Mark Richt on WVA, recruiting rules, early NFL Draft guys, Canes' sched, ending bowl drought...

IMG_0451

Mark Richt's Russell Athletic Bowl teleconference highlights:

He seems very pleased to be facing West Virginia, and I don't blame him. A victory over a strong 10-2 team that is ranked 14th in the AP poll would firmly put UM in the final rankings. 

It's a really good matchup, and I'm looking forward to covering it.

Some Richt comments from our interview:

*** On voting his Hurricanes No. 20 in the final Coaches' Poll: "I think we're a quality team that deserves to be ranked. That ranking will probably be proven right or wrong I guess after this bowl game.''

*** On WVA: "I'm very excited about this opportunity to play in Orlando and to play in the Russell Athletic Bowl. I haven't talked to any of the players. I talked to a couple of the coaches, because we've been doing a little bit of recruiting today. I know everybody is loving this opportunity. We're playing a great football team in West Virginia, a team that just got 10 victories this season. Coach [Dana Holgerson] has done a great job there. Orlando itself is a great town and a great place to have a bowl, because the players usually have a lot of fun things to do. The coaches' wives and kids have a ball too. The coaches tend to work hard in bowls, and don't do a whole lot of the fun stuff, but it'll be a great challenge and a lot of fun for us."

*** On recruiting rules: "We're not allowed to have contact with [prospective] student-athletes during the bowl practices. I think they can be at your bowl practice, but you can't have contact with them. There may be some guys at those practices...we cannot make tickets available to the bowl game either. If they do end up at the game, it'll be somehow other than us providing that opportunity. I hope a lot of them come and watch the game, if nothing else because we're in the state and we're having success. I think that will be good enough.

"Even if they make it to a practice, I think, as far as I can remember, we've never been able to have any contact with them at this time of year. It's usually a dead period. You can't have that kind of contact. But if they can come and watch, that's what we've done in years past."

***On whether he's had conversations with current players deciding on declaring early for the NFL Draft: "We've begun the dialogue. It's a process. It's not a one-time, sit-down conversation. It's more trying to get a feel of where they are and also have them understand the process I've always gone through as head coach - to just let them know that my goal is to help them get as much good, critical information that they can get from the NFL clubs... It's kind of a business decision, but it also becomes an emotional decision too because there are still a lot of things to play for - a possible championship in the future, national awards and the opportunity to get your degree...those are some of the things they'll be weighing when trying to decide what's best for them."

***On UM's schedule this week in terms of working out or practicing:

"They've been lifting, running. The coaches have been recruiting this past week and this week will be more of the same, just making sure we finish strong academically - all the focus is on that. There will be times when they'll be able to slip out and get a workout in. We won't start practicing until our final exams are over. We're debating whether or not to have one this weekend coming up during official visits. We may have a very short, sweet practice Saturday. We haven't finalized that yet. But if we don't, the first one, I believe, will be the next Thursday."

 ***On how important it is to end the UM bowl drought (last bowl victory was 2006 against Nevada): "It's very important. Our guys know that. Obviously every guy in the room, whether they've been there one year or three or four years, they haven't had the victory at the end of the year. I know they're all hungry for it. I know I am, too. Obviously, West Virginia will be also.''

   SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

November 04, 2016

UM men's hoops sold out again

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@Miamiherald.com

For the second year in a row, the University of Miami men's basketball team is sold out. If you were planning to go buy tickets, you're too late.

According to a release:

For two straight years, fans have bought over 5,500 season tickets, more than doubling the total number of season tickets sold in Larrañaga’s first season in Coral Gables. When Coach L began his reign in Miami, fans bought 2,251 season tickets for the 2011-12 campaign. After a record-breaking season on the court in 2012-13, season tickets peaked at 3,674 for 2013-14, prior to this year’s 5,750 mark.

Season Tickets Sold per Year

2016-17: 5,750

2015-16: 5,500 

2014-15: 3,427 

2013-14: 3,674 

2012-13: 2,372 

2011-12: 2,251

November 02, 2016

UM hoops: Canes vs. Barry tonight, Exhibition game

Hoops season officially begins tonight!

Here's a quick primer for the game:

Wednesday: UM men vs. Barry

When/where: Exhibition game, 7 p.m. at Watsco Center on UM campus.

