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Patience led to Jim Larranaga Miami basketball contract extension

Apr 1, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami basketball program announced a contract extension on Tuesday for head coach Jim Larranaga through the 2026-27 season. Patience by Miami through three straight losing seasons paid off for the Hurricanes and Larranaga. Miami has been the most consistent program nationally in the last two NCAA Tournaments.

After advancing to its first NCAA Tournament Regional Final in 2022, the Miami basketball program went a step further in 2023 earning a trip to its first Final Four and the National Semifinals. Miami had three straight losing seasons from 2018-19 through 2020-21. The 2022 NCAA Tournament run turned the program around.

Miami added point guard Charlie Moore and wing Jordan Miller as transfers during the 2021 offseason. The additions of Miller and Moore led Miami to a 26–11 overall record and 14–6, fourth place in the ACC in 2021-22. Miami entered the 2022 NCAA Tournament as the 10th seed in the Midwest.

Miami beat USC and Auburn in the first two rounds of  the 2022 NCAA Tournament in Greenville, South Carolina. Miami defeated Iowa State in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Chicago before losing eventual National Champion Kansas. Miami beat Drake, Indiana, Houston and Texas in their 2023 Final Four run.

After Kameron McGusty, Moore and forward Sam Waardenberg completed their eligiblity following the 2021-22 season, Miami added guard Nijel Pack and forward Norchad Omier during the 2022 offseason. Omier and Pack were huge contributors during the run to the 2023 Final Four. Wong’s return was also critical.

The Miami runs in the last two NCAA Tournaments have been remarkable. Being falsely implicated in the Adidas bribery scandal in 2017 cost Miami 1.5 recruiting classes per Larranaga. Miami was eventually cleared of any wrong doing but the damage was already done to the 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes.

Without the founndation of two recruiting classes, Miami was stripped of depth and finished 14-18 in the 2018-19 season, 15-16 in 2019-20 and 10-17 during the covid impacted season of 2020-21. The 2019 class that Miami signed included 2022-23 ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong.

McGusty became eligible during the 2019-20 season as Miami began to set the foundation for the last two seasons. Injuries to McGusty hindered Miami during the 2020-21 season causing him to miss six games. McGusty had his best season with Miami in 2021-22 when he was named first-team All-ACC.

Next. Miami lineup set with Nijel Pack returning. dark

Miami returns, Bensley Joseph, Pack, Omier and Wooga Poplar for the 2023-24 season with Florida State transfer Matthew Cleveland to provide Miami with an excellent starting five. Miami also signed center Michael Nwoko and guard Kyshawn George in 2023. The Hurricanes will be one of the ACC favorites for 2023-24.