While the majority of the country will be celebrating Thanksgiving at home, the Canes will be across the country tipping off the Wooden Legacy tournament in Fullerton, CA vs the La Salle Explorers at 2:30 PM ET on ESPNU.
The Hurricanes have played almost flawless basketball with a 3-0 record entering this tournament, but will expect to be tested with high major competition looming.
The Explorers on the other hand, have been quite the opposite, packing an 0-4 record on their cross-country trip, hungry for the first win of the season. The Explorers are led by new coach, Ashley Howard, a former Villanova assistant under Jay Wright. Howard has brought in many new faces for the Explorers via recruiting and transfers that are still looking to mesh together.
This game will feature two point guards averaging over 20 points per game in Chris Lykes and La Salle’s Pookie Powell. A large part of the Canes’ early success has been the sophomore point guard’s play, averaging 21 points per game. Lykes is the first player in almost 30 years to score 20 or more points in each of the Canes’ first three games. Powell also enters the game scoring 20+ points in three straight games and will look to make it four in a row if the Explorers want a chance to win the game.
La Salle is becoming a familiar foe for Coach Larranaga and his squad as this will be the fourth time playing the Explorers in the last five years. The Canes beat the Explorers 57-46 last year in Lonnie Walker IV’s homecoming in Reading, PA. Miami also gave La Salle their worst loss in school history in the 2015-2016 season. The Canes, 14.5 point favorites, are expected to win the game just like the previous three meetings.
Miami forward, Dewan Hernandez, still isn’t cleared from the NCAA due to the FBI’s investigation and isn’t expected to play anytime during this holiday tournament.
Regardless of the outcome, the Canes will play Friday. They will either face Fresno State or Northwestern at 2 PM ET (if they win) or 4:00 PM ET (if they lose).