Records (last season): UM 27-8 (NCAA Sweet 16), Barry 26-7 (Division II Elite 8).

Scouting report: The Hurricanes’ top returning players are Davon Reed (11.1 ppg), Kamari Murphy (6 rpg), point guard Jaquan Newton, forward Anthony Lawrence and center Ebuka Izundu. Fans will get their first look at highly rated freshmen Dewan Huell, Bruce Brown, Dejan “DJ” Vasiljevic and Rodney Miller. Also, San Jose St. transfer Rashad Muhammad makes his debut. Barry is led by 6-5 senior forward Adrian Gonzalez (Hialeah Gardens High), and Iceland guard Elvar Fredriksson, who led the nation last season with 8.1 assists per game.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/college/article111929702.html#storylink=cpy

 

November 01, 2016

UM women ranked No. 14 in preseason AP poll

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

The University of Miami women's basketball team begins the 2016-17 season with high expectations after being ranked No. 14 in the preseason Associated Press poll, released Tuesday. The Canes are tied with reigning NCAA runner-up Syracuse.

Five ACC schools are in the top 15, including top-ranked Notre Dame, and UM will play seven games against Top-20 opponents.

The Hurricanes were 24-9 (10-6 ACC) last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in six years. Ten players are back from that team, plus four new players.

The Hurricanes open the season Nov. 11 at the Kentucky Classic in Lexington, Ky., facing No. 19 Kentucky.

October 24, 2016

McClellan makes Wizards' roster; Larranaga, former teammates thrilled

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@Miamiherald.com

University of Miami men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga beamed with pride Monday as he reacted to the news that former Hurricane Sheldon McClellan, who went undrafted, made the Washington Wizards' 15-man roster over the weekend.

McClellan, 23, helped his chances by scoring 20 points in 32 minutes in a double-overtime win against the Philadelphia 76ers last week. He also had four assists, three rebounds and a steal.

“One of the happiest moments of 2016 was to get a text from Tommy Sheppard (Sr. Vice President of the Wizards), and it said, `You have a wall with your NBA players listed and you can now include one more – Sheldon McClellan will be a Washington Wizard this year.’'' Larranaga said. "I’m so happy for him. Deeply deserving of that acknowledgement of his ability to play basketball. He’s such a wonderful kid. I texted him, his mother, his agent.

"He has all the attributes they look for in the NBA. I think he is on his way to a long NBA career."

McClellan posted on Twitter: "Blessed!!! Dream come true was made tonight!!! Excited for my first year and the team."

UM seniors Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy, who played with McClellan last season on the Sweet 16 team, were thrilled with the news.

"I'm extremely happy for him," Reed said. "That's the end goal at the end of the day, and to have somebody you played with be there. That's where we all want to be...It's good for the younger guys to see a former player in the NBA and people have heard about his work ethic, what it takes and that will definitely inspires some of our players."

Murphy added: "It's good to have somebody that close to us in that environment to give us feedback on what to expect, things we need to do to get to that level."

 

 

October 11, 2016

UM hoops facility to get $1.7 million makeover

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

The University of Miami men's and women's basketball teams will be working and lounging in fancier digs after a $1.7 million makeover this month that will include upgrades to the weight room, locker rooms, practice facility hallways, and athlete lounges.

The first part of the project is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 2, at the start of the exhibition season.

The coaches’ offices and hallways will feature highlights from Miami basketball history and high-profile alumni. The players' lounge will get new couches, T.V.s and a gaming center.

“I’ve always thought that we had great facilities here with our offices and locker rooms and practice facility being in our game venue, but I am so excited for the impact these renovations will bring,” women’s coach Katie Meier said. “We compete for ACC championships every year and these improvements will greatly enhance our current student-athletes’ experiences, as well as give us a huge advantage in recruiting. When we bring recruits in, they will see the state-of-the-art, modern technology and awesome ‘U’ branding throughout. We are extremely grateful for the donations and hard work that has made these renovations possible.”

“It really started in year two after Director of Athletics Blake James took over and we sat down and talked about the direction of the programs,” men’s coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Due to certain limited university budgets that can go to projects like this, we had to go out and raise the money. We were able to reach out to a lot of friends and a lot of them were very understanding and very generous in their contributions. We can’t be any more thankful to the people who have made this possible.”

