After a 5-26 season, the Wagner Seahawks obviously have plenty of holes to fill on their roster. The hiring of prep coach Danny Hurley on Monday could help the Seahawks add talent in a hurry.
Hurley built St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) into one of the nation's top programs on the high school level. He did this largely by attracting the region's top talent to his private school. At Wagner, he will have to utilize the connections he made coaching at the prep level. He has a great reputation up and down the coast and is well known in New York. He should be able to hit the ground running. He's probably coached against some of the better players in the area. He knows exactly where to go to add talent because he has dealt with all these people before. Now he's dealing with them under different circumstances.
He's on familiar ground in terms of recruiting. I think he has some good support in the area with his brother (former Duke point guard Bobby Hurley) and his dad Bob Hurley Sr., the head coach at St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.). Hurley can sell kids and their families on his experience. As a recruiter and coach who has been on the other side of the equation, Hurley will be able to identify with the high school coaches and kids he's recruiting.
It's hard to believe that any of the All-American caliber players from St. Benedict's will follow him -- though uncommitted senior wing Mike Poole could certainly end up at Wagner. Nonetheless, Hurley probably has a good idea of the midlevel prospects he will make a play for. (Of course, it depends on how many scholarships he'll have available. That number can fluctuate greatly following a coaching change.) Count SF Maurice Barrow (New York/Christ the King), PF Ryan Rhoomes (New York/Cordozo), C Mike Marciano (Orange, N.J./Seton Hall Prep), PG Dondre Whitmore (Mansfield, N.J./Trenton Catholic) and SG Kelvin Amayo (Riverside, N.J./Nia Prep) among the prospects Hurley should take a long look at.
Don't be surprised if Hurley is successful early. It helps when you are familiar with the lay of the land, and that's one of the main reasons he got the job.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986-90 and was an All-MAC first-teamer his senior season.