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‘Canes Hoops Game Preview: Gardner-Webb

Miami is ready to tipoff the regular season with a win.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Michigan State vs Miami Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Friday is the 2017-18 regular season home opener for the Hurricanes. Miami will face the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs in its first non-conference game.

Tipoff is set for 8 p.m., and the game can be seen on ACC Network Extra.

Hurricanes head coach Jim Larrañaga’s squad welcomes the test against the Bulldogs which went 19-14 last season.

"This schedule will provide a tough test every night, and we will need to play our best because nearly every game we will be squaring off against nationally-ranked opponents," Larrañaga said.

The hype surrounding this year’s team continues to build for the ‘Canes picked to finish fourth in the ACC this season. Miami is ranked in both national preseason polls (12 in US Today’s Coaches Poll, 13 in AP Poll).

Sophomore starter Brown averaged 11.8 points and 5.6 rebounds and senior leader Ja’Quan Newton averaged 13.5 points and 3.5 rebounds last year. They are both prepared to bring the same heat this season.

Miami is coming off a 21-win season with big wins over Duke and North Carolina and carried this success into its 106-79 exhibition victory over Newberry College.

Sophomore guards Dejan Vasiljevic and Bruce Brown Jr. scored 30 and 19 points, respectively. Miami shot 63.6 percent from the field during the contest and ruled the boards by a 44-24 count.

Miami’s talented core of seven players return from last season along with some new faces. The veterans and newcomers are all ready to live up to the hype.

Brown was named to the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award and freshman Lonnie Walker IV was added to the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.

The ‘Canes begin their path to the National Championship Friday night.

One game at a time.