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Miami Looks Set To Hire Jim Larranaga

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The Jim-Larranaga-to-Miami talk is heating up as George Mason has given Miami permission to talk to Larranaga.

The Miami Herald is now reporting that he'll "likely" be introduced next week and that a deal could be struck as early as Friday.

What Larranaga Inherits
45 Julian Gamble F-C 6-9 258 SR
3 Malcolm Grant G 6-1 180 SR
31 DeQuan Jones G-F 6-7 219 SR
11 Ryan Quigtar G 5-11 172 SR
42 Reggie Johnson C 6-10 303 JR
25 Garrius Adams G 6-6 196 JR
1 Durand Scott G 6-3 200 JR
32 Erik Swoope F 6-6 230 SO
12 Justin Heller G 6-2 180 SO
15 Rion Brown G 6-5 188 SO
10 Raphael Akpejiori F 6-8 229 SO

The Herald said that the New York Post said (don't you love that?) that he's met with his players already and that when he meets Donna Shalala & co. on Friday, as long as they approve, it's a done deal.

We're sure he'd do well there -- he'd do well anywhere.  The guy has proven himself.  The problem is that he's starting over at 61.

On the other hand, Miami's not a bad place to retire, and he wouldn't be the first kid from the Bronx to end up there.

Also in his favor:  Larranaga knows the ACC very well, having been a Terry Holland assistant when he was coaching the Cadavaliers.

And he's got some nice pieces to work with, particularly his backcourt.

And how would this be?  What happens if he quickly transforms this team and Frank Haith can't match the standard Mike Anderson set at Missouri?

That would be a very uncomfortable situation for Haith we imagine.

And as far as the conference overall, Larranaga will be an asset.

In short order now, the ACC has added Brad Brownell (Clemson), Steve Donahue (B.C.), Tony Bennett (UVa), Larranaga (Miami), Mark Gottfried (State), Brian Gregory (Georgia Tech) and Jeff Bzdelik (Wake Forest).

All of these guys, to greater or lesser extents, have known meaningful success.  Brownell nearly upset Maryland when he was at UNC-W and had a very solid debut at Clemson, Steve Donahue had a spectacular run at Cornell, Tony Bennett turned in two solid years at Washington State which is about as hard as doing it at Miami, Larranaga has been to the Final Four, Gottfried took Alabama to a #1 ranking, Brian Gregory put Dayton in the post-season consistently, and Jeff Bzdelik, who has been the weakest so far without question, nonetheless did a solid job with the Nuggets, Air Force and Colorado.

You may have noticed that one of his former players, Alec Burks, entered the draft on Thursday and is expected to be a lottery pick.  He was a lightly regarded recruit, so that says something about Bzdelik's eye for talent.

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