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Miami Basketball Announces Non-Conference Schedule

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Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Courtesy UM

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami will host seven home games as part of the 12-game 2015-16 non-conference men’s basketball schedule, Coach Jim Larrañaga announced Wednesday.

The Hurricanes will also play a pair of road games at Nebraska and La Salle, and three games in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan, P.R.

“Our non-conference schedule has a great mixture of home, away and neutral site games that will test our players and prepare the team for the rigorous ACC schedule,” Larrañaga said. “Hurricanes fans can look forward to creating an electric home court advantage for seven exciting games in the BankUnited Center, including matchups against in-state rival Florida and 2015 CAA Champion, Northeastern.”

Following an exhibition game against Dowling Nov. 4, Miami opens the season with back-to-back home games, facing the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly Texas-Pan Am), Friday, Nov. 13, then quickly turning around to play Louisiana (formerly Louisiana-Lafayette) on Monday, Nov. 16.

The Canes then join seven teams – Butler, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri State, Temple, Texas Tech and Utah – in Puerto Rico Tip-Off held Nov. 19, 20 and 22 at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico. The complete bracket for the tournament will be announced August 6.

Five of the final seven non-conference games will be played at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Fla., beginning with the Nov. 27 matchup with 2015 Colonial Athletic Association Champion and NCAA second-round participant, Northeastern.

On Dec. 1 Miami returns to Lincoln, Neb., to face the Cornhuskers for the Big Ten / ACC Challenge, a rematch of the 2013 game in which Nebraska prevailed.

Three-straight home games begin with Charlotte Dec. 5, followed by the highly-anticipated matchup with Florida Dec. 8, then a game against Charleston Dec. 19, after finals week. Miami downed all three teams last season, beating Charlotte twice within 48 hours at the Charleston Classic and in Charlotte, N.C., toppling then-No. 8/7 Florida in Gainesville, and defeating Charleston by 27 points at the BUC.

Miami’s final non-conference road game will be Dec. 22 against La Salle at the historic Palestra in Philadelphia. The Canes then return home to face Princeton on Dec. 29, closing out the non-conference slate.

“In December we’ll play La Salle in Philadelphia at the Palestra, which is often called the Cathedral of College Basketball. This environment should be a good experience for our players as we close out the non-conference schedule,” Larrañaga added.

After the new year, Miami will play a strenuous 18-game Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, hosting Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, and hitting the road for matchups against Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Virginia and Virginia Tech. The complete ACC basketball schedule will be announced later this fall.

Miami has been ranked in a pair of 2015-16 preseason national polls, checking in at No. 21 on CBSSports.com and No. 23 in the USA Today poll.

UM should be led by a trio of 2015 All-ACC Team honorable mention players in seniors Sheldon McClellan (14.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg), Angel Rodriguez (11.9 ppg, 3.9 apg) and Tonye Jekiri (8.6 ppg, 9.9 rpg). Also returning are senior Ivan Cruz Uceda (5.2 ppg), junior Davon Reed (8.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg), and sophomores Omar Sherman (4.8 ppg), Ja’Quan Newton (4.0 ppg) and James Palmer (3.7 ppg). The Canes welcome junior transfer Kamari Murphy (Oklahoma State/Brooklyn, N.Y.) and freshmen Anthony Lawrence, Jr. (Lakewood/St. Petersburg, Fla.), and Ebuka Izundu (Victory Christian/Charlotte, N.C.).

Miami finished the 2014-15 season with a 25-13 overall record and a 10-8 mark in the ACC. UM played the most games (38) and recorded the second-most victories (25) in Hurricane basketball history, ending the season in the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament in Madison Square Garden. The Hurricanes are 91-49 in four seasons under head coach Jim Larrañaga.