Miami Hosts FAU in NIT Opener Wednesday

March 15, 2011


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CORAL GABLES, FLA… The second-seeded University of Miami men’s basketball team will play host to seventh-seeded Florida Atlantic for the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Wed., March 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the BankUnited Center in a game that will be streamed online via

Game 34: #2 Miami (19-14) vs. #7 FAU (21-10)Date: Wed., March 16, 2011 | Time: 7:30 p.m. | Site: BankUnited CenterTV: None | Radio: 560 WQAM (, 90.5 FM ( www.ESPN3.comWebsites: Miami ( | FAU ( 1-800-GO-CANES

Projected Miami StartersNo. Name (Pos/Ht/Wt/Cl) Pts Reb Ast01 Durand Scott (G, 6-3, 200, So.) 13.1 4.3 3.103 Malcolm Grant (G, 6-1, 180, Jr.) 14.9 1.8 3.315 Rion Brown (G, 6-5, 188, Fr.) 4.3 1.9 0.630 Adrian Thomas (F, 6-7, 226, Gr.) 9.2 3.9 0.842 Reggie Johnson (C, 6-10, 303, So.) 11.9 9.4 1.3^

Projected Florida Atlantic StartersNo. Name (Pos/Ht/Wt/Cl) Pts Reb Ast22 Greg Gantt (G, 6-2, 205, So.) 13.9 3.8 0.902 Raymond Taylor (G, 5-6, 145, So.) 11.7 3.5 4.040 Brett Royster (F, 6-8, 235, Sr.) 8.3 6.1 3.1^01 Shavar Richardson (G, 6-3, 180, Jr.) 6.0 1.0 1.055 Justin Davis (C, 6-10, 250, R-Jr.) 0.3 0.9 0.0

^ blocks per game | * steals per game

Miami’s No. 2 seed is the highest the Hurricanes have earned since the NCAA took over the NIT in 2005-06.

Wednesday’s winner will advance to the second round to take on the winner of the contest between third-seeded Missouri State (25-8) and sixth-seeded Murray State (23-8). Those two teams square off in Springfield, Mo., on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Should the Hurricanes win on Wednesday, they would also host the second-round match on a day determined by the NIT between March 18-21.


The University of Miami men’s basketball team advances to the postseason for the fifth time in seven years under head coach Frank Haith. The Hurricanes will be making their fourth NIT appearance under Haith and the 10th in program history. Overall, it is the 16th postseason appearance for the Hurricanes.

In 2011, the Hurricanes have gone 3-1 versus teams in the NIT field — defeating No. 1 seed Boston College twice (72-71 at home, 73-64 at BC), defeating No. 8 seed McNeese State in Coral Gables (79-59) and falling at No. 1 seed Virginia Tech (72-68).

Miami has a 4-9 record in nine previous appearances in the NIT, with its best performance a 2-1 showing in 2005-06 in which the Hurricanes advanced to the quarterfinals. In UM’s last NIT appearance in 2009, the Hurricanes split a pair of road contests, defeating Providence and then falling at Florida.

In 2005-06, the Hurricanes hosted their first postseason game in program history — a 62-59 home win over Oklahoma State in the first round. Then, Miami picked up its first NIT road win with a 53-52 victory at Creighton before falling at Michigan, 71-65, in the quarterfinals.

Head coach Frank Haith has more postseason wins than any other coach in Miami program history at 4-4 over his tenure (3-3 NIT, 1-1 NCAA). Former Miami coach Leonard Hamilton ranks second, going 3-5 in the postseason over his 10 years at the helm.


Seventh-year head coach Frank Haith and the Hurricanes have defeated 33 of its last 36 non-conference opponents during the regular season. Miami had won 22-straight until the72-68 loss at then-No. 19 Memphis, in a game that tipped at midnight to kick start ESPN’s hoops marathon. The `Canes have won 20-straight regular-season non-conference matches at home, last falling to Ohio State, 73-68, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 2, 2008.


Miami has three players averaging double-figure scoring, led by the backcourt of Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott. Scoring in double figures in 23 of his last 26 games and bringing an ACC-long 20-game three-point streak into the postseason, Grant — an All-ACC Third Team pick — is contributing a team-high 14.9 points (8th in ACC) and 3.3 assists per game, while converting an ACC-best 86.2 percent from the line (44th in NCAA) and an ACC-best 43.2 percent from long range (16th in nation, tops among players in the NIT field), with a league-high 2.7 three-pointers per game (fourth best among NIT players).

Scott adds 13.1 points (15th in the ACC), 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 39.4 percent from downtown and 82.9 percent from the line (3rd in ACC). Big man Reggie Johnson, who posted his 12th double-double of the season (tying for 3rd in ACC) in the March 2 win over Maryland is averaging 11.9 points, 9.4 rebounds (4th in ACC, 35th in nation) and 1.3 blocks per game. He earned All-ACC Honorable Mention recognition this season.


The Hurricanes lead the all-time series, 19-1, over the Owls and have won four straight over them – including the 87-69 decision at last season’s Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla., on Dec. 19, 2009. In that meeting, three `Canes finished in double figures – including 13 points from Durand Scott, while Reggie Johnson pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds. Raymond Taylor – a First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection for FAU in 2011 – had a game-high 23 points and seven assists.

FAU – who has matched a program high with 21 wins this season – earned an automatic bid to the NIT after winning the Sun Belt’s regular-season title. The Owls are led by Taylor, a 5-6 guard that averages 11.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, Second Team pick Greg Gantt with a team-high 13.9 points per game and two-time Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year Brett Royster with 8.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game – tops among players in the NIT field.


Adrian Thomas will make his 130th appearance on Wednesday as a Hurricane, tying former teammates James Dews (2006-10) and Brian Asbury (2005-09) for the school record.


The ninth-seeded Miami men’s basketball team used an amazing comeback in its ACC Tournament opening round game last Thursday — overcoming a 10-point deficit with under 40 seconds to go, to force overtime and knock eighth-seeded Virginia out of the ACC Tournament with the 69-62 decision. It is believed to be the biggest comeback in under a minute to play in ACC Tournament history, as the `Canes erased a 53-43 deficit beginning with a Durand Scott three-pointer with 34 seconds to play in regulation.

However the Hurricanes were on the opposite side of a comeback bid in Friday’s ACC Tournament quarterfinal game versus top-seeded and sixth-ranked North Carolina. The Hurricanes led by as many as 19 points with 9:55 to go in the game, when the Tar Heels nailed four straight three-pointers en route to a heart-wrenching comeback over the `Canes. North Carolina would do the same to Clemson in the ACC semifinals on the following day.


Hurricane Gameday with Frank Haith airs on CSS (Comcast Sports South) on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Hosted by Joe Zagacki, the voice of the Hurricanes, and Josh Darrow, each show will break down the latest with the team and give fans insight into the players both on and off the court.


Log onto during Miami athletic events to chat with Miami insiders and other fans about the game and your favorite student-athletes. To join the chat, click on the Cover It Live program found online with each game’s preview, beginning 30 minutes before tip-off.