Miami basketball needs Nijel Pack out of recent slump for NCAA Tournament

Feb 18, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

After scoring at least 15 points in nine out of 11 games, guard Nijel Pack has only 29 over his last three for the Miami basketball team. Miami will need more from Pack to make another deep NCAA tournament run in 2023. If forward Norchad Omier is out the performance of Pack becomes even more important.

Pack led Miami with 71 three-point shots made and 180 attempted. The deep range that Pack possesses can change a game. If Pack is connecting he changes how opponents have to defend Miami. Pack averaged 10.5 points per game, 33 percent from the field and 31.7 percent on threes in Miami’s six losses.

Overall this season Pack averages 13.2 PPG, shoots 43.5 percent from the field and 39.4 percent on threes. Miami will need those numbers and maybe more versus Drake. Omier is averaging 13.6 PPG, 9.7 rebounds and shoots 59.1 percent from the floor. Miami will have to make up Omier’s numbers collectively if he is out.

Drake has been elite at defending the three this season. The Bulldogs are 28th nationally holding teams to 30.6 percent on three-point attempts. Several teams were able to shoot the three well versus Drake. Bradley beat Drake 74-62 in the regular season finale making 7-14 three-point attempts.

Drake enters the NCAA tournament with the loss to Bradley the only one in its last 15 games. The Miami basketball team has not lost at full strength since a 71-68 defeat at Pittsburgh on January 28, followed by seven straight wins. Florida State snapped the winning streak on February 25 in a game Pack missed.

Next. Expect Miami 2022 NCAA Tournament formula without Omier. dark

Miami finished the regular season with two wins before losing to Duke in the ACC Tournament when Omier was injured. The Hurricanes have played their best basketball at full strength during the second half of the season. When Pack scores at a high level, Miami is extremely difficult to defend with multiple playmakers.