ACC Basketball: The Hurricanes' Hot Start

There hasn’t been a more impressive team early on in the ACC this season than the Miami Hurricanes. The Canes are off to a 5-0 start and are now ranked No. 15 in the nation after being unranked at the start of the season.

Not only has Miami won its first five games, but the Hurricanes have also taken out two Top 25 teams in then No. 16 Utah and No. 22 Butler. Let’s take a closer look at what Head Coach Jim Larrañaga and the Hurricanes have done so far this season and what has them ticking on all cylinders.

Miami is averaging 91.8 points per game this season, which ranks them No. 15 in the nation. They are also shooting 52 percent from the floor and 45 percent from beyond the arc as a team. That ranks them No. 2 in the conference in field goal percentage, just behind Florida State.

The Hurricanes have six players that are averaging double figures early on in the season, with Sheldon McClellan leading the way with 17.4 points per game.

Miami ranks No. 4 in the conference in turnovers per game, averaging only 9.4 per game, while also having a 1.66 assist/turnover ratio on the season.

Other Notable Stats
  • Miami ranks 7th in the nation in total field goals made with 149.
  • Miami ranks No. 4 in the nation with 49 three pointers made.
  • The Hurricanes are shooting over 45 percent from behind the arc, ranking them No. 6 in the nation in that category.
  • With 112 made free throws made this season, Miami ranks No.1 in the nation in that category.

Last season, Miami missed the NCAA Tournament, going 25-13 overall and was considered a “snub” from the Big Dance. The good news for Canes fans is that Miami already has two impressive résumé victories.  Against No. 16 Utah, in which the Hurricanes won 90-66, McClellan scored 27 points and Tonye Jekiri dominated down low with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Miami then took down No. 22 Butler 85-75 behind 19 points from Angel Rodriguez and 17 points from Ja’Quan Newton, taking home the Puerto Rico Tip-off Championship.

It might be too early to buy all-in on the Hurricanes, but Miami has already passed the eye test early on in the season.  With the three teams that were picked to compete for the ACC already taking a loss on the season in North Carolina, Virginia and Duke, Miami could be a strong competitor in the ACC conference.

Miami was picked to finish 5th in the ACC Preseason Polls, but with a favorable schedule ahead of them, the Hurricanes could be looking at a possible perfect record or an early season surprise team heading into ACC play, starting on January 2nd against Syracuse.

With a veteran-led team and a balanced attack on the offensive side, Miami could certainly compete for another ACC title under Coach Larrañaga.