With a league-leading 14-3 record in the ACC, No. 6/7 University of Miami hosts Clemson on Saturday, March 9 at 2:30 p.m. in Coral Gables, Fla. Prior to the game, UM will honor its five seniors, Julian Gamble, Reggie Johnson, Kenny Kadji, Trey McKinney Jones and Durand Scott, as well as senior manager Kevin Towle.
Miami is 8-11 against Clemson all-time, with the series dating back to the 1955-56 season. The Hurricanes are 4-3 against the Tigers at home, 2-3 at neutral sites and 2-5 on the road. Miami won the last two match-ups against Clemson with a 76-73 home win in 2012 and a 45-43 victory in South Carolina on Feb. 17, 2013.
Catch the game on the ACC Network with Tim Brant and Bobby Cremins making the call. Also check out the game on 560 WQAM Radio with Joe Zagacki (play-by-play) and Josh Darrow, as well as on Miami’s student station, 90.5 WVUM.
Head coach Jim Larrañaga is in his 29th season as a head coach and second at Miami. He has a 513-353 overall record and is 43-19 in his second season at Miami.
Projected temperatures on game day: Coral Gables -76/63. Clemson, S.C. - 66/43.
The Rankings - RPI/SOS
As of March 8, 2013 Warren Nolan: 3 / 4 Sagarin: 16 / 14 Realtime: 3 / 3 KenPom: 13
On Jan. 28, the Canes jumped 11 spots in the AP Poll & entered the USA TODAY poll for the first time since December 2008. Miami was No. 2/2 in the nation, tying the school’s highest ranks in history.
According to research by The AP, Miami is the sixth school to ascend from unranked to the top five in four weeks or less since the AP Top 25 begin in 1989-90. Connecticut was the last school to make the leap, doing so in 2010-11.
Playing for the outright ACC Title
With a 14-3 ACC record and just one game to play, Miami has earned the top seed in the ACC tournament and at least a share of the ACC regular season conference championship. With one win, Miami will hold sole possession of the ACC regular season conference championship.
The Canes have already earned a share of the regular season championship in Coach L’’s second year with the team. Of current league coaches, Roy Williams also won the ACC regular season in his second year in the ACC, taking over UNC in 2003-04, and winning in 2004-05.
With a 13-3 mark in the league, Miami tied Syracuse for the 2000 BIG EAST regular season title, the Canes’ only conference championship in school history. In 1999-2000, Leonard Hamilton led Miami to a 23-11 mark and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Julian Gamble leads the ACC in blocked shots, is 19th in rebounds, and is tied for fourth among active ACC players in career blocks. In his sixth year at Miami, he has had a career season, posting highs of 6.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. In six games this season, he has blocked four opponent shots. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sports administration last May, this forward from Durham, N.C., will earn his masters in liberal studies in May 2013.
With more than 800 career rebounds, Reggie Johnson is third among active ACC players and will finish in Miami’s top eight in total rebounds. His 1,026 career points are currently No. 34 on the Hurricanes all-time scoring list and 15th among active ACC players. He has posted four double-doubles this season and 18 for his career. In December the native of Winston-Salem, N.C., graduated with a degree in liberal arts and he is currently taking classes in the college of arts and sciences.
In two seasons with the Hurricanes, Kenny Kadji has posted 10 double-doubles and totaled 760 points and 364 rebounds. This season he ranks in the ACC’s top 15 in points, rebounds, blocks and if fourth in the league in field goal percent, hitting 48.9 percent of his shots. He can knock down shots from distance, hitting 68 career 3-pointers at a 39% clip, and has blocked 91 shots in 61 career games. In May, this native of Duoala, Cameroon, will graduate with a degree in sociology.
Trey McKinney Jones has never missed a game in his two-season Miami career, scoring 8 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field. A 3-point specialist, he has knocked down 83 shots from distance, including five in Miami’s win over Michigan State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. This guard from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has already earned his undergraduate degree in marketing, and will add a master’s in liberal arts in May.
Durand Scott will finish his four-year career in Miami’s top 10 in scoring, assists, steals, field goals, free throws, minutes, games played and started. Among active league players, he ranks in the ACC’s top eight in four categories with 1,560 points, 554 rebounds, 387 assists and 158 steals. In 26 games this season, he has notched double-digit points in 20 games and dished out at least three assists in 14 outings. This guard from the Bronx will graduate with his undergraduate degree in liberal arts in May 2013.
Record Student Attendance at the BUC
Miami has set a record for the most games with 1,200 or more students (6), cumulative season student attendance (11,308) and is on pace for a record student average attendance. The past average attendance was 641 per game, and UM is at 808 per game this season. The cumulative student attendance record was 10,269 and 11,308 students have already attended Miami’s games, and the Canes have one remaining home contest.
Home Court Advantage
Miami has shot better than 42 percent from the field in 13 of its 14 home games, shooting a season-high 59.0 percent vs. Jacksonville. The Canes shot 56.9 percent against No. 1 Duke, hitting 58.6 percent in the first half and 55.2 percent in the second. Miami was consistent vs. Detroit hitting 14-27 shots (51.9 %) in both the first and second halves. The Canes have shot better than 60 percent in two home second halves, with 63.6 percent vs. SU and 62.5 percent vs. JU.
Selling Out the BankUnited Center
Miami posted capacity crowds of 7,972 fans in wins over Florida State (1/27), No. 1 Duke (1/23), North Carolina (2/9) and Virginia (2/19). This year is the first time in program history that there have been back-to-back sellouts at the BankUnited Center and four games in the same season.
Canes Defend Home Court
The Hurricanes are 13-1 at the BankUnited Center in 2012-13 and are 120-48 overall in the BUC. With one more win, the Canes will tie the most home wins in a season, set in 2007-08., when Miami was 14-2. The Hurricanes have notched double-digit home wins at the BankUnited in six-straight seasons and nine times in 10 full seasons calling the arena home.
Canes Dominate at Home
With the Feb. 10 win over UNC, Miami won four-straight home games by at least 22 points: No. 1 Duke +27, FSU +24, BC +22, UNC +26. The Canes also defeated Virginia Tech by 18, Maryland by 7 and Virginia by 4. Overall, Miami has outscored its ACC opponents by +15.8 at home.