On paper, this is the most talented team in Miami basketball history. Of course, the accumulation of that talent has the FBI in town kicking over rocks. Still, the talent is there, and the team features three 5*s.
It’s hard to tell how good the ‘Canes (12-2, 1-1) are, as they only played one top-50 team in out of conference play. In ACC play, they opened with a road win over hapless Pittsburgh, and then disappointingly dropped a road game at Georgia Tech.
This is their first home game in more than a month.
Sophomore big man Dewan Huell leads the Hurricanes with 13.4 ppg. The former 5* recruit is a tough matchup at 6-11 with tremendous quickness, and is making 66% of his 2s.
Another sophomore 5*, 6-5 Bruce Brown isn’t dominating games like he was last year. He’s scoring 10.9 per game and shooting just 27% from beyond the arc. He’s yet to score more than 20 this year, though it’s just a matter of time.
Sharpshooter Dejan Vasiljevic is the final double-figure scorer, coming in at 10.3 per game. He makes 40% of his 3s, on nearly six attempts a game.
Lonnie Walker, a 5* freshman, has been just okay this year after going through knee surgery in the off-season. He looks like an NBA player, and was projected as a first rounder prior to the season, but has struggled with his shot.
Senior Ja’Quan Newton has never been a great shooter, but is one of the quickest guards in the game. He and 5-7 Chris Lykes can give FSU’s bigger guards fits.
Miami, as expected, has been elite on the defensive end (No. 6 nationally). They are 7th in 2-pt% defense, 3rd in 3-pt% defense, and rarely put teams on the line.
The weakness is on offense.
They’re an okay shooting team, but aren’t good on the offensive glass, and rarely get to the line (and when they do get there, have the 2nd worst FT% of any power conference school). They create a ton of space on offense, and look to dribble-drive on every possession.
Miami doesn’t play as slow as they have previously under Jim Larranaga, so this game should get into the 70s.
The game tips at 6 PM and will be broadcast on ESPNU. Miami is a 4-point favorite.