The Miami Hurricanes beat the UCF Knights tonight in front of a lively Watsco Center crowd, 88-72. Wooga Poplar led the Canes with a new career-high of 23 points on 5-5 three-point shooting. Norchad Omier put up a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Bensley Joseph had a great all-around game with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 4 blocks. Jaylin Sellers led the Knights with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Miami improves to 2-0. UCF falls to 1-1.
Before tonight’s game, Miami’s 2023 Final Four banner was raised. I missed it on TV as I was being a good family man by attending a friendly get together. The host did get the game on midway through the first half. This way I got to be anti-social and watch the rest of it by myself. It ended up being a great party.
Below are some random thoughts from tonight’s game.
Wooga Wooga Wooga
Miami’s newest hardcourt star made it happen again tonight. Wooga started the game on fire, making three quick three-pointers. He didn’t hit a shot from the field for a long time after that, but made some free-throws and kept grinding. Wooga came back alive when it mattered, as he sunk his last two shots from deep later in the game when UCF was still hanging around. This dude is for real.
Bensley the thief
Miami’s pesky guard was everywhere on defense tonight. He constantly hounded UCF’s guards on the perimeter and inside the paint. Joseph had multiple clean swipes tonight when UCF players were going up for shots. It was impressive to watch. He had a couple dumb/lazy plays on offense, but I can live with those because of the type of defense he plays. It’s awesome. Bensley Joseph is one of the best defensive guards in the ACC. No doubt.
The bench is solid and diverse
There are some good players who don’t start for Miami this season. Christian Watson played hard tonight. Same with Keyshawn George. George needs to keep getting game experience in case Joseph or Nijel Pack gets into foul trouble during ACC play. The Canes don’t have the same ball handling coming off the bench as they did last year with Joseph and Harlond Beverly. Michael Nwoko is raw, but has some skill and is fairly composed for such a young player. AJ Casey hasn’t done much yet, which is disappointing. I was hoping he would look better through two games. Let’s hope Casey gets some good run next Monday.
Miami takes on FIU next Monday, 11/13 at 7:00 PM EST on ACC Network Plus.