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Miami: Hurricane Season?

In our preseason rankings, the Hurricanes were a team we were higher on than anyone else doing college basketball rankings. We had them 11th while they were coming in unranked in the preseason polls and anywhere from 28th to 50th generally.

Currently, Miami is 12-1 with a NET ranking of 52 but ranked 22nd in both Poll. They just registered their biggest win of the season over # 6 Virginia at home. Their only loss is to #23 Maryland on a neutral court. This is one of those cases where it’s still early and NET ranking is probably noisy and doesn’t tell the full story.

Miami has played a lot of bad teams, but they also have quality wins over Providence, UCF, Rutgers, NC State, and Virginia who are all in the Top 80 NET. It’s a pretty substantial resume they are building currently 2-1 in Quad 1 wins and 3-0 in Quad 2 ones to this point. That’s more fitting of a significant jump next week in the Polls I expect.

WinsNET
Virginia17
Rutgers40
NC State46
UCF67
Providence79

LossNET
Maryland32

Why is this important to point out?

The very player I expected to be the star of the team hasn’t even played well to this point. I think this is the most noteworthy aspect of what is going on there. The upside they have if (and I believe when) Nijel Pack starts to play the way he’s proven he is capable of is immense.

gmpgrpgapgspgtovppg
2020-21Kansas State2433.53.73.81.2212.7
2021-22Kansas State2933.13.82.21.31.517.4
2022-23Miami (FL)1230.42.52.80.61.811.2

PERTS%
2020-21Kansas State16.30.55
2021-22Kansas State22.70.603
2022-23Miami (FL)11.70.488

3pm3pa3%
2020-21Kansas State2.56.20.405
2021-22Kansas State3.37.50.436
2022-23Miami (FL)1.75.20.323

All of Nijel Pack’s shooting numbers are down, but the three point shooting in particular can’t continue to be this bad you would think. After all Pack shot .423% on a massive sample of 155 makes at Kansas State in his career. This came vs some of the strongest SOS’s in the nation. The SOS’s he’s faced so far isn’t even comparable as weak as it is overall. Not only that, but he was their best player and number-one scoring option at Kansas State. Teams designed game plans to specifically stop him. The quality of shots he’s getting with all the help around him should make the looks he’s getting this year easier looks which makes the slump baffling.

The 32% he is shooting now should pick up given his impeccable history. I just can’t see him shooting as poorly as he has the rest of the season and I still expect a turnaround at some point. The only other explanation is that there is an injury I’ve completely missed or that has gone unreported. When Pack rounds into form this team certainly has all the makings of a top 10 team, they probably already do without him playing well. If he becomes Nijel Pack again the Hurricanes might even have top line number 1 seed potential. We’ll keep it monitored.

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