The Miami Hurricanes basketball team will forever go down in Georgia Tech lore as their first ACC opponent at the new 8,600 seat McCamish Pavillion. The 'Canes will also ink the record books as the first ACC team to win at the new Yellow Jacket arena as they ripped the wings off the building in their ACC opener.
While Coach Larranaga won the 500th game of his career, the most important footnote of the game to most 'Canes fans was the play of Rion Brown.
Rion Brown (22pts, 1reb, 1stl) nailed his first three of the game and it was all uphill from there. The junior guard converted an acrobatic dunk off a Durand Scott (4pts, 4ast) lob, got involved in the fast break, and played his usual brand of tough defense. And that was just the first half. Brown continued his assault in the second frame, hitting another perfectly-shot three-ball on his first try. It wasn't until roughly 8 minutes left in the game when Brown missed his first shot.
Trey McKinney-Jones (9pts, 5reb, 2ast) did a little bit of everything. He instigated fast breaks, drove to the hoop, found open teammates, and continued to earn the Swiss-Army Knife moniker with his varied skills.
In addition to a career game by Brown and Coach L's milestone win, Kenny Kadji (11pts, 14reb, 1stl, 2blk) set a career high in rebounds. Kadji was relentless on the glass.
Both Scott and Shane Larkin (5pts, 4reb, 6ast) served more as facilitators as their shots weren't falling but the rest of the team was there to pick them up. Julian Gamble (7pts, 7reb, 1ast, 2blk), Raphael Akpejiori and Tonye Jekiri were energized down low and, in addition to Kadji's sterling effort, were instrumental in giving the 'Canes a big advantage on the boards.
Game Metaphor Footage: Miami = Jadeveon Clowney; Georgia Tech = Vincent Smith
Player of the Game: Rion Brown. As the title says, he went ballistic.
Offensive Player of the Game: Rion Brown. The 'Canes struggled to hit shots - except for Rion Brown. With out Brown's gaudy 9-11, the 'Canes shot 13-42 from the floor - 31%.
Defensive Player of the Game: Solid team effort. Miami may have struggled offensively at times, but the 'Canes really made life miserable for Georgia Tech. Not even a prayer hook shot by Robert Carter, the most square-shouldered human being I've ever seen, would be enough to prompt a Yellow Jacket offensive explosion.
Points of Interest: Raphael "Rok" Akpejiori and Tonye Jekiri both received early minutes. Coach Larranaga left Gamble in despite picking up his 3rd foul just over a minute into the 2nd half. Miami was relentless on the boards - on two occasions 'Canes fought one another for rebounds (Akpejiori-Brown; Gamble-Kadji). Larkin had a super-human rebound that is worth seeing. Tonye Jekiri had an effortless block that is hopefully a harbinger of things to come.
Next Game: The 'Canes travel to UNC next to take on the Tar Heels on Jan 10th, at 7PM.
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Julian Gamble, F-C||25||2-6||0-0||3-4||2||7||1||0||2||1||4||7|
|Kenny Kadji, F-C||31||3-9||1-4||4-6||2||14||0||1||2||3||1||11|
|Trey McKinney Jones, G||30||3-10||1-4||2-3||1||5||2||0||0||2||0||9|
|Durand Scott, G||33||2-7||0-2||0-0||0||0||4||2||0||4||3||4|
|Shane Larkin, G||36||2-7||1-3||0-0||1||4||6||3||0||1||0||5|
|Raphael Akpejiori, F||13||1-3||0-0||0-0||1||4||0||1||0||1||4||2|
|Rion Brown, G||23||9-11||4-6||0-0||1||1||0||1||0||0||1||22|
|Erik Swoope, F||2||0-0||0-0||0-2||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets|
|Robert Carter Jr., NA||24||3-7||1-3||0-0||1||4||3||0||0||0||4||7|
|Daniel Miller, C||25||2-7||0-0||2-2||1||7||0||1||1||2||2||6|
|Mfon Udofia, G||29||2-7||2-4||4-5||2||3||1||0||0||2||1||10|
|Brandon Reed, G||17||0-4||0-3||0-0||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Pierre Jordan, G||9||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||1||1||1||0|
|Kammeon Holsey, F||24||4-7||0-0||2-4||0||1||2||0||0||2||1||10|
|Stacey Poole Jr., G-F||4||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||2||0||0||1||0||0|
|Jason Morris, G-F||9||0-3||0-2||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Julian Royal, F||7||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0|
Officials: Doug Shows, Roger Ayers, Mike Eades