What happens when you take the University of Miami basketball team from ACC filler to conference regular season and conference champs, all while under the looming threat of an NCAA investigation? You get named the NCAA coach of the year.
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New Times profiled Larranaga's amazing stewardship of the Canes in a cover story earlier this month:
At a spring team meeting, Larranaga pressed the squad about what they wanted out of the following season. An NCAA tournament appearance was the consensus. Channeling the dedication of his George Mason players, Larranaga replied that the whole team would have to stay on campus all summer for weight and conditioning work.
"Most of the people on the team, we really haven't had success," Kadji says. "Reggie Johnson is a fifth-year senior. Julian Gamble is a sixth-year senior. These people have been through injuries, so we can all relate to each other. We know how hard it's been for each other to get to this point, so I think that brought us closer together."