Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Any chance that a top 10 ranking would lead to a letdown was quickly dispelled.
Halfway through the ACC schedule, the Miami Hurricanes are perfect in the ACC at 9-0. Read that again if you like, but it's not a misprint. The way the Miami Hurricanes are playing, it might be just a start!
Durand Scott got UM on the board with a mid range jumper. But the biggest mismatch early on was Miami's size, as the 'Canes jumped out to an 8-2 lead behind Kenny Kadji and Julian Gamble's muscle down low. Tonye Jekiri had a big block and Scott had a steal that led to a one handed flush, as the Hurricanes fired on all cylinders in the first 7 minutes.
Miami's focus was laser sharp on the defensive end, and their hustle on the glass made up for any struggles they had shooting. Trey McKinney Jones knocked down a three, and Shane Larkin weaved his way through the defense for a lay in during another mini run to swell the lead to 23-10. At this point BC went zone, and this slowed the 'Canes down a bit. 2 fouls a piece on every UM big man also helped the Eagles cause. Lonnie Jackson hit a triple just before the half ended to cut Miami's lead to 33-23.
Larkin and Rion Brown had 7 each at the half. Ryan Anderson paced BC with 7 of his own. Miami dominated the glass 24-11 in the 1st half.
BC started the half on a 4-0 run following buckets by Olivier Hanlan and Anderson, but Kadji completely took over from there. K2 answered with a trifecta of huge buckets to stretch the lead to 13, including the very rare 4 point play. That scoring burst and Miami's suffocating defense kept the lead in double digits as both teams showed hustle but were a little sloppy in the first 10 minutes of the half. Shane Larkin was a menace, deflecting a ton of passes. The Eagles managed only 4 points in one 7 and a half minute stretch. That's when UM started hitting shots, and that was ball game. A couple of threes by Larkin and Brown were bookends to a Scott triple as Miami finally blew it open and extended to a 58-35 lead with just over 7 minutes to go. BC was feisty, but it was clear which team was bigger, deeper and more talented. Miami never stopped playing defense and Brown had his best shooting night since the ACC opener against GT, finishing with 22. The game was so comfortably in hand, that Coach L even sat Shane Larkin (the ACC leader in minutes per game) the final 5 minutes.
Player of the Game: Rion Brown. When he has it going, his stroke is very aesthetically pleasing. Kadji, Scott, and Larkin all get consideration here as well.
The Good: Miami's defense in the first half was sensational. Every pass and shot was contested. Give BC credit for hitting a few shots and getting to 23 points. It wasn't easy! BC needed garbage buckets against the scout team to hit 50 on the night.
The Bad: The way the Hurricanes are playing, this is becoming a near impossible spot to fill. 9-0 in the ACC is a thing of beauty.
The Ugly: Not sure what the official attendance numbers will be, but the BUC was not completely packed. Shame on South FL.. This is a top 10 team!!!
Next Game:Miami hosts UNC Saturday 2/9 at 2PM EST. The BUC IS sold out for this contest.
|Andrew Van Nest||1-4||1-2||0-0||2||4||0||2||3|
|Trey McKinney Jones||1-6||1-4||2-2||0||0||1||0||5|
- Technical Fouls:
- BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, FL