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Men's Basketball Begins Practice

Oct. 18, 2003

Coral Gables, Fla. (hurricanesports.com) – The University of Miami men’s basketball team opened practice for the 2003-04 season Saturday morning at the Knight Sports Complex in Coral Gables, FL.

“I thought practice went very well today,” said head coach Perry Clark. “Our players were enthusiastic, gave great effort, and played with a high energy level during the entire practice.”

Miami returns seven letterwinners from last season’s squad including five players that started eight or more games. Miami will be led by senior National Player of the Year candidate Darius Rice (Jackson, Miss.). Rice (6-10, 222) averaged 18.7 points and 5.8 rebounds last season earning third-team All-BIG EAST honors.

Miami will also look to sophomores Gary Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.), Robert Hite (Cincinnati, Ohio), Armondo Surratt (Oakland, Calif.) and Eric Wilkins (Plainfield, N.J.). The foursome started a combined 50 games as freshman last season marking the most starts by a group of UM freshmen since the 1985-86 season.

The Hurricanes welcomed six newcomers on Saturday including 6-7 forward Karron Clarke (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 6-2 guard Guillermo Diaz (San Juan, P.R.), 6-9 forward/center Leonard Harden (Detroit, Mich.), 6-2 guard Anthony Harris (Chicago, Ill.) and 6-9 forward/center Anthony King (Durham, N.C.). Also joining Miami was 6-11 center Glenn Batemon (Detroit, Mich.) who transferred to UM from Fordham University this summer and will not be eligible until the 2004-05 season.

Miami opens its exhibition season on November 2 versus Nike Elite at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center. UM starts the 2003-04 regular season schedule on November 21 when it hosts the opening round of the Las Vegas Tournament versus Lubbock Christian at 7:30 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

For season ticket information or to purchase tickets for the upcoming men’s basketball season contact the Hurricane Ticket Office at (305) 284-CANE in Dade, or 1-800-GO-CANES.