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Miami Basketball Hosts Virginia Tech: Open Thread/How to Watch

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Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The red hot 'Canes (20-4, 9-3) look for their 5th straight ACC win tonight, as they host the Virginia Tech Hokies (13-12, 5-7) at 9PM EST (RSN).

UM has survived back to back tough tests over its' last two, with one possession wins over both FSU and Pitt.

VT started out conference play very strong, winning 4 of their first 5.

Since then however, they have dropped off significantly, dropping 6 of 7.

Nonetheless, Buzz Williams' squad has some talent, featuring excellent F Zach Leday, Maryland transfer Seth Allen, and young and up and coming Justin Bibbs and Jalen Hudson.

Like any other team in the ACC, if you have an off night, they can beat you.

The Hurricanes have been playing some outstanding D of late though, and Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez have been clutch down the stretch.

Davon Reed has really picked it up as well the last few games for UM.

Stay tuned for much more coverage on this one, later tonight.

Game Notes Courtesy UM:

The Game

No. 11/10 Miami hosts Virginia Tech Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 9 p.m. in the BankUnited Center, in the first of two meetings between the teams this season.

The Broadcasts

Catch the game on RSN with Wes Durham and Jason Capel on the call. Affiliates include: FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports Sun, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports Indiana Plus, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, YES, NESN, ROOT Sports Pittsburgh, SportsTime Ohio, FOX Sports Detroit, FOX Sports North Plus, FOX Sports Wisconsin – Delay – Thu 2/18 at 2pm ET/1pm CT, FOX Sports Southwest Plus, FOX Sports Arizona, FOX Sports San Diego, FOX Sports Prime Ticket, ROOT Sports Rocky Mtn. – Same Day Delay – 12am ET/10pm MT, ROOT Sports Northwest – Same Day Delay – 2am ET/11pm PT.

Also check out the game on 560 WQAM radio with Joe Zagacki, the Voice of the Hurricanes.

The Coach

Head coach Jim Larrañaga has a 581-387 overall record in his 32nd season as a head coach. He is 111-53 in his fifth season at the University of Miami, with a 50-32 mark in ACC play.

The Polls (as of Feb. 15)

AP: Miami -11, Virginia Tech - NR

USA TODAY: Miami - 10, Virginia Tech - NR

KenPom.com: Miami - 12, Virginia Tech - 106

NCAA RPI: Miami -9, Virginia Tech - 121

Miami’s 13-consecutive weeks in the polls top the school record of 12 from 2001-02.

UM has been ranked in the AP’s top 15 for 10 weeks this season, tying the school record 1959-60 season, and topping the 2012-13 season.

The Canes are ranked 12-or-better in the AP for the fourth time this season, 11th time under Coach L, 15th time since 1985-86 and 22nd time since 1959-60.

The Weather

Game day temperatures: Coral Gables - 81/57; Blacksburg, Va., - 41/25.

The Series

Miami is 17-12 in the all-time series against Virginia Tech, which dates back to the 2000-01 season. The Canes are 8-4 at home against the Hokies, 6-6 on the road and 3-2 at neutral sites. UM is 7-2 against VT under Coach L. Miami won the last matchup with Virginia Tech, defeating the Hokies, 59-49, on Mar. 11, 2015 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.

The Note

Senior guard Sheldon McClellan is the most efficient offensive player in the country among players used in 20 percent of possessions, according to KenPom.com on Feb. 15. McClellan has posted the ninth-best shooting percentage (51.9%) in the country among guards, and has the top shooting percentage among guards in the ACC, according to stats on NCAA.org on Feb. 15. McClellan’s 2-point shooting percentage is 60.3 percent this season.

Rodriguez Handing Out 7.0 Assists Per Game

In the past six games, point guard Angel Rodriguez has recorded 7.0 assists per game with just 1.3 turnovers per outing. Against Duke, he tallied 11 assists with just one miscue, and against Pitt, he recorded eight dimes. In those six games, he has also averaged 11.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 29.8 minutes, while hitting 42.9 percent from the field and 81.8 percent at the line.

McClellan Most Efficient Player in the Nation

Sheldon McClellan is the most efficient offensive player in the nation, among players with 20 percent-or-more possessions used, according to KenPom.com. He is also the sixth-most efficient player in the ACC overall, and No. 10 in the nation. McClellan is third in the ACC in 2-point field goal percentage (61.1), fourth in true shooting percentage (63.7) and 10th in free throw percentage (85.9). He is also ninth in the ACC in turnover rate (10.9).

The Houston native is currently on three national player of the year midseason watch lists: Naismith Trophy Men’s College Player of the Year, Oscar Robertson Trophy for Men’s National Player of the Year and Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.

Canes 11th in Nation in FT Percentage

Miami ranks 12th in the nation in free throw percentage, connecting on 414-of-546 (75.8%) shots at the free throw line. UM averages 17.3 points per game at the line, and has posted a +11.5 scoring margin overall this season. The Canes have drawn 470 fouls, while committing only 403, which ranks UM No. 17 in the country in fewest fouls. Opponents have just 396 attempts at the charity stripe.

Newton Best Sixth Man in the Country

Dick Vitale has lauded Miami sophomore Ja’Quan Newton as the "best sixth man in the country." Newton has immensely improved his stats from last year, and has scored in double digits 18 times this season.

In Miami’s nine ACC victories Newton has averaged 12.0 points and 2.3 assists per game, hitting 51.4 percent from the field. In the Canes’ three losses he has put up 8.0 points and 1.3 assists per outing, knocking down 30.8 percent of his shots.

Four in a Row For The Canes

Miami has won four league games in a row, the longest winning streak in ACC play since the 2012-13 season. UM is outscoring opponents by just 5.0 ppg in those four games, including two-straight two-point victories. The Canes won their first five ACC games by 13.0 points per game, with the closest margin an 11-point win over Duke.

McClellan Closing in on 1,000 Points at Miami

Sheldon McClellan has tallied 941 points in 62 games at Miami. Added to his 843 points at Texas, he is also closing in on 2000 career points.

Miami Posts 20-Win Season

Coach Jim Larrañaga has posted his fourth 20-win season in five years at the U, and his 10th career 20-win season. This is Miami’s seventh 20-win season since joining the ACC for the 2004-05 campaign. Larrañaga is just the second coach in Miami history with four 20-win seasons, joining Bruce Hale (1954-67).

Nine ACC Wins for the Fourth Time Under Coach L

Just 12 games into the league schedule, Miami has won nine games in ACC play. In five seasons under Coach Jim Larrañaga, the Canes have won seven-or-more ACC games each season. Prior to the arrival of Coach L, Miami had never won nine ACC games in a season.

Jekiri on the Boards

In 128 games at Miami senior Tonye Jekiri has grabbed 836 rebounds, eighth-most in Miami history. He has improved his rebounds per game from 1.6 as a rookie to 9.8 as a senior. He also has grabbed double-digit rebounds in 37 games over the past two seasons (61 games played), after doing so just three times in his first 67 outings.