In-State Rivalry Game: Florida State vs. Miami
Miami plays its first home ACC matchup of 2014 against Florida State on Jan. 15 at 9 p.m. in the BankUnited Center.
Miami is 31-40 in the all-time series against Florida State, which dates back to the 1950-51 season. The Canes are 25-11 against the Seminoles at home, 0-2 at neutral sites and 6-27 on the road. Miami has won two straight matchups - and three of the last four - against Florida State, defeating the Seminoles, 71-47, on Jan. 27, 2013 at the BankUnited Center and downing Florida State 74-68 on Feb. 13, 2013 in Tallahassee last season.
Head coach Jim Larraaga has a 528-360 overall record in his 30th season as a head coach. He is 58-26 in his third season at the University of Miami.
Miami has risen 50 spots in the Ken Pomeroy Ratings in less than a month, currently sitting at No. 69.
After travelling to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech on Jan. 18, Miami returns to the BankUnited Center for a couple of nationally ranked matchups with No. 23/20 Duke (Jan. 22) and No. 2 Syracuse (Jan. 25).
The Grind of the ACC Schedule
Four of Miamis first six games of the new year are against teams listed in national polls. After playing at No. 2 Syracuse on Jan. 4, Miami traveled to RV/RV North Carolina on Jan. 8. Then a Jan. 15 home game against in-state rival Florida State is followed by a game at unranked Georgia Tech on Jan. 18. The Canes return home to face No. 23/20 Duke (Jan. 22) and No. 2 Syracuse (Jan. 25).
Stifling D by the Hurricanes
In the last two conference games, Miami has held Syracuse and North Carolina considerably below their offensive season averages.
Syracuse came into the game averaging 76.2 ppg, winning by +15.2 ppg, and shooting 47.4 percent from the field, 36.6 percent from three, and grabbing 35.5 rebounds per game. Against Miami, Syracuse scored 49 points, winning by five, while shooting 36.2 percent FG, 20.0 percent 3FG and grabbing 29 rebounds.
North Carolina entered the game against Miami averaging 79.1 ppg, shooting 46.7 percent FG and 32.7 percent 3FG. UM held UNC to 57 points, 30.8 percent FG and 23.8 percent 3FG.
What a Difference a Year Makes
A season ago, only one of Miamis starters were playing for the Canes, while another was out with injury. Four of Miamis current top seven players were scattered across the world playing ball.
Rion Brown was Miamis seventh man, averaging 11 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0 assists in 20.0 minutes after three ACC games. Garrius Adams was sitting out the season while rehabbing a knee injury, and Donnavan Kirk was playing at DePaul in the BIG EAST Conference. James Kelly was playing at Owens Community College while Davon Reed was still playing prep ball at Princeton Day School (N.J.). Manu Lecomte was playing as an amateur in a professional league in Belgium and Tonye Jekiri was averaging 1.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 5.3 minutes per ACC game.
In four of Miamis six losses, the Canes have led late into the second half.
At Syracuse, Miami led until 4:16 left in the game.
Vs. Virginia Tech, UM had the lead with 4:29 left in OT.
At Nebraska the Canes never led.
Vs. GWU, Miami led until 3 seconds left in regulation.
Vs. UCF UM led early in the first half.
Vs. St. Francis, the Canes led with 41 seconds left in regulation.
Miami leads all ACC schools having played eight games decided by five points-or-less or in overtime. Miami has played four overtime games and four others that were decided in the final minutes. Miami is 1-3 in overtime this season and 2-2 in close games that ended in regulation: wins at Cal State Fullerton and vs. Arizona, and losses to UCF and at Syracuse.
ACC Road Games
Miami is 11-8 in ACC road games since the arrival of Jim Larraaga for the 2012 campaign. The Canes opened the 2012 conference slate with two games on the road (at Virginia and UNC) and four of the first six away from home. In 2013, Miami started with two on the road (at GT and UNC), and three of the first four on the road. This year Miami started with a home game in December, but will play three of the next four ACC games on the road (at SU, UNC and GT).
Rion Brown Rebounds
Senior Rion Brown, a 6-6 guard is averaging 6.5 rebounds, up from his 2.2 career average prior to the season. This season Brown has grabbed seven or more rebounds in nine games. In his previous three seasons, he had only three games with 7+ boards. He pulled down seven once last year and had games with eight and seven as a rookie.
Sharing the Lead
Nine Canes have shared team-highs in five statistical categories this season. Five guys have led the team in scoring and four have led or shared top rebounding honors. Four Canes led in assists, seven in steals and five in blocks. For a complete chart, see page 4 (above) of the notes.
SOURCE: Miami Athletics