agreed on for a college team.

    You all drop the Better Basketball Jersey lol and I would say 200 comments lol.

    Put mine in now. LOL. I want it because it would be hilarious to have. While dudes rockin all these other jerseys who could say but yea I got that better basketball join lol. I wanna be that dude lol.

    199 comments to go.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Anybody know whatever happened to Dribbling Phenom Andy Garcia? How old is he now? How long before he pops up on the AND 1 tour?

  • http://www.ballerblogger.com Brandon Hoffman

    The University of Duke is great masking a player’s weaknesses while they’re in college. I’m not exactly sure how they do it, but I think that should be taken into account when talking about Bobby Hurley. Yeah, the guy’s career was derailed due to a tragic car accident, but he wasn’t going to be an All-NBA player. Comparing him to Stockton — on any level — is a stretch. The only difference between Stockton and Hurley in college is that Stockton wasn’t coached by Coach K and he didn’t play with Grant Hill and Christian Laettner. I think you could say that about a lot of point guards — that given the same opportunity as Hurley had — they would have put up similar numbers on that team and in that system.

  • CSmith

    Ask John Stockton about how bad Bobby Hurley owned him in that scrimmage W over the original Dream Team. 15 years later, I bet Cassidy’s lunch money you still get a “no comment” from Johnny short-shorts.

    Witnesses say that after the abuse was over, Stockton dropped kicked a ball into the stands, pushed over a Gatorade bucket, yelled at Barkley for not taking the scrimmage sriously and then got in his car and left for the day.

    Any time you make a mild-mannered HOFer like Stockton that mad, you must be nasty

  • doc

    Bobby Hurley was the shit.He got in that vicous accident or he woulda been tough in the league.And he beat the Dream Team before.He get top respect for that right there.

  • T.D

    Played point guard at the same time as Bobby Hurley. While Kenny was a much more talented player, Hurley was the more accomplished college player. Two national championships, 3 final fours, final four MVP and all time assist leader. I would take him any day over Travis Best. Kenny Anderson, never… T

  • Data

    No love for Ed Cota? Dude was legit at UNC!

  • nicky

    YES! Ed fuckin Cota baby! first player to get 1000pts, 1000ass, 500reb(wikipedia is the shit, aint it).

    I was stoked a couple years ago when Barcelona’s squad picked up Easy Ed, but he got no burn whatsoever…(back then they were running Shammond Williams, who was giving everybody mad buckets along with your boy Navarro…)

  • nicky

    As for Bobby Hurley, yeah he was gnarly on the floor; i gotta admit as a tarheel fan he was just one of an extremely hateable group of dookies (esp. Christian “stomp-on-dude’s-chest-on-purpose” Laettner). but he was sick.

    ill never forget one game though where he had an offnight and after the game Kryzyzewski was like “yeah, well, Bobby had diarrhea and so…” like, yeah. he actually said that. my coach say that about me on national tv, i fuckin kill his ass lol.

  • nicky

    damn yall got me riled up…one more thing…please don’t forget Chris Corchiani (3rd all-time in assists) at NC State…”fire and ice” that was a tight nickname he and rodney monroe had goin there

  • nicky

    oh yeah, and kids: wear your seltbeltS!!!

  • rob stewart

    Bobby Hurley is easily in the top three. I hated Duke and I hated Bobby Hurley, especially when they beat Michigan, but Bobby Hurley was so good that I just petended to hate him. Deep down I loved his game and secretly wanted to rock a #7 jersey in his honor.

  • http://dimemag.com Andrew Katz

    @ 35 Brandon Hoffman,

    “A lot of point guards — that given the same opportunity as Hurley had — they would have put up similar numbers on that team and in that system.”

