UM Men

New-look Miami Hurricanes shine bright in exhibition against Florida Tech

 

Rion Brown, Garrius Adams and Deandre Burnett fueled UM to a win in its first exhibition Wednesday — a feat last year’s Sweet 16 team couldn’t accomplish.

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

The new-look University of Miami men’s basketball team played its first exhibition Wednesday night, and while these Hurricanes have a long way to go to match last year’s Sweet 16 team, they did do something those Canes didn’t do — they won their opening game.

UM raced to a huge first half lead, and beat Florida Tech 84-55 at the BankUnited Center. Last year’s team lost its opener to St. Leo’s before rolling to a 29-7 record, ACC championship, and magical March run.

Not a single starter remains from that team. But senior guards Rion Brown and Garrius Adams wasted no time showing they are ready to be this year’s go-to guys.

Brown started the game with an alley-oop dunk from Adams, and followed that up with a three-pointer, one of six he’d have on the night. Brown led the Canes with 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting. He was 6-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Adams, a fifth-year senior who was a medical redshirt last season, finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Seven-foot center Tonye Jekiri also grabbed 10 rebounds.

“It felt great to be out there again,” Adams said. “Me and Rion have been practicing a lot together, and it showed.”

Freshman Deandre Burnett of Carol City High had a large rooting section, and didn’t disappoint, scoring 16 points in 22 minutes.

“Coach L and my teammates told me, `Keep playing, it’s going to come,’ and they helped all the nerves go away,” Burnett said.

Coach Jim Larrañaga called Burnett “a bucker getter,” but said the freshman “has got to get much better defensively.” He said the entire team was slow getting back, and that “a lot of things need to be ironed out.”

Graduate student Donnavan Kirk, who started at UM, transferred to DePaul, and is back for his final year of eligibility, added 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

The Hurricanes are back home Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. against St. Francis for their regular-season opener.

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