Miami basketball set to take on talented NC State

Thursday marks another test for Jim Larrañaga’s enigmatic University of Miami men’s basketball team, as the Hurricanes host North Carolina State at 8 p.m. in the BankUnited Center.

“It’s gonna be a hard-nosed, one-on-one game,” said junior Sheldon McClellan.

The Hurricanes (12-5, 3-1 ACC) find themselves on the cusp of relevancy, standing just outside the AP Top 25 basketball rankings released Monday. Larranaga’s boys recently returned from a two game road trip resulting in a win at Duke and a loss at Notre Dame.

The Wolfpack (13-6, 3-1 ACC) also boast a win over the Blue Devils, beating Duke two days before the Hurricanes did.

“I really believe they are the most talented, athletic team in the [ACC],” Larrañaga said.

A pair of veteran guards, senior Ralston Turner and junior Trevor Lacey have led NC State to the top field goal percentage in league play, while also being the best three-point shooting backcourt in the ACC. It will be an interesting match up for juniors Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan.

The relative talent of this iteration of the Miami Hurricanes remains unknown. Despite showing considerable promise in victories at Duke and over Florida, Larrañaga’s team has also embarrassingly lost to mid-majors Green Bay and Eastern Kentucky at home, the latter by 28 points.