Duke Basketball: Dan Hurley Blames Canceled Plan on Cooper Flagg Visit

Even while enjoying all the limelight, it sounds like Dan Hurley can't help but sometimes think about Duke basketball prize Cooper Flagg.
Duke basketball forward Cooper Flagg
Duke basketball forward Cooper Flagg / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
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If reigning back-to-back national champion Dan Hurley has a filter, etiquette doesn't appear to be the desired final product. That's evident every time the UConn head coach randomly brings up the Duke basketball program as a topic or alludes to the Blue Devils during interviews, an act of his that seems to pop up with somewhat strange regularity these days.

On Thursday, while appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd a few days after turning down the Los Angeles Lakers' head coaching job, Hurley somehow saw fit to talk for a minute about an incoming Duke basketball sensation and projected one-and-done No. 1 overall draft pick in five-star forward Cooper Flagg.

Apparently, Hurley loves Billy Joel. And in wrapping up his visit with the Lakers earlier this week, Hurley made sure to arrive back on the East Coast in time for a Billy Joel concert. On that note, he decided to pin his missed Billy Joel concert in September on the coinciding visit from Flagg, who ultimately chose to play for Jon Scheyer and the Blue Devils in Durham next season over Hurley and the Huskies in Storrs.

"You know, Cooper, appreciate you, hope you have a great year, hope to meet you in the Final Four next year," Hurley said. "But we had to cancel going to a Billy Joel concert last September to accommodate Cooper and Kelly [his mother] and his family for an official visit.

"And as big a moment it was in my career to make a huge decision, I was not missing Billy Joel at one of his last concerts at the Garden [this week]."

Scheyer and most of his peers probably would have left out the part about having to accommodate a recruit's family if it were their story to tell. At the very least, they wouldn't mention the actual recruit and his mother by name.

Just a bit odd. Of course, one could easily argue, though, such Hurley oddities are the driving force to UConn's recent dominance.

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Matt Giles


Matt Giles is the editor and publisher of FanNation's Blue Devil Country and All Tar Heels, covering the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels on SI.com.