Matty from 3: Miami Hurricanes vs. Providence

Miami has its first real test against Providence this Saturday in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip Off. Providence won the Big East Tournament and made the Sweet 16 last season.  Both teams have started the season 3-0, and all signs point to it being a competitive game. Matty takes aim and shoots from downtown Miami Hurricanes vs. Providence style.

Providence Miami (FL)

Providence has a completely new starting 5 but brings back Big East 6th man of the year Jared Bynum. The Friars also bring in a handful of transfers that should have big roles for them this season.

Bryce Hopkins is the main name Canes fans should know. Hopkins saw very limited time at Kentucky last season but has been Providence’s leading scorer so far this season. Hopkins is a 6’8 power forward who is best when putting the ball on the floor to get to the basket. He is averaging 15 PPG, 8 REB and 2 AST per game.

Noah Locke is a transfer from Louisville who is a career 39% 3PT shooter. Clifton Moore is a 6’11 transfer from La Salle who is a rim protector that also has 3PT ability on offense. Devin Carter is a transfer from South Carolina who is an athletic, pesky defender. Offensively, Carter looks to score from off ball movement and hustle plays. Now let’s get into 3 questions I have about this game.

Will Miami be able to consistently score in the half court?

Miami has had some scoring droughts in their first few games when trying to initiate offense in the half court. There are two things that could potentially help Miami create open looks on offense. Offensively, Miami should look to utilize high pick and rolls to bring out Providence’s big men to create driving/cutting lanes.

Norchad Omier’s ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the rim should be huge as well.  Omier should be able to attack these Providence big men with his explosiveness and quickness.  Providence has struggled at times this season with defensive rotations, which has led to open jump shots. Opponents are shooting 47.5% from behind the arc against Providence, which ranks 354/363 in D1.

For Miami to have success offensively against Providence they must make open 3s, create mismatches from the high pick and roll, and consistently score in the half court.

Can Miami keep Providence from playing their pace?

Offensively, Providence likes to get out in transition, but will also use their Flex offense in the half court. In the half court, Providence is very patient using a lot of ball screen actions for the guy running the baseline. They also look to get corner 3s when the help defense over commits too much. Miami needs to make sure they aren’t out of position and that they recover to their matchup quickly. Providence doesn’t take a ton of 3PT shots, but they are shooting 41% from behind the arc.

I think we will see Miami pressure the ball handler a lot more this game, in order to keep Providence from getting into their offense. Miami needs to keep the ball on one side of the floor, in order to prevent breakdowns and easy buckets. If Miami is able to force TOs and get out in transition it will give them a HUGE boost.

As mentioned, Bryce Hopkins is the Friar’s leading scorer, I guarantee Jordan Miller will be the one matching up with him. Miller at 6’7 has a 7-foot wingspan and a great ability to stay in front of his man. Nijel Pack going up against Jared Bynum will be an interesting matchup as well. Pack has been an underrated defender in my eyes, and Bynum is a great offensive player.

Can they win the TO battle?

Both teams look to force turnovers and get out in transition. Providence and Miami both average 9 steals a game, while per game Providence averages 10 turnovers and Miami averages 11 turnovers.  Whoever is able to win the turnover battle will surely get a boost in fast break points.

Providence projects as a tournament team, so this will be the first real test for the Canes. Miami takes the court against Providence at 4:00 PM ET on ESPNN.

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