No. 21/24 Miami Looks For First ACC Road Win at NC State
Jan. 18, 2008
RALEIGH, N.C. – After splitting its first two Atlantic Coast Conference games to open league play, the No. 21/24 University of Miami men’s basketball team heads to Raleigh to battle NC State on Sat., Jan. 19, at 8 p.m. in the RBC Center.
Game 17: Miami (14-2, 1-1 ACC) vs. NC State (11-5, 0-2 ACC)
Date: Sat., Jan. 19, 2008 | Time: 8 p.m. | Site: RBC Center
TV: Raycom/WBFS | Radio: 560 WQAM | Internet Video: ACC Select
Websites: Miami (www.hurricanesports.com) | NC State (www.gopack.com)
Tickets: (919) 865-1510
Probable Miami StartersNo. Name (Pos/Ht/Wt/Cl) Pts Reb Ast33 Jack McClinton (G, 6-1, 185, Jr.) 15.7 2.5 3.023 James Dews (G, 6-3, 203, So.) 12.1 2.5 1.732 Brian Asbury (F, 6-7, 223, Jr.) 9.9 5.0 2.421 Dwayne Collins (F, 6-8, 235, So.) 9.3 6.4 1.2^50 Anthony King (C, 6-9, 246, R-Sr.) 8.3 7.8 1.5^
Probable NC State StartersNo. Name (Pos/Ht/Wt/Cl) Pts Reb Ast13 Marques Johnson (G, 6-5, 205, So.) 1.3 2.5 1.54 Courtney Fells (G, 6-5, 205, Jr.) 9.9 3.3 1.111 Gavin Grant (F, 6-8, 208, Sr.) 12.9 4.6 3.033 Brandon Costner (F, 6-9, 238, So.) 9.8 5.8 2.41 J.J. Hickson (F/C, 6-9, 242, Fr.) 15.6 7.7 1.6^
^ blocks per game
The Hurricanes, coming off a their first ACC loss of the season at Boston College on Tuesday, look to pick up their first road win in league play, while the Wolfpack are in search of their first conference victory after back-to-back losses on the road at North Carolina and Clemson.
Guards Jack McClinton and James Dews continue to carry the load offensively for the `Canes, with each ranking among the ACC’s top 10 in scoring in league play. McClinton is Miami’s overall leading scorer for the second-straight season and ranks among the ACC’s top five in three offensive categories. He shoots an ACC-leading .468 three-point field goal percentage, ranks third with 2.64 three-pointers per game and is second with a .900 free throw percentage. Additionally, McClinton ranks seventh in overall scoring with 15.7 points per game and 10th in league play averaging 17 a game.
Dews is averaging a team-high 17.5 points per game in ACC play, after knocking down a career-high 20 points versus Georgia Tech and 15 at Boston College. He has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games and is tied with McClinton for a team-high 11 games in double digits this season.
Miami’s defense has seen remarkable improvement this season, as the Hurricanes rank second in the ACC in both field goal percent defense and scoring defense, while ranking third in defensive rebounds and fourth in both three-point field goal percent defense and blocked shots. It’s quite an improvement from last season, when Miami finished second-to-last in three of those statistical categories and last in the other two.
The Hurricanes are holding opponents to just 61.8 points per game — an 11.1 point improvement from last season. In 16 games this season, Miami has allowed just four opponents to score more than 64 points.
Saturday marks the sixth meeting between Miami and NC State, with the Wolfpack holding the 3-2 all-time series edge. The teams first met during the 1939-40 season, resulting in a 46-35 UM loss in Raleigh. According to available records, it was Miami’s first game versus a future ACC team. The Hurricanes were more successful in the last meeting between the teams, earning the 80-65 home victory on Feb. 10, 2007, to snap a two-game skid against NC State.
A Look at NC State
After winning seven straight, NC State had dropped its last two games by an average of 23.5 points — both to nationally-ranked ACC opponents on the road. The Wolfpack is 7-1 at home this season. NC State is led by true freshman J.J. Hickson, averaging a team-high 15.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.63 blocks per game, while shooting an ACC-high 64.9 percent from the field. Hickson and current UM signee DeQuan Jones played together at Marietta’s Wheeler High School. Gavin Grant adds 12.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, while Courtney Fells has come up big in ACC play, averaging 17.5 points per game — including 19 at Clemson (5-8 3FGs). For the season, he adds 9.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, converting a team-high 84.8 percent from the line.