The special characteristics of NCAA champion coach Dan Hurley fascinate the Los Angeles Lakers, with the presence of top star LeBron James

The Athletic website has highlighted the unique qualities of Dan Hurley, a coach who has yet to step into the NBA but now has the opportunity to lead the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Although he lacks NBA experience, UConn Huskies coach Dan Hurley has made a notable impression with his leadership and coaching acumen. 

Hurley’s success was no accident; he led his team to consecutive NCAA championships, achieving 52 wins in 57 games. So what makes Dan Hurley an attractive candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers, an ambitious team with top NBA star LeBron James?

Sam Vecenie, a veteran writer for The Athletic, calls Dan Hurley the best candidate among NCAA coaches to transition immediately to the NBA.

On offense, Hurley incorporates NBA-style strategies with the UConn Huskies, having his players execute ball rotations to find open 3-pointers. This is interspersed with options for close shots near the basket by centers who screen for their teammates. Hurley also emphasizes player movement without the ball to create space, fostering a modern and attractive attacking style.

In the last six March Madness games, Hurley’s UConn team won all six by an average margin of over 30 points per game, showcasing the effectiveness of his offensive approach.

Defensively, Hurley collaborates closely with his assistants to identify player strengths and weaknesses. This allows the coaching staff to tailor defensive tactics to better suit the team, enhancing their overall defensive performance.

Hurley’s scouting team is regarded as one of the best at the NCAA level. They diligently analyze opponents’ weaknesses and develop targeted attacks to exploit them. Once UConn finds a successful play to break through an opponent’s defense, they will persistently run that play until the opponent counters it.

Vecenie further notes that Hurley combines a tough, disciplined coaching style with the flexibility for players to be creative. This balance fosters a comfortable yet disciplined environment for his players.

Currently, the Los Angeles Lakers are preparing a high-value, long-term contract for Dan Hurley, including covering the cost of his release from the University of Connecticut.

If Hurley accepts the Lakers’ offer, he will become one of the two rare coaches among the current 30 NBA teams to have won an NCAA championship and then moved to the NBA. The other is Billy Donovan, the current coach of the Chicago Bulls and a close friend of Hurley.