UNC at Miami Inside Enemy Territory

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In another edition of Inside Enemy Territory, I sat down with Jerry the editor over at www.category6um.com a Miami Hurricanes site. Jerry’s here to bring Tar Heel Nation a Hurricane perspective of Wednesday’s match up.  And on page 2 I’ll bring you the Heel side of things.  This is just part I of our coverage of the Tar Heels vs Hurricanes game, don’t miss our game preview tomorrow morning.  And check back in the afternoon as I go Inside The Numbers and take a statistical look at Carolina at the U.

KIH: Talk about Miami’s style of play for Tar Heel fans that haven’t watched them much this year.

C6: Miami plays primarily man to man and mixes in some half court traps (Larranaga’s patented “scramble”) on defense. On offense they like to set high screens and pick and pop with Kadji or work the ball down low to Johnson. Miami will run selectively and shoot a lot of threes off penetration. They are at their best when they share the ball and get 3 or 4 guys in double figures. Malcolm Grant, Durand Scott, and Shane Larkin can all break down a defense when the shot clock wanes down.

KIH: What’s the future of Miami basketball look like?  How are your 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes shaping up?

C6:Miami just extended Jim Larranaga through 2019. We really feel like he is the right coach to lead the ‘Canes to the promised land. For next season Miami has only 2 scholarships available (thus far) and both are filled. Melvin Johnson is combo guard from NYC/NJ who may be working his way to becoming a 5 star prospect with his stellar play for St Benedict’s (NJ) during his senior year. Tonye Jekiri is 3 star power forward and a local prospect who could be classified as a project thus far.  I am not aware of any signings for the class of 2013 yet.

KIH: When I watch Miami, my favorite player is Kenny Kadji.  I like his efficiency and overall game on both ends of the floor.  From a Canes prospective is he the best player on the roster?

C6:Excellent question! Ladji is a match-up nightmare for most big men in the ACC, and he seems to get better every game. When Reggie is 100% we still feel he is the ‘Canes best player, but right now a strong argument can be made for Kadji. Durand Scott also can be mentioned in this class, because when he is on he slashes, rebounds, and distributes at a high level. Before his college career ends, I suspect Scott will get a triple double.

KIH: After beating Duke in Cameron for the first time in series history.  What’s the feeling amongst Miami fans about pulling off another upset and beating UNC?

C6 I think UM fans sense that when the ‘Canes play their best game, they can beat anyone in the ACC. Kadji and Johnson are a handful, and Scott and Grant are an experienced and talented back court. UNC is a very talented group, but if Miami plays to their capability, (a big if) we expect them to win.

KIH: If Miami is going to pull off the upset, what’s the main thing they must do in your eyes?

C6: I think first and foremost Malcolm Grant needs to break out of his shooting slump. Grant showed some signs last time out against FSU. Next Miami must hold their own on the boards. Offensive rebounds killed the ‘Canes the first time these teams met, specifically in the 1st half. To me the X factor is DeQuan Jones off the bench.  Jones has the athleticism to hang with UNC’s front court and has been playing well of late. Finally for UM to win, they need the crowd to show up and be LOUD. If Miami gets that much needed support it will give them the energy to come out victorious.

 I’m filling in Jerry and the rest of Hurricane Nation on the great UNC Tar Heels after the jump