 

September 20, 2016

September 14, 2016

Breaking News: UM hoops star recruit Dewan Huell arrested

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

Dewan Huell of Norland High, the most celebrated University of Miami basketball recruit in recent years, was arrested for battery on Tuesday.

“I am aware of the reported incident involving Dewan Huell last night and we are still gathering information,” said UM athletic director Blake James. “I have very high expectations for all of our student-athletes, as I know Coach Larrañaga does for his team, and any misconduct will be addressed.”

Larranaga, reached by phone, said he just returned to town from recruiting and had not yet met with Huell.

"I just got back, and am planning to meet with Dewan and find out what happened," Larranaga said. "Dewan is a terrific kid and we will deal with this once we have all the information."

According to a police report obtained by Andy Slater of WINZ, Huell, 19, walked into his ex-girlfriend’s dorm room at FIU, found her in the closet with another man and attacked the man. Police say he grabbed the man by his shirt and dragged him out of the room, leaving him with scratches on his neck and chest.

Huell, who is 6-11 and 220 pounds, was to begin his freshman season with the Hurricanes next month. He was rated the nation’s No. 21 recruit by ESPN and played on three state championship teams with Norland. He averaged 19.2 points and 9.1 rebounds last season and was the Miami Herald 8A-6A Player of the Year.

-30-

September 12, 2016

Hot off the Press: UM Hoops Schedule!

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

Yes, yes, we know it's still early in the football season, so nobody's really thinking basketball yet.

But the ACC released the men's basketball schedule on Monday afternoon, so stop gushing over Mark Richt for just one moment and mark your calendars!

Miami will play at Virginia on Feb. 20 as part of ESPN's Big Monday schedule, and will also play four other games on ESPN/ESPN2: vs. Notre Dame (Jan. 12), at Duke (Jan. 21), at Louisville (Feb. 11), and at Virginia Tech (Feb. 27).

The Canes also have two CBS games: Jan. 28 against North Carolina and Feb. 25 against Duke.

Among Miami's home opponents are NCAA runner-up North Carolina, Notre Dame (Elite 8), and Duke (Sweet 16).  The Hurricanes play road games at Syracuse, Virginia, Duke, Pitt, FSU, and Virginia Tech.

UM's first exhibition game is vs. Barry at the BUC on Nov. 2. The first conference home game is Dec. 31 against NC State -- yes, New Year's Eve, but 4:30 p.m., so plenty of time to party afterward.

"We need to defend our home court again this season," said UM coach Jim Larranaga. "Our fans helped create an electric atmosphere and we are looking forward to having that home court advantage again this year."

The full schedule:

Nov. 2 vs. Barry (exhibition), 7 p.m.

Nov. 11 vs. Western Carolina, 7 p.m.

Nov. 16 at UNF, 7 p.m.

Nov. 19 vs. Penn, 4 p.m.

Nov. 24 vs. Stanford, 2:30 p.m. in Orlando

Nov. 25 vs. Indiana State/Iowa State in Orlando

Nov. 27 vs. Florida/Gonzaga/Quinnipiac/Seton Hall in Orlando

Nov. 30 vs. Rutgers 7 p.m.

Dec. 3 vs. Wofford

Dec. 6 vs. South Carolina St, 7 p.m.

Dec. 16 vs. FAU, 7 p.m.

Dec. 22 vs. George Washington, 7 p.m.

Dec. 28 vs. Columbia, 7 p.m.

Dec. 31 vs. NC State, 4:30 p.m.

Jan. 4 at Syracuse, 7 p.m.

Jan. 12 vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m.

Jan. 14 at Pitt, noon

Jan. 18 at Wake Forest, 8 p.m.

Jan. 21 at Duke, TBA

Jan. 25 vs. Boston College, 9 p.m.

Jan. 28 vs. North Carolina, 1 p.m.

Feb. 1 vs. FSU, 8 p.m.

Feb. 4 at NC State, 3 p.m.

Feb. 8 Virginia Tech, 9 p.m.

Feb. 11 at Louisville, TBA

Feb. 15 vs. Georgia Tech, 8 p.m.

