With the first official practice on Oct. 12, the men's basketball team opened what expects to be an exciting year on the hardwood. Over the next three weeks, HurricaneSports.com will post a Top 10 countdown leading up to the first game of the 2012-13 campaign, a Nov. 2 exhibition against St. Leo. Check back regularly to learn more about this year's Hurricanes.
1. Head Coach Jim Larranaga
After leading the Hurricanes to 20 wins and an NIT appearance in his first year at Miami, Coach Jim Larranaga is primed to make the leap to the NCAA tournament with an experienced group that consists of six seniors and four juniors. The Canes are coming off their first winning season in the ACC and are ready to make a splash on the national stage.
In 2012-13, Coach Jim Larranaga and his staff will begin their second year at the helm in Coral Gables. Having posted a 20-13 record and an appearance in the NIT (second round) in his first campaign, Larranaga was the first Canes coach to open his UM career with 20 wins. Miami finished the season tied for fourth in the conference, a program-best, and registered Miami’s first-ever winning record in the ACC (9-7).
3 – Coach L has the third-most career wins of all ACC coaches.
10 – Larranaga is 10 wins shy of 500 for his career.
20 – Not only was Larranaga the first Canes coach to open his UM career with 20 wins, but it was also his most successful opening season of his head-coaching career.
28 – With 28 years of head coaching experience Coach Larranaga is only behind Coach K as the ACC head coach with the longest-tenured career as a Division I basketball head coach.
In Coach L’s 14 Seasons at GMU
.626 Winning Percentage
13 Straight Winning Seasons
A Final Four Appearance 5 Trips To The NCAA Tournament
9 Post-Season Appearances
First-Ever National Ranking
First-Ever Appearance in Top 10
First-Ever Wins over Top 10 Teams
Winningest Coach in League History
Seven seasons before Coach L at GMU
.340 Winning Percentage
7 Straight Losing Seasons
0 Post-Season Appearances
Worst Team in The CAA
2. The Schedule
Miami will face three of the four USA TODAY preseason-ranked ACC schools in the BankUnited Center, as well as No. 14 Michigan State. The Canes will hit the road to battle against NC State, who was picked to win the ACC this year.
The Canes open the season with a Nov. 2 exhibition contest against St. Leo, then start the regular season Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m. against Stetson at the BankUnited Center.
Fans can call 800-284-2263 now to reserve your tickets. Ticket options include the FAN-tastic 4-Pack and the ACC Weekender Pack. Check out CanesTix.com for more ticket information.
The non-conference slate is highlighted by six contests at the BankUnited Center and five match-ups against teams that qualified for the 2012 postseason, including Michigan State.
3. The ACC
"The ACC provides the nation's most exciting brand of basketball," said Larranaga. "That is why I came to Miami and I am looking forward to the continuous challenge that it provides our program."
With a motto of “A tradition of Excellence … Then, Now and Always” people must agree that the Hurricanes play in the best basketball conference in the country. The Atlantic Coast Conference and its member institutions represent the best in academic and athletic excellence.
ACC teams have won five of the last 12 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships. The ACC has had at least one team ranked in the top 10 of the final AP Poll in 52 consecutive seasons. The ACC is one of two conferences to have each of its teams make at least one NCAA Tournament appearance over the past six years.
4. National Exposure
For the first time in league history, member schools will play 18-game ACC schedules and all 108 contests are scheduled to be broadcast live. Fans can catch the Hurricanes on the ESPN family of networks at least 20 times this season. More than 90 percent of Miami's games in 2011-12 were televised, including every ACC contest.
Catch all Hurricane games on WQAM 560 with Joe Zagacki and Josh Darrow making the call. Miami home basketball games will also be aired on the student station, WVUM 90.5, the Voice of the University of Miami.
5. Sebastian and Spirit Groups
With five National Championships in football, and countless Bowl and NCAA Basketball Tournament appearances, the spirit program has been a vital part of the athletic program at UM. Sebastian the Ibis is a staple at all men’s basketball games, dazzling the crowd with his fan interactions and creating energy throughout the BankUnited Center.
The University dance team, known as the Sunsations, was founded in 1985 as entertainment for basketball games and since its inception, the group has developed into one of the best dance teams in the nation.
