The Miami Hurricanes have scored more than 90 points in two straight league games, something no other ACC team has accomplished since 2017.
Further, no Hurricanes team has ever accomplished that specific feat.
Miami (11-3, 3-0) has won seven straight games overall and is one of four teams unbeaten in ACC play, joined by bluebloods Duke, North Carolina and Louisville.
That’s all good news for the Hurricanes, who on Wednesday night will host the Syracuse Orange (7-6, 1-1).
The bad news for Miami is Syracuse’s vaunted 2-3 zone. Since joining the ACC, Miami is just 4-6 against Syracuse, and the Hurricanes have not eclipsed 70 points against the Orange in any of those 10 games.
“Syracuse is bigger than us at every position,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “That’s what makes their zone so challenging.”
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, though, was not happy with his team after Saturday’s 74-69 loss to visiting Virginia. In fact, Boeheim was extremely critical of his players, including point guard Joseph Girard III, who was held to three points.
“Joe played great for first 11 games, but he hasn’t been there the past two games,” Boeheim said.
Boeheim also blamed his defense for missing rotations, and he criticized Cole Swider for shooting 3 for 12.
The players Boeheim ripped have a tough assignment on Wednesday, as they’ll be tasked with containing Miami’s Kameron McGusty, who ranks fifth in the ACC in scoring at 18.3 points per game and is the league’s reigning Player of the Week. Miami’s Isaiah Wong is among the league’s top scorers too, averaging 16.5 points per game.
Charlie Moore, who is averaging 11.1 points per-game, leads Miami in assists (3.7), and Jordan Miller is vastly improved of late. Miller is averaging 8.5 points per game this season, but has scored an average of 21 points per contest in his last two games.
“Jordan is getting more comfortable,” Larranaga said of Miller, a George Mason transfer who is new to Miami this season.
Larranaga — who is hoping that starting center Sam Waardenburg returns on Wednesday after missing two straight games due to COVID protocol — credits Moore for a lot of Miami’s efficiency on offense.
“Charlie is a very willing passer,” Larranaga said of Miller, who had seven assists in Miami’s win over Wake Forest on Saturday. “His style of play is contagious.”
Syracuse is led by Boeheim’s two sons. Buddy Boeheim is averaging 19.5 points per game, and he put up a game-high 27 points against Virginia’s tough defense on Saturday. Jimmy Boeheim, a transfer from Cornell, is averaging 14.7 points per game, although he drew his father’s ire for making just 2 of 8 free throws on Saturday.
Syracuse has four shooters all shooting better than 32 percent from 3-point range in Girard (47.4 percent), Jimmy Boeheim (40 percent), Swider (33.3 percent) and Buddy Boeheim (32.6 percent).
But Coach Boeheim said Buddy is constantly drawing double-teams, meaning that the rest of his players need to take advantage.
“They’re college basketball players,” Syracuse’s longtime coach said. “They need to score.”
–Field Level Media