Miami basketball opens the season against Gardner-Webb


Miami Basketball ranked 12th/13th in the 2017-18 preseason college basketball polls will open the season Friday night against Gardner-Webb.

The Miami Basketball team open the season as one of the nation’s elite teams. They are expected to contend for an ACC Championship. Duke comes out of the gate the favorite in the ACC and the nation’s top-ranked team.

Miami enters the season with one of the nation’s best backcourts. Sophomore Bruce Brown is an all-American candidate. Freshman Lonnie Walker will likely contend for Freshmen All-American and for ACC Freshman of the Year. Point guard Ja’Quan Newton give Miami Basketball coach Jim Larranaga experience.

Behind them in the backcourt are 5’7 Freshman Chris Lykes and Sophomore Dejan Vasiljevic. Lykes is exceptionally quick and is likely to become a fan favorite.

After being used primarily as a three-point shooter last season, Vasiljevic’s all-around game improved last season. He also got a chance to work on his game this summer playing for the Australian National team.

The Hurricanes bring back almost their entire frontcourt. The Miami Basketball program will need a big jump from Sophomore post Dewan Huell. Huell averaged only 5.8 points per game and 3.1 rebounds as a Freshman. He will have to give Larranaga the minutes that are vacated by Kamari Murphy.

Other players to watch up front are Juniors Ebuka Izunda and Anthony Lawrence, Sophomore Rodney Miller and Freshmen Deng Gak and Sam Waardenburg.

Friday night’s game against Gardner-Webb is Miami’s first game against the Runnin’ Bulldogs. It’s also Jim Larranaga’s first game against Gardner-Webb.

Gardner-Webb has had five straight winning seasons. They have appeared in two postseasons in 16 years of Division I. They lost in the first round in the 2013 CIT and 2015 CBI.

Gardner-Webb returns one full-time and one part-time starter from last season. The Runnin’ Bulldogs bring back three of their top four scorers from last season. The returnees are led by guard David Efiayani.

Efiayani averaged 12.6 points per game, shot 50.9 from the floor, 72.1 percent from the free throw line, 41.5 percent on three-pointers and averaged 2.5 rebounds per game.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs life up to their nickname. Gardner-Webb averaged 77.2 points per game and allowed 70.3 points last season.

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  • 13/12 MIAMI HURRICANES (0-0)
    Head Coach: Jim Larrañaga (Providence, 1971 [B.A.])
    Record at UM: 139-69 (7th season), Career Record: 609-403 (34th season)
    GAME 1 • NOV. 10, 2017 • 8 P.M. ET • CORAL GABLES, FLA.
    Head Coach: Tim Craft (Florida, 2000)
    Record at GWU: 74-60 (5th season), Career Record: 74-60 (5th season)

    On the Air (Courtesy of HurricaneSports.Com):
    Date/Time: Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 / 8 p.m. ET
    Location: Coral Gables, Fla. / Watsco Center (7,972)
    Television: None; Online: ACC Network Extra
    Announcers: Ted Sarandis (PxP) and Megan Perry (analyst)
    Radio: WINZ AM-940 (Joe Zagacki – PxP)
    Student Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM •
    Satellite Radio: None
    Series vs. Gardner-Webb: First Meeting

    Next Game: Miami hosts Navy on Sunday. The Midshipmen were 16-16 and finished in fourth place in the Patriot League last season. Navy will provide a different challenge for the Hurricanes.

    Next: Miami Basketball Ranked 12th In Preseason Poll

    The Midshipmen averaged 64.9 points per game last season and give up 64.2 points per game. Game time is 4 pm ET at the Watsco Center.