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Nebrasketball Preview: Miami

The Hurricanes come to Lincoln for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

#21 Miami - Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Date: Tuesday, December 1st

Time: 8pm EST

Location of School: Miami, FL

Mascot: Hurricanes

Coach: Jim Larranaga (5th Year)

Conference: ACC

2015-16 Record: 6-1

Miami will be Nebraska's opponent in this year's Big Ten/ACC Challenge. This is a team that hasn't had a whole lot of success historically but has seemed to have found their guy in coach Jim Larranaga. They were the 2013 regular season and tournament champion in the ACC, a first time for both honors together. No small feat in a conference with such a rich basketball history. This will be another tough early season game for the Huskers.

2014-15 Season: 25-13 (10-8 Conference)

The Hurricanes had a fairly strong season while playing in the powerful ACC. They finished in 6th place in the conference behind the likes of Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville, and North Carolina. All of which ended the year in the top 15. They danced in and out of the top 25 themselves throughout the year.

They had some fairly big wins throughout the season against #8 Florida, #4 Duke, and an always tough Syracuse team. While they did not make the NCAA Tournament, they did make the NIT where their talent took them all the way to the championship game where they lost to champion Stanford.

2015-16 Season So Far

Miami has returned a bulk of their team from last year which makes me kind of surprised it took them a few games before they were ranked. While they were not ranked in the top of the ACC, they were still a strong opponent and won a few hard fought games against top ranked teams. Miami was basically the squad you had to watch out for because they had enough talent to beat you. You couldn't let your foot off the gas.

They started this year 6-0 before being beat by Northeastern on Friday night. They recently came back from winning the Puerto Rico Tip-off which brought them wins against #22 Butler and #16 Utah. These are basketball schools who are usually in the hunt within their respective conferences. Neither one are pushovers.

Players to Watch

Top player for the Hurricanes this season would be senior Tonye Jekiri. He came in as one of the most highly looked upon centers in the ACC and has yet to prove anyone wrong. This guy is a 7'4" 244 pound beast. He lead the conference in rebounds last year and is currently sitting at 10.3 rpg. he is also proving to be a threat offensively shootin 9.8 ppg and 76% from the free throw line. Not to shabby for a big man. He was recently named ACC Player of the Week after helping the 'Canes win the Puerto Rico Tipoff.

Small forward Davon Reed is considered one of the more efficent scorers on the team shooting at around 52%. He is currently averaging 12.2 ppg and is rebounding around 4.3. He is a talented guard who's play seems to have become more aggressive from last year.

Sheldon McClean was Miami's best all around player last year and has shown nothing that would make you believe that would change this year. He is currently scoring around 17.5 ppg and had a season high of 27 points against Utah. If there is one player the Huskers will have to worry about on offense, it's Sheldon.

Game Day Analysis

These Hurricanes are good and should compete well in the ACC. While the had a tough loss against a lesser opponent, they have proven themselves already this year against good opponents. If Nebraska wants to win they will need to keep up their stingy defense and not allow any more scoring droughts which have plagued them off and on so far this year. If Nebraska allows them to score like they have then it may be another long night for the Big Red. However, this game is in The Vault. If it was anywhere else I would say Miami would have a stronger chance to win but our ability to play well at home will be a huge factor.

If Nebraska pulls off this upset, it will be a sold win against a sold ACC program.