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Canes Challenge IPFW In First Ever Matchup

Canes Challenge IPFW In First Ever Matchup

Dec. 29, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format
Game Recaps in PDF Format
Player Notes in PDF Format
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IPFW (2-9) VS. UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI (8-3)

Time: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 – 7:30 p.m.
Arena: Convocation Center (7,000) – Coral Gables, FL
TV – None
Radio – WQAM (560 AM), WVUM (90.5 FM)
Website – hurricanesports.com

ON IPFW:
IPFW enters its match-up with Miami with a record of 2-9 following a 76-63 road loss to West Virginia on December 28. The Mastodon’s have dropped three consecutive games.

IPFW, which competes as an independent, has been led this season by junior center David Simon who leads the team in both scoring (14.1 ppg), rebounding (6.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (.543). Simon recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds against the Mountaineers.

The only other Mastodon averaging in double-figures in scoring is junior guard Terry Collins (11.9 ppg).

THE SERIES:
Miami and IPFW are meeting for the first time.

UP NEXT:
Following the IPFW game the Hurricanes return to action on January 3rd when they host Savannah State beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

TV/RADIO COVERAGE:
Miami’s game versus IPFW 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 with Josh Darrow adding analysis. 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.

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 59-41 (.590) at Miami while his career record in 14 seasons stands at 244-186 (.567).

IPFW head coach Doug Noll is in his fourth season with the Mastodons and 11th season overall. His record at IPFW is 34-82 (.293) while his overall mark is 166-189 (.468).

A WIN AGAINST IPFW WOULD:

Improve Miami’s record to 9-3 on the season.Improve Miami’s home record to 8-1 this season.Mark Miami’s fourth straight win.

LAST GAME: MIAMI 76, FAU 51
December 27, 2003
Convocation Center, Coral Gables, FL
Robert Hite poured in a career-high 26 points to lead the University of Miami to a 76-51 win over Florida Atlantic at the Convocation Center.

Eric Wilkins had 11 for Miami while All-American forward Darius Rice was held to just nine points snapping his streak of consecutive double-fiugyre scoring games at 28.

Pierre Tucker had 11 points and Jeff Hamilton had 10 for Florida Atlantic, which lost to Miami for the 16th time in 17 meetings and shot only 28.8 percent for the game.

A 16-3 first-half run gave the Hurricanes a 24-11 lead, but Florida Atlantic closed to within 33-26 by halftime.Rice, who missed his first seven shots, made his first field goal, a three-pointer with 18:11 left, to push Miami’s lead to 41-29.

The field goal fueled a 23-8 run which gave the Hurricanes a 59-37 lead with 9:46 remaining. Freshman guard Guillermo Diaz scored eight of his nine points and Miami’s defense forced nine Florida Atlantic turnovers during that run, which saw the Owls go scoreless for the final 3:58.

Hite then helped seal the win by scoring all 11 of his second-half points in a 3:31 stretch, pushing the margin to 70-45 with 4:16 remaining.

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.

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.

MIAMI VS. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS:
Since joining The BIG EAST Conference beginning with the 1991-92 season, the Hurricanes have compiled an 89-42 (.679) record against non-conference opponents, including a 62-14 (.816) mark at home. Miami is 8-3 against non-conference opponents this season.

VS THE STATE OF FLORIDA:
Miami is 296-145 (.671) against teams from the state of Florida. Miami has won 31 of its last 35 games against Florida schools dating back to the 1992-93 season.

CATCHING FIRE:
Darius Rice has recorded 29 games of 20-or-more points during his UM career including three games this season. Even more impressive is the fact that Rice has gone for 20-or-more points in a single half a total of nine times during his career.

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 8-3 this season giving him 59 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.

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.

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.

PLAYING HIS BEST AGAINST THE BEST:
UM forward Darius Rice shined last season in the big games. Last season against ranked teams Rice averaged 34.3 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 35-69 (.507) from the floor and 15-33 (.455) from three-point range.

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).

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.

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.

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.

HURRICANES DISTRIBUTE DINNERS:

Members of the University of Miami men’s basketball team as well as several student-athletes from the Hurricanes’ football, women’s rowing, women’s track, women’s volleyball, men’s tennis and women’s soccer programs handed out Thanksgiving dinners to six Miami-area organizations prior to the start of the women’s basketball exhibition game versus The Tournament of Champions on November 17 at the Convocation Center.

The six Miami-area organizations who picked up dinners were: Children & Families, Ronald McDonald House, Gladstone Center, Florida Baptist Home, Universal Truth Center, and Child Hope.

The full dinners were donated by Sysco Food Services of South Florida. This Thanksgiving marked the eighth consecutive year that University of Miami Athletic Department and its student-athletes have reached out to the community during the holidays.

HURRICANES VISIT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL:

Head coach Perry Clark and the University of Miami men’s basketball team spread some holiday cheer on Thursday with a visit to the pediatrics ward at Baptist Hospital in Miami.

“It is very important for our kids to give back to the community,” said head coach Perry Clark. “Giving of ones time is the greatest gift you can give, and I think we were able to spread some Christmas cheer today.”

The Hurricanes visited with children in pediatrics ward as well as the critical care unit. The Miami coaches and players signed autographs, took pictures with the children and distributed approximately 300 toys donated by Mattel, Inc.

“I think it means a lot to the children here at the hospital, and it means a lot to us to see the kids smile,” said All-American forward Darius Rice. “Hopefully we were able to brighten up their holiday.”

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.

BIG EAST SINGLE GAME TICKETS ON SALE:
Single-game tickets for all eight University of Miami men’s basketball BIG EAST conference home games, including battles with Pittsburgh, Villanova, Georgetown and defending NCAA Champion Syracuse, will be available online at www.hurricanesports.com starting at noon on Saturday, December 13.

Fans may also purchase single-game tickets at the Convocation Center box office on Sunday, December 14 when Miami faces intra-state rival Florida State, or at the Hurricane Ticket Office beginning Monday, December 15.

Fans can order single-game tickets by phone starting December 15 by calling 305-284-CANE.