Miami vs. Notre Dame Game Preview (via @HardwoodU)
Happy Friday Eve! We’ve got a big game and a short preview for tonight’s matchup in a game that could be a strong indicator of what type of team the Canes will be this year. Miami (1-1 ACC) takes on That Team in South Bend (3-0 ACC).
First of all, let’s talk attendance. If you’re local and have nothing going on, go to the game. Ticket prices are $6 on Stubhub, and this is the biggest game of the season thus far for Miami and their first contest against a ranked opponent at home. With an ESPN broadcast, 7pm tip time, and Dickie V calling the game, we really hope Canes fans turn out tonight. With these incredible shirts being given away for the first 1,000 fans, the shirts alone are worth coming out.
The Irish come into this game on a five game winning streak that includes wins at Pittsburgh and against then #9 ranked Louisville at home. The Good Guys are looking to bounce back off of a disappointing loss to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome that has many people wondering if this team has the point guard play or front court depth to solidify an NCAA tournament run. However, it’s still early in ACC play, so hopefully the Cuse loss looks better by March.
That Team in South Bend (RPI 23) comes into today’s game at 14-2. The Irish have played a challenging schedule with their two losses coming in consecutive non-conference games against Villanova (ranked #1 going into the meeting) and Purdue (ranked #1 5).
The Irish are led by 6’5 junior forward Bonzie Colson who leads the team in points (16.4), rebounds (10.8) and blocks (1.4). Colson leads the team’s dynamic offense which averages 82 points per game. Colson is far from the squad’s only experienced player. All five Notre Dame starters are either juniors or seniors and have the experience of back-to-back Elite 8 runs in the past two NCAA tournaments. Expect significant contributions from guards Steve Vasturia (15.0 PPG) and Matt Farrell (14.0 PPG) as well as from senior forward VJ Beachem (14.6 PPG). Those four player each average over 30 MPG while no other player averages over 20.
Notre Dame is the top 3-point shooting team in the ACC this year averaging over 40% from beyond the arc. If you’re looking for a contribution from one of ND’s other players, this is a good place to find it as sophomore (non-NFL quarterback) Matt Ryan leads the team shooting 47.3% from distance this year.
What to Watch For
Say it with me.
Y. G. T. M. Y. F. T.
Miami somehow shot 20% from the free throw line against Syracuse (2 for 10). Look for that stat to improve (we hope) tonight. Ja’Quan Newton and Davon Reed were both held to single digits by the Syracuse zone, and given that Notre Dame plays a good amount of zone, this could be an issue for the Canes again tonight.
The Canes also desperately need to limit turnovers. Miami committed 15 turnovers against Syracuse last week, and is averaging the most turnovers per game in the Larranaga era. The last time the Canes turned the ball over this much was in 2010-2011, when they were coached by He Who Shall Not Be Named.
The Canes have won 21 straight at home and look to make it 22 tonight. A win tonight would be Coach L’s 600th career victory and would make him one of five ACC coaches with 600 career wins (four of whom are in the Hall of Fame).
Oh, and how did we forget to mention the dope 60s throwback unis?
Lots to be excited for tonight. If you're local, #PackTheWat. If not, catch the Canes on ESPN at 7. Either way, see you on Twitter shortly before tip.
How to Watch
When: Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 7:00pm