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How does Andy Katz Have Miami basketball ranked 26th?

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Dewan Huell
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Dewan Huell /

Former ESPN College Basketball Analyst Andy Katz who is now writing for NCAA.Com has Miami basketball 26th in his rankings. The Hurricanes are 11th in the AP media poll and 12th in the USA Today coaches poll.

This isn’t the mystical hatred or bias against the Miami basketball team that so many fans claim are there, particularly the supposed imagined hatred against the football team. Katz acknowledges that the Hurricanes should compete with Duke and North Carolina.

He wants to see Miami continue to receive the balance they have in their first two games. The only negative he stated about Miami was referencing a slow start by Bruce Brown. That’s hard to quantify.

Brown had a triple-double in the opener and made five of his nine shots from the floor. He struggled mightily in Sunday’s game two victory over Navy. Brown shot just one for ten from the floor.

He has yet to make a three-point shot in either game. Brown had missed all five of his shots from beyond the arc. He is also just one for five from the free throw line.

Katz has also been impressed with the Hurricanes defense. The play from Miami’s frontcourt has been encouraging. Dewan Huell and Ebuka Izundu have shown significant improvement in the Hurricanes first two games of the season.

Huell had his first career double-double in the victory over Navy. Through the first two games, Huell is averaging 14 points and nine rebounds. Izundu is Miami’s third-leading scorer averaging 13 points and 7.5 rebounds. Both big men have three blocks in the first two games.

Katz’s summary of the Hurricanes through their first two games seems to be skeptical. He has them ranked much lower than, AP, USA Today and the other outlets that post rankings.

"26. Miami: The Hurricanes should be in the thick of the ACC race behind Duke and North Carolina throughout the season. The key will be mimicking what they did in the first weekend, getting five double-figure scorers. Bruce Brown is off to a slow start, but the Canes don’t seem to be missing a step. Defensively they didn’t let anyone go off and kept their first two opponents under 56 points."

The strength of the Miami basketball team this season is expected to be its backcourt. While Brown posted only the third triple-double in Miami history (he had the second last season) in Friday’s opener over Gardner-Webb, the Hurricanes have not shot the ball well through their first two games. As a team, Miami is shooting 32.7 percent on threes and 54.1 from the line.

The majority of the backcourt hasn’t played well through the first two games. Point guard Ja’Quan Newton is averaging 13 points but has two assists and four turnovers. He has struggled with taking care of the ball throughout his career. Newton is a combo guard that was switched to point guard last season. He is the Hurricanes second-leading scorer this season.

Guard Dejan Vasiljevic is the Hurricanes fourth leading scorer averaging 11.5 points per game. He has not shot the ball well, connecting on just 31.8 percent from the floor and 27.8 percent of his three-point attempts.

It’s nearly impossible to imagine that Brown and Freshman Lonnie Walker will continue to struggle. Walker is adjusting to playing in college and recovering from a meniscus tear that occurred in July.

He is averaging just nine points per game but has shot the ball well. Walker has made seven of 12 from the floor and three of his eight three-point attempts.

Next: Miami Basketball Rank 12th In Sports Illustrated National Rankings

Miami next plays on Thursday night at the Watsco Center when its hosts Florida A&M.