- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
- Law firm that cleared N.J. Gov. Christie in ‘Bridgegate’ gave 10K to RGA, which he heads
- PETA ‘hopping mad’ at Michelle Obama for using real eggs at Easter Egg Roll
- Sneaky Nebraska toddler traps self inside claw machine game
- Biden to lead $600 million work force training effort
- Atheists’ Easter taunt to Christians: ‘Jesus is a myth’
- Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City show
Miami’s Larranaga, Michigan’s Burke win AP awards
ATLANTA (AP) - Jim Larranaga made his mark as a basketball coach years ago at places like Bowling Green and George Mason. This season, with his Miami Hurricanes enjoying unprecedented success, Larranaga showed he has impressive footwork.
Minutes after he was introduced Thursday as The Associated Press’ coach of the year, the 63-year-old, two-time hip replacement patient was asked about his postgame Ali shuffle after the Hurricanes’ 63-59 victory over Illinois in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
“When we left Coral Gables for the NCAA tournament I told the players I was going to have more fun than any other coach and I wanted them to have more fun than any other team,” Larranaga said. “It doesn’t mean be silly and goof off. It means enjoy each other’s company, when we practice be excited about being there, have some enthusiasm, be very, very positive.”
Larranaga admitted that he plans a lot of the things he does with his team but what happened after the Illinois game was off the cuff.
“During the hard fought game at almost every timeout in the second half I said we’re in a fight and I need fighters. I told them we needed to fight to get every rebound, every loose ball, every basket, every inch of the floor,” he recounted. “I kept repeating that and after we won, as I was walking into the locker room to address them, I thought I have to congratulate them on how well they fought and the first name I thought of was Muhammad Ali.
“I asked you guys to fight and what I saw out there was Muhammad Ali and the shuffle followed. The best thing was the reaction of the players who jumped up and started shadow boxing.”
Larranaga and his quick combination of punches is still in every promotional clip for the tournament, even though the Hurricanes were eliminated by Marquette in the round of 16.
Larranaga led Miami to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles _ the first in school history _ and a school-best No. 2 ranking. The Hurricanes finished 29-7 in Larranaga’s second season.
The AP’s player of the year wasn’t able to make the presentation because he and his teammates were at practice, getting ready for the Final Four.
Michigan sophomore guard Trey Burke was the player of the year after leading a young group of Wolverines to Michigan’s deepest run since the Fab Five era in 1992 and ‘93, when the Wolverines played in back-to-back championships. They take on Syracuse in the national semifinals Saturday.
Burke joins Cazzie Russell in 1966 as the only Michigan players to win the award. The Big Ten player of the year, Burke averaged 19.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists. He shot 40.1 percent from behind the 3-point line.
“He has been with three to five freshmen all year long,” Michigan coach John Beilein said Thursday. “Here he is this cagey sophomore, veteran sophomore.
“Come on, the whole year he has been just as calm and cool as if he was a fifth-year redshirt senior guard. So you look at that.
“Those young guys look at Trey, they see poise, they see patience. It’s worked very well.”
The voting was by the same 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Ballots had to be returned by Selection Sunday.
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- EDITORIAL: Intolerance at Brandeis silences Muslim dissident Hirsi Ali
- Kirsten Dunst: Actress sparks feminist ire: 'You need a man to be a man'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.