After a nine-day break for final exams, the University of Miami men’s and women’s basketball teams are back on the court Friday night against a pair of South Florida teams that would love to knock off the higher-profile Hurricanes.
The 13th-ranked UM women’s team will travel across town to play at Florida International University for the first time since 2008. The Hurricanes (8-1) beat the Golden Panthers 83-55 last season at home, and FIU is 6-32 since the start of last season, but Hurricanes coach Katie Meier insists they are taking the game very seriously.
“Last year they cut it to three, jumped at us at halftime, and we had to play really hard to beat them, so they have our players’ attention,” Meier said. “It’s a game where I’m glad it’s a crosstown rival game because we need a little bit of extra focus, just got done with finals, so I think we’re going to get a lot out of this game.
“I don’t think they’ve had UM ranked on their court in a long time, so they don’t need any motivation for this game. We’re fully aware of that. I told my team the most excited team will win.”
The Hurricane men are 7-2 and facing an FAU Owls team feeling confident after a 79-77 overtime road victory at Ohio State. It was the Buckeyes’ first home loss this season. Clemson transfer Adonis Filer led the Owls with 23 points and Oklahoma transfer Frank Booker and Jeantal Cylla added 15 apiece. Booker’s father, Frank Sr., played for UM coach Jim Larranaga 30 years ago at Bowling Green.
The Owls are sharpshooters from beyond the three-point arc and also good at scoring in transition.
“They’re a very dangerous team because they have so many good players,” said Larranaga. “Adonis Filer is very, very good, a high-level recruit, we played against him when he was with Clemson. Nick Rutherford is a very fast, outstanding point guard. Delph, their center, is seven feet tall and skilled, and I talked to friends of mine who said he’s an NBA prospect because of his size and skill level.”
Larranaga said he expects 7-foot, 250-pound UM freshman Rodney Miller to be part of a nine-man rotation to battle Delph in the paint. The three other freshmen — Bruce Brown, Dewan Huell and D.J. Vasiljevic — have already made key contributions in the first nine games.
No. 13 UM women at FIU
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: FIU Arena
Records: UM (8-1), FIU (1-6)
Radio: WVUM-90.5 FM
Scouting Report: The Hurricanes and Golden Panthers renewed their crosstown rivalry last year after a seven-year break, and will play on the FIU campus for the first time since 2008. UM, which beat FIU 83-55 at home last year, is on an eight-game win streak. FIU is 6-32 since the start of last season.
UM men vs. FAU
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Watsco Center, UM campus
Records: UM (7-2), FAU (3-5)
TV/Radio: ESPN3, 940 AM-WINZ
Scouting Report: The Owls, known for their three-point shooting, are coming off a 79-77 overtime win over Ohio State. They are led by transfers Adonis Filer (Clemson), 7-foot Ronald Delph (Auburn), Frank Booker (Oklahoma) and Justin Massey (Brown). Miami is 21-1 in the all-time series against FAU and won in double overtime last time they played in 2011.