After a stunning loss to an un-ranked underdog in Wake Forest on the road last Saturday, Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga gave his team a stern lecture and pulled all media access to his players in an effort to motivate his team and get them back on track in what could be a very special and even historic season for the UM basketball team.
Some apparently foolish and incredibly self-centered media types like Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post then tweeted something to the effect of: "The UM SID has said that all UM basketball players are off limits to the media this week. No explanation was given as to why."
Surely you can't be serious Jorge? You have covered sports for almost 30 years and the Miami Hurricanes since 1995 and you can't figure out why a coach would make his players unavailable to the media after a huge and unexpected late-season loss to a major underdog?
Well Mr. Milian, in case you still haven't figured it out just yet, maybe you should take a look at the results of Wednesday night's game against Virginia Tech as to why coach Larranaga would pull back on the reigns of his big-headed, headline reading and "believing their own press clippings" team.
The 5th ranked Miami Hurricanes shook a 10-day scoring slump and pulled away from Virginia Tech for a 76-58 victory at the Bank United Center on Wednesday night. Miami's Shane Larkin had 22 points and six assists to lead the Hurricanes, who were coming off a loss at Wake Forest that ended their 14-game winning streak and their bid to go unbeaten in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Despite a slow start, Miami (23-4, 14-1) never trailed and improved to 13-0 at home. The Hurricanes hold a 2 1/2-game edge over second-place Duke in the ACC and can clinch their first conference basketball championship by beating the Blue Devils on Saturday.
Virginia Tech (12-16, 3-12) fell deeper into last place in the league. Erick Green, the nation's leading scorer at 25.2 points per game, took a painful spill in the first half and scored only 16 - just the third time this season he has been held below 20.
The Hurricanes had averaged only 54.7 points over their past three games and again sputtered at the outset, but led 15-14 despite committing five consecutive turnovers and missing seven straight shots.
Then the onslaught began against the Hokies, who were 18-point underdogs. Larkin led the way, and not only because of his smothering defense against Green. On consecutive possessions early in the second half, the point guard hit a one-handed runner, sank a 3-pointer and fed Durand Scott for a fast-break layup and a 49-28 lead.
Kenny Kadji had 20 points, six rebounds and two blocks, while Trey McKinney Jones added 11 points and three steals. Scott, a senior, was held out of the starting lineup for disciplinary reasons. He missed the first 4 minutes and scored nine points. Larkin shot 8 for 12, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range. The Hurricanes made 50 percent and went 8 for 21 beyond the arc.
So Mr. Milian I hope you have learned a valuable lesson from these events.
One that even a University of Florida graduate should find strikingly obvious.