Thursday, February 7, 2013
Miami's hidden strength
By Luke Lapinski
Heading into Saturday's showdown with North Carolina, Miami sits at 18-3 and 9-0 in conference play. The Hurricanes are currently riding a 10-game winning streak, find themselves at No. 8 overall in the most recent AP poll and sit atop the ACC with nine regular season games to go.
Put simply, the program in Coral Gables is rolling right now. And, considering the nice blend of inside-outside talent they have on the roster -- in addition to Jim Larranaga's ability to coach his team up in one-and-done situations -- they look like someone that could be dangerous in March. It's not just their ability to put the ball in the hoop that has them stacking wins though. In fact, the main improvement over last year's 20-13 effort that ended in the NIT has been a stronger effort on the defensive end. Ken Pomeroy has Miami slotted in at No. 4 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, meaning the 'Canes not only have the offensive skills of guys like Durand Scott, Kenny Kadji and Shane Larkin to lean on, they have the ability to make the most of those points by keeping the opposition out of the box score. And that's generally a pretty stable formula for winning basketball games.