Time: 2:00 pm
TV: RSN (FOX Sports South)
Announcers: Wes Durham, Dave Odom
Jim Larranaga doesn’t have the horses that he had last year to keep up the offensive pace but once again he has a strong defense. The strange thing about his defense this year is he’s switched from 40 years of man-to-man defense to pure zone defense. So what’s this team like, zero offense, strong defense, and slow as molasses. Strike that, molasses is warp speed compared to Miami. This team is so slow they are currently ranked DFL in tempo. That’s right folks, they are 351 out of 351 teams in the country. I’m just trying to prepare you in case you need medical attention after watching this game. If anyone watched the Miami/Pitt game then you know what I’m talking about.
Last Time Out:
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) – Miami held ACC opponent Pitt to 33 percent shooting from the floor, but came up short in OT against the nation’s 25/22 ranked team, 59-55.
Lamar Patterson scored 25 points to help Pittsburgh end a two-game losing streak.
Cameron Wright added 12 points and Talib Zanna had 10 for Pittsburgh (19-4, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Rion Brown had 21 points for Miami (11-11, 2-7).
Patterson made one of two free throws with 10.6 seconds left to give the Panthers a 57-55 lead. Brown’s pass as he drove toward the basket was intercepted by Patterson, who made two free throws to seal the victory.
Patterson made a layup with 13.1 seconds left in regulation to give Pittsburgh a one-point lead, but Manu Lecomte of Miami made the second of two free throws with 7 seconds left to tie the game at 46.
#15 Rion Brown (6-6 211 SR) Guard – Brown is the most dangerous member on this team. He pulls the most minutes, possessions, shots, and 3FGA on the team, just a hair behind Kirk for most 2FG, as well as their best FT shooter, all while sporting an ORtg of 114.5. Probably best to key in and stick Lee on him like glue.
#25 Garrius Adams (6-6 200 SR) Guard – Talk about a tall guard. Adams missed basically two years with injuries, including medical hardship waiver in 2012-13 after knee surgery. He’s back logging major minutes and possessions but he isn’t shooting the ball very well and this has a sub-100 ORtg of 92. He’s never been a great shooter, his 2fg% and 3fg% are down while his FT% is up 10 pts to 65%. Adams is splitting his time playing SF, SG, and PG. Mr. Versatility.
#22 Donnavan Kirk (6-9 228 SR) Forward – Kirk spent the last 2 years at Depaul before transferring to Miami for his senior season. His increased minutes and possessions haven’t hurt his shooting but he is struggling from the line compared to his previous years (which means he’ll shoot 100% against State). Kirk is great at rebounding, especially offensively which plays right into Gottfried’s game plan of giving teams as many chances at shooting the ball as they need to score or get the Pack’s players into foul trouble. Oh and Kirk is a top notch shot blocker.
#20 Manu Lecomte (5-9 159 FR) Point Guard – Finally, someone Tyler Lewis can look in the eye. Manu (Manu) is getting a lot of playing time his freshman year and doing okay with his workload, 102 ORtg. His high Assist Rate (20) is only beaten by his high TO Rate (22.6).
#23 Tonye Jekiri (7-0 235 SO) Center – Yes, another battle of foreign seven footers!!!! Well for half the game at least. See both Jekiri and Vandenburg only play about half the game, usually due to foul trouble for both of them. Jekiri isn’t much of a scorer but he grabs rebounds and blocks shots.
#5 Davon Reed (6-6 208 FR), #35 James Kelly (6-7 246 JR), #21 Erik Swoope (6-5 220 SR), #4 Raphael Akejiori (6-9 241 SR)
Reed helps out at PG but isn’t as good as Lecomte, he doesn’t distribute the ball as well, has a high turnover rate, and doesn’t shoot the ball very well. Kelly is a JUCO transfer and has missed recent games at Maryland and home against Norfolk State due to the dreaded lower extremity injury and only played one minute of the Pitt game. Normally Kelly is a good rebounder and shooter so who knows if he even plays against State or how effective he’ll be. Swoope provides solid minutes though he doesn’t contribute much in the scoring department, like most of the team.
• Miami is 5-9 in the all-time series against NC State, which dates back to the 1939-40 season. The Canes are 3-3 against the Wolfpack at home, 1-0 at neutral sites and 1-6 on the road. Miami won the last matchup against NC State, defeating the Wolfpack, 79-78, on Feb. 2, 2013 in Raleigh.
• Miami swept the Pack last year winning by 1 in Raleigh and by 10 in the ACCT.
• Miami vs. NC State:
– Since joining the ACC in 2004-05: 6-8
– Since the arrival of Jim Larrañaga in 2011-12: 2-2
Magic Number: 65
• NC State is 14-3 when they score 65 or more points.
• Miami is 7-1 when they score 65 or more points.
• Miami is the only ACC team with zero returning starters. Additionally, Miami lost its six top players, who started 174 combined games. Rion Brown is the only Hurricane to start any games (6) last season, so the Canes return 6-of-180 starts, which is 3.3 percent.
• Two transfers joined the Canes this season in James Kelly, who averaged 17.9 ppg and 10.0 rpg in two JC seasons and Donnavan Kirk, who played 54 games for DePaul the past two seasons, leading the team in blocked shots.
• 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.
With the zone, Miami has held 14 of its last 15 opponents to less than 70 points, and only three teams overall this season have scored more than 70 points on the Canes: 80-Georgia Southern, 71-George Washington, 74-Maryland. Prior to the game vs. Florida State, UM held five-straight opponents to fewer than 60 points.
In seven of the last eight conference games, Miami has held Syracuse (twice), North Carolina, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Duke considerably below their offensive season scoring averages. Those seven teams entered the game with the Canes averaging a combined 75.6 points per game, but have been held to an average of 57.3 ppg.
• Senior Rion Brown scored 21 points against Pittsburgh, scoring five of Miami’s nine OT points, and six points in the final four minutes of regulation.
In his last three games, Brown has notched 20.3 ppg, hitting 48.6% FG and 41.7% 3FG. Brown averages 14.3 ppg in ACC play, hitting 45.0% from the field and 41.2 % from long range.
• Three players are redshirting this season: Freshman guard Deandre Burnett (left wrist injury), Junior Guard Sheldon McClellan (transfer from Texas), and Angel Rodriguez (transfer from Kansas State).
Who Has the Advantage?
Here’s the good news, we don’t have to suffer watching State miss FT’s thanks to the Canes not sending them to the line.
Everyone just needs to look away whenever Miami has the ball, seriously, Pack fans have suffered enough already.
KenPom and Vegas like Miami by 4.
I predict you’ll be clawing your eyes out, if you haven’t already fallen asleep in the first 10 minutes. Can NC State beat a zone defense the entire game? I’m still not sold and going with Miami.