Men's Basketball Set To Host No. 17 Connecticut
Jan. 31, 2002
#17/#22 CONNECTICUT HUSKIES (14-4, 6-1)
#15/#16 MIAMI HURRICANES (18-3, 5-3)
February 2, 2002 – 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Miami Arena (15,388) – Miami, FL
TV: Fox Sports Net Florida, Radio: WQAM (560 AM)
ON THE HUSKIES:
Connecticut enters the Miami game with a record of 14-4, 6-1 in the BIG EAST, following a 61-53 loss at Rutgers on January 30. The loss snapped the Huskies’ six game winning streak.
Connecticut, ranked 17th by the Associated Press and 22nd in the USA Today/ESPN poll, has been led this season by All-American Caron Butler. Butler leads the team in scoring (18.9 ppg) and steals (2.3 spg), and ranks second in rebounding (6.5 rpg) and assists (3.0 apg).
The Huskies boast four players averaging in double-figures including guard Tony Robertson (12.8 ppg), forward Johnnie Selvie (11.9 ppg) and freshman guard Ben Gordon (12.1 ppg). Connecticut has also received strong play from another freshman, center Emeka Okafor.
Okafor, who has been named BIG EAST Rookie of the Week three times this season, is averaging 8.3 points and a team-best 9.5 rebounds per game. He also leads the BIG EAST and ranks sixth in the nation in blocked shots (4.0 bpg).
LAST GAME VERSUS CONNECTICUT:
January 5, 2002
Gampel Pavilion, Storrs, CT
Johnnie Selvie made two free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining as Connecticut beat No. 21 Miami 76-75 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT, snapping the Hurricanes’ 14-game winning streak.
Selvie was fouled as he tried to put back a Tony Robertson miss. It was a redemption for Selvie who, a minute earlier, threw away a pass with 1:04 left. The turnover led to a Darius Rice 3-pointer that put the Hurricanes up 75-74 with 36.5 seconds left.
Miami had one more chance to score as John Salmons took the inbounds pass, drove the lane and put up a shot that missed wide.
Caron Butler led the Huskies with 18 points.
The Huskies trailed 43-38 at the break but worked their way back by dominating the post and getting most of their starters back after a foul-filled first half.
The Huskies outrebounded the Hurricanes 41-28 and outscored Miami 40-26 in the paint. Selvie finished with 12 points and had a team-high eight boards.
The Hurricanes rallied back from three 10-point deficits in the second half.
Rice led Miami with 22 points, and Salmons added 17.
For UM Ticket information contact the Hurricane Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-CANES.
Encourt Youth (17-and-under) $10
A WIN AGAINST CONNECTICUT WOULD:
Improve Miami’s record to 19-3, 6-3 in the BIG EAST.Improve Miami’s home record to 12-1 this season.Snap Miami’s two-game losing streak to the Huskies.Give Miami a 4-1 record during its five game home stand.
The Connecticut game is being produced by ESPN Regional Television and is being broadcast live in Miami on Fox Sports Net Florida in Miami. Don Criqui will handle the play-by-play duties with Bucky Waters adding analysis.
The game is also being broadcast on the Hurricane Radio Network (WQAM-560 AM). Marc Vandermeer, entering his third season as the “Voice of the Hurricanes,” will handle the play-by-play duties while Joe Zagacki will provide in-depth analysis.
ON THE COACHES:
University of Miami head coach Perry Clark is in his second season with the Hurricanes and 13th season overall as a collegiate head coach. Clark is 34-16 (.680) at Miami, including an 18-3 start this season, while his career record in 13 seasons stands at 219-161 (.576). Last season Clark led the Hurricanes to a berth in the National Invitation Tournament marking the eighth time in 12 seasons he has guided his team to post season play. Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun is in his 16th year with the Huskies and 30th season overall. His record at UConn is 363-146 (.713) while his overall record is 613-282 (.685).
DID YOU KNOW?:
The University of Miami has registered a league best 41-17 (.707) conference mark since the 1998-99 season.
Following the Connecticut game the Hurricanes hit the road to take on Villanova, February 5 at 7:30 p.m. Miami defeated Villanova 76-58 earlier this season and have won five straight against the Wildcats.
RICE NAMED BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Miami sophomore forward Darius Rice was been named BIG EAST Co-Player of the Week following a stellar performance against Villanova on January 24. Rice shares the honor with Providence guard John Linehan.
Rice recorded his first double-double of the season with 30 points and 10 rebounds in a 76-58 win over the Wildcats last Thursday. He was 10-15 from the field, including 4-6 from three-point range, and 6-9 from the line.
Rice, who scored 32 in a win over Providence on January 19, is the first player since Eric Brown in 1989 to record back-to-back games of 30 or more points. Rice currently leads the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game.
MIAMI DOMINATES IN THE ARENA:
In 13 seasons at the Miami Arena the Hurricanes have compiled a 141-66 (.681) overall record, including a 10-1 mark this season, UM defeated Indiana earlier this season at the American Airlines Arena. UM has posted a 80-20 (.800) record at Miami Arena since 1995. UM is 41-15 (.732) in its last 56 BIG EAST home games dating back to the 1995-96 season.
In Miami’s 102-96 overtime win against Providence on January 19, the Hurricanes came back from a 13-point second half deficit tying the UM record for the largest second-half comeback in a BIG EAST game. Miami also came from 13 points down in the second half to defeat Georgetown on January 18, 1997. The game also marked the second straight in which Miami overcame a double-figure second-half deficit to win. Miami was down 11 in the second-half to Pittsburgh before rallying for a 76-69 double-overtime win. Overall the Hurricanes have rallied six times from second-half deficits to win games.