Feb. 18 vs. Clemson, noon

Feb. 20 at Virginia, 7 p.m.

Feb. 25 vs. Duke, 4 p.m.

Feb. 27 at Va Tech, 9 p.m.

March 4 at FSU, 4 p.m.

March 7-11: ACC Tournament, Brooklyn, NY

June 28, 2016

UM coaches on Pat Summitt's death

By Michelle Kaufman

Like all college basketball fans, University of Miami coaches Katie Meier and Jim Larranaga were deeply saddened to wake up Tuesday to the news that legendary University of Tennessee coach Pat Summitt had died at age 64.

"I didn't know her personally. I viewed her and her career from afar," said Larranaga. "I thought of her as the Dr. James Naismith of women's college basketball. She put women's basketball on the map. She was the dominant coach for the first 20 years after Title IX."

Meier did know Summitt well, and had this to say:

"Pat Summitt was such an iconic figure in our sport. She just elevated every conversation, clinic or recruiting event. She always reminded the younger coaches to `act right' and to lead with strength and compassion. She inspired a generation of female competitors who will continue to give back."

Back in 2011, when the then-No. 7 Hurricanes played No. 3 Tennessee, Meier was asked about Summitt.

She said: "I could spend two hours on that. She is obviously the best at her profession. When Pat wins, women's basketball's happy. They (Summitt and her staff) have been so helpful. They're cheering for you, supporting you. If you want to come to a practice, they let you. They're all about women's basketball, especially Coach Summitt.

"I've been lucky enough to have exposure to them and how they operate. I hope everyone in our profession appreciates it. I have a ton of respect and owe a lot of my career to Tennessee, their generosity. If I needed an out of bounds play, I could call (then-assistant) Holly (Warwick) or Coach Summitt right now and they’d give me an out of bounds play to make me a better coach. That’s what they’re in it for, opportunity for young players, and coaches. I wish I’d see more of it in the sport. It is rare and a wonderful thing that they’ve been headliners this whole time for women’s basketball.’’

June 24, 2016

McClellan to Wizards, Rodriguez to Spurs

By Michelle Kaufman

Former University of Miami guard Sheldon McClellan confirmed Friday that he has a partial contract offer from the Washington Wizards that he will sign when he reports to camp on July 1.

McClellan, 6-6, was not selected in the NBA Draft on Thursday night, but had interest from several teams.

Hurricane teammate Angel Rodriguez also got good news on Friday. He was invited by the San Antonio Spurs to Summer League.

"All I need is an opportunity, I'll take care of the rest," Rodriguez said. "I'm always going to bet on myself, that's for sure!"

Tonye Jekiri was still weighing his options.

McClellan awaiting offer, possibly from Wizards

By Michelle Kaufman

Former University of Miami guard Sheldon McClellan watched the NBA draft from his home in Houston, and like so many talented college basketball players, was not among the players chosen Thursday night.

But, reached at 1 a.m., he said he was awaiting word from his agent about a contract, possibly with the Washington Wizards, one of the 11 teams he worked out for in the past month. The Wizards had shown a lot of interest, and let it be known they'd be interested in signing him if he went undrafted. He would join the team for the summer league, which begins the second week of July.

Asked if it was a nerve-wracking night, McClellan replied: "No, not at all. I'm excited about the opportunity and blessed to even be considered. I have several options in front of me right now, so I'm in great shape."

McClellan, 6-6, was projected on some mock drafts as a late second-round pick. He did well at he NBA draft combine. One of the only knocks on him is his age. He will turn 24 in December, and the trend is for NBA teams to go with younger players.

McClellan's UM teammates Angel Rodriguez and Tonye Jekiri also were undrafted. Both also got looks from many NBA clubs and could land in the summer league or overseas.

May 23, 2016

Dejan "DJ" Vasiljevic on his first week at UM

Incoming freshman guard Dejan "DJ" Vasiljevic arrived at UM for Summer School from his native Australia last week.

Asked his first impressions, this was his response: "At the moment the whole experience appears surreal – so many things have happened over the past few days that I feel as if I am still on the plane and everything is flying by. Seems like I am getting over the jet lag and feel refreshed. I have managed to finalize my enrollment, start classes and obtain the medical clearance so basically it has been full on several days. Between classes, assignments and workouts there has not been much time for anything else. I did get a chance to meet several football recruits and share experience with them, went to a baseball game which reminded me why I chose an indoor sport – it was too hot outside, at least for me, so I think those players deserve lots of praises for their commitment. Literally everyone has been so supportive and encouraging helping me with the transition. I am really excited to be part of this program."

