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Canes To Try Their Luck Against Irish

Canes To Try Their Luck Against Irish

Jan. 26, 2004

Complete Release in PDF Format
Player Notes in PDF Format
Season Recaps in PDF Format
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UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI (13-6, 3-2 BIG EAST)
AT NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY (9-6, 3-2 BIG EAST)

Wednesday, January 28, 2004 – 7:30 p.m.
Joyce Center (11,418) – Notre Dame, IN
TV – None; Radio – WQAM (560 AM)
Website – hurricanesports.com

ON NOTRE DAME:
Notre Dame enters its match-up with Miami with a record of 9-6, 3-2 in the BIG EAST, following a 71-63 home loss against 9th-ranked Kentucky on Sunday.

The Fighting Irish have been led this season by the inside-outside combination of point guard Chris Thomas and power forward Torin Francis.

Thomas leads the team in scoring at 19.3 points per game and is handing out a team-best 5.5 assist per contest. Thomas has scored 20-or-more points in four of the last seven games.

Francis is averaging a double-double this season at 15.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He ranks third in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (.542) and has also recorded 31 blocked shots (2.06 per game).

THE SERIES:
Miami and Notre Dame face off for the 15th time with the all-time series tied at 7-7. Miami has won three of the last four games against the Fighting Irish.

Miami and Notre Dame last met on February 23, 2002 with Notre Dame taking a 90-77 decision at Miami Arena. Miami is 3-3 against Notre Dame at the Joyce Center including two consecutive victories.

UP NEXT:
Following the Notre Dame game the Hurricanes return home to face Georgetown on January 31 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

LAST GAME:
VILLANOVA 76, MIAMI 69
January 25, 2004
Convocation Center, Coral Gables, FL

Randy Foye had 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Villanova withstood a late rally to beat the University of Miami, 76-69, at the Convocation Center in Coral Gables, FL.

The Hurricanes trailed by 12 points in second half, but trimmed the lead to 68-65 on Guillermo Diaz’s jumper with 54.2 seconds remaining. Foye then hit a pair of free throws, and Diaz missed a 3-pointer that allowed the Wildcats to hold on.

Foye scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half. Curtis Sumpter, benched to start the game for violating team rules, added 16 points and nine rebounds.

Villanova outrebounded Miami 43-28, an advantage that helped it overcome 23 turnovers.

Robert Hite scored 21 points to pace the Hurricanes, who led 36-35 at halftime but shot just 24.4 percent after the break. Darius Rice added 15 points and nine rebounds.

Villanova used a 15-4 run early in the second half to take a 50-42 lead. The Wildcats made it 56-46 on Andreas Bloch’s jumper, but Miami mounted a 6-0 run to pull within 56-51 with 8:26 left to play. But Foye converted a three-point play to ignite the Wildcats, who then pulled ahead 63-51.

LAST MEETING WITH NOTRE DAME:
NOTRE DAME 90, No. 17 MIAMI 77
February 23, 2002
Miami Arena, Miami, FL

Chris Thomas matched his career-high with 32 points and added 12 assists to lead Notre Dame to a 90-77 win over the University of Miami at Miami Arena.

Thomas played all 40 minutes and recorded six three-point baskets and six rebounds. Thomas, 10-for-10 from the foul line, made four throws over the final 1:16 to seal the victory.

Notre Dame led 39-34 at halftime and scored 51 points in the second half marking the most allowed by UM this season. The Fighting Irish shot 50 percent from the field in the second-half and outrebounded the Hurricanes 44-31.

David Graves scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half for Notre Dame, while Torrian Jones had 17 points and Ryan Humphrey 15 points.

Darius Rice led Miami with 23 points, 20 in the second half, including six three-pointers. James Jones added 21 points while John Salmons registered 11 rebounds and a career-high 13 assists.

A WIN AGAINST NOTRE DAME WOULD:

Improve Miami’s record to 14-6, 4-2 in the BIG EAST.Mark Perry Clark’s 250th career win.Equal UM’s BIG EAST win total from last season.Mark Miami’s third consecutive win at Notre Dame.

TV/RADIO COVERAGE:
Miami’s game versus Notre Dame is not being televised. The game will be broadcast on the Hurricane Radio Network WQAM (560 AM). Joe Zagacki “The Voice of the Hurricanes” will call all the action. Brian London will serve as studio host. 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 64-44 (.593) at Miami while his career record in 14 seasons stands at 249-189 (.568).

Notre Dame Mike Brey is in his fourth season at the helm of the Fighting Irish and 9th season overall. His record at Notre Dame is 75-37 (.670) while his overall record stands at 174-89 (.662).

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 GOES FOR NO. 250:
Miami head coach Perry Clark will be going for career win No. 250 when the Hurricanes’ face Villanova on Sunday, January 25. Clark recorded his 249th win in Miami’s 73-63 victory over Rutgers on January 21. Clark won 185 games in 11 seasons at Tulane (1989-00) and has 64 wins in his fourth season at Miami. With his next win Clark would move into 68th in victories among active coaches.

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 13-6 this season giving him 64 wins as UM’s head coach. Clark needs one more victory to tie BIll Foster for the wins (65) by a UM coach in his first four seasons.

PLAYING ABOVE THE RIM:
The Hurricanes have recorded 71 dunks (3.74 per game) already this season. Miami registered only 50 dunks all of last season. At this current pace the Hurricanes would record 116 dunks which would easily be the team’s highest total over the last 10 seasons. Rob Hite leads the Hurricanes in dunks this season with 22.

CATCHING FIRE:
Darius Rice has recorded 32 games of 20-or-more points during his UM career including seven games this season. Even more impressive is that Rice has gone for 20-or-more points in a single half 10 times, including 20 points in the second half of UM’s last game versus Rutgers.

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.

A MODEL OF EFFICIENCY:
Rob Hite currently ranks 10th in the BIG EAST in scoring at 17.3 ppg but a closer look shows that he is one of the most efficient scorers in the league averaging 1.53 points per shot attempt (328 points/214 field goal attempts). His 1.53 average ranks third among the BIG EAST’s Top-20 scorers (through Jan. 25) behind only Torin Francis (Notre Dame) and Ryan Gomes (Providence).

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, guard Anthony Harris and forward/center Anthony King is ranked as high as eighth in the nation by Street & Smith’s.

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’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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 University of Miami men’s basketball BIG EAST conference home games, are on sale. Fans can order single-game tickets by phone by calling 305-284-CANE, or log on to www.hurricanesports.com.