UConn head coach Dan Hurley addresses confrontation with Providence fans: ‘Just get out of here’

UConn head coach Dan Hurley had words for some hostile Providence fans toward the end of his first win in five tries at Amica Mutual Pavilion on Saturday night, as the Huskies finished the regular season with a Big East record 18 conference wins.

UConn quickly flipped what was a 15-2 deficit through the first four minutes of the game, closing the first half on a 40-9 scoring run and building a lead of as many as 26 points in the second to beat the Friars, 74-60.

Toward the end of the game, Hurley was caught on video engaging with a Providence supporter in the stands.

“You shouldn’t be yelling at me when you’re down 20,” Hurley said when he was asked about the exchange post-game. “You should just wait for the game to be over and walk out. If he wasn’t barking at me I wouldn’t have said anything to him… You shouldn’t be running your mouth at that point in the game. Just get out of here. Just go.”

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Hurley said there was a similar situation when the Huskies played at Butler earlier this year, when a fan yelled “‘You guys stink and you haven’t won anything.”‘ Hurley responded, he says, by reminding the fan he has a national championship ring.

Another video from Providence Saturday night appeared to show Hurley confronting a jeering fan after the final buzzer. “Look at this guy,” Hurley says to the security guards who were escorting him off the court and then addresses the fan, saying, “Come here, you’ll get hurt.” Security stopped Hurley from continuing to engage and he walked off the court.

Just last month, after UConn lost to Creighton in Omaha, Hurley went viral for telling a spectator, “If you reach over, I’ll knock you out,” referring to the railing that separated fans from the team on its way off the court. Hurley acknowledged the incident the next day with a “meme” video that also went viral, depicting himself as the character Cersei from the Game of Thrones series, walking through a horde of people chanting “shame.”

UConn, the reigning national champion ranked No. 2 in the nation with its program-record 28 regular season wins in 31 games, has drawn each opponent’s – and each fanbase’s – best shot all season. Hurley’s eccentric and combustible sideline demeanor makes him a prime target for opposing fans, several of which have chanted some iteration of, “F you Hurley,” in different road atmospheres throughout the year.

“First of all, you’re UConn and our fans are brutal so everyone hates us. They’re so brutal on Twitter and they get under everyone’s skin, and then we’ve got all the championships and all this stuff, and we’re also coming off of it,” Hurley said. “So you get everyone’s best shot because of history but then you also get everyone’s best shot because you won the national championship and you’re marked men.

“(The) 28-3 (record), we did that with the biggest target you could have on you.”