UM Hoops: News & Notes (2/3)
Miami Hurricanes

Posted Feb 3, 2012


Just how important Miami's double-overtime victory over Maryland on Wednesday will turn out to be won't really be known until the end of the season when all the results are in.

But one thing is for certain now.
By beating the Terrapins 90-86, the Hurricanes moved over 500 for the first time in the ACC race when a loss would have been a big step backwards with their next game at Duke on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Hurricanes are 4-3 in the conference (13-7 overall) and alone in sixth place as they get ready for the Blue Devils.
"It was a big win for us," junior center Reggie Johnson said. "Maryland was tied with us in the league, and we're going to Cameron Indoor. That's going to be a helluva road test right there.
"We've got to come with the right mindset for that game."
Without injured forward Kenny Kadji and with their coach, Jim Larranaga, ailing with flu-like symptoms, the Hurricanes really had to grind this one out.
Twice, they lost double-digit leads and were hanging on at the end of regulation, surviving when Maryland missed a shot with less than a second left and the score tied.
They were without Johnson from the 5:14 mark of regulation and without guard Durand Scott for the entire second overtime after both -- along with reserve Raphael Akpejiori -- fouled out.
"It's a great game, a great win, spiritually for us," said assistant coach Eric Konkol, who subbed for his boss at the post-game press conference. "It shows a lot of resolve.
"It was a great performance by a so many different people."
One of the goals, he said, was to slow Maryland's three-point game, and the Hurricanes held the Terps to just 21.4 percent from behind the arc.
"We just showed a lot of toughness." Konkol said. "That's something we've been asking for. I think this is something we can build on."
STAR WATCH: After two subpar games (a combined 14 points in a loss to North Carolina State and the win over Georgia Tech), junior G Durand Scott has put together back-to-back solid performances. He had season highs in points (24) and rebounds (8) in the win over Maryland on Feb. 1, going 11-of-14 from the field before fouling out with 39.8 seconds left in the first overtime. He was coming off a 19-point effot the previous game, a win at Boston College. Scott has been in double figures in all but four of Miami's 20 games.

NOTES, QUOTES
--Miami's back-to-back wins at Georgia Tech on Jan. 24 and at Boston College on Jan. 29 are the first consecutive road wins for the Hurricanes in ACC play since they beat Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in consecutive road outings in February 2008.
That Miami team finished 8-8 in the conference and went to the NCAA Tournament, where it won a first-round game over Saint Mary's as a No. 7 regional seed before losing to Texas in the second round.
The Hurricanes have not made it back to the NCAA field since.
--Junior G Durand Scott was 8-of-15 from the field on his way to a game-high 19 points against Boston College on Jan. 29. The total matched his season-high first posted in a win over Rutgers in the second game of the season.
Scott had not scored in double figures in either of the two previous games, settling for a combined 14 points against North Carolina State and Georgia Tech.
--Coach Jim Larranaga has received a four-year extension to his original contract that will run through April 2019. Larranaga is in his first season with the Hurricanes after being named last April to replace Frank Haith, who resigned to accept the post at Missouri. The extension was announced Jan. 27 three days after the Hurricanes won their first road game in ACC play, 64-49 at Georgia Tech.
BY THE NUMBERS: 81.3 -- After going 15-of-17 from the free-throw line against Boston College, Miami was shooting 81.3 percent from the stripe through its first six ACC games. For the season, the Hurricanes were hitting 73.8 percent.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I talked to my son Jay last night and that question was kind of posed in the opposite. Jay basically said, 'You're a lifer. You're going to coach until the day you die.' It's just what I love to do. So I expect to coach at least that long if not longer." -- Coach Jim Larranaga, 62, when asked if he expected to coach to the end of his Miami contract, which was just extended through 2019.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
--at Duke, Feb. 5
KEY MATCHUPS: Duke presents a triple threat inside with twins Miles and Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly to go against Miami's Reggie Johnson and Kenny Kadji. Like Kadji, Kelly likes to shoot the three as well. The Blue Devils also have their usual firepower from the perimeter in Andre Dawkins, Austin Rivers, and Seth Curry.
FUTURES MARKET: Junior C Reggie Johnson is still working his way back into shape after missing the first nine games recovering from offseason knee surgery. "I think he has done a miraculous job," coach Jim Larranaga said. "It has been my experience over the years that the length of time a guy is out, that's the length of time it takes him to get back to where he was. Reggie Johnson was out five months. It really, in all honesty, could truly take him five months to get back to where he was and then improve from there. So the contribution Reggie has made has been remarkable." Johnson scored 12 points and had five rebounds in the win over Boston College on Jan. 29, giving him season averages of 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in his 10 appearances.

PLAYER NOTES
--Junior F Kenny Kadji missed Miami's game against Maryland on Feb. 1 after sustaining a head injury in practice the day before. He had scored in double figures in seven consecutive games, including a high of 30 against UNC-Greensboro to start the streak. Senior G/F DeQuan Jones started in Kadji's spot and had five points, four rebounds, two steals, an assist, a blocked shot and a turnover in 31 minutes.
--Freshman G Shane Larkin was only 3-of-11 from the field in the win over the Terrapins but was perfect at the free throw line in six attempts and had a season-high seven rebounds. Larkin had to contend with cramping issues after playing 41 minutes, but still knocked down two free throws with 19.0 seconds left in the second overtime to make it a two-possession game with Miami up by four.
--G Garrius Adams will be out for an "indefinite time," coach Jim Larranaga said, after undergoing knee surgery. Adams has played in 10 games, starting six, and averaged 5.7 points and 3.3 rebounds a game in those appearances.


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