The Miami Hurricanes Men’s Basketball Team (2-0) will look to continue their winning ways today as they take on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (2-2) at 2pm. The Hurricanes are coming off back-to back dominating victories vs. Lehigh and Stephen F. Austin. In those two game the Canes have outscored their opponents by an average of 30 points.
The Bethune Cookman Wildcats are on a two game win streak of their own after starting the season 0-2 with losses to Depaul and Marquette. On their current two game win streak the Wildcats have averaged 101 points per game while only allowing 46 points per game. These games were against far inferior competition, but anytime a college basketball team is able to score 100 points, it should be noted. Bethune-Cookman is also picked to win the MEAC, making them the third conference favorite in a row that Miami will face.
Wildcats Experience a Factor
The team out of Daytona, FL has a lot of experience with six seniors and thirteen upperclassmen. One of those seniors is Isaiah Bailey who is their leading scorer averaging nearly 15 points per game. Bailey will be a player to watch as Chris Lykes and Zach Johnson look to limit his playmaking ability. Juniors Mark Gordon and Cletrell Pope will also be players to watch for the Wildcats. Gordon is averaging 11 points per game on five 2- point attempts per game. Pope is averaging a double-double with 10.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. In Bethune Cookman’s last game, Pope registered 20 points and 16 rebounds.
The Miami Hurricanes have a low post machine of their own in Ebuka Izundu. In Miami’s last game, “Buka” had the best performance of his career. Against Stephen F Austin, Izundu racked up 22 points, 19 rebounds, and four blocks. Izundu and Gak will be important as they look to protect the rim against a team in the Wildcats who like to penetrate the opposing defense.
The Hurricanes will look to make it tough for the Wildcat offense today. Bethune-Cookman is shooting 44% from the field while shooting an abysmal 25% from 3 point range. The Hurricanes have yet to allow an opponent to shoot above 40% from the field on the season.
The Hurricanes are the far more talented team and should be able to handle their business. Look for Anthony Lawrence II to stuff the stat sheet and Chris Lykes to record his third straight 20+ point game in a Hurricanes victory.
PREDICTION: Miami 87 Bethune-Cookman 52
Tip-off is scheduled for 2pm at the Watsco Center and can be streamed on ACC Network Extra or HurricaneSports.com. Be sure to catch my rapid fire recap here after the game and the full in-depth recap at ncaahoopsdigest.com.