Miami basketball without Nijel Pack and Wooga Poplar at UNC

After it was reported earlier in the day that guard Nijel Pack would not play versus North Carolina on Monday night, during the shoot around, guard Wooga Poplar realized he would be unable to go versus the Tar Heels.
Feb 10, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Wooga Poplar (5) drives to the
Feb 10, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Wooga Poplar (5) drives to the / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami basketball team will be without starting guard Nijel Pack and Wooga Poplar on Monday night versus North Carolina. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported that Pack is out on Monday morning. The reports of Poplar being out emerged about an hour before game time.

Pack and Poplar have both missed several games this season. North Carolina is the fourth consecutive game Pack is out. Poplar is missing his fourth game this season. It appeared that Poplar had re-injured an ankle that hindered him since December. Miami has to figure out where the offense will come from without Pack and Poplar.

Bensley Joseph will start in place of Pack as he has in the second half of the season with multiple injured players out. Christian Watson will start with Poplar out. Jim Larranaga said on the pregame show that Miami might try things they haven't used this year. Miami could play zone for the first time this season.

Larranaga told Miami play-by-play announcer Joe Zagacki they might try and utilize a bigger lineup without Pack and Poplar. Miami could play 6'10 freshman center Michael Nwoko with forward Matthew Cleveland and Nochad Omier on the frontline and 6'7 Kyshawn George with Joseph in the backcoury.

Poplar is averaging 13.7 points per game, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season. Pack matches Poplar's 13.7 PPG and averages 2.6 RPG and 3.6 APG. Miami needs productive games from Cleveland, George and Omier with someone else to emerge offensively to have a chance at the massive upset over North Carolina.

Jim Larranaga eviscerates Miami's season effort. Jim Larranaga eviscerates Miami's season effort. dark. Next

Freshman wing Paul Djobet and sophomore forward A.J. Casey are other players Larranaga could summon off the bench, Miami has its biggest test of the season at North Carolina without Pack and Poplar. The Hurricanes need a complete team effort to defeat the Tar Heels at the Dean Dome on Monday night.