Freshman guard Bruce Brown woke up Tuesday morning to the news that his uncle Edward Dillard, who was in a coma, had died. Brown’s night ended with the second triple-double in University of Miami history as the Hurricanes thumped South Carolina State 82-46.
Brown, displaying his all-around game and poise that belies his youth, had 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. He dedicated the historic performance to his uncle.
“It was a very emotional day for me,” said Brown. “This was for him. He was watching.”
The only other time a UM player had a triple-double was Nov. 29, 2004, when Anthony King had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 13 blocks against Florida Atlantic University.
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Brown was told by assistant coaches that he was close to a triple-double when he got his seventh assist, so he approached UM head coach Jim Larrañaga during a time out. and pleaded to be left in.
“I said, ‘Please don’t take me out until I get three more assists,’ ” Brown said, smiling.
The 10th assist that sealed the triple-double came with 2:59 remaining in the game. He kicked the ball out to Australian freshman sharpshooter D.J. Vasiljevic, who drained it for his game-leading 17th point of the night to give Miami a 39-point lead. He was 5 of 11 from three-point range.
“I had told D.J. before that play, ‘If I give it to you, shoot it,’ ’’ Brown said.
Vasiljevic said that basket was special for him, as well.
“I’ll do anything for Bruce, and I knew it was emotional for him,” Vasiljevic said. “It meant something to myself and the whole team.”
Larrañaga said he believed Brown’s was the first triple-double by a player of his in 33 years of coaching.
“[Triple-doubles] are rare because guards don’t normally rebound, except for a guy like Russell Westbrook, who is a terror on the backboards, and it’s rare you have a big guy with a lot of assists,” Larrañaga said. “Bruce had nine rebounds at the half. He’s a terrific rebounder. He’s handling the ball like a point guard and creates shots for other people.”
Final exams for the fall semester begin on Thursday at UM, and the Hurricanes (7-2) can only hope they ace those tests with the ease they did Tuesday night’s victory.
The Canes took an 18-0 lead in the first seven minutes on a three-point basket by Vasiljevic while the Bulldogs missed their first 10 shots. The Canes led 42-14 at halftime after dominating the Bulldogs 22-2 in the paint. Davon Reed added 15 points.
“We knew if we allowed them to get paint touches, it could be a long night for us,” said South Carolina State coach Murray Garvin. “They did so many things good at the beginning, and it killed our spirit. We were never in the game after that. You can’t beat the YMCA Bullfrogs giving them an 18-0 start.”
The Canes are off 10 days for finals and return to the court Dec. 16 against FAU.