Miami vs Drake: A Quick Preview

Miami is set to play 12th seeded Drake today at 7:25PM ET. Drake was 27-7 on the year and won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Let’s dive into some keys and notes for the game. 

Keys/Notes for Drake

Don’t be overaggressive on closeouts on shooters

Drake’s scorers are very patient on offense and look to take advantage of defenses that are over aggressive. They love using pump fakes to create open shot opportunities. Drake has four guys that shoot over 35% from deep. DJ Wilkins and Tucker DeVries are the two main guys Miami has to key in on. Drake is patient on defense and Miami can’t afford to make mistakes by being over aggressive.

Miami’s Defense 

Entering the NCAA Tournament last season Miami was ranked #157 in adjusted defensive efficiency.  During the tournament though they were one of the best defensive teams. Entering the Elite 8 game they had best ranked defense in the tournament. Miami had success defending in the tournament last season because of their activity. The Canes have shown flashes of this but have not defended at that level consistently this year.

Norchad Omier’s mobility

The health of Norchad Omier is no doubt a huge factor in how this game could go. Omier’s mobility is so valuable to Miami. There is no question there is a noticeable drop off on defense when Norchad isn’t on the floor. 

Norchad Omier’s mobility will be huge not just on defense but on offense as well. Drake’s big men like to stay almost exclusively in the paint to prevent easy drives, so Omier’s activity on offense would be huge. 

Tucker DeVries vs Jordan Miller 

Tucker DeVries is Drake’s best player on offense due to his versatile skill set. Offensively, DeVries is a deadly shooter, good driver and can score in the low post. DeVries is also very good at drawing fouls. Jordan Miller should be the man with the mission of guarding him. Defensively, Miller matches up well due to his wingspan and his ability to disrupt. 

Make open shots 

The Canes are 8-1 when Pack makes 4 or more 3s. Nijel Pack was on a roll in ACC play before he got injured. Let’s see if he can get that confidence going again in the tournament. 

Wooga has also shown that he can knock down open shots as the season has progressed. Drake loves to clog the paint, so if Miami can knock some threes down it will open things up.

Isaiah Wong

Isaiah Wong was a huge reason why Miami got to the Elite 8 last season. Wong had over 20 points in Miami’s first games in the Tournament last season. Miami needs Wong to be aggressive offensively to win this game.

Drake is undersized but they box out well

Drake plays a 3-guard lineup with all guys being under 6’3. Despite this they have the 3rd lowest OREB% allowed on defense. Norchad and Miller on the offensive glass will be a big factor.

Do not let the seed fool you, the Canes have a tough first round matchup. Miami needs to just find a way to win. March is all about surviving and advancing. GO CANES!

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