The Miami Hurricanes basketball team overcame a sluggish first half to put away the UNC Greensboro Spartans, 79-65, Friday night at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, FL. Jordan Miller led the Canes with 19 points, shooting 8-12 from the field. Guards Isaiah Wong and Nijel Pack chipped in with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Big man Norchad Omier was a force down low again, pulling down 11 rebounds. Mikeal Brown-Jones led UNC Greensboro with 13 points.
It was a star-studded affair. Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo was in attendance. More importantly, former Canes legend Jack McClinton sat court side with former Duke legend Carlos Boozer. J-Mac: one of the most clutch players in Canes basketball history.
Below are some random thoughts from the game.
The refs and announcers were awful
I figured I could group these two together. The refs called every ticky-tack foul possible on Miami, while ignoring Canes players getting hit themselves. Both Wong and Omier got whacked going up for layups, with nothing being called. I know college basketball refs are notoriously inconsistent; it was just annoying to watch for two halves in a row. Then there was the announcing. The game was on the ACC Extra channel on Sling TV again. Kyle Sielaff did play-by-play, with Megan Perry providing color. This announcing team was easily one of the worst I have ever heard. They provided nothing extra to the viewing experience; saying the most vanilla, generic, unoriginal things throughout the game. I guess you have to start somewhere.
Miami might just have themselves a bench
The Canes have three seemingly reliable bench players in Bensley Joseph, Anthony Walker, and Harlond Beverly. They combined for 16 points, going 6-8 from the field, including 4-6 from three-point range. Beverly was responsible for 3 of the 4 makes from downtown, a career-high. He looks as confident as ever coming back from injury. Joseph continues to play tenacious defense while not making mistakes on offense. Walker is a freak athlete who can be a disruptive force defensively. He just needs to STOP SHOOTING THREES! Miami fans saw freshman AJ Casey for the first time tonight. The 6’9 forward from Chicago only played three minutes and did not attempt a shot, but he didn’t look out of place among his more experienced teammates. I expect Coach L to keep working Casey into the rotation slowly, building his confidence for ACC play.
Jordan Miller looks like he’s taken a leap
Miller asserted himself offensively last night, going to the basket early. He then settled in from three-point range. I have to admit, I wasn’t thrilled with some of the attempts, but going 3-6 from downtown while making two in a row early in the second half, proved me wrong. Miller definitely put in work on his long-range jump shot in the offseason. If he can shoot around 40% from deep for the season, watch out. I am extremely excited to see how his season progresses.
Let us know your early thoughts on Canes basketball in the comments below.