Miami Hosts In State Foe Stetson

Nov. 28, 2003

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STETSON UNIVERSITY (2-0) VS. UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI (2-2)

DATE: Tuesday, December 2, 2003
TIME: 8:00 p.m.
PLACE:Convocation Center (7,000) – Coral Gables, FL
TV: None
RADIO: WQAM (560 AM), WVUM (90.5 FM)
WEBSITE: hurricanesports.com

ON STETSON:
Stetson enters its match-up with Miami with a 2-0 record following a 74-60 win over Puerto-Rico Mayaguez on November 24. Stetson opened the season with a 78-56 win over Flagler.

The Hatters have been led this season by sophomore guard E.J. Gordon who leads the team in both scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg).

Stetson boasts four players averaging in double-figures including starters Anthony Register (11.5) and Boris Djordjic (11.5), as well as sixth-man Mark Stiles (12.0).

THE SERIES:
Miami and Stetson meet for the 74th time, and for the first time since 1971. Miami, which has faced Stetson more than any other opponent, leads the all-time series 40-33. The series began on January 20, 1928 with the Hurricanes winning 33-25 in Coral Gables. Stetson currently holds a five game winning streak over the Hurricanes including a 91-76 win in the last meeting between the two schools on February 8, 1971.

UP NEXT:
Up next for the Hurricanes is a crosstown battle with Florida International on Saturday, December 6 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

TV/RADIO COVERAGE:
Miami’s game versus Stetson will not be televised. The game will be broadcast on the Hurricane Radio Network WQAM (560 AM). Joe Zagacki “The Voice of the Hurricanes” will handle the play-by-play. Brian London will serve as studio host. The game will also be broadcast on the University of Miami student radio network WVUM (90.5 FM). Fans can also catch the game on the web at hurricanesports.com.

A WIN AGAINST STETSON WOULD:

Improve Miami’s record to 3-2 on the season.Snap the Hurricanes’ two-game losing streak.Improve Miami’s home record to 3-0.Mark Miami’s first win over Stetson since January 29, 1969.Mark Miami’s 22nd consecutive home win against a non-conference opponent.

LAST GAME: BRADLEY 83, MIAMI 82
James Gillingham’s two free throws with 16.3 seconds remaining lifted Bradley to a 83-82 come-from-behind victory over Miami in the final day of the Las Vegas Tournament. Gillingham connected on 16-of-18 from the line and had a game-high 29 points. Bradley was 30-38 from the line for the game while Miami finished 16-23.

Bradley trailed 71-61 with less than eight minutes to play, but rallied back thanks to the hot shooting of Gillingham and Phillip Gilbert. Gilbert also finished with 29 points, including 11-of-19 from the field. Miami had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Robert Hite’s 10-footer rimmed in and out. Gillingham scored nine points in the final two minutes of the first half, including 6-of-6 from the foul line, as the Braves went on a13-6 run to enter halftime with a five-point lead, 44-39.

Miami scored 18 points in the opening four minutes of the second half to take what appeared to be a comfortable lead. Darius Rice made a pair of 3-pointers to key the outburst. Rice led the Hurricanes with 18 points, 16 in the second half, and Hite finished with 17.ty of Miami (2-2)

ON THE COACHES:
University of Miami head coach Perry Clark is in his fourth season with the Hurricanes and 15th season overall as a collegiate head coach. Clark is 53-40 (.570) at Miami while his career record in 14 seasons stands at 238-185 (.563). Stetson head coach Derek Waugh is in his fourth season as a collegiate head coach, all with the Hatters. His record is 31-44 (.413).

MEN’S-WOMEN’S DOUBLEHEADER:
Miami’s men’s basketball game versus Stetson will be the second game of a men’s-women’s doubleheader at the Convocation Center. The UM women’s team will face Florida International at 5 p.m. followed by the men at 8:00 p.m.

HURRICANES RENEW SERIES WITH STETSON:
Miami’s game versus Stetson will mark its first game against its once bitter rival since the 1971 season. Miami has faced the Hatters 73 times, more than any other opponent, in a series that dates back to 1928. Before Miami dropped its basketball program following the 1970-71 season, the Hurricanes and the Hatters had played every season since 1947.

VS. THE STATE OF FLORIDA:
Miami is 293-144 (.670) against teams from the state of Florida. Miami has won 28 of its last 31 games against Florida schools dating back to the 1992-93 season.

MIAMI VS. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS:
Since joining The BIG EAST Conference beginning with the 1991-92 season, the Hurricanes have compiled an 83-41 (.669) record against non-conference opponents, including a 57-13 mark (.814) at home. Miami is 2-2 against non-conference opponents this season. Miami has won 21 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents. Miami’s last home loss to a non-conference opponent was a 60-57 defeat against Kentucky on January 29, 2000 at Miami Arena.

HIGH FLYERS:
The University of Miami’s backcourt may be the most athletic in the country. Miami’s guards have an average vertical jump of 38.2 inches. All of UM’s guards have vertical jumps of at least 36 inches. Leading the way is freshman Guillermo Diaz who has a vertical leap of 41 inches.

RICE NAMED WOODEN AWARD CANDIDATE:
Senior forward Darius Rice has been named one of 50 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden College Basketball Player of the Year Award.

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his university that he is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

The 2004 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American team and the presentation of the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on Saturday, April 10, 2004 and will be broadcast live on CBS.

RICE NAMED NAISMITH CANDIDATE:
Darius Rice has been named one of 30 preseason candidates for the 2003-04 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award.

