The Miami Hurricanes beat the Kansas State Wildcats, 91-83 today in Nassau to win the 2023 Bahamas Championship. Nijel Pack led the Canes with 28 points on 7-12 three-point shooting, Norchad Omier had 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Wooga Poplar chipped in 15 points and 6 rebounds. Cam Carter led the Wildcats with 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Miami improves to 5-0. Kansas State drops to 3-2.
Below are some random thoughts from today’s game.
Return of the Pack
Nijel put on a show against his former team today. I wasn’t sure it was going to happen after the first couple minutes of the game. He looked anxious and rushed on a couple possessions. Silly me. Pack had 20 points, including 6-10 from three-point range in the first half. He was unconscious, making open shots, long shots, and off-balance shots. It didn’t matter. Pack cooled off some in the second half. Still, he finished with an all-time tournament high 28 points. I think Nijel made the right choice transferring to Miami.
Omier was awesome today. It wasn’t his best performance on the boards, but he still had a huge effect on Miami’s team defense. He challenged shots and went after every single defensive rebound. Most importantly, he stayed out of foul trouble. Omier is definitely undersized, but he has the strength and skill to match up against true centers who are several inches taller. The Miami Hurricanes have one of the best big men in the country on their team to go with their skilled guards. Fans should be excited for this season’s possibilities. No dumb fouls Norchad!
Keyshawn George impressed
The freshman had a nice game: 14 minutes, 5 points on 2-3 shooting, 1-2 from three, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 0 turnovers. Watching him play, I can tell he’s not scared of the moment when he’s in there. He’s got great size, can handle the ball, and isn’t afraid to rebound, which the Canes absolutely need. George could be an important player moving forward into ACC play.
Winning tournaments is good
Losing today wouldn’t have been the end of the world. That said, I am thrilled Coach L’s squad handled their business. Miami was the best team in the field. They proved that over the weekend. Sure, there were some avoidable mistakes in both games. No team is perfect though. Overall, the Canes played as a team, hit shots, and got enough stops on defense. This is a fun team to root for. I can’t wait for the Kentucky game!