Jim Larranaga eviscerates Miami basketball team's effort

Following its 83-54 loss to Duke on Wednesday night, head coach Jim Larranaga eviscerated the effort by the Miami basketball team this season.

Feb 10, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga signals from the
Feb 10, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga signals from the / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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After beginning the 2023-2024 season ranked 13th nationally, the Miami basketball team is 12th in the ACC with four regular season games remaining. Head coach Jim Larranaga questioned the effort by his team this season following the Hurricanes' 83-54 home loss to Duke on Wednesday night.

There were a lot of expectations for the Miami basketball team after a run to the 2023 Final Four and the 2022 Midwest Regional Final. Miami was the only team in the country to advance to the Elite Eight in each of the last two seasons. With three starters returning, Miami was picked to finish second in the ACC.

The Hurricanes began the season 11-2. Early season blowout losses at Kentucky and versus Colorado in Brooklyn foreshadowed the remainder of the season. Miami started ACC play with wins over Notre Dame and Clemson. Clemson was ranked 16th nationally when Miami beat them.

An overtime loss at Wake Forest preceded an inexplicable home loss to ACC last-place Louisville. After a win at Virginia Tech, Miami lost at home to Florida State and at Syracuse on a buzzer-beater. Miami has lost 10 of its last 14 games after starting 2-0 in the ACC. Larranaga discussed his team's effort after the loss to Duke.

"You develop a pattern of how you're going to play the game and when you enjoy success, confidence grows. When you don't enjoy as much success, whether it's you as an individual or the team...We don't challenge ourselves to just go harder...And what my message was to the players is if you play the score with four or five minutes to go, you've already thought you've lost. We're behind...What does competing mean? Well, you’ve got to play defense. You got to get back and set your defense. You got to rebound, you got to block out. You got to do all the little things that allow you to fight back into the contest. We did it at Syracuse.

This year we haven't shown that resilience, that competitive spirit that you need to make comebacks to come from down 10 or 12...We're still not getting back. So players eventually have to take responsibility for how competitive they're going to be in every possession. Now, some of our issue is we're not deep right now, so fatigue can definitely be a factor...Very challenging, very frustrating, disappointing for everybody that loves Miami basketball...Yeah, I've said that we need to understand that's the game. A lot of players, not just our guys, a lot of players don't understand how important just running the court is.""

JIm Larranaga, transcribed by 247Sports

Miami has used a seven-man rotation this season when healthy. The Hurricanes have played eight of their 16 ACC games without a starter. That pushes the rotation down to primarily six players. Larranaga did say that fatigue was A factor. It's not the sole reason Miami is 15-12 overall and 6-10 in the ACC.

This is the worst season for Miami since three straight losing years from 2019 through 2021. Miami hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday in a game they are expected to win. Games at North Carolina on Monday, versus Boston College and at Florida State to finish the regular season. This could be the most disappointing season in Miami basketball history.

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The offseason will be challenging for Larranaga and his staff. Every player on the 2023-24 roster has eligibility remaining. Miami signed the 12th-best 2024 class. Building chemistry for 2024-25 will be difficult after Larranaga's on Wednesday. The outgoing interviews for this season will partially determine the 2024-25 roster.