Miami 2009 NIT Tournament Preview
Miami Hurricanes (18-12, 7-9) - Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
Big Wins: 1/10 at Boston College (77-71), 1/21 Florida State (75-69), 2/4 Wake Forest (79-52)
Bad Losses: 1/27 at North Carolina State (81-84), 1/31 at Maryland (68-73), 3/4 at Georgia Tech (68-78)
Coach: Frank Haith
Probable Miami Starters:
Jack McClinton, Senior, Guard, 19.3 ppg, 2.8 apg
James Dews, Junior, Guard, 8.2 ppg, 1.2 apg
Brian Asbury, Senior, Forward, 8.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Dwayne Collins, Junior, Forward, 10.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg
Jimmy Graham, Senior, Forward, 3.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Key Miami Roleplayers:
Lance Hurdle, Senior, Guard, 7.2 ppg, 2.8 apg
DeQuan Jones, Freshman, Forward, 2.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Cyrus McGowan, Junior, Forward, 4.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Adrian Thomas, Junior, Forward, 5.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Why The Hurricanes Can Surprise:
Miami has struggled at time during Atlantic Coast Conference play, but they have made most games very competitive due to their tenacious rebounding. The best of the bunch is Dwayne Collins. The 6-8 senior not only leads the team in rebounding with 7.1 per game, but he is also a fine interior scorer and a great defender. Collins will get plenty of boards, but he gets a lot of help from a deep and talented frontcourt.
Cyrus McGowan and Brian Asbury got a majority of the starts alongside Collins this season. At 6-9, McGowan is the tallest player on the Hurricanes roster. He has the ability to step outside and hit the three-pointer, which makes him extremely difficult to defend. Despite the fact that he will spend a little time on the perimeter, McGowan still has the strength and will to do his fair share of rebounding. Asbury’s outside shot has not been falling this year, but the 6-7 small forward is a decent scorer and will get the starting nod when Coach Frank Haith wants to go big. With the experienced and gritty Jimmy Graham, freshman DeQuan Jones and sharpshooter Adrian Thomas available, Miami has plenty of frontcourt options.
Why The Hurricanes Can Disappoint:
Nothing is more important in March than a point guard. Senior Lance Hurdle has plenty of experience after spending two years at UC Santa Barbara and two years with Miami, but he is really more of an undersized wing than a point guard. He has been forced into playing time at the point during his tenure with the Hurricanes and has done a pretty good job all things considered. However, the Hurricanes, as a team, still commit more turnovers than they dish out assists. If Miami starts turning the ball over all the time then they will be in trouble.
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Who To Watch:
Jack McClinton has the passing ability to help out the point guard, but he does so much more than that. The 6-1 senior hits three three-pointers per game and ended the season averaging 19.3 points per game. His ability to take over a game has led to many Miami victories and that may be the case again in the postseason. James Dews has done a nice job complimenting McClinton in the backcourt. The part-time starter is not as effective or efficient from beyond the arc as McClinton, nor is he as dangerous going to the basket, but Dews is the third leading scorer on the team andcan be a very dangerous scorer when his shot is falling.
Miami By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.8 (75th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.1 (128, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (208, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.2 (17, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.9 (43, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.6 (48, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.2 (192, 11)
Rebound Margin: 6.2 (20, 3)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (187, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.2 (118, 4)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss Providence
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer
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