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Final Thoughts on Alabama vs. Miami Basketball

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Balanced attack puts the Canes in the NIT Quarterfinals.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

In a post-season match up, that many would expect to be a football game, Miami had an early tip-off against Alabama in the second round of the NIT. With Jerry pulled away with other commitments, I am lucky enough to give my final thoughts on today's 73-66 win against the Crimson Tide.

Balanced Attack - With Angel Rodriguez sidelined with a nagging wrist injury, scoring would have to come from somewhere else. The logical choice would be Sheldon McClellan but he did not score his first basket until 11:30 left in the second half. The Canes made up for this lack of scoring with a balanced attack across the board. Three players were over double digits and two others right behind with nine points. Manu Lecomte led the Canes with 17. It is great to see the role players step up but McClellan will need to have a stronger game if the Canes want to make it to MSG.

Momentum Swings - It was worrisome to see the poor end of the first half continue into the beginning of the second half. Alabama seemed close to grabbing momentum and building a nice lead. The Canes finally regrouped and answered with a run of their own with 16:30 left. Both teams traded baskets, but the Canes were able to force turnovers and started playing very well in the transition game. The game was in hand when Tonye Jekiri's three bounced around the rim about eight times and fell in. Usually a shot like that happens against the Canes. Nice to see a little luck fall their way for once.

Rule Changes - The 30-second shot clock is playing a role in this tournament and has hurt the Canes at times. You have to give the team a break because they are adjusting to a major rule change at the end of the season. There were times the Canes were out of position with the clock winding down and had to settle for tough jump shots. Once the transition game picked up, the clock did not become a factor. Good news is Coach L will have a couple extra days to work on this before the next game.

Individual Notes (Courtesy UM)

-Starters for the game against Alabama were Manu Lecomte, Davon Reed, Sheldon McClellan and Ivan Cruz Uceda. Miami is now 2-0 with this lineup.

-Junior Tonye Jekiri attempted and made his first career 3-pointer in the second half against Alabama.

-Jekiri grabbed 12 rebounds, the 20th time this season grabbing 10+ boards.

-With 12 rebounds against Alabama, junior Tonye Jekiri has 354 rebounds this season, trailing No. 3 Harry Manushaw (372) in the record book for most rebounds in a season.

-Davon Reed knocked down two 3-pointers in the game, the 11th time this season he has drained multiple shots from distance.

-Reed finished with 15 points, the 10th time this season he has scored 10+ points.

-With seven boards, Ivan Cruz Uceda set a new season/career high, surpassing his previous best of five, which he had collected five times this season.

-Cruz Uceda drained one 3-pointer against Alabama, the 10th game this season he has hit a three, and the sixth time in seven games.

-Manu Lecomte finished with 17 points, the 14th time this season he’s scored in double-digit points.

-Deandre Burnett scored 13 points, his seventh game in double-digit points.

-Burnett hit three shots from three, the eighth time this season he has hit multiple shots from long range and the fourth time he’s hit three-or-more.