Basketball, Sports

Larranaga works on implementing new style

DeQuan Jones dunks the basketball during the Miami Madness event. Zach Beeker//The Miami Hurricane

The wait is over for Miami hoops enthusiasts: The men’s basketball team is set to launch its season Thursday at 7 p.m. in an exhibition game against Florida Southern.

While the game’s result won’t officially be reflected in the Canes’ record, it will be the team’s first contest since it was eliminated by Alabama in a 79-64 loss in the quarterfinals of last season’s NIT.

New head coach Jim Larranaga has had his players preparing for the start of the season for the past three weeks with practices and intra-squad scrimmages.

“The guys are tired of playing against each other,” he said. “You want to try and beat on somebody else.”

Miami comes into the season projected to finish fifth in the very competitive ACC, as it returns 11 players from last season’s 12-man roster that finished with a 21-15 record and a ninth-place finish in the conference.

Senior guard Malcolm Grant leads a talented and deep backcourt for the Canes, and was voted to the Preseason All-ACC team. Last season, Grant led the conference in three different statistical categories: three-point percentage, three-pointers made per game and free throw percentage.

With a talented and athletic group of players, Larranaga is faced with the challenge of adjusting his team to a new style of play.

“Whenever you’re developing a new system, it takes the players a while to adjust,” he said. “A coach can’t adjust to 13 different styles, but 13 people can adjust to one new style.”

Larranaga feels that, defensively, the team needs to improve on pressuring the ball, preventing dribble penetration and ultimately rebounding better to finish off opponents’ possessions.

Offensively, he’d like to see his guards distribute without turning the ball over. Larranaga said he sees too many turnovers in practice because players are in a hurry.

The Canes are hindered by injuries  in the frontcourt. Julian Gamble is out for the season with an ACL tear, and Reggie Johnson isn’t expected back until January.

Larranaga will mostly play a four-guard lineup this season, with either Kenny Kadji or Raphael Akpejiori playing center. Against bigger teams, expect Kadji and Akpejiori to split playing time and create better matchups.

Kadji will not play in Thursday’s exhibition at the BankUnited Center because of a “violation of team expectations.”

November 2, 2011


David Furones

Senior Sports Writer

Around the Web
  • Error
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: fsocket timed out

Hosmay Lopez, a meteorologist at the University of Miami Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmosp ...

UM alumna Shirley Hoffman Kilkelly was one of the few women engineers who worked on the Apollo 11 mo ...

College of Engineering alumnus Frank DeMattia was just 21 years old when he went to work at NASA on ...

Registered dietitian Stephanie Sanchez shares realistic, healthy ways to get you on track and headed ...

The overnight pre-orientation program – now in its 30th year – welcomes newly admitted first-year co ...

Sophomore tight end Brevin Jordan was among the 60 players named to the 2019 John Mackey Award Prese ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team added yet another elite accolade to her ...

Redshirt senior wide receiver K.J. Osborn was among six ACC players named to The Biletnikoff Award W ...

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has awarded the University of Miami a 2019 NCAA ...

Dane Dunlap, William Grattan-Smith and Franco Aubone were each selected as All-Academic Scholar Athl ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.