MIAMI (AP) — Even before tipoff, the injury-plagued Miami Hurricanes will have a different look for Wednesday's game against Pittsburgh.
“We’re going to have to change the warmup,” coach Jim Larranaga said, “because we don’t have enough guys to do even two-line layups.”
Seven Hurricanes are hurt, and Larranaga figures he might have six scholarship players available against the Panthers (4-1). One possible reinforcement is guard Elijah Olaniyi, who is awaiting an anticipated NCAA rule change that would grant all transfers immediate eligibility.
Olaniyi played for Stony Brook a year ago. He has been practicing with the Hurricanes (3-1), but had expected to sit out this season.
“In all likelihood he will be in uniform, he will be in the starting lineup and he will play as many minutes as he can possibly play,” Larranaga said. “It's very conceivable he could play all 40 minutes.”
Among those expected to miss the game are guards Chris Lykes (ankle) and Kameron McGusty (hamstring). Center Deng Gak, who has been nursing sore knees, said the Hurricanes aren't feeling sorry for themselves.
“We’re good,” Gak said. “It's next man up. We’ve got people ready to play.”
Injuries were also a problem for the Hurricanes a year ago, when they sometimes had only eight scholarship players available.
Larranaga declined to blame this season's health issues on a conditioning and practice routine disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but said some of the injuries have been weird.
“Rodney Miller dunked the ball in warmups," Larranaga said, "and strained his groin.”
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