Miami Basketball Faces BC Saturday

Miami faces Boston College on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Noon in the BankUnited Center before hitting the road for three-straight games.

Miami is 18-24 in the all-time series against Boston College, which dates back to the 1962-63 season. The Canes are 9-11 against the Eagles at home, 1-2 at neutral sites and 8-11 on the road. Miami has won seven-straight matchups against Boston College, including five-straight under Coach L.

Head coach Jim Larrañaga has a 532-367 overall record in his 30th season as a head coach. He is 62-33 in his third season at the University of Miami.

Miami plays three-straight road games at No. 14/13 Virginia (Feb. 26), NC State (March 1) and Clemson (March 4).

With 21 points and 11 rebounds against Notre Dame and 12 points and 10 rebounds at Virginia Tech, Rion Brown notched his second- and third-career double-doubles in ACC play. Brown put up 19 points and grabbed 10 boards in Miami’s win over North Carolina on Jan. 8.
This season, Brown leads the team with four double-doubles, followed by a pair from Donnavan Kirk (vs. St. Francis and Georgia Southern) and one by Garrius Adams (Norfolk State).

Against Notre Dame, the Hurricanes knocked down their first four shots from long distance, and their first seven of eight attempts from three. Miami ended 9-17 from distance after hitting only 7-34 at Virginia Tech the previous game.

Miami connected on an ACC season-best 88.9 percent from the free throw line against Notre Dame, hitting 16-of-18 attempts. In its last seven games, Miami has attempted 17-or-more from the line, and in five-straight games (MD, NSU, Pitt, NCST & FSU) the Canes attempted 23-or-more from the line.

Coach Larrañaga started the oldest, most experienced and strongest lineup the last three games: The seniors. Garrius Adams manned the PG position, flanked by wings Rion Brown and Erik Swoope. Donnavan Kirk and Raphael Akpejiori started in the paint for Miami.

After playing man-to-man defense 95 percent of the time in his first 40 years of coaching, Jim Larrañaga’s team is now playing zone 95 percent of the game. Throughout the season the Canes have played a mix of 1-2-2, 2-3, 1-3-1, box-and-one, triangle-and-two, and man-to-man.

While playing primarily zone, Miami has held 17 of its last 19 opponents to less than 70 points, and only four teams overall this season have scored more than 70 points on the Canes: 80-Georgia Southern, 71-George Washington, 74-Maryland, 73-Florida State.

Miami has scored 70+ points three times in ACC play this season, all of which are in the last six outings. After scoring 77 points at Florida State, Miami recorded only 45 points at Virginia Tech, but rebounded with 71 against Notre Dame.
Miami has scored 40-49 points three times in ACC play, 50-59 five times, 60-69 twice and 70+ in three games.

Rion Brown is currently No. 10 on Miami’s all-time list of 3-point shots made in a career. His 163 trail No. 9 Johnny Hemsley (164) and No. 8 Kevin Presto (170). Jack McClinton holds the record with 286 made from distance.

Brown is also closing in on 1,000 career points, as he currently has notched 993. Only 34 previous Canes have scored at least 1,000 points for UM, including Durand Scott and Reggie Johnson from last year’s team, and Malcolm Grant from Coach L’s first season at the U. Brown has played 129 career games, which is tied for third-most in the in UM history. Durand Scott played in 132, Brian Asbury in 130 and Julian Gamble in 129 games.

Rion Brown has improved his scoring 8.3 points per game from a season ago, tied for the fifth-best improvement in the ACC this season. T.J. Warren (+10.9) leads the ACC, Trevor Cooney (+9.9) is second, followed by Marcus Paige (+9.0), Jerami Grant (+8.5) and Ian Miller (+8.3).

A consensus Top 60 player, Ja’Quan Newton of Neumann-Goretti High in Philadelphia, is a 6-2, 180-pound guard listed as the No. 55 player in ESPN’s Top 100 list. James Palmer, a senior at St. John’s College High, is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard from Washington, D.C., who helped his squad to a 20-win season by averaging 12 points, five rebounds and two assists as a junior. Omar Sherman, out of Duncanville, Texas, is a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward who is a four-star prospect, according to ESPN and Ivan Cruz Uceda is a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward originally from Madrid, Spain, ranked No. 55 overall by ESPN. Cruz Uceda will be available to play a pair of seasons for Miami following his two years at Harcum College in Pennsylvania.

The four newcomers will join an already talented 2014-15 class, which includes redshirt-freshman Deandre Burnett, who is out this season with an injury, and transfers Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez, who are currently sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules.

Miami will face back-to-back seasons with roster turnover after losing six players from the 2012-13 ACC Championship season, then six more seniors (5 scholarship) after this 2013-14 campaign.

Miami’s assistant coaching staff is set up in a coordinator system, with Eric Konkol as the offensive coordinator, Michael Huger manning the defense and Chris Caputo handling the scout for every opponent.

As of Feb. 17, Miami is ranked No. 11 in the country in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 59.6 points per game. The Canes are also ranked No. 33 in field goal percentage defense, at just 39.9 percent. UM is No. 13 in personal fouls per game, No. 15 in fewest fouls, No. 26 in fewest turnovers, No. 28 in turnovers per game.

Source: Miami Athletics