NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

March 19, 2013

Larranaga has Miami poised for NCAA run

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Jim Larranaga was in the Miami locker room before a game during this regular season, talking about the importance of defense, when he decided words were not going to be enough to illustrate his point.

So the 63-year-old, two-time-hip-replacement-patient, white-haired, suit-wearing man fell backward like he was taking a charge, then started shouting.

“When you see that,” said senior guard Durand Scott, “you want to run through a wall for this guy.”

The wall had no chance. Larranaga’s team went out, fully energized, and beat North Carolina by 26.

Larranaga has taken charge of what not long ago looked like a wayward Hurricane program — leading Miami to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, a 27-6 record, a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and quite possibly putting a school that hadn’t been to the men’s version of the Big Dance since 2008 in position to win a national title.

Miami plays Pacific (22-12) in Austin, Texas on Friday. So on Monday, other than consenting to about a dozen media interviews, Larranaga tried to rest.

“We’ve got to turn the page,” Larranaga said Monday. “When non-conference season was over, we turned the page. Regular season over, turn the page. ACC tournament is over, turn the page. One does not have anything to do with the next. They’re all separate events and we need our guys to get some rest, because it was a long, grueling tournament.”

Larranaga and the Hurricanes made getting out of that ACC tournament look easy.

Not bad for a guy who, when he decided to pursue the Miami job two years ago, was absolutely convinced he had zero chance of being hired.

“He’s a great teacher,” Miami President Donna Shalala told The Associated Press. “When you get right down to it, in higher education, there are a handful of really great teachers. Sometimes they’re in chemistry, sometimes they’re in English, and sometimes they’re the basketball coach.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season
Special Features