What's at stake today for the 'Canes?
Well for starters, it is Senior Day for Tonye Jekiri, Angel Rodriguez, Sheldon McClellan, and Ivan Cruz Uceda.
Congratulations fellas on what's already been an amazing set of careers.
Miami looks to finish its conference slate undefeated at home today as well (8-0 thus far).
Today's opponent, Louisville, will not be playing in the postseason this year due to a self imposed ban.
So the Cardinals whole season boils down to trying to win the ACC regular season.
So expect Rick Pitinio's club to be fired up.
UM and UL are currently tied for 2nd in the conference at 11-4, just one game behind first place UNC.
A win today would be another impressive notch for the 'Canes NCAAT resume/seeding, as well as keep their Atlantic Coast regular season title hopes alive.
Louisville is led by an impressive tandem of senior transfer guards in Damion Lee and Trey Lewis.
The two have similar skill sets, with Lee being more the lead guard/natural scorer.
They also have their own version of Jekiri in sophomore Chinanu Onuaku. The 6'10 big is a beast on the glass and in close.
UM needs a complete effort on both ends of the floor to win today.
Rodriguez and Ja'Quan Newton need to be especially effective turning the Cardinals pressure into scoring opportunities for the 'Canes and not turn the ball over for easy opportunities the other way.
It should be a fun one.
Much more coverage coming later today.
Game Notes (Courtesy UM):
On Saturday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m., No. 12/11 Miami hosts No. 11/- Louisville in the Canes’ final home game of the season. Four senior student-athletes -- Ivan Cruz Uceda, Tonye Jekiri, Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez -- and two team managers -- Mike Burgomaster and Jon D’Angelo -- will be honored prior to the game.
Catch the game on ACC Network with Tim Brant and Jason Capel on the call. Affiliates: http://theacc.co/
MBB16ACCN0227a . Affiliates in Florida: Gainesville - WCJB - ABC; Jacksonville - WJXT - IND; Miami-Fort Lauderdale - WBFS - My Network TV; Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne - WOFL - FOX; Panama City - WMBB-D2 - This TV; Tallahassee-Thomasville - WTLF - CW; Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota) - WTOG - CW; West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce - WTVX - CW.
Also check out the game on 560 WQAM radio with Joe Zagacki, the Voice of the Hurricanes and on 1020/1040 AM Radio Actualidad. WVUM 90.5, Miami’s student station, will also carry the game.
Head coach Jim Larrañaga has a 583-388 overall record in his 32nd season as a head coach. He is 113-54 in his fifth season at the University of Miami, with a 52-33 mark in ACC play.
The Polls (as of Feb. 25)
AP: Miami -12, Louisville- 11
USA TODAY: Miami - 11, Louisville - NR
KenPom.com: Miami - 15, Louisville - 7
NCAA RPI: Miami -7, Louisville - 20
Miami’s 14-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 11 weeks this season, topping the previous school record of 10 in the 1959-60 season.
The Canes are ranked 12-or-better in the AP for the fifth time this season, 12th time under Coach L, 16th time since 1985-86 and 23rd time since 1959-60.
Game day temperatures: Coral Gables - 73/55; Louisville, Ky., - 57/40.
Miami is 2-9 in the all-time series against Louisville, which dates back to the 1950-51 season. The Canes are 2-5 at home against the Cardinals, 0-3 on the road and 0-1 at neutral sites. The Canes are 0-2 against Louisville under Coach L. Miami lost the last matchup with Louisville, 55-53, on Feb. 21, 2015 at the KFC Yum! Center in Kentucky.
Senior guard Sheldon McClellan is the most efficient offensive player in the country among players used in 20 percent of possessions, and 12th overall, according to KenPom.com on Feb. 25. McClellan has posted the 10th-best shooting percentage (51.2%) in the country among guards, and has the top shooting percentage among guards in the ACC, according to stats on NCAA.org on Feb. 25. McClellan’s 2-point shooting percentage is 58.3 percent this season.
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).
Eleven ACC Wins for the Second Time Under Coach L
Miami has won 11 games in ACC play for just the second time in school history. 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 10 ACC games in a season.
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index
Miami is 9-2 against teams ranked in the top 50 of ESPN’s BPI, posting a 89.1 mark in the index. Miami is one of only five teams to win at least nine games over top 50 opponents: Kansas (11-3), Xavier (10-1), Miami (9-2), Oklahoma (9-5), Texas (9-8). The Basketball Power Index (BPI) is a team rating system that accounts for the final score, pace of play, site, strength of opponent and absence of key players in every Division I men’s game. BPI can be used to measure both how well a team has performed (going far beyond just wins and losses) and how powerful it is likely to be going forward.
