Miami and Florida State will feature a clash between the present and the past, as Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton coached at Miami from 1990–2000.
In his 10 seasons with the Hurricanes, Hamilton compiled a 144-147 record, advancing to the NCAA Tournament in each of his final three seasons with the team.
“Leonard does a great job,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “It’s going to be a battle because of their size, speed and athleticism.”
Florida State (8-5, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) enters Tuesday’s contest as winners of three out of its last four games, headlined by a 79-70 victory over Louisville Saturday.
“They’re long and athletic,” Larrañaga said. “They’re fast, they protect the rim …We’ve got to do a great job of preparing for them.”
Featuring a ton of size in their frontcourt, the Seminoles will look to dominate a Miami team that ranks 321st out of 358 teams nationally in rebounds per game.
“[The Seminoles have] four guys over seven feet,” Larrañaga said. “We’re not a big team; they’re gigantic. So, we’ve got to prepare for them.”
What Miami (13-3, 5-0 ACC) lacks in frontcourt size, it makes up for in guard play, with the backcourt trio of Charlie Moore, Kameron McGusty and Isaiah Wong forming one of the most dangerous in the country. Moore, who transferred to Miami before the start of the season, has been especially lethal over his last two performances, averaging 21.5 points, four assists and four rebounds per game.
“Charlie is our Tom Brady,” the two-time ACC Coach of the Year said. “He’s got so much responsibility on his shoulders. He’s got to deliver the ball, whether he scores it, or passes it or just orchestrates our offense. He is our quarterback and he’s doing a terrific job at both ends of the court. I’m really impressed with his play.”
Moore has been fantastic all season long at setting up his teammates for open looks and running Miami’s offense to a tee, but his defensive production has been especially impressive as of late. The DePaul transfer set a career high with seven steals in Miami’s victory over Duke last Saturday.
“I just wanted to help my teammates as much as possible,” Moore said on his seven-steal performance. “I know Duke is a very big team, so I just wanted to get in there and help [my teammates] out as much as I can in order for us to come out with the win.”
Looking for its 10th straight win, Larrañaga’s team understands the importance of preventing an underwhelming performance after such an emotional win against the Blue Devils.
“The danger is there being a let-up,” the Larrañaga said. “It’s not that your confidence doesn’t grow — it grows with every victory — but you’ve got to be very, very careful you don’t dwell on the past.”
Tip-off is scheduled for Tuesday at 8 p.m. from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.
“It’s always been a great rivalry because we compete with Florida State for everything,” Larrañaga said. “Not just in football and basketball, but for students, for notoriety around the state, for everything.”