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Bobby Hurley on Kentucky: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better defensive team’

Having won two National Championships at Duke University, current University of Buffalo head coach Bobby Hurley knows something about great college basketball teams. Having played against undefeated Kentucky earlier this season, Hurley says the Wildcats are one of those great teams, especially on one side of the ball.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better defensive team,” Hurley told The Jim Rome Show. “With the capabilities that they could do at that end of the floor with their size, mobility and length and their enter changeable parts they could all guard different guys.”

Hurley isn’t sure this Kentucky team could beat his Duke title teams or the great UNLV squads he played against in 1990 or 1991, but he does know his Blue Devils would have had a hard time putting up points against these Wildcats.

“I know as good as our teams were at our very best we would have a hard time scoring against those players,” said Hurley. “That being said I don’t know if they have the top end talent of a Larry Johnson, or a (Christian) Laettner or a Grant Hill or players like that, but they’re special defensively.”

On the eve of bringing his Buffalo Bulls to their first NCAA Tournament in school history, the former point guard looked back on his time at Duke with fond memories and talked about his unusual relationship with 1992 National Player of the Year, Christian Laettner.

“I have nothing, but great memories,” Hurley said. “Obviously we didn’t always get along perfectly and there was some friction at times, but ultimately we were both winners and really tough guys that were willing to push each other and very stubborn, so you combine all those things, it’s not going to work perfectly, but ended up with a lot of success.”

Hurley shared some insight of what times were sometimes like between the two strong minded teammates.

“I was an assist guy, so I was always trying to get Christian the ball and he never thought I could get it to him enough, so there was that,” said Hurley. “And then he was so competitive, if we were playing on different teams in pickup he’d be talking smack to me and that would enrage me more and I would come at him more. It got where at one point I threw the ball at him when I drove down the lane, and he was on defense I purposely hit him with the ball and then he’d chase me around the gym, I mean there were things like that that would happen. There were times when he thought he was open and I didn’t get him the ball and I’d disagree with him and I’d be dribbling down the court on the next possession and we’d be arguing with each other witch is kind of dysfunctional in a way but we were all kept on our toes and we were all kept real accountable.”

Hurley said Coach K didn’t often intervene when he and Laettner got into it because he knew they both had a common goal, winning.

“He just knew that we were so competitive and that we were tough enough once we had an exchange like that we were going to let it go, and it wasn’t going to continue to linger throughout the rest of the game” said Hurley. “I know he probably didn’t like that happening but I think he knew how much both of us cared about winning so he was willing to tolerate it.”

Just a few years into his head coaching career, Hurley looks at Krzyzewski with amazement on what’s he’s been able to accomplish and the fire he still has at 68 years old.

“For him to consistently, year in and year out, win at that level and maintain it over this time just really shows how great he really is,” said Hurley.

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