Miami Hurricanes Basketball Game 18 Preview: North Carolina State Wolfpack


Location: BankUnited Center

Time: 8:00 PM

TV: My TV 33 (CBS Alternate)

The Miami Hurricanes Basketball team fell to 2-2 in ACC play with Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame. The Hurricanes nearly completed consecutive upsets, but the Irish overcame a second half double-digit deficit to seal the win. The ‘Canes have a great bounce back opportunity with a Thursday night matchup against the North Carolina State Wolf Pack (13-6, 4-2). This is the 5th ACC game of the season for Miami, 4 of which have come against top tier teams in the conference.

North Carolina State Scouting Report

NC State’s basketball team is not ranked in the Top-25 of either of the major polls, but they are amongst the teams receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll. ranks the Wolfpack as the 42nd best basketball team in the nation.

The Wolfpack hold ACC victories against Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Duke, and Florida State. Their losses have come versus Virginia and North Carolina. NC State’s 4-2 conference record is good for 5th in the ACC, compared to the Hurricanes, which sit at 9th.

NC State’s offense carries this team. They rank 55th in 3-point field goal percentage and 65th overall field goal percentage, averaging 72.7 points per game. The team’s offense has been most impressive in its last three games: 87 points against Duke, 81 points against North Carolina, and 72 on the Seminoles. Expect the Wolfpack to score in the low 70’s against the Hurricanes on Thursday.

NC State has had some struggles with free throws. As a team they shoot 67.5% from the line, good for 220th in the nation. They also, similar to Miami, rely a great deal on 3-pointers. NC State went 10 of 16 (62.5%) from deep against Duke in a win. In a loss to North Carolina, the Wolfpack went 7-22 (31.8%). A lot of times it just comes down to whether or not the team is hot.

Junior combo guard Trevor Lacey is the backbone of this NC State team. He averages 17.1 points per game (4th in the ACC) on 44.1% from three (6th in the ACC). He’s one of those guys that can get hot from beyond the arc and just start pulling up for 3-pointers, not unlike Miami’s Angel Rodriguez. Thursday’s matchup, between two fairly even teams, has a good chance to come down to the final one or two possessions. If that’s the case, Lacey will almost certainly take the big shots.

Ralston Turner, 6’5” shooting guard, can also hit the outside shot. Turner averages 13.7 points per game with a reliable 40.8% three-point shot.

NC State brings big man Beejay Anya off of the bench in a 6th man role. At 6’9”, 300 pounds, he has the size to manhandle pretty much any defender. Anya does a great job of backing down his man and getting an inside shot. He shoots over 60% from the field.


NC State: 71 – Miami: 74

I think this NC State team’s level of play is extremely close to that of the Hurricanes, but the home court advantage gives Miami the edge. As usual, the long distance shots will be key to Thursday night’s outcome. NC State has a perimeter-oriented offense, so defending the three-point line will be major. I expect Angel Rodriguez to guard Trevor Lacey. Rodriguez is generally very good at defending the ball handler, but his size gives him issues when fighting through screens. This is a major key to the game.

Ja’Quan Newton’s scoring ability finally flashed against Notre Dame last Saturday. Either Newton, Manu Lecomte, or Deandre Burnett will need to step up in this game and provide some offense to keep up with the Wolfpack. Davon Reed got the start against the Irish mainly because Notre Dame plays with a small ball approach. Omar Sherman should get the nod versus NC State. His timely threes and interior defense, specifically when matched up with Beejay Anya, should benefit Miami greatly.

It is very evident that the Miami offense runs much smoother when Angel Rodriguez can hit the three. Many of his looks come on high screens that leave Rodriguez open, but several feet behind the line. He takes them anyway. Since that Florida game I have not been able to question the shot selection of Rodriguez because I know that he can make those; however, I think it may be time to tone those down a bit. Rodriguez went 1-7 from three against both Notre Dame and Virginia, two very close games that the Hurricanes could have benefitted from more efficient shots in.

Regardless, Thursday night’s matchup with the Wolfpack should be a fun one.