Article: @HardwoodU Miami vs. Stanford Game Preview

Article: @HardwoodU Miami vs. Stanford Game Preview

hardwoodhurricanes
Turkey, stuffing, and @CanesHoops are tried and true Thanksgiving Day traditions that date back as far as, well, this year. While you’re sitting down to your Turkey Day feast, Jim Larranaga & Co. will be lacing ‘em up in Disneyworld at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to take on Stanford in the first round of the ESPN Advocare Invitational. Miami will play three nationally televised games in the eight team tournament on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday this week.

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Opponent Breakdown
The last time the Canes faced Stanford was in the NIT Championship Game two seasons ago, when this happened:

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However, thanks to a phantom foul call from the refs on a key possession in overtime, Stanford went on to top Miami 66-64 in OT to win the ship, dashing our hopes of being crowned the 69th best team in the land.

This year’s Stanford team is off to a 4-0 start under first year head coach Jerrod Haase. Haase previously served as an assistant on Roy Williams’s staff at Kansas and UNC before landing the head gig at UAB in 2012, leading them to a 14-over-3 upset in the 2015 NCAA Tournament against Iowa State (and I had Iowa State in the Elite Eight in my bracket…smh).

The Cardinal has wins over Harvard (in China), CS Northridge, Weber State, and Colorado State, good for a strength of schedule ranking of 251st (not that we can talk, as the Canes currently sit at 287th). Stanford was picked by coaches to finish 10th in the Pac-12, so should be a beatable opponent.

Reid Travis poses the biggest matchup issue for the Canes, as the 6’ 8” junior is averaging 19 points and nearly 11 rebounds per game. Ebuka Izundu practiced Tuesday and is ready to play according to Coach L. Miami will likely rely on a combination of Izundu, Kamari Murphy and Dewan Huell to slow Travis down. Junior sharpshooter Dorian Pickens (13.3 PPG) and sophomore guard Marcus Sheffield are two other players to keep an eye on.

What to Watch For
Miami struggled to find a rhythm offensively in the first half against Penn and will need to be more consistent on the offensive end against their first major conference opponent of the season.

[video=youtube;kNTpQsNXd3s]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNTpQsNXd3s&t=52s[/video]

It will also be interesting to see how Rashad Muhammad fits into the rotation in his first game as a Cane coming off of his three game suspension after sitting out last season as a transfer from San Jose State. Larranaga has largely opted for an eight-deep rotation to this point with freshmen Dewan Huell, Bruce Brown, and Dejan Vasiljevic coming off the bench to spell the starters.

Muhammad is a proven scorer who averaged over 13 points per game and shot 38% from three point land at SJSU, but Coach L has questioned his effort and defensive ability in the past. If he works his way into the rotation, look for Muhammad to cut into minutes from Vasiljevic and Amp Lawrence, but it’s likely his minutes are very limited, at least initially.

We like the Canes chances in this one and Coach L hasn’t lost a preseason tournament game since 2013, but with a young, untested team, anything can happen against a major conference opponent on a neutral court.

Up Next
If Miami wins, the Canes take on the winner of Indiana St. and #21 Iowa St. on Friday. If Miami loses, they get the loser of that game Friday.

How to Watch
When: November 24th at 2:30pm
TV: ESPN2
Stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: 560 WQAM, WVUM
Tweets: @HardwoodU
 

Comments (17)

I was thinking of driving over, but $40 is a bit steep to watch an NIT preview.


Idk about Stanford but if you think Coach L won't take this team dancing you're in for a surprise. We have the capability of finishing top 6 in the ACC, and when it's all said and done, I think we can clinch as high as a 6 seed in the tourney. Lot of work still to be done but never doubt Coach L.
 

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