Miami Hurricanes fall to 16 in USA Today Coaches Poll

HONOLULU, HI - DECEMBER 23: Lonnie Walker IV
HONOLULU, HI - DECEMBER 23: Lonnie Walker IV /

A day after the Miami Hurricanes fell from sixth to 15 in the AP Poll, the Hurricanes similarly fell nine spots in the USA Today Coaches Poll from seventh to 16th.

The Miami Hurricanes were not the only team that plummeted after a loss last week. College Basketball blue bloods North Carolina and Kentucky also dropped significantly in the rankings.

The Tar Heels suffered a surprising home loss to Wofford before avenging that with a win over Ohio State in New Orleans. Kentucky lost to UCLA on Saturday in the Big Easy as part of a doubleheader with the Tar Heels and Buckeyes.

North Carolina dropped eight spots to 13th in the AP Poll and ten spots to 14th in the USA Today poll. Kentucky dropped nine spots to 16th in the AP and to 15th from six in the USA Today Poll.

Miami and North Carolina will play in Chapel Hill on February 27. They split their two games last season. Miami won in Coral Gables and North Carolina knocked Miami out of the ACC Tournament in March.

Miami was able to bounce back from the loss to New Mexico State with a win in the third-place game in the Diamond Head Classic over Middle Tennessee State. Despite their loss last week, Miami moved up five spots in the RPI after defeating Hawaii and the Blue Raiders.

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  • With a less than inspiring non-conference schedule the 30th spot is encouraging despite the 11-1 record. North Carolina is third in the RPI despite their two losses. Number 3/4 Duke and number nine Virginia are the only ACC teams to be ranked ahead of Miami. Duke tops the RPI, Syracuse is 16th, Clemson 20th and Virginia 25th in the RPI.

    Miami will face all of those teams just once on the hardwood this season. Miami will face Florida State, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh twice this season. They tipoff ACC play against the Panthers in the Steel City on Saturday.

    The Hurricanes will get a chance to move up the rankings quickly in January. Miami hosts the Seminoles on the seventh, Duke on the 15th and also plays at Clemson and Louisville.

    The Hurricanes still seem to be figuring out their way offensively. When the three falls, the Hurricanes offense has thrived. When it doesn’t they struggle. Miami has been relying on the three a bit too much. In the loss to New Mexico State, Miami shot two for 18 on three-point attempts.

    They have one of the deepest guard cores in the country. With Dejan Vasiljevic, Bruce Brown and Ja’Quan Newton starting and Chris Lykes and Lonnie Walker coming off the bench Miami has five players on the perimeter who should be able to take the ball to the basket and either get fouled or score frequently. It also can get the opponent in foul trouble.

    Next: Miami Basketball plummets in rankings after loss to New Mexico State

    Anthony Lawrence Jr and Dewan Huell are both capable of getting their own shots. The Hurricanes need to utilize their athleticism more to get their own shots and not settle for outside jumpers. If they can do that it will open up more space from the outside.