By Charles Hallman
The first time we spoke with Suriya McGuire was during her senior year at Roosevelt High School after she signed her letter of intent to attend the University of Miami to play basketball. At the time she was rated as a top-10 guard in the nation by two prep scouting reports.
Earlier this month, when the 5’-11” McGuire, now a junior starting guard for the Hurricanes, played Minnesota in the annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge, she had 11 points, nine rebounds, a season-high five assists and two steals in a seven-point loss to the Gophers. She’s third on the team in scoring (10.3 ppg).
The MSR talked with her afterwards.
“There was a lot of excitement coming in” and playing in front of family and friends in her hometown for the first time as a collegian, admitted the Roosevelt grad. However, she only spent “about 20 minutes” with family and friends before
having to get back on the plane, she explained with regret — life as a student-athlete, especially on the road, can be much scripted.
Miami is aiming to reach its fifth consecutive NCAA tournament and 5th-straight 20-win season, which if accomplished also would be McGuire’s third-straight post-season.
“I am always trying to get better,” she said. “I feel every day I progressed as a player. I am not satisfied where I am at, but I think I am on the road where I want to be. I feel I have been doing OK.”
She also pointed out that once she can transition what she does at practice to game-day action, she believes she might be on that road. “I’m my worst critic,” she said.
Asked her thoughts on this season’s emphasis on curbing hand-checking, she said, “The ACC is a very physical conference. The one-touch thing is very hard to get into, but it makes you a better player. It’s still tricky to get a hold on [the new rule emphasis], because we are such an aggressive team. [But] not as aggressive that we have to hack you in order to get a stop.
“We got to be smart about it and adjust. There were two calls tonight that I thought [were questionable]. It was just positioning,” she recalled.
An art major with a minor in dance, she said, “School actually is great. I’m very happy that I picked the school where I am at. They help me out a lot to make sure I am academically taken care of. The classes are smaller, so I am attended to by professors.”
When asked about her career plans, McGuire said, “Art-wise, I like graphic design and fashion design. Dancing is what I do for fun.”
Gopher women notes
The volleyball team finished 29-7 after a 3-0 loss to Stanford last week in the NCAA regional semifinals. “We will make sure we are ready for the next season,” said sophomore outside hitter Daly Santana, who had a team-high 17 digs and added 13 kills.
The women’s basketball team, after an 11-day break, returns to the court Friday at noon against UCLA and Sunday against Auburn at 2 pm. The hockey team returns to the ice January 10-11, when they host Ohio State.
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