The Miami Hurricanes Men’s Basketball squad traveled to South Bend, IN today and beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 76-65. Nijel Pack led the Canes with 21 points on 8-13 shooting. Norchad Omier chipped in 18 points on 8-11 shooting, along with 7 rebounds. Isaiah Wong scored 15 points. Trey Wertz led Notre Dame with 15 points. Miami improves to 13-1, 4-0 ACC. Notre Dame falls to 8-6, 0-3 ACC.
The Canes were scheduled to host Vermont on Wednesday night. The game was cancelled due to travel issues for the Catamounts. It does not appear the game will be made up this season.
Below are some random thoughts from today’s game.
The first half was a tough watch for Canes fans
Multiple scoring droughts. Bad shots. Dumb turnovers. Stagnant offense. Weak defense. Miami went up 25-16 after a lay-up by none other than Anthony Walker at the 9:25 mark. After that, they looked as bad as they have all season. The Canes finished the half by scoring just 8 points in those final 9:25, while giving up 18 to Notre Dame. Jordan Miller and Wooga Poplar were both complete messes. Neither played with any control; it was confusing to watch more than anything. If it wasn’t for Pack and Wong, Notre Dame would’ve been up big at halftime.
Jordan Miller and Norchad Omier dominated the second half
Considering how bad Miller looked in the first half, it was nice to see him come out aggressively after halftime and go to the basket to get himself going. Miller ruined Notre Dame’s zone defense by getting consistent penetration in the free-throw area, then making smart decisions with the ball. Omier was fine in the first half, but really turned it up for the second twenty minutes. He was relentless on the boards, especially on the offensive end. He also had some nice finishes around the basket. Omier continues to have a soft touch near the rim. I expect him to miss some of these lay-ups and put-backs, but he makes most of them. Good stuff. Omier has been a true competitor and awesome to watch all season.
Welcome back, Nijel Pack!
Miami’s big-time transfer had his best game of the season today. He played with much more confidence on offense; it was beautiful to watch. Pack was looking to score and reminded everyone of his shooting ability, going 5-8 from three-point range. The timing couldn’t be better, as Pack needs to play his best against ACC competition. If he can, the Canes absolutely have one of the best backcourts in the conference.
Nijel Pack showed out in his home state of Indiana in today’s win over Notre Dame.— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) December 30, 2022
21 points. Five 3-pointers. 8-13 FG pic.twitter.com/m83rlq35J0
Isaiah Wong is “The Closer”
After Wertz made a three-pointer to cut Miami’s lead to 10 points with 2:56 to play, Coach L called a thirty-second timeout. He did not want to wait any longer for Isaiah Wong to get back into the game. It was a smart move by Coach L, as Wong methodically ran the offense after his return. He let the clock run down, then went to work near the basket. Wong drew a foul on one drive, then calmly made both his free throws. He drove again on Miami’s next possession. This time he made his lay-up attempt, effectively ending the game. Today was not one of his best performances of the season, but he made plays when it mattered most.
I am very much looking forward to watching this team in 2023! What are your thoughts on the Miami Hurricanes Basketball season so far? How good can they be? Let us know in the comments below.