The first two games of the season have gone as expected for the No. 11-ranked Miami Hurricanes basketball team. After struggling in the first half of the first game of the season against Gardner-Webb, the Canes have dominated the next three halves. The last game was an 89-55 rout of the Naval Academy.
Tonight, Miami (2-0) welcomes winless Florida A&M (0-2) to the Watsco Center for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
Against Navy, the Canes jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back. Sophomore guard D.J. Vasiljevic scored a game-high 16 points on 4-of-8 three-point shooting. It was a nice rebound performance for Vasiljevic, who scored seven points and shot 1-of-10 from three-point range against Gardner-Webb.
The Miami bigs had a big impact against Navy, as junior Ebuka Izundu and sophomore Dewan Huell combined for 26 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks against the Midshipmen. Senior Ja’Quan Newton and junior Anthony Lawrence II rounded out the double-figures scoring for Miami with 14 and 10 points respectively.
After starting out the season with a triple-double, super sophomore Bruce Brown Jr. was quiet on the scoreboard, only scoring three points on 1-of-10 shooting. But he contributed in other phases of the game, gathering six rebounds, a game-high six assists, and one block. Brown sprained his ankle late in the Navy game, but has been able to practice this week and according to the official game notes, he is in the projected starting lineup for tonight’s game.
The visiting FAMU Rattlers have had a rough go to start the season. Their last game was a 108-66 loss to UNLV. In two games, FAMU has averaged scoring 58.5 points per game while giving up 87.5 points per game.
Senior Desmond Williams leads FAMU in scoring so far with 18 points per game. Against UNLV, he scored a team-high 21 points. He also averages 7.5 rebounds per game. Junior center Isaiah Martin and senior guard Marcus Barham also average double-figures scoring at 12 and 10.5 points per game respectively. Martin also leads the team in rebounding at 8.5 per game.
This is a game that, looking on paper and at stats, Miami should dominate. FAMU is only shooting 35.5 percent from the field, while the Canes’ defense has allowed opponents to only shoot 32.5 percent. The Rattlers also turn the ball over 19 times per game while Miami has forced 15 turnovers per game.