Dave Hyde: A campus walk with Jim Larrañaga is evidence of Miami Hurricanes' Sweet 16 success

Dave Hyde, South Florida Sun-Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — It’s just after noon and a soft sunshine plays across the University of Miami campus as Jim Larrañaga leaves his basketball office for his daily walk.

He wasn’t sure he’d have time for it Tuesday between the two-hour staff meeting, the nine media interviews, the private talks with various players and the general preparation for Wednesday’s trip to Kansas City for Friday’s NCAA Tournament game against top seed Houston.

“I’d have sent someone to get it for me if I couldn’t go,” he says.

Each day, Larrañaga takes this 10-minute walk across campus to get an Angel Food smoothie and enjoy where he works.

“Anyone have it better than here?” he says, stopping to look across at a small lake as a couple students pass on the sideline walk wishing him luck.

He waves at them, before returning to a story of last weekend’s wins. It began with Miami starting so tight and tense in the tournament opener against Drake he said in a time-out to loosen them up , “I don’t recognize you guys. Who are you?”


The weekend then ended last Sunday night with a celebratory family dinner after the win against Indiana. His son, Jon, attended the game with his family and everyone discussed the game afterward.

“Papi, why’d you take [center Norchad Omier] out of the game?” asked his 14-year-old grandson, also named Jon.

Grandpa explained the risk of foul trouble and Omier’s importance considering his 17 rebounds in that win.

“He looked at me and said, ‘You took him out too long!’ " Larrañaga said, laughing, just as eight Miami students ask him to stop for a picture.


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