Miami Hurricanes basketball is back baby! Canes fans have only excitedly said that sentence a couple times in their lives. With the current disaster of a football season, combined with the talent they have on the court, the excitement is warranted.
The Canes won their home-opener against the Lafayette Leopards last night at the Watsco Center, 67-54. Surprisingly, I was actually able to watch the game! Yes! Sling TV has an ACC Extra channel that had all the ACC opening-night basketball games. Good stuff. Below are some random thoughts from the game.
Nijel Pack is good
No surprise here, I know. Pack tied Isaiah Wong with a game-high 16 points, going 4-10 from three-point range. Pack has a nice looking jump shot. Further, he can shoot off the dribble and off the catch. That is important as he will have to play off the ball sometimes when point guard Bensley Joseph comes in and initiates the offense.
Too many three-point attempts
I imagine the three-point attempts will decline as the season progresses and Miami gets into ACC play. As far as last night’s game, there were far too many. Anthony Walker was 0-3 from downtown. Walker should never shoot from farther than ten feet away. He’s too athletic and important around the rim. Jordan Miller was 1-4. His form is nice, but he’s much more of a mid-range shooter. Wong was 3-9. Some of his attempts were just plain bad shots. The more comfortable the players get with each other, the better the shot selection will be.
Norchad Omier is a FORCE
The other big-time transfer made his name known last night as well. Omier finished with a double-double in his Canes debut, with 11 points and 15 rebounds. He got off to a rocky start, struggling to make shots around the rim and missing free throws. Omier must have taken a chill pill at halftime, because he looked great in the second half. The layups started going down, as did the free throws. He plays aggressive, yet smart defense. He has a true knack for rebounding, especially on the offensive end. And physically, whoa. Omier looks strong, acts strong, and plays strong.
The team is fun to watch again!
The best part of Miami’s unexpected run to the Elite Eight last season was how fun the team was to watch. They played a hectic style of defense that created a ton of turnovers. On offense, Charlie Moore executed Coach L’s motion offense at a high level due to he and his teammates’ ages and experience. The 2022 squad is different, but still entertaining. Their overall athleticism should allow them to play the scramble defense often, leading to more turnovers that turn into fast break opportunities. Also, Wooga Poplar needs to play more under control, but I can see the reason for the preseason hype. He is going to be a real guy for the Canes this season. Miami hosts N.C. Greensboro this Friday night at 7 PM EST.
How are you feeling about Miami Hurricanes basketball this season? Let us know in the comments below.