SYRACUSE (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – A matchup of teams moving in opposite directions will take place in northern New York.
Coming off polar-opposite outcomes in their ACC openers, visiting Miami tries to run its winning streak to eight games while struggling Syracuse attempts to rebound from an ugly road loss to Boston College when the conference foes meet Wednesday.
The Hurricanes were strong on both ends of the court in a surprisingly one-sided 81-63 home victory against North Carolina State while the Orange’s defense was a no-show in a stunning 96-81 loss to Boston College, which finished 0-18 in ACC play last season.
The Hurricanes proved ready for the defensive challenge posed by N.C. State, holding the Wolfpack more than 20 points below their scoring average, while the offense rebounded from a sloppy game against Columbia (20 turnovers) by hanging on to the ball and shooting 47.7 percent.
“Well, they’re (N.C. State) really great in the open court and scoring off turnovers, and last time out we had 20-something turnovers and tonight we had only eight,” Larranaga told reporters after the game. “We took care of the basketball. We did not make a lot of miscues that lead to their fast-break layups and dunks.”
The Eagles hit 16-of-26 3-point attempts and shot 57.1 percent overall against Syracuse only two games after the Orange allowed 93 points in a 33-point loss at home to St. John’s.
“We haven’t had a good defensive effort against anybody, and now we’ve played 14 games.” coach Jim Boeheim told reporters. “If our defense wasn’t better by now, its a long shot that its going to get a lot better.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, RSN
ABOUT MIAMI (11-2, 1-0 ACC): The Hurricanes’ veteran backcourt of Ja’Quan Newton (15.8 points, 3.9 assists per game) and Davon Reed (14.6 points) have picked up their scoring, averaging 19.0 and 18.3 points, respectively, over the last three games, while freshman guard Bruce Brown (11.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists) evolved into a dependable third scoring option and a beast on the boards.
Senior forward Kamari Murphy (7.3 points, 7.9 rebounds) anchors the interior, but Larranaga points to the abilities of ball-hawking reserve Anthony Lawrence'(7.0 points, 23 steals) to guard multiple positions as another key to Miami’s ninth-ranked scoring defense (58.9 points) nationally entering Tuesday’s games.
Highly touted freshman center Dewan Huell (7.2 points, 4.5 rebounds) totaled only six points in the past three games.
ABOUT SYRACUSE (8-6, 0-1): Guard Andrew White III (15.3 points, 4.2 rebounds) and sophomore Tyler Lydon (13.1 points, 8.0 rebounds) are the only players averaging in double figures while 6-foot-10 freshman Taurean Thompson (9.4 points) is averaging 16 points in the past two games and got his first start against Boston College.
Point guards Frank Howard (6.8 points, 6.0 assists) and John Gillon (8.9 points, 4.2 assists) shot a combined 3-of-16, including 0-of-6 on 3-pointers, against Boston College and have produced dramatically better scoring and assist numbers in Syracuse’s eight wins than in their six defeats.
Forward DaJuan Coleman (6.9 points), who had started the first 13 games, didn’t play against BC with Boeheim telling reporters that he “hasn’t been good, his knees have been sore.”
- Syracuse is off to its worst start in 20 years.
- The Hurricanes defeated the Orange 64-51 last season in Miami despite scoring only 17 points in the first half.
- Miami ranked No. 10 nationally in field-goal percentage defense (37.3 percent).
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Sports Direct Inc. contributed to this report.)