Miami Hurricanes Are ACC Sleepers
Start the Hurricane Watch.
Okay, while that may be an overused pun, the Miami (FL) Hurricanes basketball team should be a group people are paying attention to. That point was proven by the team’s 90-74 statement win over the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The win for the Canes halted the Blue Devils’ 41-game home winning streak and sent the Cameron faithful home silent.
Junior guard Angel Rodriguez leads the talented Hurricanes, averaging 15. 2 points and 4.3 assists per game. His ability was on display in Durham last night, where he scored a game-high 24 points, five steals and five assists. Rodriguez drained four three-pointers that kept the Cameron Crazies standing still. His effort was a part of a 10 three-point barrage by the Hurricanes, who also shot 51.8 percent from the field.
Rodriguez is aided in the backcourt by fellow junior Sheldon McClellan. McCellan is second to Rodriguez on the team in scoring, averaging 15.2 points per game. A Texas native, McCellan has good size for a guard at 6-foot-5, making him a strong rebounder for his position, as he is averaging 5.5 per game. All in all, the combination of both players gives the Hurricanes one of the better backcourts in the conference.
The Hurricanes are just heavy loaded in the backcourt. Junior 7-footer Tony Jekiri leads the team with 9.9 rebounds per game and had a double-double in the win over the Blue Devils with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jekiri also leads the ACC in rebounds per game and has had eight games with double-digit boards this season.
Keeping the reigns together is head coach Jim Larranaga. While his pedigree partly comes from his run with his George Mason team to the final four back in the 2005-06 season, Larranaga has built the Hurricanes into a respectable conference team. The Hurricanes have won 20 or more games in two of his first three seasons and made the Sweet Sixteen back in 2012-13.
With the Hurricanes now 2-1 in league play, Larranaga has the talent to make a serious dent in the top echelon of the conference. The team could very much be a play heading down the stretch and into postseason play if other teams don’t start taking warning.
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