Eye of the Hurricane

February 5, 2009

Defense leads the way against Wake Forest

Filed under: Uncategorized — Justin G @ 4:07 pm

Last night Miami did something better than they have all season…play defense for 40 minutes. Down the stretch of the Maryland game guys were getting loose for wide open 15′ jumpers all over the floor every time we needed a stop. But last night I think we saw a whole different level of commitment on that side of the ball. Holding a team that shoots 48 percent on the year to under 32 percent is a testament to the hustle and the will to want want to go out and set the tone defensively. Closeouts were good on three point attempts, and hardly any Deacon shots went up without a hand in the shooters face.

Miami was dominated all night on the offensive boards by a Wake team that has a lot more size inside than the Canes were able to match up with. But after the offensive boards there was always at least two Canes clamping down and contesting the put-backs.

Playing great committed defense can keep you in a game reguardless of how poorly your team shoots and give you a chance to win at the end. Miami can not rely on shooting nearly 50 perfect from the field every night, because that simply will not happen when your guards are your primary scorers. Even if Miami wasn’t shooting lights out last night, you can always give yourself a chance to win it down the stretch when you hold an opponent to 52 points.

They were also able to avoid the first-half sleep walking that has plagued the team at times this season. When Miami falls behind by double digits early they are forced to over-extend offensively to catch up. Every time this has happened they have had difficulty playing defense late in the game because they have been forced to expend so much energy to make it close again.

This has to be the mindset the Canes take if they want to be successful again Duke and North Carolina in the next two games.  Being fully committed to getting stops right from the beginning allows the team to play more relaxed offensively and let the game come to them, and the result is something Canes fans want to see again and again.

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2 Comments »

  1. I wish I had a sports writting class at the U when I was there. That being said, great game for the ‘Canes! We needed that help off the bench all year, and AT came through with some huge shots, and good D! Now, can we beat PUKE at PUKE?

    Comment by Carlos — February 5, 2009 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

  2. What a game! I had the pleasure of attending this one and I have never been more excited for Canes basketball than I was Wednesday. Jack went off and he made Wake look like a high school team. This was a great win and hopefully it will propel the team back into the tourney conversation after 3 tough L’s in a row.

    Comment by wood21 — February 6, 2009 @ 10:17 am | Reply


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