Miami basketball needs strong NCAA performance from Isaiah Wong

Jan 8, 2022; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2022; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports /

After being named preseason first-team All-ACC, Isaiah Wong slipped to third-team that was announced by the conference last week. If the Miami basketball team is going to make a run in the NCAA Tournament, the Hurricanes need consistent performances from Wong. Wong has too often been inconsistent this season.

Wong had a solid 14 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals in the quarterfinal victory by the Miami basketball team over Boston College in the ACC Tournament. Against the Eagles, Wong shot six of 12 from the floor, made two of his four three-point attempts, but also had four turnovers.

In the semifinal loss to Duke in the ACC Tournament, Wong had seven points on one of 11 from the floor, missed all three of his three-point attempts, had only two rebounds, one turnover and he fouled out. Miami head coach Jim Larranaga stated before the season that Wong was likely to enter the 2022 NBA Draft.

Wong likely needs strong performances in the NCAA Tournament to have a chance to be drafted in June. The ability is there for Wong to take over games. At various times this season, Miami has had different players take games over, Kameron McGusty, Charlie Moore, Jordan Miller and Wong all have 25 point games in 2021-22.

Wong has eight 20 point games this season. In eight other games this season Wong has scored 10 points or fewer. In those eight games, Wong has made 23 out of his 83 field goal attempts and had just 16 assists. If Wong is going to be an NBA prospect he has to be the player with the ability to take over a game.

Miami relies on the play of McGusty, Moore and Wong on the perimeter. Miller and Sam Waardenburg provide intangibles and complementary scoring. Miami will face a big USC lineup in their first-round NCAA Tournament game on Friday in Greenville, South Carolina. The Hurricanes will have an advantage on the perimeter versus USC.

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McGusty has been the most consistent player for the Miami basketball team this season and earned first-team All-ACC. At his best, Wong is the most talented and dangerous player on the Miami basketball team. Miami is 17th in the KenPom offensive efficiency ratings. Miami needs offense from Wong to defeat USC.