Blacksburg, VA (Sports Network) - The only undefeated team left in Atlantic
Coast Conference play, the 14th-ranked Miami Hurricanes take to the road for a
couple of games this week, starting with Wednesday's clash with the Virginia
Tech Hokies at the Cassell Coliseum.
It is a bit surprising that it isn't Duke or NC State sitting atop the
conference standings at this point, but rather the Hurricanes. Jim Larranaga's
squad has simply caught fire at the right time and currently brings a seven-
game win streak with it to Blacksburg, including victories in all six of its
league tilts thus far. UM has flexed its muscles in back-to-back routs of Duke
(90-63) and most recently, arch rival Florida State (71-47).
James Johnson's first season at the helm of Virginia Tech has been one of
peaks and valleys. The Hokies are 11-8 on the year overall, but the conference
slate has been a bit more stressful, with the team sitting at a mere 2-4. Tech
has lost two straight entering this game and six of its last eight overall.
The team returns to Blacksburg following last weekend's 77-70 setback at
The Hurricanes hold a narrow 11-10 series advantage. However, Virginia Tech
has won the last two meetings in Blacksburg.
Miami shot a modest 42.9 percent from the floor, but it was more than enough,
as Florida State was limited to an ugly 30.8 percent effort. In addition, the
Hurricanes owned the glass, outrebounding the Seminoles 44-32. Trey McKinney
Jones led the team offensively with 15 points. Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji
added 11 points each in the lopsided win.
The Hurricanes are a strong defensive team, yielding just 58.1 ppg (19th
nationally) on .366 shooting (sixth nationally). Although the team is led by
its defensive play, there is definitely scoring depth, with five players
currently averaging double figures, now that center Reggie Johnson has
returned from a thumb injury. Scott leads the team with 14.3 ppg. Shane Larkin
(12.3 ppg) and McKinney Jones (10.1 ppg) complete the team's three-guard set.
Kadji (13.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) will certainly welcome back Johnson (10.6 ppg, 9.1
rpg) down low.
Erick Green was at it again, posting a whopping 25 points, but just like it
has been on numerous occasions this season, the points were hollow, as the
Hokies dropped a seven-point decision to the Tigers. Jarell Eddie poured in 19
points in support, but the remainder of the roster accounted for just 26
Green not only leads the ACC, but the entire nation in scoring at 25.2 ppg.
Green, who is shooting an impressive .495 from the floor, is also converting
at an 81.8 percent clip from the free-throw line (139-of-170). He is also the
team's top distributor, doling out 4.3 apg. Eddie is the only other double-
digit threat on the roster at 14.4 ppg, although Robert Brown is just under
the mark at 9.6 ppg.
The Sports Network