Remember when George Mason made their improbable run to the final four? That same coach is now shocking the college basketball nation once again as he has coach Miami (FL) to their highest ranking in school history at No. 3 and also has the Hurricanes as the only remaining school in a power conference undefeated in conference play.
Jim Larranaga had coached a Cinderella in the NCAA tournament and has now turned the Miami Hurricanes into a basketball school, not a football school. The talent he has on his roster is tremendous, but without great coaching, those players don’t perform like they have been.
Miami is 19-3 and 10-0 in the ACC. Those 3 losses came when the Hurricanes did not have a completely healthy roster. Whether it was Durand Scott or Reggie Johnson out for the Hurricanes, they have not been healthy the whole season. When everyone has played for Larranaga’s squad, they are yet to lose.
After Johnson’s injury, multiple other Hurricanes such as Kenny Kadji and Julian Gamble have gotten better and since Johnson came back, Larranaga has made the decision to have him come off the bench. It has worked out great for Miami and Johnson has been a forceful sixth man to say the least.
Miami has been the biggest surprise in all of college basketball this year and all of the credit has to go to Jim Larranaga. He decided to make the move from a mid-major to an average power conference team with the intentions to turn them into a great team and he has done just that.
Unless Miami has a major meltdown to end the season, Jim Larranaga deserves to be coach of the year in college basketball. Look for him to go to his second final four only this time it is expected.