Jim Larranaga will go for career coaching win No. 700 Saturday when his Miami Hurricanes take on his alma mater Providence in the Hall of Fame Tip Off Classic at Uncasville, Conn.
In his 39th season, Larranaga enters the game with a 699-475 record including a 229-141 mark in his 12th season at Miami. The Hurricanes (3-0) will be going for their first 4-0 start since 2018-19 when they won their first five games.
“Only got one more to get I assume I’ll get there at some point,” Larranaga said referring to the career milestone. “But quite honestly it’s more about this team trying to play its best basketball Saturday at 4 o’clock against a very fine opponent.”
The Friars (3-0) are looking to start a season 4-0 for a second consecutive year and give coach Ed Cooley his 225th victory at Providence against 141 losses. In his 17th season he is 316-210 overall.
Interestingly, Cooley’s last win also came over his alma mater, Stonehill, 100-76, on Tuesday night. The Friars won their opener against Rider 66-65 Rider by blocking a shot and coming up with a turnover in the final minute, then cruised past Northeastern 89-65.
“We’ll be ready,” Cooley said. “If we’re not I’m not getting on the bus. I don’t know if we’ll win or if we’ll lose, but we’ll be ready.”
Newcomers look to play key roles for both teams. Bryce Hopkins, a transfer from Kentucky, leads the Friars in scoring with a 14.7 average. Clifton Moore, a graduate transfer from La Salle, and Louisville transfer Noah Locke are among five others averaging in double figures.
Transfers Norchad Omier (Arkansas State) and Nijel Pack (Kansas State) are probable starters for Miami along with veterans Isaiah Wong, Jordan Miller and Wooga Poplar. Miller (15.7) is the leading scorer after getting 19 points in the 87-61 win over Florida A&M in Miami’s last outing. The Hurricanes earlier beat Lafayette 67-54 and UNC-Greensboro 79-65.
“I feel like this is a real critical game for us,” Larranaga said. “We need to figure out how to guard these guys and how to attack them because they’re a very, very strong opponent.”
–Field Level Media