Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is certainly a fan of his starting point guard, Matt Farrell. On Wednesday, he made clear how deep that fandom goes.
Meeting with the media prior to Notre Dame's first NCAA tournament game against Princeton on Thursday, Brey said he believes Farrell to be a superior player to former Duke star Bobby Hurley.
"I think he's better than Hurley," Brey said, per ESPN's Dana O'Neil. "... I think he's better. He shoots it better."
Hurley's credentials speak for themselves. In four years at Duke from 1989-83, he won two national championships and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in 1992 and a consensus first-team All-American in 1993. He also holds the NCAA record for most career assists (1,076).
Just comparing raw shooting stats, Farrell holds the edge over Hurley in shooting percentage (42.5 to 41.0), but Hurley is a superior three-point shooter (40.5 to 39.3).
Brey would have a comprehensive understanding of both players. He's coached Farrell for the past three seasons and served as an assistant at Duke under head coach Mike Krzyzewski from 1987-95.
Hurley, who is the head coach at Arizona State, opted to take the high road when learning of Brey's comments.
"No, no, no, I'm not going to get into that," Hurley said, per O'Neil. "What I did speaks for itself. But hey, he's coached us both, so he knows better than anyone. I'm over the hill now. My best days are behind me."
Hurley did compliment Farrell, saying he loves how he plays and he's "exactly what you need in that position—a guy that plays with grit."
The Fighting Irish have made it to the Elite Eight each of the last two years under Brey's watch. The program will be looking for its second-ever trip to the Final Four when the tournament starts Thursday.
Regardless of where Farrell will wind up ranking on the list of all-time great guards in NCAA history when his college career comes to an end, kudos to Brey for attempting to pump up his own players leading into the most important time of the year.