-- Michelle Kaufman.

May 09, 2016

Canyon Barry chooses UF over UM

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

If only the University of Miami had a nuclear training reactor. Maybe then the Hurricanes basketball program could have signed College of Charleston transfer Canyon Barry, son of the former UM and NBA legend, Rick Barry.

Instead, the sharpshooter chose to pass up his father's alma mater and play his final year of college basketball at the University of Florida. Barry, the youngest of Rick's sons, is a two-time Academic All-American and graduating this summer with a degree in Physics. He plans to pursue a Master's Degree in nuclear engineering.

"These past few months have been pretty crazy since I made the decision to graduate and transfer," Barry said in a statement. "I have been contacted by numerous coaches from some of the top teams in the country.  I feel blessed and honored that they were interested in having me be a part of their programs...Ultimately, however, after much prayerful consideration, I have made my decision to attend the University of Florida next season and play for Coach Mike White as a Florida Gator.

"The University of Florida is a great fit for me for several reasons.  First, they have an exceptional Nuclear Engineering program and actually have one of the only nuclear training reactors in the southeast.  Secondly, I really like Coach White, his integrity, his honesty with me, and his style of play.  He and I both feel that I can make an immediate contribution... I met the players on my official visit and felt right at home in Gainesville. Lastly, I have family on both my mom and dad’s sides who live in Florida. My grandparents, aunts and uncles, and my cousins will all be able to see me play and cheer on our team."

Barry averaged 19.7 points per game his junior season, but was limited to 13 games because of a shoulder injury.

 

November 23, 2015

UM hoops No. 9 in CBS poll

The UM men's basketball team made a major statement with nationally-televised back-to-back double-digit victories over preseason Top 25 teams at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament.

The Hurricanes won the tournament title after crushing Mississippi St. 105-79 and then knocking off No. 16 Utah 90-66 and No. 22 Butler 85-75. Miami improved to 5-0 and surely will break into the AP Top 25 -- possibly the Top 15 -- on Monday afternoon.

UM is ranked No. 9 in the latest CBSSports poll.

ESPN college hoops guru Andy Katz said during the UM-Butler broadcast: "If they hold on here, they're not just going to be in the Top 25, they could be in the Top 10. Right now, it's how you look, and they look great.''

ESPN commentator LaPhonso Ellis, who was working the game, said: "I think they're a Top 10 team. I've seen almost all the Top 10 teams in action, and Miami is deeper and more balanced and has so many scoring threats. How many teams can go to their bench and not have any drop-off?''

Where will the Canes land in the latest AP poll? We'll find out soon.

This could be a very interesting year for UM basketball (women are 4-0 and also receiving votes). Wonder if those 5,400 season-ticket holders will show up Friday at 4 for the game against Northeastern?

See you at the BUC  -- Michelle Kaufman.

November 17, 2015

Huell expected to sign with UM

Wednesday could be a huge day for UM men's basketball. While the Hurricanes are in Puerto Rico preparing for Thursday's opener of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, 5-star recruit Dewan Huell of Miami Norland High is expected to announce his college of choice. And word from a few sources is that the 6-9, 220-pound power forward will pick Miami over South Carolina. FSU was also in the mix, but he apparently eliminated the Seminoles from his list in the past few days.

Huell had a big summer impressing scouts, and is rated anywhere from No. 20 to No. 25 nationally depending on the recruiting site.

If you've never seen him play, here's a preview...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2FdcpPEvcs

 

posted by Michelle Kaufman. See you at the BUC.

November 13, 2015

Kamari Murphy suspended

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

The University of Miami men’s basketball season got started with bad news two hours before tipoff Friday.

Junior forward Kamari Murphy, an Oklahoma State transfer expected to be a major contributor, was suspended for the first three games for a violation of team rules, the school announced as the Hurricanes prepared to host University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley at the BankUnited Center.

