Miami Hurricanes Basketball Game 14 Preview: # 3 Virginia Cavaliers


Location: The BankUnited Center

Time: 5:30 PM


Line: Virginia -8

ACC play has arrived. The Miami Hurricanes basketball team had an up and down nonconference performance. The highs include victories over perennial power and in-state rival Florida as well as Illinois in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. The lows include dropping 3 of 4 games to lower tier teams.

The conference slate provides Miami (10-3) with exciting and challenging opponents each game, with # 3 Virginia (12-0) kicking things off Saturday evening.

Virginia Scouting Report

The Associated Press and USA Today rank the Cavaliers as the No. 3 team in the country, while lists Virginia as the second best team.

Virginia has been nothing short of dominant thus far. The Cavaliers’ record includes zero blemishes and all but one of its victories has been by double digits. Virginia’s quality wins include Maryland, VCU, and a demolishing of Harvard by 49 points.

The Cavaliers have one of the most efficient offenses in the country. As a team they shoot 38.6% from beyond the arc and 49.3% overall. Virginia also owns arguably the best defense in the country. At an average of 48.3, the Cavaliers rank second nationally in points per game allowed.

Malcolm Brogdon, junior shooting guard, is the heart and soul of this team. Brogdon has played a major role with this team since his freshman season and had a key role in Virginia’s success last season. This season he averages 13.3 points per game on 30.3 shooting percentage from downtown, 45.2% overall. Brogdon has a consistent mid-range game, deep ball, and can score inside. The Cavaliers rely on him when they need a big bucket.

Point guard London Perrantes has seen a significant drop statistically from last season, but is still a weapon. Perrantes dishes out the assists for the Cavaliers and, despite shooting under 25% from three this season, is still a capable shooter that does not back away from big shots.

Anthony Gill, at 6’8” and 230 pounds, mans the power forward position for Virginia. He owns an impressive 62.4 field goal percentage on the season. Gill averages 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

This team really is loaded with talented impact players. In addition to the previously mentioned ones, center Mike Tobey (6’11”, 250 lbs) mans the paint and swingman Justin Anderson (over 60% from three) is the go-to shooter.


Virginia: 72 – Miami: 61

The outcome of this game will depend on which Miami Hurricanes team shows up. The team that dominated the Charleston Classic and Illinois with 3-pointers is extremely capable of pulling off this upset. The team that could not buy a bucket against Providence and Eastern Kentucky does not stand a chance. I think the ‘Canes, fueled by the energy of a nearly sold-out crowd (hopefully), hang around for most of the game but do not finish the job.

Angel Rodriguez finally snapped out of his slump in a victory over Charleston last Tuesday and another good performance is necessary for an upset on Saturday. In addition to Rodriguez, Manu Lecomte was a key contributor to Miami’s early success this season. In the Hurricanes’ three losses, Lecomte has connected on 1 of 10 three-point attempts. The ‘Canes need some consistency from Lecomte as much as anybody. Sheldon McClellan will play a major role in defending the perimeter against Virginia. The Cavaliers will light it up from beyond the arc if the perimeter defense is not up to par.

Hope I’m wrong on this one, but the ‘Canes definitely can’t win unless there is some fan support. Pack the BUC ‘Canes fans and help hand # 3 Virginia its first loss of the season!