Middle Of The Second

Admit it. I will.

Back in the day when watching Duke, point guard Bobby Hurley got under my skin, but there was a qualifier.

I rooted hard against him and called him names publicly during his playing career from 1989-93, but also respected the heck out of his game, begrudgingly admired him and thought he was the consummate point guard and leader.

That would be one that was a tad bit cocky, hustled his butt off and seemingly did everything he needed to help his team win without any regard to what the opposing team's fans thought about him. He just let the insults go in one ear and out the other.

He did so while leading his team to back-to-back national championships and three Final Fours, one that went through Arkansas back in Denver in 1990.

No one is saying the second coming of Bobby Hurley is arriving in Fayetteville today for an official visit, but there is no denying there are some big-time similarities between Hurley and Sean McCurdy -- who was an instant starter as a freshman after coming from Connecticut.

McCurdy is a 6-1, 180-point guard from Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony's, the place Hurley shined as a prepster while playing for his dad Bob, who's still the coach.

"It is just an honor and a privilege to play for Coach Hurley, who is the best coach alive," McCurdy said. "He has won 25 state championships and we hope to get him the national record by winning that 26th this season. Words can't describe how much about basketball and life I have learned from the man."

It has also allowed him to become good friends with the younger Hurley, who is now a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers. One can just envision the next quote coming out of Hurley's mouth.

"As a point guard, you have to have a special relationship with the head coach," McCurdy said. "You basically have to be an extension of the coach on floor. You have to buy into everything he is saying and that is why it is very important that I bond with the coaches on my visits."

As far as the winning part, McCurdy averaged 15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists for a 30-0 squad that finished second in the nation according to USA Today and also boasts a 4.02 grade-point average.

McCurdy is one of four point guards still thought to be on the Razorbacks' radar with South Carolina's Devan Downey (5-10, 160), Kansas City's Marcus Walker (6-0, 160) and Miami's Denis Clemente (6-1, 165) all in the mix for one scholarship.

Downey visited last weekend, Walker is scheduled to be in this upcoming weekend and Clemente is on tap for Sept. 24-26.

It's thought the first one of those four to commit will get the scholarship, one of two Arkansas plans to offer with the other going to a big guy.

"I think anywhere I go I am going to get a great education, which is very important to me," McCurdy said. "But I also really want to experience everything that college has to offer. I want to go to a place that is a college town, that revolves around the college."

Arkansas became heavily involved with him in July, joining schools such as UMass, Rhode Island, Indiana, Memphis and St. Joe's.

"It's a great program with a great tradition that's won a national title," McCurdy said of Arkansas. "I have no doubts they are going to be a contender in the SEC this season and think they have a great opportunity to be a national contender once again in the next few years. I just like what they are building down there."

Dudley Dawson is staff writer for Hawgs Illustrated magazine. His column appears every Tuesday. Email: dedsports@aol.com

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