Miami destroyed Charlotte, who was previously undefeated, on Friday Dec. 14 by a final score of 77-46. Charlotte was in trouble right from the start. Miami did well defensively shutting down the low post game, where Charlotte has thrived this season up until now. Miami’s big bodies in the post, primarily forwards Reggie Johnson and Kenny Kadji, forced the ball out to the perimeter and as a result Charlotte took many bad shots.
The only area where the Hurricanes struggled was in giving up offensive rebounds to Charlotte that often resulted in second chance points. On multiple occasions Miami would force a contested shot and then give up a rebound, which lead to put-backs. Miami needs to work on boxing out better on the defensive end, especially to beat teams in the ACC when conference play begins next month. When you have the clear size advantage this team has, there is no excuse for not boxing out better. Yes this falls on the post players, but I put most of the blame on Head Coach Jim Larranaga. I’m guessing this will be a point of emphasis in practices moving forward.
Guard Durand Scott put up a double-double for Miami scoring 16 points with 12 rebounds, and also added four steals. He has been the all-around playmaker Larranaga needs him to be. Shane Larkin has also been incredible in his role at point guard. Larkin has lightning speed, is a sound shooter, sets up his teammates, and also finishes at the rim with an array of moves.
Miami turned out to be too big and strong for Charlotte, and many teams will find that problem facing up against the Hurricanes this year. But Miami can exploit this better by bullying and boxing out more consistently. Also, they should be pounding the ball into the post more on offense. They do shoot the ball well, but teams become great when they score a large amount of points in the paint.
Miami’s next game is against Central Florida on Tuesday Dec. 18. UCF is having a good year thus far, and they have one of the best team field goal percentages in the country. Miami will need to continue to keep the ball out of the post and force tough contested shots.