When the Miami Hurricanes lost to Florida Gulf Coast, 63-51, in their second game of the season, many Miami fans were left scratching their heads wondering if the 2012-13 season had ended just as it was beginning. After all, how could Miami have lost to an A-Sun team?
The Hurricanes didn’t score a point for nearly nine minutes and shot just 29% from the field. On the flip side, the Eagles shot 49% from the floor and controlled the ball inside the paint.
Following Miami’s loss, head coach Jim Larranaga told ESPN:
It’s not a wake-up call. It’s more a deficiency. We’re slow. We’re not a quick team. We were expecting to be quicker. We thought our big guys, who are in better shape than last year, would be able to run the floor better. Right now, teams are outrunning us. They’re light on their feet. We’re heavy on our feet.”
Perhaps the loss to FGCU was a wake-up call. After all, the Hurricanes would go on to win 21 of their next 23 games, including a 14-game winning streak that started on Jan. 2 and would continue until Feb. 23 when Wake Forest would end the streak.
If you asked him today, would Larranaga still agree with his response? The Hurricanes appear far from slow and usually manage to control the tempo of any game they are engaged in. Miami is a big, physical team and, at this point in their season, not many teams are capable of outrunning them.
No. 15 FGCU joins No. 2 Miami and No. 3 Florida as the third team remaining in the 2013 NCAA Tournament from the state of Florida. The Eagles’ knocked off No. 7 SDSU to advance to the Sweet 16 where they will face in-state rival Florida on Mar. 29.
As it would now appear, Miami’s loss to FGCU may not have been as bad as was first thought. The Eagles’ shouldn’t be overlooked. They are having fun and are certainly enjoying the moment often putting on a dunk show for spectators. The Eagles’ are a second-half team, as was the case against SDSU, “scoring 34 of their 47 transition points after halftime.”
The Eagles’ managed a 17-0 run forcing 17 SDSU turnovers. G Brett Comer led the charge for FGCU finishing with ten points, 14 assists and two rebounds.
It is going to be tough for the Eagles’ to knock off the Gators’ but with college basketball, anything is possible.