Bruce Brown was the man of the hour for the Miami Hurricanes in their season opener.
Brown scored 10 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 10 assists to record his second career triple-double to lead No. 13 Miami to a 77-45 victory over Gardner-Webb University Nov. 10 at the Watsco Center.
“I’m happy I got a triple-double and I’m happy we got the win,” Brown said.
After the game, Brown didn’t treat his record like it was anything special. Coach Jim Larrañaga said his sophomore guard ‘doesn’t get caught up in the hype.’
“He’s very good at everything,” Larrañaga said. “We played Bruce at power forward because he’s not afraid to play against bigger guys. He’s very good at being in and around the basket to rebound.”
Hurricanes teammates are used to his top-tier performances.
“Yeah, that’s Bruce Brown,” freshman Lonnie Walker said. “He’s one of the reasons why I really came here. He’s going to do that almost every game without really noticing.”
But the flashy stats and lopsided score did not reflect the whole story of Friday night. The Hurricanes struggled in the first half. The Runnin’ Bulldogs scored the game’s first seven points, and at halftime, the Canes led by just four.
“Our offense looked terrible,” Brown said. “We just regrouped, talked in the locker room, brought the energy back, and came back in the second half and played the way we know how to play.”
Gardner-Webb came out of the gates with a 2-3 zone defense, which looked to have disrupted Miami’s game plan at times.
“We thought it maybe gave us a shot to get off to a good start,” Gardner-Webb coach Tim Craft said. “That was effective. It worked for a little while there.”
Larrañaga denied the zone defense was a surprise for UM.
“We did not respond to it like we should’ve,” he said. “Maybe it was first game jitters because we missed a bunch of free throws early.”
Miami’s next game is against Navy at 4 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Watsco Center.
– Brown’s triple-double is just the third in program history.