Winning 29 games is nothing to laugh at. Taking home the ACC regular and conference tournament crowns are a big accomplishment. Being named a two seed in the NCAA Tournament for a university known for its football is pretty amazing. Bouncing from the big dance during the Sweet 16–not as much fun as the previous statements.
Despite losing to the Marquette Golden Eagles last evening, the Miami Hurricanes‘ season has been nothing short of astonishing. Nobody could have expected the wild successes that they have had nor should anyone be disappointed in how the season has ended. Considering the expectations for the program before the year ended–Miami’s season was not only awesome, but way ahead of schedule.
When Jim Larranaga took over the program most figured he was doing so for one final payday. Being that he was a bit older in his coaching career, that Larranaga did not have the most pure intentions of turning the program around when he took over. Well, it looks as if those assessments were a little off-base,
Miami relied heavily on seniors for this year’s run. A slew of players who did not have anywhere near the success as they had this season. Larranaga took some players no one else cared for and turned them into a winning bunch of characters. Again, worth noting more than once, something nobody expected to happen.
The debate will now turn to whether or not the Hurricanes’ program can continue to improve. If this year was just a flash in the pan or if it is sign of things to come in the future.
Early reports already have Shane Larkin returning to the program next season. While most of their regular rotation has lost their eligibility–the duo of Larkin and Larranaga can do enough to keep the ship afloat. Keep riding on the momentum of this season and the now established identity of the program.
Sure, it is depressing for Miami fans that their two-seeded team lost in a round with 32 teams in it. Still, I am not sure that the smartest of the smart could have projected them to be anywhere remotely in that kind of vicinity before the season got underway.
The Hurricanes may have not gotten as far as we all might have wished for, although, they got much further than anyone one of us expected–earlier than we could have imagined.
This season was anything but a bust.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone