The University of Miami Men's basketball team may very well be the strangest team in college basketball, let alone the ACC. After a huge road win against Syracuse, the Canes came back to the BUC and simply laid an egg. Here are my thoughts about this ugly loss.
1) The BUC Brought No Energy To This Game
- No I am not blaming this loss on the fans nor am I acting like a certain AP writer we all know, but when the No. 23 team in the country comes back home after a monumental ACC win against a talented Syracuse team, you would think people would want to see them play. Guess not.
Once the Hurricanes were finally able to put the game in single digits after a 7-0 run, the crowd was still not there to feed off of. We've all seen what a hyped up and filled up Bank United Center can do for this team, specifically when they came back from 18 to one of the top teams in the country UVA.
To put it nicely, attendance was horrid, and this team deserves more than a half-full student section on a Wednesday night.
Coach Jim Larranaga mentioned after the game that it was disappointing to see a lack of attendance. "I've been here four years, so I wasn't surprised, but I would've liked to see it packed."
Coach L later mentioned that in no way is he blaming this game on the fans.
2) Angel Rodriguez is in a funk...and it smells
-When it comes down to a game-winning free throw or three pointer, Rodriguez is the go-to player without a doubt. But what about the minutes for that last second?
Before the Georgia Tech game, Rodriguez had made 5 of his last 29 attempts. He had more turnovers (6) than shots made to put things into perspective. Tonight was no different.
Rodriguez shot 0-8 with 4 turnovers. When the leader of the team is playing such unefficient basketball, it makes things that much more difficult for victory, and tonight that day finally came. Rodriguez is now 5-37 with 10 turnovers in his last four games.
3) Miami Got Complacent
- After a tremendous away win , when a team like Georgia Tech comes into your house,with zero wins in the ACC, chances are inexperienced players in that position will underestimate their foe.
It seemed to have happened in Coral Gables.
Georgia Tech may not be the most talented team in the ACC, but they are very physical and will try to get into the head of its opponents. The yellow jackets set the tempo from the opening basket and the Canes never adjusted. At one point Miami switched to a zone defense that kept Georgia Tech from scoring for about three minutes, but that was the last time they were caught off guard.
But the root of that underestimation comes from within the players themselves. Coach Larranaga mentioned that this team seemed to have relied on external motivation to win this game. Because of a lack of attendance, the Hurricanes were not motivated whatsoever.
And that's where the confusion comes in. After fighting its way back into the top 25 Miami got complacent, "lost focus" according to Tonye Jekiri, and got blown out at home once again by double digits.
What is the first step in fixing this team? No one really knows