Miami opened the regular season Monday night with a win over Lafayette 67-54, and your boy was in attendance for it. The Canes struggled early but were able to pull through for their first win of the season. Here are 3 cold hard facts from the game. Miami vs. Lafayette 3 hard cold facts.
Miami struggled against Lafayette’s pack line defense.
Lafayette looked to take away Miami’s driving lanes through the use of the pack line defense. Lafayette crowded the key in order to prevent driving lanes, it was evident that Lafayette was fine with Miami taking open threes. In the first half Miami struggled from the field shooting under 30%and frankly looked uncomfortable with their shot selection. Although 21/28 of Miami’s first half points came from behind the arc, they shot a subpar 35% from 3PT range.
Miami also struggled to get going in transition, they scored 7 fastbreak points against Lafayette vs 27 vs IUP. One reason for this was because a lot of the turnovers Miami forced were dead ball turnovers, which meant Miami couldn’t get out in transition. Lafayette also did a good job at killing fastbreaks when Miami looked to push the pace after a rebound.
In the second half Miami looked to quicken the pace by picking up full court man to man. Miami seemed to adjust better to Lafayette’s defense shooting 46% from the field in the second half.
Nochard Omier’s versatility is undeniable
Norchad Omier finished the game with 11 PTS and 15 REBS. Offensively, Omier was absolutely dominant on the offensive glass with 8 offensive rebounds. Although he mainly scored on 2nd chance opportunities in this game, Omier did show the ability to score off his jumper and from driving to the basket in the exhibition against IUP.
Omier struggled from the free throw line shooting 55%. Coach L mentioned though in the postgame conference that Omier has been shooting free throws at 84% in practice. It could be the first game jitters, but I think we will see Norchad consistently knock down mid-range shots and free throws.
Defensively, Omier’s physicality and athleticism were on full display, he kept up with smaller guards while also overpowering Lafayette’s big men in the low post. It is going to be super intriguing to see how Omier matches up with some of the marquee big men in the ACC like Armando Bacot and Derrick Lively.
Defense has a lot of promise, but it needs some work.
There is no doubt that this team has the potential to be better defensively than last year’s team. Miami has a deeper, quicker and more versatile roster than last season.
We saw Monday night though, there is going to be a learning curve. The truth of the matter is that when you have 3 new starters, there is going to be an adjustment period. There were a few times shooters were left open because of miscues or miscommunications on Miami’s side. Lafayette’s CJ Fulton took advantage of the miscues scoring 17 points and drilling 5 3-pointers.
Isaiah Wong impressed me though with his activity in passing lanes and his on-ball pressure. It seems as though Wong is ready to be “the guy” on both sides of the floor. You throw in the versatility of Jordan Miller and Norchad Omier, and this defense has potential to be one of the best in the ACC.