Basketball, Sports

Canes dribble around Howard Bison, start season strong

Redshirt junior Sheldon McClellan (No. 10) drives the ball down the court during Friday’s regular season home opener against Howard at the Bank United Center. Matthew Trabold // Staff Photographer

Redshirt junior Sheldon McClellan (No. 10) drives the ball down the court during Friday’s regular season home opener against Howard at the Bank United Center. Matthew Trabold // Staff Photographer

The Miami Hurricanes charged to a 84-49 win over Howard University Friday night. Redshirt juniors Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez combined for 35 points.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our team,” said Rodriguez, who went for 16 points on the night. “Teams like that – you can’t give them any hope. They’re trying to prove themselves.”

Miami jumped on Howard quickly from the start, bursting to a 17-1 lead just over eight minutes into the game, off 7-14 shooting. Howard shot 4-21 in that span, unable to penetrate off Miami’s perimeter, led by Rodriguez who tallied 4 steals on the night.

“To get up 17-1 was very much a surprise to me, but a pleasant surprise,” Head Coach Jim Larrañaga said.

The best the Bison could manage in the first half was a quiet 9-4 run that cut Miami’s lead to 41-19, en route to a 45-21 halftime score. Howard shot just 2-18 from the perimeter for the game.

Perhaps the defining sequence of the first half came with 6:44 remaining. Trailing 30-10, Howard threw a lob toward the basket attempting an alley-oop, only to have starting center Tonye Jekiri knock it away. Rodriguez grabbed possession, and mere seconds later an alley-oop was thrown to McClellan for a score, increasing Miami’s lead to 22 and giving the crowd a show.

“We’ve got good chemistry,” Rodriguez said. “If you throw it up, he’ll go get it. You guys will be seeing that a little bit more.”

Perhaps the biggest concern for Miami going forward will be their ability to rebound against teams with a strong frontcourt. Miami finished even with Howard on the boards, 43-43, leaving Larrañaga cognizant of the challenge ahead for Miami.

“We’re small. We’re missing two big rebounders,” he said, referencing Ivan Cruz-Uceda and Davon Reed. “Our real issue is on the boards.”

Two of Miami’s returners made their impact of the game. Jekiri showed good hustle on the glass before fouling out, notching 11 rebounds in 26 minutes played, while sophomore Manu Lecomte quietly scored 14 points on 5-9 shooting. The freshman class for Miami combined for 23 points; after the game, Rodriguez was adamant about the role they will play moving forward, with a road game at Florida looming Monday night.

“It’s a great challenge for the team early in the season,” Rodriguez said. “We have to make sure we stay calm – we have to talk to the young guys. Usually in an atmosphere like that guys tend to get excited.”

Florida is ranked  seventh in the country. In the words of Larrañaga, it’s a group of “young NBA players.” The Canes will have their work cut out for them, but based on their performance Friday night, should be able to play the Gators tough.

“That’s what you come to Miami for,” said Rodriguez, a grin on his face, knowing his first big test as a Cane after sitting out a season is hours away. “You come to play the best of the best.”

November 14, 2014

Reporters

AJ Ricketts


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

When UM coach Mark Richt summoned quarterback Malik Rosier into his office last year, a few months a ...

Quarterback Malik Rosier of the No. 8-ranked Miami Hurricanes maintains a solid third place in what ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes will look to slow down an inspired Syracuse team at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. ...

University of Miami head coach Mark Richt was selected to the 20-member Paul "Bear" Bryant ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

University of Miami sophomore Bruce Brown Jr. was among 21 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

Head coach Katie Meier and senior forward/center Erykah Davenport will represent Miami Thursday at t ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.