After this weekend's heart breaking loss to FSU on the gridiron, Miami fans needed...heck deserved, a night like last.
Led by K State transfer Angel Rodriguez the Hurricanes stormed back from multiple double digit deficits to defeat #8 Florida 69-67 in Gainesville.
Ok, the loss to the Seminoles is not going to be erased, but beating UF in anything feels pretty good.
Now before we put this team in the Final 4, it is important to note that for 30 minutes of this game they had some serious issues with shooting, turnovers, and especially defense.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the Gators were missing two of their better players in Chris Walker (suspended), and Dorian Finney-Smith (fractured wrist).
Here are a few other observations on a more positive note:
- Miami itself was with out Davon Reed (knee injury hopefully back by December), and Ivan Cruz Uceda (NCAA suspension for 17 games). They promise get better when these two return.
- UM clearly has a lot of depth at the G spots. Freshman James Palmer (10 points) looks very smooth. Deandre Burnett was only 1-2 from the floor, but he promises to have explosive nights this season. Highly touted JaQuan Newton (2-3, 5 points) also looked good in limited action. Miami barely needed Manu Lecomte (3 points) and he is widely regarded as the team's third best player.
- 6'8 Freshman F/C Omar Sherman nailed a huge three, and had a monster block down the stretch. Sherman finished with 8 points and 4 rebounds and did not look overwhelmed by the moment in the slightest. The 'Canes are going to need his size and production this season to be successful.
- Sheldon McClellan only showed glimpses of his potential as a scorer with 9 points. But his 7 rebounds and 5 assists were huge.
- Sign me up for 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks from Tonye Jekiri all season long.
- And of course there was Rodriguez. I don't expect him to be that kind of scorer all season long, but his toughness and leadership make this a dangerous squad........
22 of his 24 points came in the final 9 minutes.
UM trailed by two with under a minute to go......
And then, Rodriguez did this! (Not to mention the charge he drew on UF's second to last possession with under 5 seconds left to seal the deal)
Additional Notes (Courtesy UM):
- The Canes snap Florida’s 33 game home winning streak and 25-game home non-conference winning streak at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The 33-game streak was the third-longest in the country, behind 34 from both Duke and Stephen F. Austin.
- Miami’s last road win over a Top 10 team was Feb. 5, 2012 at No. 7/5 Duke (78-74, OT).
- Miami’s last road win over a ranked team was Feb. 2, 2013 at No. 19 NC State (79-78).
- Miami was 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) from the free throw line in the last five minutes of the game.
- Miami shot 65.2 percent from the field and 70 percent from the 3-point line in the second half.