Coming off of their 68-59 win at North Carolina last night, the Miami Hurricanes (11-3 overall, 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) return home to Coral Gables to host the Maryland Terrapins (13-2 overall, 1-1) Sunday night.
Miami started their season with a win over Stetson. That was followed by a road loss at Florida Gulf Coast (currently leading the Atlantic Sun).
The Hurricanes rebounded from that loss, to roll off 7 consecutive wins (Jacksonville, Detroit, Michigan State, @UMass, Charlotte, @UCF, @Hawaii). The win over the then #13 Spartans of Michigan State came in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge. In that game, Miami rallied from a 4 point halftime deficit to control the 2nd half and win 67-59. Miami lost on the boards (33-25), but had just 9 turnovers. They were also 9 of 16 from 3 point land, and 16-18 from the foul line.
After beating the Warriors in Hawaii on the 22nd, they lost to #4 Arizona (69-50) in Hawaii the next day. Arizona has a lot of size, and they just dominated Miami on the glass (44-19).
Playing their 3rd game in 4 days in Hawaii, the Hurricanes lost on Christmas Day to Indiana State (57-57) in OT. Miami was 22 of 65 from the floor, missing all 15 of their 3 point attempts, and going just 11 of 21 from the FT line. Indiana State made just 27% of their shot attempts, and yet was able to win.
After a week off, they beat La Salle at home, and followed that with a win @ Georgia Tech to open up ACC play. With these back-to-back road conference wins, the Hurricanes have to be feeling pretty good about themselves as they get ready to host Maryland.
5 Hurricanes average at-least 9.5 points per game, however, Reggie Johnson (Senior, 6’10, 292 lbs, Center) is out 6-8 weeks with a broken thumb. Johnson was averaging 12.6 ppg, 10.1 boards.
Durand Scott, (Senior, 6’5, 203 lbs, Guard) averages 14.4 ppg, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Shane Larkin, (Sophomore, 5’11, 176 lbs, Guard) averages 12.7 ppg, shooting 43% from 3, on 4 attempts per game.
Kenny Kadji, (Senior, 6’11, 242 lbs, PF/C) averages 12.4 ppg, 7.6 boards.
Nationally, the Hurricanes are:
158th Points Per Game (68.8)
157th Rebounds Per Game (35.8)
294th Assists Per Game (11)
98th FG % (.453)
46th Scoring Defense (59.2)
105th Turnover Margin (1.7)
Jim Larranga is in his 2nd year with Miami, after his 14 year run with George Mason.
1) This is a winnable game for Maryland, but I’m not sure this is a game you should ‘expect’ to win. Getting a head-to-head road victory over a team you want to compete with at the top of the conference would be huge.
2) Miami has played a difficult schedule, and will be looking to grind it out against Maryland.
3) The Terrapins are going to need to be strong with the ball, because you can not have wasted possessions in a game like this. Also, Maryland does not generate many turnovers, to help balance out their own.
4) Do we see Faust get time at the 1?
5) Miami has had a couple of games to adjust to playing without Johnson, but his absence is still a benefit for the Terps.
6) This will be Maryland’s 2nd road game of the year, and first since 11/27 at Northwestern. How do they respond to that road environment?