Miami Takes on Missouri State in NIT's Sweet 16 Monday

March 20, 2011



Pregame Press Conference | Game Notes | NIT Bracket


CORAL GABLES, FLA… In their school-record 35th game of the season, the second-seeded Hurricanes play host to third-seeded Missouri State in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament on Mon., March 21, at 7 p.m. at the BankUnited Center. ESPN will televise the game and it was also be streamed online via



Game 35: #2Miami (20-14) vs. #3 Missouri State (26-8)

Date: Mon., March 21, 2011 | Time: 7 p.m. | Site: BankUnited Center

TV: ESPN | Radio: 560 WQAM (, 90.5 FM ( | Webstream:

Websites: Miami ( | Missouri State (

Tickets: 1-800-GO-CANES


Projected Miami Starters

No.          Name (Pos/Ht/Wt/Cl)                                          Pts          Reb         Ast

01           Durand Scott (G, 6-3, 200, So.)                         13.3        4.2          3.1

03           Malcolm Grant (G, 6-1, 180, Jr.)                       15.2        1.8          3.3

15           Rion Brown (G, 6-5, 188, Fr.)                             4.4          1.9          0.6

30           Adrian Thomas (F, 6-7, 226, Gr.)                      9.2          3.8          0.8

42           Reggie Johnson (C, 6-10, 303, So.)               12.0        9.7          1.3^


Projected Missouri State Starters

No.          Name (Pos/Ht/Wt/Cl)                                          Pts          Reb         Ast

34           Kyle Weems (G, 6-6 232, Jr.)                            16.0        6.9          0.9^        

15           Jermaine Mallett (G, 6-30, 217, Sr.)                 11.9        5.9          2.9         

44           Will Creekmore (F/C, 6-9, 248, Sr.)                  11.4        6.5          1.1         

10           Adam Leonard (G, 6-1, 198, Sr.)                      9.6          1.9          2.0         

02           Nafis Ricks (G, 6-2, 189, Sr.)                             9.3          4.4          3.9


^ blocks per game | * steals per game


Monday’s winner will advance to the third round (March 22-23) to take on the winner of the contest between top-seeded Alabama (22-11) and fourth-seeded New Mexico (22-12). Those two teams square off in Tuscaloosa following Miami’s game on Monday at 9 p.m. on ESPN. The highest-seeded team will host that “Elite Eight” contest.



At 20-14, the Hurricanes have their third 20-win season over the last four under head coach Frank Haith. The second-seeded Hurricanes – the highest seed for UM since the NCAA took over the NIT in 2005-06 – cruised past seventh-seeded Florida Atlantic in its NIT opener to advance to the “Sweet 16”. 




Behind the long-distance firepower of the ACC’s top-two  most prolific three-point shooters in Malcolm Grant and Adrian Thomas, the Hurricanes have knocked down a school-record 273 three-pointers this season, besting the previous high of 251 set in 2008-09. The duo — both ranking among Miami’s top five in single-season three-pointers — accounts for 179 (66 percent) of those treys.



The Hurricanes have attempted a program-high 713 three-point field goals this season, surpassing the previous high of 684 set in 2001-02.



Converting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc as a team, the 2011 Hurricanes’ conversion rate is second-best in program history, just behind a program-best 38.5 percent in 2007-08.



A Hurricanes has led the ACC in three-point field goal percentage in three of the last four seasons — Adrian Thomas in 2010 (.421) and Jack McClinton in 2009 (.453, with an ACC-high 3.2 threes per game) and 2007 (.440, with an ACC-high 2.9 threes per game).




Sophomore Reggie Johnson’s 331 rebounds this season are the most since 1964-65 when Rick Barry pulled down a school-record 475 rebounds 46 years ago. Overall, it is the seventh highest total for a single season in UM history. His career-high 20 rebounds in the NIT-opening win over FAU is the most for a Hurricane since the return of Miami basketball in 1985-86 and for an ACC player this season.




Seventh-year head coach Frank Haith and the Hurricanes have won 21 consecutive non-conference games at the BankUnited Center and have defeated 36 of its last 39 non-conference opponents at home. Miami’s last non-conference home loss came at the hands of Ohio State, 73-68, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 2, 2008.



