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Coach Jim Larranaga Talks Miami Basketball's NIT Run

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Coach L was his usual jovial and upbeat self on today's NIT Teleconference, even joking he was looking forward to seeing who else might get hurt today in practice and the team,  "liked making his life more difficult."

He called Tonye Jekiri's  injury, "a freak accident."

On the team overcoming the injuries to Jekiri, and Angel Rodriguez,

"Our team showed some real resiliency and pulled together somehow and were able to make a good comeback in the second half and defeat a very good Temple team.  Our defense in the second half was very good, holding them to 22% shooting and no three point field goals made..... I think what the guys learned is if you keep playing hard on the defensive end of the floor and are willing to share the ball, you can enjoy success. "

On Sheldon McClellan's clutch play of late,

"First of all Sheldon and Angel are a dynamic combination.  Sheldon really benefits from Angel's passing.  Since Angel's been out, Sheldon has had to take on more of a leadership role and had to work at getting himself open and taking it upon himself to create shots for himself and his teammates.  He's got better and better at it. Last night he took over the game and made two great decisions.  He did the same thing at Richmond. I think that is helping his confidence and helping his teammates' confidence in him."

Additional Notes:

  • The 'Canes are walking wounded right now, heading into the NIT Final.  Jekiri is already declared out with a concussion.  Manu Lecomte has a knee injury and is limited, and JaQuan Newton has an injured hand. Rodriguez remains out with an injured wrist.

  • With Rodriguez out,  Lecomte not 100%, and Newton playing through a injured hand and needing rest, Deandre Burnett actually saw some time at PG last night.  Larranaga also mentioned that Sheldon McClellan played some point as well, something he had not done all season before the Richmond game. He also noted,  they also ran some "high, low" sets with McClellan and Davon Reed.
  • Larranaga failed to name a new starting line-up minus Jekiri.   He said he would first see how things went in practice today, but said he had a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C and that one of the plans involved Omar Sherman starting.

  • Coach L also mentioned that Davon Reed tweaked his knee in yesterday's shoot around.  Although there was initial concern, Reed was obviously good to go.

  • On Stanford, Coach L added,   "I think we match up pretty well with them when we are healthy.  I do not know how we match up with them now.  We are going to have to figure things out when the game starts and make some adjustments. They have one of the most dynamic PGs in the country in Chasson Randle. He's the leading scorer in Stanford history.  Inside Stefan Nastic is a horse. He can rebound and defend and is a real force inside"
  • On the experimental 30 second shot clock being used in the NIT, "I am really surprised as to the impact it is having.  If we bring the 30 second shot clock in (to all College Games) we are going to see some dramatic changes."

Tomorrow's game will be at 9 PM and can be seen on ESPN.