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Previewing Miami

2009 Scouting Report/Schedule
2009 Game Plan
2009 Stats (pdf)
2009 Roster

Miami Offense 07-08Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%49.2189Turnover Rate19.056Off Reb Rate36.158FTA/FGA39.197Miami Offense 08-09Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%49.4151Turnover Rate19.077Off Reb Rate41.19
FTA/FGA44.031











All of Miami's important pieces returned for 2009, and the guys they did lose--in particular, the offensively-challenged Anthony King--weren't of much use to last year's squad. All that experience, led by Jack McClinton's reliable production, made the Hurricanes a solid bet to improve. With the underrated Dwayne Collins replacing King, it seemed especially likely that they'd be a better two-point shooting team, at the least. But that has not happened, they remain middling from the field in general, and look like they're headed for another 8-8 type year.

Collins has done his part, but he hasn't been nearly as involved in the offense as he should be (it's an outrage, really). The rest of the forwards just haven't been any help:

 2FG%
Collins 62.2
Thomas 58.3
Asbury 47.0
Graham 46.9
Gamble 41.9
Jones 39.1
McGowan 38.9

I don't know how you can be as tall as Cyrus McGowan is (6-9) and not make at least 40% of your shots. He is a strong Ibekwe Award candidate here in the early going.

They may not be scoring effectively, but they are rebounding the hell out of the ball. Five Miami forwards have offensive rebounding percentages at 10% or higher, which is damn impressive and downright scary. Sidney Lowe has been noncommittal about starting the game with his big lineup, but I think that's what we're going to see tonight. The Hurricanes are plenty capable of pounding us like Boston College did.

Starters:

Lance Hurdle (6-2, 183) -- Should probably just stop taking shots inside the arc:
 2FG% 3FG%
2008 30.8 34.1
2009 35.9 36.6

His assist rate is modest but he takes pretty good care of the ball and does a decent job of getting to the line.

Jack McClinton (6-1, 185) -- As always, it's McClinton's show. He's taking 31.6% of Miami's shots in conference play; none of the other starters are taking even an average proportion (20%) of the shots.

Brian Asbury (6-7, 221) -- A threat to score inside or out, though he has never been an efficient producer in the paint.

Dwayne Collins (6-8, 238) -- With 143 FTAs to 119 FGAs, Collins is the nation's leader in free throw rate, and it's not close. Making matters worse, he's become a more reliable shooter from the stripe. It's criminal that this man is taking just 16.9% of the shots (though that's up to 18.2% in conference play). He's shooting better than 60%, he draws fouls in bunches, and he's a phenomenal offensive rebounder. Feed Dwayne Collins!

Jimmy Graham (6-8, 256) -- Is likely to start but not likely to get a lot of minutes or be much of a factor offensively. Good rebounder at both ends, good shot blocker.

Bench:

Frank Haith has maintained a deep rotation--James Dews (6-4, 209), Cyrus McGowan (6-9, 236), DeQuan Jones (6-6, 217), and Adrian Thomas (6-7, 227) are each getting double-digit minutes every night. Haith certainly isn't lacking forwards.

Dews was an effective three-point shooter a year ago, but not so in 2009. Hasn't stopped him from firing away, though.

Jones has been awful in league play, while Thomas has been outstanding as a three-point specialist, and McGowan is showing some signs of a turnaround.

Miami Defense 07-08Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%47.047Turnover Rate20.3198Off Reb Rate34.2236FTA/FGA35.4148Miami Defense 08-09Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%44.737Turnover Rate18.4294Off Reb Rate31.3106
FTA/FGA28.433











Miami has consistently been one of the ACC's worst defensive teams since joining the conference, and that's not likely to change in 2009. They were competent against the OOC portion of the schedule, and that's reflected in the scouting report, but ACC foes are exposing them. In conference play, they rank 12th in overall defensive efficiency, 12th in eFG% defense, 11th in TO%, 9th in DR%, and their perimeter defense is as lax as we've come to expect.

And that has to be frustrating for Miami basketball fan(s), because they have the kind of offense that can take them a long way. It's their inability to get stops that limits their ceiling year after year. If you can't play good D, chances are you won't be doing much damage in March.