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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – People are starting to take notice of the Miami Hurricanes.
Miami caught the attention of the college basketball world by winning the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, going from unranked to No. 15 after back-to-back wins over ranked foes Utah and Butler.
The Hurricanes return home Friday to face Northeastern, which boasts four starters from last year’s NCAA Tournament team.
The Hurricanes have used an up-tempo attack and a variety of scoring options to average 91.8 points.
“I’m very pleased with how we’re playing offense right now,” coach Jim Larranaga told reporters after his team’s title-game win over Butler. “We are playing fast, faster than we are practicing. I like when we get in the open court because we have so many weapons.”
Larranaga set a goal of 25 points per game from the bench, but so far Miami’s reserves have exceeded that by averaging 34.
The Huskies, coincidentally, are coming off a 67-61 loss to the “other” Miami in Ohio that ended their season-opening four-game winning streak.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, ESPN3
ABOUT NORTHEASTERN (4-1): Despite the loss to the RedHawks in the Men Against Breast Cancer Challenge final, guard David Walker was the All-Tournament Team MVP after averaging 23.3 points in the three games.
Walker and versatile redshirt senior Quincy Ford, who is averaging 14.2 points, both were Preseason All-League picks in the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Huskies earned their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1991 last season and gave ACC member Notre Dame a scare before losing 69-65, so don’t expect them to be intimidated.
ABOUT MIAMI (5-0) While the senior starting backcourt of Angel Rodriguez (12.8 points per game) and Sheldon McClellan (team-leading 17.4) and 7-foot center Tonye Jekiri (10.2 ppg, 10 rebounds) are the team’s backbone, the Hurricanes have six players averaging in double figures.
Sophomore point guard Ja’Quan Newton has been perhaps the most pleasant surprise, averaging 11.8 points after scoring just four per game as a freshman.
The Hurricanes are shooting an eye-popping 51.9 percent from the field.
- Despite playing at a high tempo, Miami is averaging only 9.4 turnovers per game.
- Miami has three players – forward Ivan Cruz Uceda and guards McClellan and Davon Reed – hitting more than half of their three-point attempts, with Cruz Uceda making 12-of-21 shots.
- MIami has sold out the season-ticket allotment of 5,600 for the first time.
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