UM BASKETBALL

Miami Hurricanes look to ‘regroup’ after tough loss to Georgia Tech

 

The Canes can still clinch the ACC regular-season title in Saturday’s sold-out home finale against Clemson.

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga is an analytical guy. Never gets too high. Never gets too low. So, he was not panicking the day after the No. 6 Hurricanes lost to Georgia Tech at the buzzer, their third loss in four games.

“We have one game remaining, and we have positioned ourselves to be the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament,” he said Thursday. “If someone

had asked you before the conference race began: ‘Would you like to be a game up on Duke and two games up on Carolina and sitting in first

place with a home game to close out the regular season?’ I think everybody would say yes. Everybody would think that is a fantastic

year.”

The fact that the BankUnited Center is sold out for Saturday’s season finale against Clemson is “very special,” the coach said, and yet

another indicator that this 23-6 UM team (14-3 ACC) has plenty to feel good about. He fully expects to be cutting down the net Saturday to

celebrate clinching the school’s first outright regular-season conference title.

“Once we established ourselves as the frontrunner in the race for regular-season title, and after we beat Duke, which was ranked No. 1

in the country, you absolutely know you’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” Larranaga said. “Initially, we kept playing on a very

high level and were able to overcome some very, very tough opponents on the road … but then we ran into a road game where we weren’t as sharp

as we’d been [Wake Forest].

“I thought we bounced back, beat Virginia Tech at home, played a great game at Duke and lost by a basket to a great team, and then [Wednesday

night], I thought Georgia Tech played a great game. They made some incredible shots. Some nights, it’s your night. We end up losing on a

tip-in at the buzzer. The law of averages catches up with you over a period of time.”

He said his players seem a bit tired of late, and he notices “the wear and tear” of the long season. His goal is to get them re-energized by

Saturday. “We need to regroup. We need to have a chance to get back physically, mentally and emotionally to a level that we feel good about ourselves.”

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