Miami Faces Tough ACC Series at Home

Miami hosts a pair of ACC matchups this week, facing Notre Dame on Wednesday at 9 p.m., then Boston College on Saturday at Noon at the BankUnited Center.

Miami is 7-8 in the all-time series against Notre Dame, which dates back to the 1985-86 season. The Canes are 3-4 against the Irish at home, 1-0 at neutral sites and 3-4 on the road. Notre Dame has won two straight matchups against Miami, defeating the Canes, 90-77, on Feb. 23, 2002 in Coral Gables and downing Miami 72-62 on Jan. 28 2004 at Purcell Pavilion.

Head coach Jim Larrañaga has a 531-367 overall record in his 30th season as a head coach. He is 61-33 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).

Miami vs. Notre Dame (7-8)
Since the rebirth of Miami basketball in 1985: 7-8
Since joining the ACC in 2004-05: 0-0
Since the arrival of Jim Larrañaga: 0-0

Miami had a season-low three turnovers at Virginia Tech on Feb. 15, after having just seven at Florida State on Feb. 10. The Canes average just 10.0 turnovers per game in ACC play, which ranks eighth in the league.

With 12 points and 10 rebounds, Rion Brown notched his second-career double-double 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 three double-doubles, followed by a pair from Donnavan Kirk (vs. St. Francis and Georgia Southern) and one by Garrius Adams (Norfolk State).

Coach Larrañaga started the oldest, most experienced and strongest lineup against the Seminoles and Virginia Tech: 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.

Former Man-to-Man Team Gets In the Zone
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. At FSU, the Canes played a mix of 1-2-2, 2-3, box-and-one, triangle-and-two, and man.

While playing primarily zone, Miami has held 16 of its last 18 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.

In nine of the last 11 conference games, Miami has held opponents considerably below their offensive season scoring averages. Those nine teams entered the game with the Canes averaging a combined 74.2 points per game, but have been held to an average of 56.7 ppg.

Brown Among Most Improved in the ACC
Rion Brown has improved his scoring 8.1 points per game from a season ago, the fifth-best improvement in the ACC this season. Trevor Cooney (+10.6) leads the ACC, T.J. Warren (+10.5) is second, followed by Jerami Grant (+8.9) and Marcus Paige (+8.8).

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.

Record Watch
Rion Brown is currently No. 10 on Miami’s all-time list of 3-point shots made in a career. His 160 trail No. 9 Johnny Hemsley (164). 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 972. 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.

SOURCE: Miami Athletics