Jekiri a Candidate for ACC Defensive Player of the Year
"If Tonye Jekiri is not the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, I don’t know who is. I don’t know where we would even be without him. We wouldn’t be one of those six teams vying for the regular-season title. We’d be at the bottom of this league. It is really hard to put a number on how much he impacts the game." - Coach Jim Larrañaga
Miami to Face Four-Straight Top 25 Teams
Miami will face four top 25 teams over 12 days, including two top-10 teams within 54 hours. The Canes opened the stretch at No. 11/10 North Carolina (Feb. 20), then defeated No. 3 Virginia on ESPN Big Monday (Feb. 22). Miami will now play No. 11 Louisville Saturday, and travel to Indiana to play No. 23/20 Notre Dame on March 2.
The U Against Ranked Teams
In six games against ranked teams, Miami is 4-2 with wins over No. 3 Virginia, No. 16 Utah, No. 20/22 Butler, and No. 24/20 Duke, and losses to No. 13/11 Virginia and No. 5/4 North Carolina. In those games, Sheldon McClellan averages 15.0 points per game, hitting 51.8 percent from the field. Angel Rodriguez averages 13.2 points and 4.2 assists while Tonye Jekiri records 9.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Complete stats against ranked teams are on page eight.
Canes Scoring 20 Points Against Top 25 Teams
Four current Hurricanes have scored 20+ points against a ranked team in their Miami career. Senior Angel Rodriguez leads the way with three, followed by two from Sheldon McClellan and one apiece from Davon Reed and Tonye Jekiri.
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 most efficient player in the ACC overall, and No. 12 in the nation. McClellan is 10th in the ACC in 2-point field goal percentage (57.3), third in true shooting percentage (63.5) and ninth in free throw percentage (84.7). He is also seventh in the ACC in turnover rate (10.1).
Quick Hits - ACC GAMES ONLY
- The Canes average 29.9 points per game in the paint, including 42 paint points against both Duke and Boston College.
- Four Hurricanes are averaging at least 10.0 points per game.
- Four Canes pull down at least 3.0 rebounds per game.
- Six players are averaging at least 22.0 minutes per game.
In ACC Games
- Ja’Quan Newton has scored in double digits in eight of the 14 games he has played. He has an assist in every game, and multiple assists in nine games. He has grabbed four-plus rebounds in seven games.
- Anthony Lawrence, Jr. has recorded at least one block in six of the last eight games. He has scored in seven-straight games after scoring only four total points over two games the first eight ACC outings.
- Davon Reed has scored in double digits in 10 outings. He has hit a 3-pointer in 10 games, and multiple threes in seven contests, including five-of-six vs. Virginia (Feb. 22). He has grabbed four-or-more rebounds in 11 outings. He has a steal in 10 of the last 14 games.
- Sheldon McClellan has scored 10+ points in all 15 ACC outings. He has drained at least two shots from long range in six of the last eight games. He has an assist in 10 games and multiple handouts in eight outings. He has a steal in nine games, with a trio in three outings. McClellan has hit four-or-more free throws in 10 games.
- Angel Rodriguez has three-or-more assists in 12 outings. He has scored in double digits 10 times. Rodriguez has five-plus steals three times. He has hit multiple threes in seven outings.
- Kamari Murphy has grabbed five-or-more rebounds in 11 games and has double-digit rebounds in two of the last three outings.
- Tonye Jekiri grabbed double-digit rebounds seven times. Jekiri has played at least 23 minutes in all 15 league games. He has a steal in five of the last six games.
Individual Quick Hits in All Games
- Ja’Quan Newton has scored double-digit points in 18 games after only scoring 10+ in four games as a rookie. He has already scored 283 points as a sophomore, after tallying 135 points in 34 games a season ago.
- After scoring four points in seven ACC appearances (39 total minutes), Anthony Lawrence, Jr. notched 18 points vs. Notre Dame in 21 minutes.
- Sheldon McClellan has scored 20+ points in seven outings and 14+ points in 18 games. He has scored 10+ in every ACC game, and 20+ in five league outings.
- Tonye Jekiri has pulled down at least 10 rebounds in 15 games, including eight games with 12-or-more.
Miami Teams are Nationally Ranked
Both Canes basketball teams are currently ranked in the top 25 polls as the men are No. 11/10 and the women are No. 17/17. Miami is one of three schools in the top 18 in both men’s and women’s basketball: Kentucky, Maryland and Miami. Canes baseball is ranked No. 6, women’s tennis is No. 12 and women’s track is No. 18.