In a battle of Blue Devil connections, the father of Duke basketball legend Bobby Hurley coached his St. Anthony's team to a 63-46 manhandling of Duke-recruit Kris Humphries' Hopkins Royals Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"I'm ecstatic," said Hurley Sr., who had not been to Cameron since his son's playing days, and was greeted warmly by the crowd. "Looking at their [heights] in the program, and the schools that some of those kids are going to? I'm very happy with the energy we showed today."
Although St. Anthony's consistently ranks as one of the top programs in the country--they are currently No. 20 in the nation by the USA Today poll--Hopkins boasts three players that will compete for Division I schools in the fall: Humphries at Duke, Dan Coleman at Boston College, and Darren Clarke at St. Louis. The Royals also tote superior experience and size, with nine seniors on their roster, and six players 6-feet-6 inches or taller.
Regardless of their myriad advantages, Humphries and his teammates were overwhelmed from the opening tip by a well-disciplined, hard-working St. Anthony's squad. The Friars utilized their quicker guards and tenacious defense to force nine first-half turnovers en route to a 30-16 halftime lead.
"It was our energy and defense--they weren't ready for as much pressure as we bring into the game," Hurley said.
More impressively, however, St. Anthony's harassed Humphries into scoring just five points in the first two quarters of play. The future Blue Devil played inconsistently, committing four turnovers and failing to instigate his team into being competitive with the Friars.
There is no doubting his effort, however, as Humphries attempted to pick up the slack for his teammates by trying to do a little bit of everything. From bringing the ball up the floor to stepping outside the three-point arc to playing aggressive help defense, Humphries ended up with a game-high 17 points on 50 percent shooting.
"You didn't see Kris Humphries," Hopkins head coach Ken Novak said. "But it wasn't all his fault."
Usually the 6-foot-8, muscle-bound power forward is able to pound his way in the interior with superlative strength and a knack for scoring around the basket. Saturday was something of an anomaly.
"This is probably the worst I've ever seen him play," Novak said. "Kris Humphries is a great player. He's shown it all year. But, there's a day like this and we have to pick it up just like everybody else."
Following a near-30 minute postgame meeting with Novak, the Royals sauntered out of the locker room one by one, many with their heads hanging low.
"We weren't really willing to put it all down and win the game, and until we get there we're not going to play well," he said. "Coming out here I think I could have brought people together better. Me being a leader on this team, I feel a lot of responsibility for what happened tonight."
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