University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga was so disgusted with his team’s performance in a 63-51 loss to Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday that he did not review the game video with his players.
“I wouldn’t even show them the video because it’s so depressing,” Larranaga said Thursday before the team practiced for Friday night’s home game against Jacksonville. “When you lose, if you start kicking them when they’re down, they’re just going to lose confidence. When your two best three-point shooters don’t make any shots [Rion Brown and Trey McKinney Jones went 1 for 12], they’re already feeling terrible about themselves.”
In addition to poor perimeter shooting, he said his players were not quick enough on ball screens and generally were not as hungry as their opponents.
“We don’t seem to have a sense of urgency about anything,” Larranaga lamented. “It’s a very laid-back group.”
The loss was particularly disturbing because the Hurricanes had already lost an exhibition to Division II Saint Leo the week before and had to scrape to get past Stetson in the season opener. In all three games, UM did not take advantage of a considerable height advantage. Florida Gulf Coast outscored the Canes 40-14 in the paint, and Saint Leo equaled UM’s 33 rebounds.
FGCU sophomore Eric McKnight, who had 14 points and eight rebounds against UM, said: “I just had to outwork them with my footwork and be quicker than them and outrun them on the ball screens. They were pretty slow on the ball screens.”
Senior Kenny Kadji said maybe the Canes had inflated opinions of themselves.
“Maybe [it was] all the preseason hype, people saying that we could be pretty good,” Kadji said.
Reminded that Jacksonville is another small Atlantic Sun team like Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast, UM senior center Reggie Johnson insisted the Canes will be ready: “We know what the result will be if we go in with the same mind-set, and we don’t want to taste that feeling anymore.”