The University of Miami is arguably one of the most balanced team in the nation offensively. All five UM starters are averaging in double-figures in scoring. Darius Rice leads UM in scoring at 15.2 points per game followed by John Salmons (13.7 ppg), James Jones (13.6 ppg), Marcus Barnes (11.5 ppg) and Elton Tyler (10.8 ppg). Miami joins Arizona as the only teams ranked among the AP or ESPN/USA Today polls that have all five starters averaging in double-figures.
MIAMI vs. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS:
Since joining The BIG EAST Conference beginning with the 1991-92 season, the Hurricanes have compiled a 74-35 (.679) record against non-conference opponents, including a 50-13 mark (.794) at the Miami Arena.
Miami sophomore Darius Rice, junior James Jones and senior John Salmons have started each of the last 50 games together. Salmons currently has the second longest streak in UM history having started 96 straight games. Kevin Norris (1994-98) holds the UM record for consecutive starts with 108.
VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS:
UM has won its last five games against ranked teams including a 2-0 record this season. The Hurricanes are 17-16 versus ranked opponents since 1996-97 and have defeated at least one ranked team in each of the last eight seasons. Miami is 26-81 (.243) all-time against ranked teams including a 23-67 (.256) record since the rebirth of the program in 1985.
MIAMI WINS PARADISE JAM TOURNAMENT:
Miami’s victory over Clemson in the championship game of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam marked UM’s first tournament title since the 1988 season when the Hurricanes took home the title at the Eastern Airlines Palm Beach Classic. That season UM defeated Penn, 102-69, in the opening round, then knocked off Wichita State, 81-59, in the championships game.
SALMONS NAMED PARADISE JAM MVP:
Miami senior guard John Salmons was named MVP of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam after leading Miami to three victories and the tournament title. Salmons averaged 17.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.7 steals during the three-game tournament, including an 18 point, 10 rebound performance in the title game.
With its win over Pittsburgh (1-15-02) the Hurricanes ensured its eighth consecutive winning season. The last time Miami recorded at least eight straight winning seasons was the 1968-69 campaign when the ‘Canes registered their 10th straight winning season.
LATE SEASON HEAT WAVE:
Over the last three seasons Miami has played well in the month of February registering a 20-3 (.870) record.
VS THE STATE OF FLORIDA:
With its win over Florida A&M on December 18, Miami improved its record against teams from the state of Florida to 292-141 (.674). Miami has won 27 consecutive games against teams from the state of Florida. Miami has not lost to a Florida school since a 72-64 season opening loss to Florida International on Dec. 1, 1992.
NO DAY AT THE BEACH:
Miami’s 77-74 win over No. 15 Connecticut on January 20 marked the seventh consecutive season that the Hurricanes have defeated a ranked opponent in the Miami Arena. Miami is 2-0 this season against ranked teams at Miami Arena having also defeated No. 22 Seton Hall, 72-66, on Feb. 1.
HURRICANES SIGN THREE:
Head coach Perry Clark signed three players during the early signing period. Joining UM next season will be 6-2, 185 pound guard Robert Hite (Cincinnati, OH/Winton Woods HS), 6-3, 185 pound guard Eric Wilkins (Piscataway, NJ/Oak Hill [VA] Academy), and 6-6, 190 pound swingman Ismael N’Diaye (Abidjan, Ivory Coast/Berkshire [FL] School).
Miami’s loss to Connecticut ended a very unusual winning streak. Including baseball, football and basketball the Hurricanes had recorded 43 consecutive victories.
The UM baseball team won its final 17 games in winning the 2001 NCAA National Championship. The UM football team followed with a perfect 12-0 record including a Rose Bowl victory over Nebraska for the 2001 national title. The UM basketball opened the season with 14 straight wins.
RICE FOR NAISMITH:
University of Miami sophomore Darius Rice (Jackson, MS) has been selected as one of 30 preseason candidates for the 2001-02 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award.
Rice averaged 14.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game last season while posting 20 double-figure scoring games including a UM freshman record 35 points against Central Florida. Rice recorded a team-high 62 three-point baskets in 2000-01 and registered 31 steals and 14 blocks.
Rice is one of three BIG EAST athletes recognized as a preseason candidate for the Naismith Award. Joining Rice on the list are Troy Bell (Boston College) and Caron Butler (Connecticut).
The Naismith Awards program, now in its 34th year, honors the outstanding college basketball player in the UnitedStates.
MIAMI REACHES POST-SEASON, AGAIN:
The Hurricanes have advanced to the post-season in five straight seasons and six times in the last seven years. Miami has gone to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four seasons including a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2000.
BIG EAST PICK-AND-ROLL PACKAGES AVAILABLE:
The University of Miami will offer a BIG EAST Pick n Roll mini-plan package for the upcoming 2001-02 men’s basketball season. The package is only $80 and includes tickets to any five BIG EAST Conference games of the customer’s choice.
BIG EAST Pick n Roll mini-plan seats will be located in the lower-bowl sidecourt sections of the Miami Arena.
The UM Ticket Office, located at the Hecht Athletic Center on the UM campus, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. For more information or to purchase tickets contact UM Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-CANES.
ONLINE ALL THE TIME:
Check out the official University of Miami Athletic Department website for up to the minute information on Hurricane Athletics at www.hurricanesports.com.