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Canes Primed For Hokie Clash

Canes Primed For Hokie Clash

Jan. 16, 2004

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UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI (11-5, 1-1 BIG EAST)
AT VIRGINIA TECH (8-5, 1-1 BIG EAST)

Saturday, January 17, 2004 – 2:00 p.m.
Cassell Coliseum (10,052) – Blacksburg, Va.
TV – Fox Sports Net Florida; Radio – WQAM (560 AM)
Website – hurricanesports.com

ON VIRGINIA TECH:
Virginia Tech enters its match-up with Miami with a record of 8-5, 1-1 in the BIG EAST, following a 69-67 win at West Virginia on January 14.

The Hokies have been led this season by senior forward Bryant Matthews who is averaging a team-high 24.2 points per game. In addition, Matthews leads the team in rebounding at 9.6 per contest.

Virginia Tech has received strong play from a pair of freshmen. Guard Zabian Dowdell is averaging 13.3 points per game and leads the team with 29 three-point baskets. Center Coleman Collins is also averaging in double-figures in scoring at 11.7 points per game.

THE SERIES:
Miami and Virginia Tech meet for the seventh time with the Hurricanes holding a 5-1 series lead. Miami has won five straight over the Hokies.

TV/RADIO COVERAGE:
Miami’s game versus Virginia Tech is being produced by ESPN Regional Television and will air in Miami on Fox Sports Net Florida. Gary Williams and Tom Apke will call the action. The game will be broadcast on the Hurricane Radio Network WQAM (560 AM). Joe Zagacki “The Voice of the Hurricanes” will call the action. Brian London will serve as studio host. Fans can also catch the game on the web at hurricanesports.com.

UP NEXT:
Following the Virginia Tech game the Hurricanes return home to face Rutgers on January 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

A WIN AGAINST VIRGINIA TECH WOULD:

Improve Miami’s record to 12-5, 2-1 in the BIG EAST.Mark UM’s second consecutive victory.Mark Miami’s sixth straight win over Virginia Tech.

LAST GAME:
MIAMI 70, ST. JOHN’S 64
January 14, 2004
Alumni Hall, Jamaica, NY

Rob Hite scored a game-high 18 points and freshman guard Guillermo Diaz added 15 points to lead the University of Miami to a 70-64 win over St. John’s at Alumni Hall.

The win was Miami’s first at Alumni Hall since the 1994-95 season.

Darius Rice added 14 for Miami while St. John’s was led by Grady Reynolds and Elijah Ingram who recorded 16 points each.

Miami, which led 34-33 at the half, opened the second half with an 8-0 run highlighted by two monsterous dunks by Hite to open its largest lead of the game (44-35).

St. John’s battled back and took a 56-54 lead when Ingram drilled a three-pointer from the left corner with 8:22 to play.

But Miami responded with a 10-1 run capped by a Rice jumper with 4:40 to play to regain control of the game. St. John’s would get no closer than four points the rest of the way.

LAST MEETING WITH VIRGINIA TECH:
MIAMI 79, VIRGINIA TECH 71
March 5, 2003
Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA

James Jones poured in a game-high 21 points to lead the University of Miami to a 79-71 victory over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.

Eric Wilkins added a career-high 19 points while Armondo Surratt contributed a career-high 15. Darius Rice, hampered with prained ligaments in his right hand, did not start but came off the bench to chip in 10 points for Miami.

Terry Taylor netted 16 points and pulled down 10 boards, Carlos Dixon tallied 12 points, with Brian Chase chipping in 11 points in defeat for the Hokies.

The Hurricanes started the game with a 16-7 run, eventually going into the break with a 38-30 lead. Miami shot 55.2 percent from the floor in the first half, while holding the Hokies to only 38.5 percent shooting from the field in the period.

Miami finished the game with a 16-8 run, en route to the eight-point victory. From the floor in the second half the Hurricanes shot 50 percent, while limiting Virginia Tech to only 39.5 percent shooting from the field after the break.

The Hurricanes were 17-of-27 at the foul line in the game but connected on 10 of 12 from the line in the final minute to ice the game. Miami shot 52.7 percent from the floor in the game, while holding the Hokies to only 39.1 percent from the field in the contest.

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 62-43 (.590) at Miami while his career record in 14 seasons stands at 247-188 (.568).

Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg is in his first season with the Hokies and 14th season overall. His career record is 221-175 (.558) including a 8-5 record this season.

CATCHING FIRE:
Darius Rice has recorded 31 games of 20-or-more points during his UM career including six games this season. Even more impressive is that Rice has gone for 20-or-more points in a single half nine times.

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.

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 11-5 this season giving him 62 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.

PLAYING ABOVE THE RIM:
The Hurricanes have recorded 61 dunks already this season. Miami registered only 50 dunks all of last season. At this current pace the Hurricanes would record 112 dunks which would easily be the team’s highest total over the last 10 seasons.

VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS:
Miami is 0-2 against ranked teams this season. Miami was 1-2 against ranked teams last season. The Hurricanes are 19-20 versus ranked opponents since 1996-97 and have defeated at least one ranked team in each of the last nine seasons. Miami is 28-86 (.246) all-time against ranked teams including a 25-72 (.258) record since the rebirth of the program in 1985.

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.

WORKING OVERTIME:
Miami’s game versus Pittsburgh was its first overtime game of the season. Miami played a school single-season record five overtime games last season. Miami has played at least one overtime contest in each of the last six seasons. UM has amassed a 9-7 record (including tournament games) in BIG EAST overtime contests (5-4 at home). The ‘Canes own a 25-25 overall record in overtime contests during their history (5-6 in double-overtime games and a 20-19 mark in single-overtime contests). Below is a list of UM’s overtime games since 1990:

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.

MIAMI vs. NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS:
Since joining The BIG EAST Conference beginning with the 1991-92 season, the Hurricanes have compiled an 91-43 (.679) record against non-conference opponents, including a 64-14 (.821) mark at home. Miami was 10-4 against non-conference opponents this season.

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.

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.

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.

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.