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NCAA Basketball ACC BasketballMiami (FL) Hurricanes

No Panic for Miami (FL) Despite Exhibition Loss to Saint Leo

Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

For some odd reason, any Division I power that loses an exhibition game prior to the start of the season, seems to take some criticism.

Sure, there is a backlash that should come from it, but only to an extent. Exhibitions are put in place for a reason, whether it’s to test different lineups or give others playing experience prior to the beginning of regular season action.

Well, if you haven’t heard already, Miami (FL) fell victim to an exhibition defeat on Friday night as Saint Leo came into Coral Gables and upended them. It’s a highlight moment for Saint Leo, but a learning experience for the Hurricanes.

In the game, senior forward Reggie Johnson played 13 minutes after missing time prior to last week. Julian Gamble made his first appearance in game-action since tearing his ACL a year ago. So, there are certainly some good things to take away.

The Hurricanes hold no bar for their loss to Saint Leo, but Miami is focused on preparing for the regular season, getting healthy and gearing up for a run within the ACC. The league will once again be top heavy, led in large part by the Tobacco Road trio, but the door is open for those middle-of-the-pack squads to make a leap and run at a berth in the Big Dance.

So, should Miami panic? No way.

“I believe our guys learned that we have a heck of a lot of work ahead of us before we become the kind of team we’re capable of becoming,” head coach Jim Larranaga said on Sunday.

While the exhibition loss may raise a few eyebrows, it’s nothing than something to build off heading into the non-conference portion of the Hurricanes’ schedule.

Miami opens up the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9 against Stetson.

 

Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse