This was supposed to be Miami (FL)’s (6-8, 2-7) bounce back season. After a 12-26 journey through the ACC the past two seasons, this year was looking up. Outside of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils, the Hurricanes had the most blue-chip recruits in the conference. They had a senior back court.
And then injuries hit. In their last game the Canes had just seven scholarship players available. It’s a talented group of seven (5 are blue chippers, compared to 3 for FSU), but they’re still limited.
With senior Chris Lykes out, they’ve been led by sophomore Isaiah Wong (6-3, 180), scoring 17.4 per game. He was a solid 3-point shooter last season, but has made just 28% this campaign. Wong gives them more versatility than the diminutive Lykes, and he’s started 31 straight games.
The only other double digit scorer is Kam McGusty, at 11.4 per game.
A player to watch is freshman Matt Cross (6-7, 225). He makes 40% of his shots from beyond the arc, despite missing 7-straight in his past two games.
Offensively, they’re the worst team in the ACC (150th nationally). It’s mostly because they can’t shoot (343rd in 3-point percentage). Jim Larranaga’s teams are usually stingy with the ball as well, but this year are 207th in turnovers.
Defensively, they’re at least elite at one thing - they don’t foul. Only three teams put you on the line less often. They’re a decent rebounding team, as well. The main thing that keeps them out of the top-50 on defense is that they give up way to many open looks from deep. Right now, only five teams nationally give up a higher % of points from beyond the arc.
The game tips at 6 PM and will be broadcast on the ACC Network. FSU is an 11-point favorite in Las Vegas, and the over/under is 141 points.