Miami Hurricanes’ Nijel Pack is a key player in the backcourt and is essential to Miami’s success in the NCAA tournament. In Miami’s first-round win over Drake, Pack was a standout performer, scoring a game-high 21 points. Miami’s win against Drake came despite the team’s struggle to connect offensively, scoring a season-low of 63 points. Forward Norchad Omier is a major matchup threat against Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, and he is Miami’s biggest player at 6-7. Although he hurt his ankle in an ACC tournament semifinal loss to Duke, he was still able to play against Drake, scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. The Miami Hurricanes shared the ACC regular-season title last year, and they have a formidable guard trio with the ACC player of the year, Isaiah Wong, Nijel Pack, and Jordan Miller. Miami is a strong offensive team and is sure to give IU basketball a run for their money.
5 Things to Know about IU Basketball’s Second-Round Opponent, Miami Hurricanes
IU basketball advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament after a 71-60 win over Kent State late Friday. The Hoosiers will face the Miami Hurricanes, who beat Drake, 63-56 on Friday, in the next game on Sunday at 8:40 p.m. in Albany.
Here are five things to know about the Miami Hurricanes:
- Hurricanes are a Tough Team
The Hurricanes shared the ACC regular-season title and reached the Elite Eight last year. They led the conference in scoring, averaging 79.4 points per game. Though it was a down year for the ACC, tying for a regular-season ACC title is no small feat. The team has a formidable guard trio with the ACC player of the year, Isaiah Wong, Nijel Pack, and Jordan Miller. Miami’s head coach, Jim Larranaga, has directed multiple teams to greater-than-expected NCAA tournament success.
- ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong Leads the Way
Miami has its own All-American in the 6-4 junior guard, Isaiah Wong, who averages 16.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 45% from the field. Wong can create his own offense as well as shots for others. He’s the primary reason why Miami has a top-15 offense in the country.
- Nijel Pack Runs the Point
Nijel Pack, a Lawrence Central grad and Kansas State transfer, is a key piece in the Hurricanes’ backcourt. His transfer from Kansas State to Miami this offseason was a significant indication of the impact that NIL deals can have in recruiting wars. His NIL deal with Miami was made public by LifeWallet CEO and Miami booster John H. Ruiz, which brought a lot of exposure to the school and his name.
- Wong Struggled in the First Round
Despite being the leading scorer for the Hurricanes, Isaiah Wong struggled in Miami’s first-round win over Drake, scoring just five points. This was his lowest output of the season since November 15, 2022, versus Florida A&M. However, with Wong’s talent, he is sure to bounce back in the next game.
- Miami is a Strong Offensive Team
Miami boasts a top-15 offense in the country and is led by Isaiah Wong. They led the ACC in scoring, averaging 79.4 points per game, which is no small feat. The Hurricanes have a tough guard trio with Nijel Pack, Jordan Miller, and Wong, which makes them a force to be reckoned with.
In conclusion, the IU basketball team will face a formidable opponent in the Miami Hurricanes. Led by ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong, the Hurricanes are a strong offensive team that has its own All-American in the backcourt. With Lawrence Central grad Nijel Pack running the point, Miami is sure to give IU a run for their money.
- Lawrence Central grad Nijel Pack is a valuable player in the Miami Hurricanes’ backcourt.
- In Miami’s first-round win against Drake, Pack scored a game-high 21 points, including the go-ahead jumper and a pair of free throws in the final minute.
- Miami beat Drake despite not playing its best offensively, scoring a season-low of 63 points.
- Miami forward Norchad Omier is a third-team All-ACC pick who averages more than 9.7 rebounds a game.
- Omier is the biggest matchup threat against Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis.
Nijel Pack: A Valuable Player for Miami Hurricanes
Lawrence Central grad Nijel Pack is an essential piece of the Miami Hurricanes’ backcourt. He averaged 13.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game for the Hurricanes. In Miami’s first-round win over Drake, Pack scored a game-high 21 points, including the go-ahead jumper and a pair of free throws in the final minute.
Miami’s Win over Drake
Miami beat Drake despite not playing its best offensively, scoring a season-low of 63 points. The team struggled to connect offensively, but they saved themselves by making 23-of-29 free throws.
“I was like, ‘Man, this can’t be the way how it ends,’” Nijel Pack said. “I talked to my teammates. I felt like they felt the same way. We kind of brought some inner energy from within us.”
Miami’s Matchup against Indiana
Miami forward Norchad Omier is a significant threat against Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis. Omier, a third-team All-ACC pick, averages more than 9.7 rebounds per game, but he is only 6-7. Though he hurt an ankle in an ACC tournament semifinal loss to Duke, he was still able to play against Drake. In Miami’s win over the Bulldogs, he scored 12 points (8-of-9 from the free-throw line) and grabbed 14 rebounds.
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