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Miami Hurricanes Basketball Opens the Season Tonight Vs Western Carolina

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UM has a lot of new faces in 2016-17. Tonight we get our first look.

Will Davon Reed have a break out senior campaign?

Can Ja'Quan Newton take over for Angel Rodriguez at the PG spot and run the show with the same leadership and perhaps even more explosiveness?

How good are freshmen Bruce Brown and Dewan Huell?

Tonight we get out first peak at Coach L's revamped squad in what should be an early season tune-up Vs Western Carolina.

This Miami team is loaded with perimeter talent, no doubt.

But will Huell and holdovers like Ebuka Izundu and Kamari Murphy have enough defensive presence and rebounding aplomb for this squad to make noise in the ACC and beyond?

Time will tell, however the story lines that are most notable tonight, include how this team boards and how Newton runs the show.

Keep and eye on the small details this evening.

If this team plays lights out D, and competes every night inside, the sky is the limit.

Game Notes (Courtesy UM):

SETTING THE SCENE

DATE: Friday, Nov. 11, 2016

TIME: 7 p.m.

LOCATION: Watsco Center, Coral Gables, Fla.

BROADCASTS

Radio: 560 WQAM - Kevin Rogers

Online: ACC Network Extra - Kyle Sielaff, Mike Jarvis, Jr. http://es.pn/2e9v0sk

SERIES

All-time: First Meeting

Under Coach Larrañaga: 0-0

Home: 0-0 Away: 0-0

Last matchup: First Meeting.

POLLS

Miami - AP: RV USA Today: RV

WCU - AP: NR USA Today: NR

WEATHER

Coral Gables, Fla.: 80/65

Cullowhee, N.C.: 67/36

THE 2016-17 HURRICANES

Miami opens the 2016-17 regular season with 10 scholarship players, led by a trio of captains in seniors Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy, along with junior Ja’Quan Newton. Sophomores Anthony Lawrence and Ebuka Izundu also return for the Hurricanes.

This season, a group of five newcomers comprising Miami’s top recruiting class in program history will don a UM jersey for the first time. The Canes’ coaching staff reeled in four freshmen in McDonald’s All-American Dewan Huell, Jordan Brand Classic All-American Bruce Brown, Australian standout Dejan "DJ" Vasiljevic and Rodney Miller from national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.). Redshirt junior Rashad Muhammad also joins the class after sitting out a season ago due to transferring from San Jose State. The four-man group has been named one of the top 2016 classes in the country, with a No. 9 ranking from 247Sports, No. 10 from Scout, No. 13 from ESPN and No. 13 from Rivals.

LARRAÑAGA TAPPED INTO IRON ARROW

Coach Jim Larrañaga has been tapped into the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the highest honor one can attain at UM. Women's head coach Katie Meier and Golden Cane Sandy Nusbaum tapped Larrañaga and Deputy AD Tony Hernandez presented Coach L with his Iron Arrow jacket.

MIAMI EARNING VOTES IN BOTH NATIONAL POLLS

Miami is garnering votes in both the AP (48) and the USA TODAY Coaches (11) preseason polls. The Canes are six places out of the Top 25 in the AP poll and four positions out in the USA Today poll.

SELLING OUT THE WATSCO CENTER

In just his fifth season in Coral Gables, Jim Larrañaga and Miami SOLD OUT the season ticket allotment for all home games last year at the Watsco Center. It was the first time in Miami athletics history a team sold out their season. And now, the arena is sold out in back-to-back seasons.

For two straight years, fans have bought over 5,500 season tickets, more than doubling the total number of season tickets sold in Larrañaga’s first season in Coral Gables. When Coach L began his reign in Miami, fans bought 2,251 season tickets for the 2011-12 campaign. After a record-breaking season on the court in 2012-13, season tickets peaked at 3,674 for 2013-14, prior to this year’s 5,750 mark.

MIAMI PICKED NINTH IN ACC PRESEASON POLL

Miami was predicted to finish ninth out of 15 teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference this sea-son, as announced by the league at the 55th annual Operation Basketball. Duke was picked to win the ACC, followed by North Carolina, Virginia and Louisville.

THE MATCHUP BETWEEN MIAMI AND WESTERN CAROLINA

Not only will this will be the first meeting between Miami and Western Carolina, but Jim Larrañaga has also never faced the Catamounts in his 32 years as a head coach.

This will be Miami’s first matchup against a member of the Southern Conference since they defeated Georgia Southern 81-80 in overtime on Nov. 11, 2013.

The Hurricanes are 14-1 in home openers since 2001. In those 14 victories, the Canes have won by an average of 23.4 points. For a complete listing of season and home openers, see page five of the notes.

While Coach L has never faced Western Carolina, he has faced its head coach, Larry Hunter, before. While Larrañaga was at Bowling Green and Hunter was at Ohio, the two went 9-9 against each other.

In Miami’s season-opening win against UT-Rio Grande Valley last year, the Canes had five scorers in double-digits including 14 points from Davon Reed and 11 from Ja’Quan Newton.

DAVON REED TABBED TO NABC HONORS COURT

Senior Davon Reed was tabbed to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) 2015-16 NABC Honors Court, recognizing those men’s collegiate basketball student-athletes who excelled in academics during the past season.

Reed, from Ewing, N.J., is majoring in sport administration with a minor in marketing and communications at Miami. He is expected to graduate from The U in May of 2017, after a four-year basketball career with the Hurricanes.

Last season Reed was also named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Men’s Basketball Team and the All-ACC Academic Honor Roll. Following his junior campaign, he was listed on Miami’s Dean’s List (3.5+ GPA), Athletics Director Honor Roll (3.2+ GPA) and Book Buster Honor Roll (3.0+ GPA).

McCLELLAN ON NBA OPENING DAY ROSTER

Miami graduate Sheldon McClellan signed a partially guaranteed contract with the Washington Wizards, and on the NBA’s opening day, McClellan played in his first professional game. Against Atlanta, he scored seven points and had a steal in four minutes.

NAVY SEALS TRAINING

The Miami basketball team went through a two-day training session with the Navy Seals on the UM campus in late August. The team worked out on both the land and in the swimming pool. Check out the highlight video here: https://youtu.be/VCZ_9t2FVR0 .

MUHAMMAD OUT FIRST THREE GAMES

Junior guard Rashad Muhammad has been suspended for the first three games of the season for a violation of team rules.