Hurricanes Face Southern Miss in Paradise Jam Opener

Hurricanes Face Southern Miss in Paradise Jam Opener

Nov. 19, 2008

Complete Game Notes (PDF)  |  Paradise Jam Bracket (PDF)  |  Paradise Jam Website

ST. THOMAS, VIRGIN ISLANDS – The No. 16/17 University of Miami men’s basketball team leaves the comforts of home for the first time this season to head to the eighth annual Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Winners of the 2001 tournament, the Hurricanes will open tournament competition versus Southern Miss on Fri., Nov. 21, at 1 p.m. (EST).


Game 2: Miami (1-0) vs. Southern Miss (2-0)

Date: Fri., Nov. 21, 2008 | Time: 1 p.m. (EST) | Site: Sports and Fitness Center (at the University of the Virgin Islands)

TV: None | Radio: 560 WQAM | Internet Video: or

Websites: Miami ( | Southern Miss (


Probable Miami Starters

No.          Name (Pos/Ht/Wt/Cl)                                          Pts          Reb        Ast

5              Eddie Rios (G, 6-0, 190, So.)                            17.0        2.0          4.0

33           Jack McClinton (G, 6-1, 185, Sr.)                      18.0        1.0          4.0

23           James Dews (G, 6-4, 209, Jr.)                          5.0          1.0          3.0

20           Cyrus McGowan (F, 6-9, 236, R-Jr.)                 7.0          10.0        1.0^

21           Dwayne Collins (F, 6-8, 238, Jr.)                      18.0        16.0        1.0


Probable Southern Miss Starters

No.          Name (Pos/Ht/Wt/Cl)                                          Pts          Reb        Ast

1              Courtney Beasley (G, 6-3, 210, Sr.)                 12.0        7.5          2.5         

3              Jeremy Wise (G, 6-2, 165, Jr.)                          24.5        6.5          2.0         

14           Sai’Quon Stone (G, 6-6, 225, Jr.)                     5.0          5.5          2.5         

15           R.L. Horton (G, 6-0, 175, So.)                            12.0        1.5          1.5         

32           Andre Stephens (F, 6-8, 235, Jr.)                     10.5        7.5          0.5


^ blocks per game



The Hurricanes open play versus Southern Miss on Fri., Nov. 21, with the opportunity to face former Big East rival and second-ranked Connecticut or La Salle in the second round. The talent-laden tournament field, considered the strongest in Paradise Jam history, also includes 2008 NCAA Tournament teams No. 22/25 Wisconsin and San Diego, as well as Valparaiso and Iona.


The Hurricanes have gone 12-3 in in-season tournament play outside of the continental United States, including a 3-0 mark en route to the inaugural Puerto Rico Tip Off title last November — knocking off Marist, VCU and Providence along the way.



The finals and third-place game will be televised by Fox Sports (FSN-Florida in Miami), while the semifinals will be broadcast by Fox College Sports. All non-televised games will be available via online streaming at or The online streaming fee is $6.95 per game or $12.95 for the entire (not TV broadcasted) tournament.



After the opening week of competition, the University of Miami men’s basketball team holds steady at No. 16 in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Poll and No. 17 in the Associated Press Poll. After finishing the week 1-0, the Hurricanes picked up 21 points in the Coaches Poll and five points in the AP Poll.


This is the highest ranking for the Hurricanes since a No. 16 showing in the Coaches Poll on March 3, 2002, and a No. 17 ranking in the AP Poll on Feb. 18, 2002. The Hurricanes are among four ACC teams ranked in the Top 25 and are the highest ranked team in Florida in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN preseason polls.



Friday marks the third meeting between Miami and Southern Miss, yet the first in over 50 years. The programs — whose all-time series record is tied at one win apiece — last met on Feb. 26, 1957, resulting in a 85-78 win for the Hurricanes in Miami.


In UM’s 2001 Paradise Jam title run, the Hurricanes defeated fellow Conference USA team UAB in the semifinals, 81-79.



The Golden Eagles are 2-0 this season – including Tuesday’s 74-61 win over Alabama State, and went 19-14 under head coach Larry Eustachy in 2007-08. Southern Miss is led by two-time All-CUSA honoree Jeremy Wise who is averaging an impressive 24.5 points per game. The 6-2, 165-pound junior guard shoots 92.9 percent from the line, 55 percent from the field and 50 percent from long range, and scored 23 points in the75-51 season-opening win over Loyola of New Orleans and added 26 points – including hitting 11-of-12 from the charity stripe – in Tuesday’s victory. Three other Golden Eagles starters are averaging double-figure scoring after two games – R.L. Horton (12.0 ppg), Courtney Beasley (12.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Andre Stephens (10.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg).



The Hurricanes posted an ACC first last season with their remarkable turnaround from a 12-20 mark in 2006-07 to their 23-11 finish in 2007-08 — becoming the first ACC team in its 55 seasons to put together a 20-win campaign immediately following a 20-loss season.


Nationally, the feat has also only been accomplished a handful of times across major conferences. In addition to Miami’s turnaround in 2007-08, Arizona State became just the second team in the 30-year history of the Pac-10 to lose at least 20 games one year (8-22 in 2006-07) and then win at least 20 the next season (21-13 in 2007-08). Only California in 1988-89 can match the feat, as it was 9-20 in 1987-88 and 20-13 in 1988-89. Texas A&M is the only team to do it in the 12-year history of the Big 12, as it was 7-21 in 2003-04 and went 21-10 in 2004-05. Among the other major conferences, it has never happened in the Big East (28 seasons), Big Ten (103 seasons) or SEC (76 seasons).



Junior transfer Cyrus McGowan hails from Brooksville, Miss., and is the only Mississippi native on the Hurricane squad. Brooksville is about 160 miles north of Hattiesburg, home to Southern Miss.



This is the third-straight season Miami has played a team from Mississippi. In 2007-08, the Hurricanes traveled to Starkville to defeat Mississippi State, 64-58, in a thriller that saw Jack McClinton finish with five three-pointers, including three with under three minutes to go.



Entering Tuesday’s college basketball games, the Hurricanes had a few players ranked among the ACC’s “really early” leaders. After converting all six free throws in the Saturday’s season opener, Dwayne Collins leads the league with a perfect 1.000 free throw percentage. Jack McClinton (4-4) joins Collins at No. 1 and is among four ACC players yet to miss from the charity stripe.


Eddie Rios leads the league with a perfect three-point field goal percentage (3-3, 1.000) and is tied for the lead with 3.0 three-point field goals per game. Dews is tied for first in assist/turnover ratio, Collins is first with 11.0 defensive rebounds per game, second with 16.0 rebounds per game and third with 5.0 offensive rebounds per game, while Cyrus McGowan is tied for fourth with 8.0 defensive boards an outing.