2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule: Miami
Atlantic Coast Conference (22-10, 8-8)
Big Wins: 12/13 at Mississippi State (64-58), 1/27 Clemson (75-72), 2/20 Duke (96-95)
Bad Losses: 12/29 Winthrop (70-76), 1/15 at Boston College (66-76), 1/19 at North Carolina State (77-79)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2002, First Round loss to Missouri
Coach: Frank Haith (First NCAA appearance)
Lance Hurdle, Junior, Guard, 7.9 ppg, 2.4 apg
Jack McClinton, Junior, Guard, 17.0 ppg, 2.6 apg
James Dews, Sophomore, Guard, 10.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Dwayne Collins, Sophomore, Forward, 8.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Anthony King, Senior, Center, 7.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Eddie Rios, Freshman, Guard, 3.5 ppg, 2.1 apg
Brian Asbury, Junior, Guard, 9.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Jimmy Graham, Junior, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Raymond Hicks, Senior, Forward, 5.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
There is not much that is flashy about Miami’s style of play. Coach Frank Haith’s team will play solid defense and run an efficient offense. The defense does not start with big men Dwayne Collins, Jimmy Graham and Anthony King, but it usually does end in the paint. The Hurricanes will not go after steals, but once the ball gets inside, the frontcourt will swat it away. While nobody on their own is a prolific shot blocker, all three have the ability to find a block or two each game.
The efficient offense will play through the forwards. The team as a whole hits the three-balls pretty consistently, but they will rarely force up a shot. Just about any team can shoot as well as Miami from beyond the arc if they have the discipline to only take the shot when it is there. Jack McClinton, the Hurricanes leading scorer, will take a majority of the shots from long range. In fact, he will take a lot of shots period. James Dews is the second leading scorer and receiving some points from him is important so the defense cannot key in on McClinton.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Miami does not have a proven point guard who is ready to lead them through the tough times. Thus, the team commits more turnovers than they dish out assists. Lance Hurdle, a junior college transfer via UC Santa Barbara, is more of an undersized wing than a point guard. However, Hurdle has done a decent job keeping the turnovers down when he has run the point. The true point on the team is Eddie Rios. Rios, just a freshman, is still learning the ropes and only averages about 15 minutes per game. Obviously Miami has done relatively well with their current crop of players, but having a ball handler who can be a solid floor leader is even more important in March.
Who To Watch:
Collins and King will do a little scoring in the paint to open up the perimeter and McClinton and Dews will score a large bulk of the team’s points, but it is important that Miami has a third threat to put the ball in the basket after McClinton and Dews. Brian Asbury might be the answer. The 6-7 wing has started over half of the Hurricanes games, but he has no problem providing a spark off the bench either. Asbury can hit the outside shot, but he has nice mid-range game and can use his height to get to the basket when smaller guards are attempting to cover him. When Asbury scores, Miami has a dangerous group on the offensive end and that is why Miami is 12-3 when he reaches double digits in the scoring column.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.6 (58th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.0 (151, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.1 (166, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.7 (42, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (135, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.8 (33, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.4 (28, 3)
Rebound Margin: 3.0 (76, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.4 (154, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (102, 1)
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