The Naismith Awards program, now in its 36th year, honors the outstanding college basketball players in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball.The candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts. Members of the board were asked to name top male and female players who are most likely to be in contention for the award.

TOP RECRUITING CLASS:
Head coach Perry Clark and his staff put together one of the nation’s top recruiting classes for this upcoming season. Miami’s class of forward Karron Clarke, guard Guillermo Diaz, forward/center Leonard Harden III, guard Anthony Harris and forward/center Anthony King is ranked as high as eighth in the nation by Street & Smith’s.

CLARK TOPS AMONG UM COACHES:
Fourth-year head Coach Perry Clark recorded 51 wins in his first three seasons with the Hurricanes marking the most wins by any UM basketball coach in his first three seasons. Clark is 2-2 this season giving him 53 wins as UM’s head coach. The most wins by a UM coach in his first four seasons is 65 set by Bill Foster from 1985-89.

CATCHING FIRE:
Darius Rice tied for the team lead with nine games of 20-or-more points last season. Three times last season Rice went for 20-or-more points in a single half including a season-high 27 points in the first half of Miami’s 77-76 win over UConn.

MR. CLUTCH:
Darius Rice’s three-point basket with 0.5 seconds left to defeat Connecticut on January 20th marked the fourth time last season the forward hit a three-pointer at the end of regulation to either win the game or send the game to overtime.

With the Hurricanes’ down 72-69 to Florida , Rice connected on a three-pointer from the right corner with 26 seconds remaining to tie the score. Florida went on to win the game 94-93 in double-overtime.

On January 4th against North Carolina, Rice hit a three-pointer, again from the right corner, to tie the score at 60-60 with three seconds left. Miami went on to win the game 64-61.

In Miami’s first meeting with Connecticut on January 11, Rice sent the game to overtime with a three-pointer from the tip of the key tying the score at 71-71 with two seconds left. Connecticut won the game 83-80.

WORKING OVERTIME:
Miami played a school single-season record five overtime games last season. Miami finished 1-4 in those overtime games. Miami has played at least one overtime contest in each of the last five seasons. UM has amassed a 9-6 record (including tournament games) in BIG EAST overtime contests (5-3 at home). The ‘Canes own a 25-24 overall record in overtime contests during their history (5-5 in double-overtime games and a 20-19 mark in single-overtime contests).

NO DAY AT THE BEACH:
Miami’s 73-72 win over No. 11 Connecticut last season marked the ninth consecutive season that the Hurricanes defeated a ranked opponent at home.

VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS:
Miami was 1-2 against ranked teams this season. The Hurricanes are 19-19 versus ranked opponents since 1996-97 and have defeated at least one ranked team in each of the last nine seasons. Miami is 28-84 (.250) all-time against ranked teams including a 25-70 (.263) record since the rebirth of the program in 1985.

IT’S ALL ACADEMIC:
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the University of Miami men’s basketball program ranks third in the nation among the 117 Division I-A institutions with a 78 percent graduation rate for student-athletes who entered school from 1993-97 and earned their degrees within six years.

Only Stanford (100%) and Southern Methodist (83%) had higher graduation rates among Division I-A institutions. The national average for Division I-A men’s basketball players over that four-year period was 36 percent.In addition the Hurricanes ranked in a tie for 19th among all 327 Division I institutions.

Graduation rates were tabulated and released by the NCAA in its 2003 NCAA Graduation Rates Report. The Hurricanes’ 78 percent graduation rate is the highest among any institution in the BIG EAST, ACC or SEC.

From 1993-94 to 1995-96 the Hurricanes registered a perfect 100 percent graduation rate. For the 1995-96 class, both the UM men’s and women’s basketball programs registered 100 percent graduation rates. Miami was one of only six Division I-A institutions, along with BYU, Duke, Rice, North Carolina and Virginia Tech, to record a 100 percent graduation rate for that class in both men’s and women’s basketball.

UM SIGNS CENTER EARLY:
Head coach Perry Clark signed of 6-11, 233 pound center Chester “C.J.” Giles (Seattle, Wash.) to a national letter of intent during the early signing period. Last season Giles averaged 8.2 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks per game earning third-team All-State honors and helping Rainier Beach High School to a 26-3 record and its second consecutive Class 3A State Championship. Rainier ended the season ranked 16th in the nation by USA Today.

Giles is ranked 39th overall and 7th at his position by Rivals.com. He is the 12th ranked high school center in the nation by Athlon Sports, is ranked among the Top-100 players in the nation by Lindy’s (No. 66) and The Sporting News (No. 87), and is an honorable mention All-America selection by Street & Smith’s.

BEING THROWN INTO THE FIRE:
Miami relied heavenly on four of its freshmen last season. Rob Hite, Armondo Surratt, Eric Wilkins and Gary Hamilton started a combined 50 games and all averaged 16 or more minutes per game. The 50 combined freshmen starts wee the most since the 1985-86 season, UM’s first since the program was dropped in 1971, when Eric Brown (27), Dennis Burns (20), Bryan Hughes (28), Kevin Presto (28) and Mark Richardson (18) combined to start 121 games.

Twice last season the Hurricanes have had three freshmen in the starting line-up. Miami had at least one freshman in the starting lineup in all but one game last season.

MINI PLAN TICKETS ON SALE:
UM is offering a new Saturday “7” mini-plan, which includes tickets for all seven of Miami’s Saturday games, for just $140. The plan includes some of Miami’s biggest games including match-ups with intra-state rivals Florida International and Florida Atlantic, as well as BIG EAST games versus Pittsburgh, Georgetown, defending NCAA Champion Syracuse, and West Virginia.