    I know that playing with Christian Laettner and Grant Hill makes you a better player, but just watch how Hurley put up a lot of those numbers. It’s not like he’s swinging the ball around the perimeter and Laettner is hitting a jumper. In that main YouTube clip at the top, Raftery talks about how he doesn’t take an extra dribble before firing a dime 60 feet up the floor. Every team runs a fast break right? Is that uniquely Duke basketball?

  • Fraz

    Thats a good point AK Hurley never wasted a step.
    And thank you to whoever it was above who brought up Ed Cota the best post feeder ever! Yeh again, Hurley was nasty. His jumper was better than Kenny Andersons too.

  • Jason

    I really don’t know who the greatest college point guards are of all time; I started watching college ball with my dad in the late 80’s. My late 80’s to present day top 5 are:

    1. Bobby Hurley – “Mr. Fundamentals”

    2. Jason Kidd – The best passing and on the ball defender I have ever seen in the college game.

    3. Kenny Anderson – He was one of the first shoot-first point guards who was unstoppable at times.

    4. Greg Anthony – He made all the right passes, played pressure defense. He is another textbook point guard a la Bobby Hurley.

    5. Jay Williams – He would be #1, he was lightning quick, a deadly-clutch three point shooter, but the dude couldn’t shoot a free throw into the ocean. His clutch shots use to rip the heart out of teams. If I remember correctly, they were eliminated out of the tournament one year because he couldn’t make one out of two free throws to tie the game.

  • http://www.ballerblogger.com Brandon Hoffman

    Fastbreak basketball isn’t “uniquely Duke.” But we’re talking about a system that made JJ Redick the Naismith College Player of the Year. A system that made Redick and Langdon lottery picks. Langdon is out of the league. Redick is likely on his way out too. If you look at this objectively, I think it’s clear that Hurley’s place amongst the greats was influenced by playing for Coach K, and playing alongside Laettner and Hill.

    Hurley had skill and his numbers support your argument. But there are countless point guards who would have excelled in his place. You pointed out Hurley, not “taking an extra dribble before firing a dime 60 feet up the floor.” Is that uniquely Bobby Hurley?

  • Dreamteam

    Hurley would have been a good point guard in the nba if it wasn’t for the accident, it left him with really serious injuries and his speed and shot (flat, weird hitch after the accident due to overcompensation for injuries) were never the same. Bobby had a steve nash game, better vision than chris paul but lacked strength (he could have easily gained this over the years). Hurley would have been perfect for a run and gun offense. Even after the injury the guys vision kept him on an nba roster. I watched one kings warriors game and dude put up 15 assists because the kings ran everytime he was in there (trying to showcase him for a trade). dude was legit.

  • Dreamteam

    btw, hurley was better than kenny anderson as a point guard. anderson was a complete basketball idiot and travis best? please. that just shows that hurley would have made a good career for himself in the nba. best was average at “best”. If hurley wasn’t injured he would have lead the league in assists at least once during his career, especially if he lucked out and got put on a warriors or suns run and gun team.

  • Dreamteam

    brandon, you’re kidding me right? give hurley credit. if you understand basketball at all you would know that THE SYSTEM always affects the player but you need talent to make the system work for you. you obviously are one of those basketball know nothings if you honestly think that bobby hurley wasn’t a great point guard. are you a fucking idiot? a system can’t bring out someone’s court vision. god damn idiot jock sniffer.

  • Dreamteam

    omg, brandon hoffman has a blog? geez, jocksniffers without any insight into the game can just post their opinions about something they know nothing about. where the hell are the checks and balances for these know nothing jock sniffing bloggers who wouldn’t know an x or an o from their own ass.

  • Dreamteam

    brandon could you explain to us the intricacies of the duke offense? lol, you are such a tool!!!! this is why i hate sports fans, they pop off and bs about things they absolutely know nothing about.

  • Pointgod

    Lol, Brandon Hoffman is a tool, thanks for owning him dreamteam, that jocksniffer deserved it.

  • larry

    to all the little kiddies who never seen hurley play shut up with your comments hurley was a special player the end