Canes: Tough road to hold

The Ryder Center- the University of Miami's basketball new home venue- probably won't be entirely completed until late next year. But judging by the men's basketball 2001-02 schedule, announced last week, the Hurricanes will have little time to worry about building blocks.

The Hurricanes, 16-13 last season after losing to Auburn in the first-round of the National Invitational Tournament, will encounter 13 postseason participants from a year ago on the schedule, including games against top notch teams from the Big East Conference.

The highlight of the schedule could be Saturday, Dec. 15 when the Hurricanes play the Indiana Hoosiers as part of the HIP Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.

UM host Charlotte (Dec. 22) at the Miami Arena, before traveling to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl Basketball Classic- the Hurricanes face Louisiana State University.

"This is an extremly challenging schedule," said Miami coach Perry Clark. "Playing established programs presents opportunities and will help prepare us for our difficult league schedule."

Miami, along with Alabama-Birmingham, Clemson, Eastern Michigan, La Salle and Morris Brown, will tip off the season at the Virgin Island Invitational (Nov. 16-21) in St. Thomas. Among several of the other Hurricanes non-conference include at Texas A&M on Dec. 8, against Florida Atlantic (Nov. 26) and Florida International (Dec. 3) at the Miami Arena.

The Hurricanes dive into the Big East Conference schedule several days into 2002 after a home date against St. Francis (Dec. 30) to close out 2001. Conference games at Miami Arena: Boston College (Jan. 29), Providence (Jan. 19), Connecticut (Feb. 2), St. John's (Feb. 13) and Notre Dame ( Feb. 23).

In their road green the Hurricanes will meet Georgetown (Jan. 2), Connecticut (Jan. 5), St. John's (Jan. 8), Virginia Tech (Jan. 12), Villanova (Feb. 5) and Boston College (Feb. 10). Miami makes their final road trip of the season against Providence ( Feb. 26).

The Hurricanes will be on network television at St. John's (ESPN 2), at Boston College (ABC) and Providence (ESPN 2).

The Hurricanes return four starters from last year's squad.

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