Miami Hurricanes Basketball: Miami Travels to Boston College Looking to End Losing Streak

Jan 16, 2016; Greenville, SC, USA; The Miami Hurricanes huddle prior to the matchup against the Clemson Tigers at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 16, 2016; Greenville, SC, USA; The Miami Hurricanes huddle prior to the matchup against the Clemson Tigers at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports /

In Miami’s 2012-2013 season, which included an ACC Regular Season title, an ACC Conference Tournament title as well as a Sweet 16 appearance, the Canes started their first 16 games with a 13-3 record. Despite all the panic and upheaval that’s reared its’ head after two straight losses this past week, guess where the 2015-2016 Miami Hurricanes find themselves through 16 games, you guessed it, 13-3 as well.

Much has been made of the enormous problems with this team over the last week, but when you take a step back, there’s plenty of basketball left for this team to get back on track. While Miami will be on the road once again Wednesday night, they’ll hope to have a bit of an easier test as they take on 7-10 Boston College.

The Eagles will enter their home matchup with the Hurricanes looking for their first win of the season and attempting to end a losing streak just like the Canes are. Jim Christian’s squad has been a streaky one this season as they hold winning streaks of three and four, but also hold a losing streak of six and a current string of four straight losses. Those defeats haven’t been pretty either.

In their last four losses to Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the Eagles have lost by an average of 22.5 points and didn’t score over 64 points in any of those games. Sadly for Boston College fans, that isn’t just a recent trend either. According to, Boston College ranks 329th in the country on offense and their average of 64.5 points a game, which ranks 331st, backs that up. For a Miami team that will come in motivated and looking to get back to winning ways, that’s not a good sign for the Eagles.

Interestingly, Boston College does pose one threat the Hurricanes will be very familiar with in Eli Carter. The 6-2 graduate transfer is on to his third school in four years after leaving Rutgers for Florida and now the Gators for Boston College. The shooting guard leads the team in scoring with 17.6 points a game and is coming off the best game of his career when the Eagles lost at Pitt, but Carter finished with a career-high 31 points.

Last season, the Canes struggled to contain Carter as he led the Gators in scoring with 21 points in Miami’s thrilling 69-67 win. The Florida transfer might get his points on Wednesday night, the problem is he isn’t getting much help from his teammates.We’ll likely see Sheldon McClellan matchup on Carter and he’ll hope for similar results that he had defending against Canyon Berry of Charleston and Jordan Price of La Salle.

The only other Eagles player averaging double figures in scoring this season is freshman Jerome Robinson who has been held to single-digits in seven games this season.

If Miami has troubles defensively on Wednesday night, that is a bit of a concern. It’s not like Boston College are the Washington Generals, but the Hurricanes shouldn’t have much trouble limiting the Eagles offense.

On the other end of the court, the Hurricanes have to find a way to get their offense clicking back to the way it was in Puerto Rico and earlier this season. In their four ACC games, Miami has averaged just 64.75 points a game and as we saw with Boston College’s offensive numbers, that surely wouldn’t rank too well compared to the rest of the country.

The struggles of Angel Rodriguez have been well-publicized and I think this game will give the redshirt senior a chance to break out of his slump. The last four games, Rodriguez has scored 3, 6, 17 and 3 points respectively for an average of 7.25 a game in ACC play. Without more than four assists in those games either, the Kansas St. transfer needs to get his season back on track to help the whole team get back on the right path as well.

An improvement from Rodriguez is crucial, but once again I’ll stress the importance of a need for some kind of production from Miami’s bench. Now I know Ja’Quan Newton has produced, but besides him, the Hurricanes are only getting an occasional three from Ivan Cruz Uceda off the bench. For the Canes to be a successful team on the road in the ACC, it can’t always fall on the shoulders of Sheldon McClellan and Ja’Quan Newton to do all the scoring. Davon Reed has gotten hot shooting the ball recently, but it’s time for Miami’s bench to give the starting five some support like they did earlier in the year.

Despite all the facts that suggest Miami should run away with this one, we know how hard ACC road games are no matter the opponent. As last year suggests, Miami only beat a struggling Boston College squad by four at the BankUnited Center and by three and the skin of their teeth in double overtime on the road. If the Canes come into the game with no intensity and a lack of execution, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Eagles keep it tight.

This is the type of game where Miami can show they have the mental fortitude to be a legitimate contender to go deep this season. It’s not a type of game you circle on the calendar at the beginning of the year, but it’s extremely important the Canes look good and come out victorious Wednesday night.

That 2012-2013 team had a two-game losing streak early in the season and proceeded to string a 14-game winning streak together. After the 2015-2016 team has lost back-to-back games, let’s see if they respond in a similar way.