University of Miami

The UM basketball team plays Clemson on Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know.

University of Miami guard Chris Lykes (0), shown against Notre Dame, scored 27 points in a near-upset at No. 8 North Carolina on Feb. 9, 2019. He will be counted on against Clemson.
University of Miami guard Chris Lykes (0), shown against Notre Dame, scored 27 points in a near-upset at No. 8 North Carolina on Feb. 9, 2019. He will be counted on against Clemson. dsantiago@miamiherald.com

After coming oh-so-close to pulling off an overtime road upset of No. 8 North Carolina during the weekend, the University of Miami men’s basketball team is back home Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game against Clemson.

The Hurricanes (10-13, 2-9 ACC) are hoping to build off their improved play in a win over Notre Dame last week and the 88-85 loss at Carolina, during which they outrebounded the Tar Heels 39-32 and Chris Lykes scored 27 points, including 19 in the second half.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell, whose team is on a four-game win streak, expects a tough game.

“They’re coming off a terrific performance at Chapel Hill and we know we have our hands full.”

Brownell is especially impressed with the Hurricanes guards.

“Chris Lykes is about as hard to guard as anybody in our league, just a dynamite player who can shoot the three, great assist numbers,” he said. “Zach Johnson has been a good fifth-year addition. He’s a big strong guard, makes shots, gets in the lane, handles the ball like a point guard. I recruited Anthony Lawrence, I’ve always liked him. Recruited Izundu, too. They’re a little shorthanded, but the six or seven they have are good players. Jim’s (UM coach Jim Larranaga) got them playing very well right now.”

The Tigers (15-8, 5-5 ACC) have a veteran team with four senior starters, and three of those are fifth-year seniors. They beat then-No. 11 Virginia Tech by eight, and have a stingy defense.

Larranaga was happy with how his team played the past few games and is eager to see how they handle the Clemson game.

“We played very well in Chapel Hill, very entertaining, played very hard,” he said. “Clemson’s a team that’s won four in a row and really played well.”

Wednesday’s game will be on ESPN2.

Miami Herald sportswriter Michelle Kaufman has covered 14 Olympics, six World Cups, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, NCAA Basketball Tournaments, NBA Playoffs, and has been the University of Miami basketball beat writer for 20 years. She was born in Frederick, Md., and grew up in Miami.
  Comments