Miami (FL) Hurricanes Have the Best Front Court In the ACC

By Michael Roberts
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami (FL) Hurricanes are dominating the ACC and one of the biggest reasons why, is the impressive play of their front court.

The Hurricanes use a three man rotation for the most part, which has easily made them the top post player rotation in the conference.

Seniors Kenny Kadji, Reggie Johnson and Julian Gamble are without equals when it comes to their ability to dominate on both ends of the floor. The oddest thing about the trio is it took an injury to one of them for the nation to truly realize how talented the combination was.

When Johnson was forced out of the line-up for weeks with a thumb injury, Kadji and Gamble stepped up significantly to replace the double-double average lost from the 6-foot-10, 290lbs beast.

Since his return, Johnson, Kadji and Gamble have emerged as the most intimidating paint presence in the entire conference.

Johnson is now coming off the bench to average 9.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in a role that is most likely better suited for the big man at this stage of the season. He’s able to come off the bench because Kadji and Gamble proved in Johnson’s absence, the duo are more than capable of delivering an impact for the Hurricanes.

Kadji is one of the biggest inside-outside threats in all of college basketball, as the 6-foot-11 forward can burn opponents in the post or on the perimeter with his three-point shooting. He’s averaging 12.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks, proving he can not only fill the bucket he can also prevent opponents from doing the same.

Gamble, has been one of the biggest surprises this season for Miami (FL), as without his performance in Johnson’s absence, who knows where the Hurricanes would be at this point in the year.  In the team’s first game without Johnson, Gamble stepped up with his best game of the year, recording 16 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks in a winning effort. He’s averaging 6.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, two blocks while shooting 55.7% from the field.

The trio have no equals in the ACC despite playing in a conference full of quality talent. Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly were at one time the best one-two punch in the conference but after Kelly’s injury the Duke Blue Devils have not been the same juggernaut they once appeared to be. The North Carolina State Wolfpack also have a talented trio with C.J. Leslie, Richard Howell and T.J. Warren. However, with the exception of Howell, the trio aren’t nearly as capable of playing both ends of the floor like the Hurricanes trio as they are much more known for their offense than defense.

With a dominating front court and impressive guards such as, Durand Scott and Shane Larkin pushing the ball up the floor, it’s no wonder Miami (FL) is still undefeated in the ACC at 13-0.

Michael covers ACC and Big East basketball along with the NBA and NHL for Rant Sports, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelxRoberts


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