However, heading into Monday’s final three second-round NIT games, the home teams are 1-4 – with Colorado winning at home on Friday and then Boston College, Virginia Tech, Cleveland State and Fairfield all losing on their homecourts over the weekend. Miami is the final ACC team still alive in the NIT.



Adrian Thomas will make his school record 131st appearance on Monday as a Hurricane.



RECORD WATCH              

Adrian Thomas’ 227 three-point field goal attempts are second-most in a Miami single season and two shy of the school-record 229 by Marcus Barnes in 2001-02… Reggie Johnson’s 112 personal fouls are second-most in a Miami single season and just three shy of the school-record 115 by Hammie Ward in 1991-92… Durand Scott’s 1,120 minutes on the court are third-most in a Miami single season and seven minutes off Robert Hite in second place (1,127, 2005-06)… Malcolm Grant’s 42.1 percent three-point shooting in 2011 ranks third in school history, while Reggie Johnson’s 58.5 percent field goal shooting is fourth-best in a single season at UM.




Monday marks the first meeting between Miami and Missouri State. At 26-8, the Bears are a veteran squad with a projected starting lineup composed of four seniors and a junior – while the ‘Canes have just one senior in sixth-year Adrian Thomas. Junior Kyle Weems, a 6-6 junior forward, averages a team-high 16.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game and was selected Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. Second Team selections Will Creekmore (6-9 C) and Jermaine Mallett (6-3, G) add 11.4 points and 6.5 boards and 11.9 points and 5.9 rebounds, respectively.  


Mallett finished with a career-high and program NIT record 23 points (9-10 FTs) in their opening-round 89-76 win over sixth-seeded Murray State, in which the Bears shot 55.1 percent from the field and 81.8 percent from the charity stripe. Mallett is averaging 16.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists over the last five games and earned MVC Tournament MVP honors.


The Bears are 3-2 all-time in the NIT second round and are 1-5 in NIT road games.


Missouri State won eight of its final 10 regular-season contests and had an RPI of 42 – the second-highest ranking for a school not selected to the NCAA field this season (Harvard was 35).  



Miami has three players averaging double-figure scoring, led by the backcourt of Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott. Scoring in double figures in 24 of his last 27 games and bringing an ACC-long 21-game three-point streak into the postseason, Grant — an All-ACC Third Team pick — is contributing a team-high 15.2 points (8th in ACC) and 3.3 assists per game, while converting an ACC-best 85.1 percent from the line and an ACC-best 42.7 percent from long range (19th in nation), with a league-high 2.6 three-pointers per game.


Scott adds 13.3 points (15th in the ACC), 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, shooting 44.3 percent from the field, 40.3 percent from downtown and 84.0 percent from the line (3rd in ACC) — including a UM-record tying 10-of-10 performance from the charity stripe in the NIT opener versus FAU. All-ACC Honorable Mention pick Reggie Johnson, who posted his 132th double-double of the season (4th in ACC) in the NIT opener — including a career-high 20 rebounds, is averaging 12.0 points, 9.7 rebounds (4th in ACC, 27th in nation) and 1.3 blocks per game.


The University of Miami men’s basketball team advances to the postseason for the fifth time in seven years under head coach Frank Haith. The Hurricanes are making their fourth NIT appearance under Haith and the 10th in program history. Overall, it is the 16th postseason appearance for the Hurricanes.

In 2011, the Hurricanes have gone 4-1 versus teams in the NIT field — defeating No. 1 seed Boston College twice (72-71 at home, 73-64 at BC), defeating No. 8 seed McNeese State in Coral Gables (79-59), beating Florida Atlantic (85-62) and falling at No. 1 seed Virginia Tech (72-68).



Head coach Frank Haith has more postseason wins than any other coach in Miami program history at 5-4 over his tenure (4-3 NIT, 1-1 NCAA). Former Miami coach Leonard Hamilton ranks second, going 3-5 in the postseason over his 10 years at the helm.


Miami has a 5-9 record in the NIT.  



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Men’s Basketball: Miami vs. Missouri State