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Miami looking for faster start against retooling Florida A&M

Sportsnaut
Nov 11, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga reacts during the second half against the UNC Greensboro Spartans at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Miami Hurricanes have won their first two games, they are still looking for a complete performance.

The Hurricanes hope to achieve it when they host Florida A&M on Tuesday night in Coral Gables, Fla.

Miami (2-0) has trailed at halftime in each of its wins over Lafayette and UNC Greensboro. But each time, the Hurricanes have used explosive second halves to pull away.

On Friday, Nijel Pack and Wooga Poplar ignited a 46-point second half which propelled Miami to a 79-65 victory.

The Hurricanes had six different players hit threes and were led by Jordan Miller’s 19 points. Isaiah Wong totaled 15 points and Pack finished with 14.

The trio are all averaging 14 or more points through the first two games with sophomore Norchad Omier, a transfer from Arkansas State, leading the team on the boards with 13 rebounds per game.

“He can do everything,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said of Miller. “He can handle the ball. He can shoot the three. The one thing we’re not getting for him, because of the way people are defending him, is we’re not getting them those drives… But as we play and go further along, he’ll be able to do a lot of things because he’s like a jack-of-all trades.”

The Rattlers (0-3) lost both games in the Pac 12/Southwestern Athletic Conference Legacy Series, to Oregon and Oregon State, and dropped a game at Portland in between.

FAMU, which is 0 for 2 all-time at Miami, has nine new players on its roster, and is taking on a challenging schedule that includes road games against eight teams from Power 5 conferences.

“Those games we play will greatly prepare us for the SWAC competition as we want to improve on our fourth-place finish last season,” FAMU coach Richard McCullum said at the start of the season.

One of the bright spots so far has been the play of Jordan Tillmon, who is averaging 12 points on 33 percent shooting. But turnovers have been a big problem for FAMU, which is averaging 18.3 giveaways through the first three games.

–Field Level Media