Murphy will return to the team Nov. 20 for the second-round game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

Murphy sat out last season per transfer rules, and entered this year with high expectations. He is a tenacious rebounder and defender, and a vocal leader. Teammates and coaches raved about him in the past few weeks.

Teammate Sheldon McClellan called Murphy “a junkyard dog,’’ a tireless worker and among the team’s most respected leaders.

“Love him,’’ UM coach Jim Larranaga said of Murphy a few weeks ago. “Last year, I thought there were two areas we needed to improve and give attention to. Kamari Murphy does both very well. He is an outstanding defender and rebounder. He can guard one through five. That’s how quick he is…Once he’s settled in, maybe 10 games in, he’s going to be really, really good.’’

Added Angel Rodriguez: “Kamari brings what this team needed – somebody else to be very vocal, what I call a dog. He not only gets himself going, he gets everybody going.’’

November 12, 2015

UM hoops signs 6-11 center

Some basketball news on the eve of season-opener (7 p.m. Friday vs. University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley)

Rodney Miller, Jr., a 6-11 center, signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the University of Miami, Head Coach Jim Larrañaga announced Wednesday.

Miller is a native of Laurelton, N.Y., and plays for Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He is considered a four-star recruit, and is ranked No. 15 among centers by ESPN. He chose UM over Connecticut, Florida, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Seton Hall.

“Rodney Miller, Jr., impressed us from the very first time we saw him play with his size, rebounding and shot-blocking ability,” Larrañaga said. “He has a lot of raw potential and we expect that he will improve dramatically in our program. He has learned to compete at the highest level in high school by playing for one of the very best college prep schools in the country.”

See you at the BUC -- Michelle Kaufman

October 23, 2015

New Unis for UM hoops...

In case you don't follow me on Twitter (shame on you!..just kidding...but you may want to add me to your list if you care about Canes hoops)...

The men's and women's teams had a Medium-Sized Reveal party last night, attended by UM basketball's biggest boosters. It wasn't quite the extravaganza at LIV that the football team got, but it was a nice affair -- with plenty of lovely appetizers.

Here is what the Canes will be wearing this season....

UMuniforms

Be on the lookout early next week for my preview stories on the men's and women's teams.

It should be an interesting season with nearly everyone back, the addition of Oklahoma State transfer Kamari Murphy, and a leaner, quicker Ivan Cruz Uceda (he dropped 20 lbs and went from 24 percent body fat to 9 percent..I want to use his trainer!!)

The schedule has lots of big home games -- Dec. 1 vs. Nebraska, Dec. 8 vs. the Florida Gators, Dec. 29 vs. Princeton, Jan. 2 vs. Syracuse, Jan. 9 vs Florida State Seminoles, Jan. 25 vs. Duke, Feb. 3 vs. Notre Dame, Feb. 22 vs. Virginia and Feb. 27 vs. Louisville.

On the women's team, the Hurricanes are very excited (read: giddy) about the addition of "Double Dutch'' freshmen Laura Cornelius and Emese Hof. They are both members of the Netherlands youth national team, played in the U19 World Championship, and word is they are picking things up really quickly and poised to make an instant impact.

See you at the BUC!

---Michelle Kaufman

October 05, 2015

UM hoops update...

Hey there UM hoops fans...the season is right around the corner.

Coach Jim Larranaga met with the media today to fill us in on what's up, and here's what you need to know:

1. Ivan Cruz Uceda is a new man! Last season he weighed 237 and had 24 percent body fat. Today he is a svelt 217 lbs and only 9 percent body fat! "He is faster, quicker, stronger and will be a better Ivan than he was last year.'' (Writer's sidenote: I need to go see trainer Steve Felde!!)

2. Angel Rodriguez missed a week of training after getting his wisdom teeth out, but he's fine now, ready to go.

3. Asked about Oklahoma St transfer Kamari Murphy, Larranaga replied: "Love him!'' He went on to heap praise on Murphy's defensive skills, rebounding and ability to learn.

4. Where does he see UM among ACC competiton? "The league is very deep. We're not above the crowd, but we're in the mix.''

5. Davon Reed? "Getting better and better at everything.''

6. JaQuan Newton? "Has really improved his free throw shooting.''

7. James Palmer? "Will be competing for a lot of playing time. I see him more as a 2 or 3.''