Canes Down Stanford 67-53, Face #21 Iowa St. Next
Coming into today’s game, the Hurricanes had yet to be challenged by a major conference opponent and all eyes were on Coach L and the Canes to see how they responded to the challenge. The results were mixed, as the Canes pulled away late to defeat Stanford 67-53. Here's what we learned:
Rashad Muhammad won’t be taking anyone’s minutes
Before the season, many questions surrounded the San Jose State transfer’s effort and commitment to the program. Those questions only intensified when before the season, Coach L suspended the redshirt junior forward for 3 games. Today, all questions regarding Muhammad were put to rest as he was dismissed from the team for “failure to meet team expectations.” Though we're sure it’s not the result that the coaching staff envisioned, as a fan the prospect of who Coach L might be able to recruit with the newly opened scholarship spot is exciting, especially given Muhammad's expected contribution was minimal.
This team has flaws
In the first half, the Canes came out flat, Davon Reed struggled to hit his shot (0-5 in the first 20 minutes) and defensively Miami was consistently exposed by good Stanford ball movement. Fortunately, Stanford struggled somewhat from 3-point land and was unable to capitalize on the good looks they earned, but future opponents could make the Canes pay.
As the season progresses, expect this team to get better early in games, particularly as the freshmen coming off the bench get better and become more comfortable in the offense.
Ja'Quan Newton (and Amp Lawrence) made a statement
Last season, Ja'Quan Newton was a strong player and a consistent offensive force for the Canes as sixth man, averaging 10 PPG and 2 AST. This season he has emerged as the team's leader and has filled (at least in part) the gap left by the departures of Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez by averaging 17 PPG and 3.5 AST. Tonight, he was the team’s leading scorer, dropping 20 on 7 of 14 from the field, a career high for Newton. Newton was also largely able to avoid making any key mistakes (only one turnover), two things that will be hugely important as we approach ACC play.
Amp Lawrence came alive in the second half and spurred the Canes run that eventually led to the victory. The sophomore finished with 18 points on 6 of 9 shooting (3 for 6 from 3PT), also a career high.
Miami moves on to the semifinals of the Advocare Invitational to take on #21 Iowa State bright and early on Friday at 11am. Iowa State narrowly defeated Indiana State 73-71 on Thursday. The Cyclones are led by senior guards Monte Morris (18.7 PPG) and Nazareth Mitrou-Long (17.3 PPG). Iowa State will be a tough test for a young Canes team facing their first ranked team of the season. Fire up the microwave, get those Thanksgiving leftovers ready, and join us for tomorrow morning's matchup.
How to Watch
When: Friday, November 25 at 11:00am
Radio: 560 WQAM