Miami Hurricanes Basketball: Quotes and Notes From Providence Before Miami’s Round of 32 Matchup

Mar 17, 2016; Providence, RI, USA; Miami (Fl) Hurricanes guard Davon Reed (5) dunks against the Buffalo Bulls during the first half of a first round game of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Dunkin Donuts Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2016; Providence, RI, USA; Miami (Fl) Hurricanes guard Davon Reed (5) dunks against the Buffalo Bulls during the first half of a first round game of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Dunkin Donuts Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports /

Here are some quotes and notes before the No. 3 Miami Hurricanes battle with the No. 11 Wichita State Shockers for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Game Info: No. 3 Miami Hurricanes (26-7) vs. No. 11 Wichita State Shockers (26-8) – 12:10 PM ET (CBS)


  • Angel Rodriguez on being 2.5-point underdogs against Wichita State: “That’s something that doesn’t surprise me whatsoever. I think throughout the year we’ve been disrespected in a way. To a lot of people we haven’t done enough to prove ourselves, but at the end of the day, we don’t play to prove other people wrong, we play to prove ourselves right because we know we belong here.”
  • Coach Jim Larranaga on the similarities between Angel Rodriguez and Fred VanVleet: “I think they are very, very similar. It begins with the intangible qualities both guys have. They are both very highly competitive. They are both terrific floor generals. They both can shoot the three and distribute the ball. They really keep their teams organized, but maybe the most important thing they do is how they both defend tremendously on the ball.”
  • Rodriguez on his one-on-one matchup with Fred VanVleet: “I truly take a lot of pride on the defensive end, especially when you face a guy whose reputation is very good, who is going to play at a high level and you know is going to come right at you. At the end of the day though, I trust my defensive skills and the team’s defense around me as well.”
  • Larranaga on Wichita State’s No. 11 seed: “One of the things I think that the fans and the media need to understand is that seeding at this point is meaningless. Wichita State is an 11 seed and had to play in the First Four, but they very easily could have been a 2, 3 or 4 seed if VanVleet hadn’t gotten injured. I think it is all about how you are playing now.”
  • Tonye Jekiri on the differences from this year’s team to the 2012-13 team: “This team has been challenged more times I think and we have had to bounce back to win games. Compared to that team my freshman year, we had a lot of older guys with a couple of sixth-year seniors, but I think this team has bonded a lot more together. We all get along on and off the court so that has really helped us. Looking ahead to the Wichita State game, I think we are just going to stick together like we did against Buffalo. They presented us with a lot of challenges, but we all stayed together and pulled out the victory which we hope to do against Wichita State.”
  • Rodriguez on team’s low points this season: “I think more than anything, all of that is just a learning experience. We play in a tough conference. Yes we lost to NC State and Virginia Tech, but a lot of other teams lost at other places that we won. So you can look at it however you want, but we just look at it as a learning experience. Most of this season has been a very successful one for us and whether we were inconsistent or not, it really doesn’t matter. It’s March and it’s all about what you do now.”


  • While they may not be thought of as one of the elite programs in the nation, Wichita State’s name should certainly be in the conversation. The Shockers have made the NCAA Tournament five straight years and since 2013, they have nine March Madness wins.
  • Miami faced one of the best defenses in the country in Virginia, but Wichita State may be better. The Shockers allow a nation-best 59.3 points a game and are the No. 1 defense according to KenPom as well. If you think that is because they play in the Missouri Valley Conference, that hasn’t shown in their two tournament games as they have forced 31 turnovers, including 19 against Arizona.
  • Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet have been in the NCAA Tournament all four years at Wichita State and rank first and second respectively in active players scoring in the NCAA Tournament. In 12 NCAA Tournament games for the duo, Baker has 145 points, while VanVleet has 143.
  • Despite Gregg Marshall’s squad having to play their third game in five days, playing in the First Four has been an advantage for a few teams since it was reformatted in 2011. Since that time, three teams have advanced to the Sweet 16 (VCU-2011, La Salle-Sweet 16, Tennessee-Sweet 16) and VCU even advanced all the way to the Final Four.
  • One stat that could be a bit worrying for Miami is their play in the afternoon. In 11 games before 5 p.m. this season, the Canes have suffered five of their seven losses with a 6-5 record. Tip-off time for Miami and Wichita State on Saturday is 12:10 p.m. ET.
  • Coach Larranaga has experience against the Shockers in the NCAA Tournament when his cinderella George Mason team in 2006 beat Wichita State in the Sweet 16. That win boosted them on their way to the Final Four.
  • Miami and Wichita State have met one time in history and the Canes won that matchup 81-59 back on December 30, 1988.

Wichita State Projected Starting Lineup

6’0” guard Fred VanVleet (12.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 5.6 APG)

6’4” guard Ron Baker (14.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.3 APG)

6’4” forward Evan Wessel (3.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.7 APG)

6’6” forward Zach Brown (6.8 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.9 APG)

6’8” forward Shaquille Morris (6.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.4 APG)

Miami Projected Starting Lineup

5’11” guard Angel Rodriguez (12.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 4.4 APG)

6’5” guard Sheldon McClellan (15.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.7 APG)

6’6” forward Davon Reed (11.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.2 APG)

6’8” forward Kamari Murphy (5.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 0.5 APG)

7’0” center Tonye Jekiri (7.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 0.9 APG)