Miami Hurricanes: Why Jim Larranaga Could Win ACC Coach of the Year
There aren’t many more things on the earth or in life in general that are better for you than dancing. Dancing is so therapeutic and it has many health benefits including keeping the heart pumping blood and giving you oxygen to the brain.
Do you want to know what makes Miami Hurricanes head basketball coach Jim Larranaga so good? We’ll make it even easier for you too, it has nothing to do with basketball. Simply it’s because coach Larranaga knows how to do the Whip and Nae Nae.
This season coach Larranaga pulled out the dance moves after a big 66-55 win over arch-rival Florida. Now Florida has been struggling this season because of the departure of their former beloved head coach Billy Donovan who’s now the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the win over Florida doesn’t diminish their accomplishment. This year the fact that Miami’s big win over Florida only solidifies the fact basketball in South Florida is at a level that it’s only been at one time before when Larranaga won the ACC in 2013.
In 2013, Larranaga led Miami to a 29-7 record overall and a 15-3 record within the conference. That team also managed to get to the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the Sweet Sixteen. Miami this season has a 9-1 record and they are ranked No. 15 in the country. Meanwhile, Larranaga’s hard work at the school is looking like it’s finally paying off. Not only does it look like he could and should win the Coach of the Year in the ACC, he also became the fastest coach to 100 wins in school history.
“If you’ve got good players, you’ll have a good team,” said Larranaga.
Similar to the time when Miami won the ACC back in 2013, this Hurricanes team is even better, they’ve got better players and they look like they should be ranked as the favorite in the conference. There are some opponents that Miami will have to usurp at the top of the mountain. The two traditional powerhouses in the ACC are the usual suspects, North Carolina, and Duke. This year though both of their programs have flaws and can be overtaken.
In the case of North Carolina, they are too inconsistent to get ranked as the best team in college basketball. They’ve got point guard issues, and now the fact that their best player Kennedy Meeks is injured it only hurts their chances to succeed. As for Duke, they are simply a product of a completely new team. After winning the NCAA Tournament and having most of their impact players such as Justise Winslow, Jahlil Okafor, and Tyus Jones leave to the NBA, it’s been a struggle. The players on their roster such as Luke Kennard, Derryck Thornton, and Brandon Ingram will become big time players but just not in their freshman year. Which only leaves the door wide open for Miami to take the conference title once again.
In contrast to North Carolina and Duke, coach Larranaga might have the most complete roster that the school has ever seen. Firstly, Miami is led by a trio of seniors. These players are hungry because they know it is their last audition for an NBA spot and they have the potential to play in the league. Angel Rodriguez, Sheldon McClellan, and Tonye Jeriki all could play professional basketball but right now all three of them are putting up awesome numbers for the No.15 ranked best team in college basketball.
The schedule for this team will only get more difficult as they soon will have to run the gantlet known as the ACC. However, because of the talent on this team, they have the firepower to compete with anyone within the conference. Additionally, having coach Larranaga in their corner is an advantage.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter@DJoumbarey.