Coach Jim Larranaga, Miami – Opening statement: “I thought we got off to a great start. We played great in the first half. In the second half, LaSalle did a great job pressing us and forcing some turnovers. We got a little careless with the ball. Overall, it was a very good neutral-site victory for us and we are looking forward to the semifinals tomorrow.”
On starters/depth: “We have a bunch of guys averaging double figures right now. Anthony Lawrence only had 6 points but I thought he rebounded really well and it says he only had 5 rebounds for but it felt like more. I thought he had five in the first half. Anyway, for us to be successful we can’t just rely on one guy. Like today, when we utilized ball screens, there was a portion of the game where they were trapping immediately. When that happens you have to find the open man and we did that well enough to get 15 assists but we had 19 turnovers. It should’ve been reversed. We’re capable of finding the open man and hitting the open shot.”
Guard Chris Lykes, Miami – On getting to the rim: “They press a lot and we did a good job, especially in the first half of getting by them, making solid passes and getting to the rim but also kicking it out for threes. That’s what we do as a team. I think the dynamic of our team is different than last year.”
On what this tournament means: “It means everything for us. We came here to build camaraderie, but our main goal is to win. We want to win and win the championship.”
Coach Ashley Howard, La Salle – (On what he saw from his team) – “Difficult loss to start this tournament. We came into this tournament really optimistic that we’d be able to come out here and turn a corner. I really looked forward to playing against Miami. I felt like losing Traci Carter early in the first half, really impacted our team’s ability to function and felt like we fell apart in the first half. But, in typical LaSalle fashion we battled to the end. I felt like we really competed in the second half.”
(On how his team pressured in the second half) – “You know what, we went to the game feeling like we could press them. We actually turned them over early a couple of times. I think Traci [Carter] got his first foul trying to get a steal and then he got his second after we created a turnover. I feel like that really impacted our ability to function, not having a point guard.”
(What the team was looking to get out of the tournament) – “Just keep getting better, that was the main thing. Continue to get better and continue to come together as a team and be connected. I thought, going into today, that we were in a great place. The way we finished the second half I feel encouraged that we can continue to make this a productive trip. But, it’s a learning experience for us, we have a young team. We have a lot of pieces that are learning each other and we just have to keep chipping away at it and eventually we’ll get there.”
- The 36-point win was the second largest margin of victory in the Wooden Legacy, trailing only last year’s 89-52 win by San Diego State against Sacramento State (37 point differential).
- The 49 points by La Salle marked its fewest scored, as well as the fewest Miami has given up, since these two teams met exactly one year ago (57-46 Miami win on 11/22/17).
- The all-time series is now evened-up as both teams have won nine times.
- Miami is playing in its ninth ESPN event (19-6 record in those, with a record-most four titles).
- The 4-0 start for Miami marks the fifth straight season the Hurricanes have begun a year with at least four straight wins, including last season’s 10-0 start.
- This marks the second time in three games that Miami has won by at least 36 points (won by 38 against Stephen F. Austin).
- Today marked the 100th time in Miami’s history under Coach Larranaga that the Hurricanes held an opponent under 40% FG (La Salle shot 35.0%)… Miami is now 83-17 when that happens since the start of the 2011-12 season.
- Chris Lykes scored 18 points today, thereby ending his season-opening streak of three games tallying at least 20 points.
- DJ Vasiljevic grabbed a career-high seven rebounds today, in addition to notching his fourth straight game with at least 15 points… he remains perfect from the FT stripe on the year (15-15), and has now made his last 18 FTs, with his last miss coming on 1/31/18 vs. Pitt.
La Salle (0-5)
- La Salle is playing in its second ESPN event (2-2 record in those).
- La Salle has begun a season 0-5 for the first time since the 1995-96 campaign, when the Explorers started 0-6.
- La Salle shot 19-35 (.543) 2pt-FGs and 2-25 (.080) 3pt-FGs.
- Pookie Powell entered the game with a 23.3 ppg scoring average, tops amongst all players in the field… however he was held to just 8 points, marking just the fourth time since the start of last season he has scored in single digits.