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Hurley Watch: Keep an eye on Texas hiring for trickle-down effect

For now, it looks like Bobby Hurley is staying for at least one more season at the University at Buffalo.

Key words: for now.

Hurley had his heart and his head set on coming back to UB after coaching the Bulls to their first NCAA Tournament appearance, and so far nothing has changed. He's working on a contract extension that would make him the highest-paid coach in the Mid-American Conference.

However, UB fans would be wise to keep watch over one vacancy that could trigger another opening, alter the course of Hurley's career and change the immediate future of the Buffalo program.

Keep an eye on Texas.

Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart appeared to have an inside track on the Texas job. The Longhorn are expected to interview him and Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall after firing coach Rick Barnes.

If Smart winds up at Texas, Hurley figures to be an inviting candidate for VCU. Hurley has proven himself as a very good coach in two seasons at UB. Hiring him would lessen the sting VCU fans felt if Smart left. Let's not forget that Hurley has experience recruiting in the Atlantic 10. He served as an assistant coach under his brother, Danny, at Rhode Island.

Smart made about $1.5 million at VCU, plus bonuses and another $60,000 in deferred compensation. Added up, he made nearly $1 million more than Hurley stands to pocket at UB in 2015-16.

VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin was known for being intelligent and thorough while serving in the same post at Niagara. It's safe to assume he's well aware of Hurley's work in Buffalo even though they didn't live in Western New York at the same time.

It's important to not get too far ahead, but nobody would blame McLaughlin for showing interest in Hurley. Nobody should blame Hurley if he left Buffalo given the nature of his contract negotiations. If anything, Hurley and VCU look like a good match.

For now, we wait.

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