Katz's Korner

One-on-one with Miami coach Jim Larranaga

Originally Published: March 22, 2013
By Andy Katz | ESPN The Magazine

Jim Larranaga and Durand ScottBob Donnan/USA TODAY SportsIf the team stays healthy, Larranaga says Miami could have the best season in their history.

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How did life change after taking George Mason to the Final Four in 2006?
I accomplished one of my goals by working for the Washington Speakers Bureau as a corporate speaker, and I absolutely love that. I got invited to work the Michael Jordan fantasy camp, which opened up the opportunity to come to Miami because of the friends I made there. And I had a chance to really advance my philosophy by coming here to test what we had done at the mid-major level for 25 years and see if it worked at the highest level in college basketball.

Which would you rather have: an older, experienced team or one with young talent?
Both. When guys have been with me for a while, they learn what we want from them, and I learn what they're good at. I try to put them in a position where they do good. If they do something well, we try to figure out a way to get it into the offense.

What makes this team ready to handle the postseason grind?
I said this before the season: If we stay healthy, we could have the best season in Miami history because we have senior leadership and a talented group of underclassmen.

What's the biggest difference between coaching as an assistant in the ACC in the '80s and now, as a head coach?
Being the one making the decisions as compared to being the assistant making suggestions. And the level of player I have inherited has given me an opportunity to really experience the success we're enjoying this year.

What do you want the lasting image from this season to be?
Cutting down the nets.

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Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com