By: Barry Barnes, Founder/Senior Writer
Washington D.C. – When the “U” is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind for sports fans is the University of Miami’s football program. The Hurricanes are recognized for their dominating performances in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. Most importantly, countless stars from that institution went on to become superstars in the NFL like Hall of Famers Michael Irvin and Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed (of the Houston Texans) to name of few. After the 2013 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, the Hurricanes will have a chance to make a case for themselves to become a solid basketball program as well.
Jim Larranaga became the Hurricanes’ head coach two seasons ago, shortly after leading George Mason to the Final Four in 2006. Larranaga took George Mason to the big dance five times during his 14-year stint at the institution and his accomplishments caught the attention of the U.
The Bronx native in Larranaga is on his way to lead a legacy in Miami, but he will need his players in sophomore guard Shane Larkin and senior guard Durand Scott to help lay the foundation through semi-final round of the tournament to make a statement that the program will have a successful product on the hardwood.
Without senior center Reggie Johnson, who is out for the Sweet 16 round due to a knee injury, winning will be difficult for the Hurricanes in a Big East environment. Johnson interior defense and phyiscal style of play has been sorely missed during the first half of the team’s matchup against Marquette as being down 29-16 at the half.