#18 Miami kept it close with #19 Clemson, but the tigers hit a couple big three-pointers late to finally put the game out of reach.
The Canes have now played two road games in ACC play (not going include the Pittsburgh game, because they’re a different stratosphere of awful right now) and not only lost both, but haven’t even shot above 38.1% in either.
But lets take a quick step back.
This is a game Miami should win.
Clemson was picked to finish in the bottom third of the conference, they’ve started the year out looking great, yes, but Miami has more talent and better coaching. The Canes had 13 more field goal attempts than the Tigers; this coming as a result of their +8 margin on the offensive glass and +5 margin in turnovers. But they managed just five total assists, including only one in the first half. That’s not acceptable.
The offense looked sluggish, lazy, unmotivated to move without the ball. When Lonnie Walker drives and throws up a crazy shot with multiple defenders around him, it begs a response by the coaches to either pull him or somehow address the bigger problem, that no one is working hard enough to get better looks.
Miami even had one more attempt from the charity stripe than Clemson. Yet made seven fewer free-throws. In a neck-and-neck game you simply have to make your free-throws. Miami finished the game 50% from the line and Clemson finished 94.1%. Of the Canes’ players that attempted foul shots, only Chris Lykes shot over 33% from the line.
While Lykes continues to shine off the bench (13 points on 5/8 shooting, 3/5 from distance), him and Anthony Lawrence were the only Canes’ players to shoot 50% or better from the field. Dewan Huell and Walker both scored in double figures and finished with seven rebounds, but you’d like to see some more efficient shooting from them.
Coach L needs to tighten his grip on these players. If someone is shooting particularly poorly, pull them; if someone isn’t contributing positively to the flow of the offense, pull them; if someone is missing key free-throws, pull them.
This team needs to be held more accountable. Until then it’ll continue to be a roller-coaster type season riddled with inconsistency.
Up Next: #18 Miami hosts #7 Duke Monday night at 7pm EST