Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Men's College Basketball [Print without images]

Thursday, April 21, 2011
Updated: April 22, 11:27 AM ET
Jim Larranaga will speak to Miami

By Andy Katz
ESPN.com

George Mason officially granted Miami permission to speak with coach Jim Larranaga late Thursday night, George Mason athletic director Tom O'Connor confirmed to ESPN.com.

O'Connor said he spoke Thursday night with new Miami athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

But O'Connor was uncertain what Larranaga would do with a potential offer, only to say that the two had talked earlier Thursday about the future of the Patriots' program.

Eichorst interviewed Wisconsin-Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter soon after getting the job last week. Jeter knew Eichorst from their time in the state of Wisconsin but wasn't at Wisconsin at the same time.

Eichorst was hired from his position as assistant AD at Wisconsin. Jeter worked for Bo Ryan.

Prior to Eichorst's hire, Miami officials courted Harvard coach Tommy Amaker, but Amaker decided to stay with the Crimson.

Miami is seeking a replacement for Frank Haith, who left Miami after seven years to coach at Missouri.

This isn't the first time Larranaga has been pursued since leading George Mason to the Final Four in 2006. Larranaga, 61, turned down his alma mater, Providence, three years ago before the Friars hired Drake's Keno Davis.

Larranaga led the Patriots to a 27-7 overall record and the NCAA tournament this season, where the Patriots scored a thrilling second-round win over Villanova before losing badly to top seed Ohio State in the third round. Mason won the Colonial Athletic Association regular season but lost in the conference tourney and received an at-large berth.

Larranaga, under contract through 2016, is 273-164 in 14 seasons.

He is familiar with the ACC, having served as an assistant at Virginia under Terry Holland.

Andy Katz is a senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com.