Miami basketball: Nijel Pack named top 10 2022-23 transfer defender

Feb 22, 2022; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2022; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

The additions of transfers, forward Norchard Omier and guard Nijel Pack are expected to keep the Miami basketball program as a contender in the ACC for the 2022-23 season. Pack is an elite scorer who was named by 247 Sports as “College basketball transfer portal: The 10 best defenders on new teams in 2022-23.”

Pack averaged 17.4 points per game, 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.3 steals and shot 45.5 percent from the floor, 43.6 on three-point attempts and 84.5 from the free throw line. Miami is getting a complete player at point guard. Pack will replace Charlie Moore who was more of a traditional point guard than Pack is.

Pack is more of a combo guard who can take over games with his scoring. Pack had three games scoring over 30 points during the 2021-22 season and four other performances with at least 20 points. Eleven times last season Pack had multiple steals in a game including six games with at least three steals.

Pack doesn’t just accumulate steals by gambling too often on defense. Isaac Trotter of 247 Sports established that Pack is a good one-on-one defender in addition to turning over opponents defensively. Miami created havoc defensively last season with its guard-oriented lineup and scramble defense.

"NIJEL PACK, MIAMI“Nijel Pack was widely regarded as one of the elite shot-makers in the transfer portal, but you can’t forget about his defense. Pack graded out in the 86th percentile defensively, per Synergy. He was very good in spot-up situations, holding opponents to just 0.73 points per possession.Opposing players shot just 28.6% from the floor against Pack in those 123 possessions. Miami convinced the Kansas State star to come to Miami and get buckets. He’s going to rain fire from downtown, but Pack is not just a one-way guy.His defensive chops might surprise some ACC coaches getting their first glimpse of Pack.”"

Moore finished 31st nationally in 2021-22 averaging 2.03 steals per game. Guards thrive under head coach Jim Larranaga in the system he runs for the Miami basketball program. Pack should continue to be an excellent on-ball defender in addition to improving his steals per game. Miami was ninth nationally averaging 8.9 steals.

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Omier will also help Miami defensively. The 2021-22 Sun Belt Player of the Year at Arkansas State averaged 17.9 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 1.6 blocks, 1.4 steals and shot 63.2 percent from the floor. Omier’s rebounding should help Miami improve from 336th in offensive rebounds, 317th in defensive rebounds and 345th overall in 2021-22.