Round Two: MBB vs. No. 2 Syracuse Saturday
Jan. 25, 2014 | 1 p.m.
BankUnited Center | Coral Gables, Fla.
Miami: 10-8 (2-4 ACC)
Miami hosts the rematch with No. 2 Syracuse on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. in the BankUnited Center. The arena is expected to be sold out for the seventh game in Coach Jim Larrañaga’s career.
Miami is 5-15 in the all-time series against Syracuse, which started in the 1963-64 season. The Canes are 3-8 against Syracuse at home, 0-0 at neutral sites and 2-7 on the road. Syracuse is on a three-game winning streak against Miami, last defeating the Canes on Jan. 4 in New York.
Catch the game on CBS with Ian Eagle and Greg Anthony making the call. Also check out the game on 560 WQAM Radio with Joe Zagacki and Josh Darrow, and on 90.5 WVUM, Miami’s student station.
Head coach Jim Larrañaga has a 529-362 overall record in his 30th season as a head coach. He is 59-28 in his third season at the University of Miami.
KenPom.com: Miami - 79, Syracuse - 4.
NCAA RPI: Miami - 82, Syracuse - 6.
Projected temperatures on game day: Coral Gables - 73/52. Syracuse - 26/6.
Miami hits the road to face Maryland on Jan. 29 at 9 p.m. Miami is 2-1 on the road in conference play this season.
The Grind of the ACC Schedule
Four of Miami’s first six games of the new year are against teams listed in national polls. After playing at No. 2 Syracuse on Jan. 4, Miami traveled to RV/RV North Carolina on Jan. 8. Then a Jan. 15 home game against in-state rival Florida State was followed by a game at Georgia Tech on Jan. 18. The Canes returned home to face No. 18 Duke on Jan. 22 and now No. 2 Syracuse (Jan. 25).
Coach L vs. The ACC
Coach Larrañaga has .500 or above winning percentage against all 11 returning ACC schools, and is 0-1 against the newcomers. Notably, Coach L is 6-4 combined against Duke and North Carolina.
Larrañaga and Boeheim
Miami coach Jim Larrañaga and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim are two of four ACC coaches with a Final Four appearance to his credit. At George Mason, Larrañaga took the 2006 Patriots to the Final Four. Larrañaga and Boeheim are two of four active ACC coaches with 500 or more wins. Larrañaga and Boeheim have both won the following coach of the year awards: Naismith, AP, Henry Iba, Clair Bee and their respective conference (ACC/CAA and BIG EAST).
Larrañaga and Boeheim have faced off on three occasions, prior to the 2013-14 season:
1. Bowling Green lost at Syracuse in 1995. Coach L forgot his suit and borrowed a camel hair jacket and slacks from opposing head coach Boeheim for the game.
2. In 1984, Larrañaga was an assistant at Virginia when the Cavaliers beat the Orange in Atlanta to move on to the Final Four.
3. While playing at Providence in 1970, Larrañaga defeated Syracuse assistant Boeheim in the Charlotte Invitational.
Stifling D by the Hurricanes
After playing man-to-man defense 95 percent of the time in his first 40 years of coaching, Jim Larrañaga’s team is now playing zone 95 percent of the game.
With the zone, Miami has held its last 12 opponents to less than 70 points, and only two teams overall this season have scored more than 70 points on the Canes (80-Georgia Southern, 71-George Washington). Prior to the game against Florida State, UM held five-straight opponents to fewer than 60 points.
In the last five conference games, Miami has held Syracuse, North Carolina, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Duke considerably below their offensive season scoring averages.
What a Difference a Year Makes
A season ago, only one of Miami’s starters were playing for the Canes, while another was out with injury. Four of Miami’s current top seven players were scattered across the world playing ball. Rion Brown was Miami’s seventh man, averaging 11 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0 assists in 20.0 minutes after three ACC games. Garrius Adams was sitting out the season while rehabbing a knee injury, and Donnavan Kirk was playing at DePaul in the BIG EAST Conference. James Kelly was playing at Owens Community College while Davon Reed was still playing prep ball at Princeton Day School (N.J.). Manu Lecomte was playing as an amateur in a professional league in Belgium and Tonye Jekiri was averaging 1.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 5.3 minutes per ACC game.
Miami in National Stats
Miami is ranked No. 9 in the country in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 59.6 points per game. The Canes are also ranked No. 29 in field goal percentage defense, at just 39.1 per game. UM is No. 8 in personal fouls per game, No. 36 in fewest turnovers, No. 50 in turnovers per game and No. 104 in blocked shots per game.
Coaching Coordinators for Miami
Miami’s assistant coaching staff is set up in a coordinator system, with Eric Konkol as the offensive coordinator, Michael Huger manning the defense and Chris Caputo handling the scout for every opponent.
Miami leads all ACC schools having played eight games decided by five points-or-less or in overtime. Miami has played four overtime games and four others that were decided in the final minutes. Miami is 1-3 in overtime this season and 2-2 in close games that ended in regulation: wins at Cal State Fullerton and vs. Arizona State, and losses to UCF and at Syracuse.
US News and World Report
According to latest US News & World Report rankings, the University of Miami is the top academic institution in the state of Florida and ranks 47th nationally.
Rion Brown Rebounds
Senior Rion Brown, a 6-6 guard is averaging 6.2 rebounds, up from his 2.2 career average prior to the season. This season Brown has grabbed seven or more rebounds in nine games. In his previous three seasons, he had only three games with 7+ boards. He pulled down seven once last year and had games with eight and seven as a rookie.