The cheerleading program at Miami consists of two teams, the coed team with 15 members and the all-girl team which is made up of 15 females.
6. History and Traditions
WE ARE THE MIAMI HURRICANES.
With that honor and privilege comes a commitment to excellence - on the court, in the classroom, in every endeavor.
“It’s All About the U” is a Department of Athletics campaign to affirm the core values of what it means to be a Cane. It’s more than a code of conduct; it’s a way of life for students, coaches, alumni faculty and fans. It’s a pledge to surpass what’s expected of us and deliver our utmost with passion and pride.
Hurricane spirit is a mighty force, but our strength is not limited to athletic prowess. University of Miami student-athletes strike a balance between training the body for peak performance and sharpening the intellect for future success.
Beyond their athletic and academic vigor, Miami Hurricanes operate with integrity. “It’s All About the U” emphasizes doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. It means being a role model in the community and someone who is always willing to help those in need.
When our fans raise their hands thumb-to-thumb, forming a “U”, they are saluting a winning tradition, as well as showcasing their pride in one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher education. Fans who know, “It’s All About the U” have profound respect for the game, the players, the officials and most of all, themselves.
We invite you to explore the many ways in which the Miami Hurricanes excel in academics, life and athletics.
UM returns all three players who earned conference recognition a year ago. Kenny Kadji was selected to the All-ACC third team, Durand Scott was voted an honorable mention performer and Shane Larkin earned a spot on the ACC All-Freshman squad. Add senior Reggie Johnson, who was named to the 2010 All-ACC honorable mention team, and four current Canes have earned postseason ACC recognition.
8. Social Media
The TheUHoops blog gives the ultimate fan an in-depth look to all that the men’s basketball team has accomplished on and off the court, with new pictures, video and audio that can’t be found anywhere else on the web.
For photo galleries, news and a place to interact with other UM friends, the MiamiHurricanes Facebook page is the place to go. For more in-depth coverage focusing on just the men's basketball team, check out MiamiBasketball on Facebook.
You can follow @CanesHoops for more insight on the Hurricanes basketball team. Through the Twitter feed, fans will gain a great way to see the personality of the program and follow the team. Check out the Miami Twitter Directory for Twitter handles for all UM athletic teams and coaches.
9. Games at the BankUnited Center
Opened in 2003, the BankUnited Center is located on the University of Miami’s beautiful Coral Gables campus and seats 7,200 for games. This year the Canes will battle a slate of high-profile opponents at the BankUnited Center, including matchups against Michigan State (Nov. 28), Duke (Jan. 23), Florida State (Jan. 27) and North Carolina (Feb. 9).
The venue also hosts concerts, trade shows, lecture series and sporting events, in addition to serving as the home to the Hurricanes’ men’s and women’s basketball teams.
With its grand opening in January of 2003 — a 64-61 overtime win over North Carolina, the BankUnited Center became the University’s first on-campus venue with seating to accommodate large events offering an ideal capacity for concerts, conferences, lecture series, banquets and more. It significantly increases the University of Miami’s collegiate experience for its students by allowing on-campus events such as commencements, sports, convocations and pep rallies. The community also benefits from the venue’s utilization as a showcase for a host of family shows and other special activities.
The BankUnited Center has 25 suites. Each suite is equipped with 12 box seats with three additional bar stools, a lounge area, television and phones, along with a kitchen area with a bar and refrigerator.
10. The Team
In his second year in Coral Gables, head coach Jim Larranaga will have a seasoned team that boasts six seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen. After recording their first-ever winning record in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Canes are ready to contend for their first ACC crown.
Coach Larranaga talks about the upcoming season
Aside from returning six of the top seven scorers and eight of the top nine rebounders for the 2012-13 campaign, Miami returns nine scholarship players from the 2011-12 roster. Those nine players accounted for 80 percent of the Canes scoring, and 86 percent of rebounds, 82 percent of assists, 91 percent of blocks, 83 percent of steals, 81 percent of field goals made and 72 percent of three pointers made.
General admission season tickets for the 2012-13 campaign are just $99, so help our Canes win by packing the BankUnited Center. Call 1-800-GoCanes (462-2637) now to reserve your seat.