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Canes Set To Welcome Scarlet Knights

Canes Set To Welcome Scarlet Knights

Jan. 19, 2004

Complete Release in PDF Format
Player Notes in PDF Format
Season Recaps in PDF Format
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RUTGERS UNIVERSITY (9-5, 1-3 BIG EAST)
VS. UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI (12-5, 2-1 BIG EAST)

Date – Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Time – 7:30 p.m.
Arena – Convocation Center (7,000) – Coral Gables, Fla.
TV – None
Radio – WQAM (560 AM), WVUM (90.5 FM)
Website – hurricanesports.com

ON RUTGERS:
Rutgers enters its game with the Hurricanes with a record of 9-5, 1-3 in the BIG EAST, following a 59-49 loss at Pittsburgh on January 17th.

The Scarlett Knights have been led this season by the inside-outside combination of junior guard Ricky Shields and senior forward Herve Lamizana. Shields leads the team in scoring at 14.1 points per game and has hit a team-high 32 three-point baskets. Lamizana ranks second on the team in scoring (13.9) and leads the team in rebounding (8.0).

Rutgers has struggled this season from the field connecting on just 40.3 percent of the field goal attempts while scoring 66.5 points per game. The Scarlett Knights have won with defense ranking among the top-4 in the BIG EAST in scoring defense (63.9 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.405) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.300).

THE SERIES:
Miami and Rutgers meet for the 11th time with the Hurricanes holding a 7-3 series lead. Miami has won five of the last six games versus Rutgers and is 3-0 all-time at home against the Scarlet Knights.

TV/RADIO COVERAGE:
Miami’s game versus Rutgers is not being televised. The game will be broadcast on the Hurricane Radio Network WQAM (560 AM). Joe Zagacki “The Voice of the Hurricanes” and Josh Darrow will call the action. Brian London will serve as studio host. The game will also be broadcast on the UM student radio network WVUM (90.5 FM). Fans can also catch the game on the web at hurricanesports.com.

UP NEXT:
The Hurricanes will next face Villanova on January 25 starting at noon at the Convocation Center.

LAST GAME:
MIAMI 65, VIRGINIA TECH 59
January 17, 2004
Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA

Robert Hite scored 26 points to lead the University of Miami to a 65-59 victory over Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum.

Hite was 9-for-10 from the field, including 5-for-5 from 3-point range as the Hurricanes overcame 20 turnovers to defeat the Hokies and record their second consecutive BIG EAST road win.

Bryant Matthews had 33 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for the Hokies but no other Virginia Tech player scored in double figures.

The Hurricanes started the second half with a 12-5 run capped by Rodrigue Djahue’s free throw to take a 46-31 lead with 15:15 remaining. Djahue recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Seven straight points from Matthews and a layup by Markus Sailes drew Virginia Tech to within three at 48-45 with 8:26 left. Matthews continued to supply most of the offense for Virginia Tech, making a trio of 3-pointers over the next six minutes, but Miami never let the Hokies get closer than five the rest of the way.

Miami held the Hokies to 30.4 percent from the field compared to 54.3 percent by the Hurricanes.

LAST MEETING WITH RUTGERS:
RUTGERS 64, No. 13 MIAMI 61
February 17, 2002
Louis Brown Athletic Center, Piscataway, NJ

Jerome Coleman scored a career-high 30 points to lead Rutgers to a 64-61 win over No. 13 Miami at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, NJ.

Darius Rice led the Hurricanes with 21 points while John Salmons added 14 points and seven assists.

The win for Rutgers marked its fourth over a ranked opponent this season.

Miami trailed 61-52 with 54.5 seconds left before cutting it to 64-61 on Rice’s basket with 9.6 seconds left. Rutgers then threw the ball out of bounds at the opposite end of the court. The Hurricanes got the ball back to Rice, who dribbled to the top of the key and missed an off-balance shot over Mike Sherrod and Rashod Kent.

Miami, which has come back from second-half deficits eight times this season, shot 41.3 percent and was outrebounded 41-33. Miami recorded a season-high 21 turnovers.

A WIN AGAINST RUTGERS WOULD:

Improve Miami’s record to 13-5, 3-1 in the BIG EAST.Mark UM’s third consecutive victory.Improve UM’s all-time home record against Rutgers to 4-0.

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 63-43 (.594) at Miami while his career record in 14 seasons stands at 248-188 (.569).

Rutgers head coach Gary Waters is in his second season with the Scarlett Knights and his seventh season overall. Waters’ record at Rutgers is 39-34 (.534) while his career mark is 131-94 (.582).

A MODEL OF EFFICIENCY:
Against Virginia Tech sophomore guard Rob Hite scored 26 points on just 10 field goal attempts. Hite currently ranks 12th in the BIG EAST in scoring at 17.2 ppg but a closer look shows that he is one of the most efficient scorers in the league averaging 1.618 points per shot attempt (293 points/181 field goal attempts). His 1.618 average ranks third among the BIG EAST’s Top-20 scorers (through Jan. 18) behind only Torin Francis (Notre Dame) and Ryan Gomes (Providence).

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 12-5 this season giving him 63 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 64 dunks (3.76 per game) already this season. Miami registered only 50 dunks all of last season. At this current pace the Hurricanes would record 117 dunks which would easily be the team’s highest total over the last 10 seasons.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.