Miami coach Jim Larranaga: ‘We had no answer for those big guys inside’
Virginia connected on eight of its 15 threes, and threes get the crowd juiced. The difference in UVA’s 71-58 win over Miami, though, was what Tony Bennett got from his bigs.
“Tony Bennett’s a hell of a coach. He made some adjustments and was able to carve the scramble defense,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “Got the ball to the high post, to low post, and they’re huge human beings. We had no answer for those big guys inside.
“[Jayden] Gardner goes 6-for-9, Francisco Caffaro goes 4-for-4 right inside the paint, like laying it in, and then you add [Kadin] Shedrick goes 3-for-3. So, that’s 13-for-16 from the field, that’s very productive,” Larranaga said.
Miami doesn’t go all that big. Larranaga goes four-guard around 6’10” center Sam Waardenburg, whose game is perimeter-oriented.
The offense is a lot of five-high, the idea being to spread the floor to create driving lanes for rim runs and kickouts to the perimeter for spot-ups.
Waardenburg gets most of his looks on pick-and-pops – he was shooting 46.0 percent from three coming in.
He didn’t hit one on Saturday: going 3-of-5 from the floor, but 0-of-2 from three, for six points.
Jordan Miller, a 6’7” sophomore, plays the four spot. Averaging 9.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game coming in, he had just two points – on 1-of-4 shooting – and two boards in 31 minutes.
6’9” sophomore Anthony Walker got 12 minutes off the bench, didn’t score, and had three rebounds.
So, yeah, 26 points and 16 rebounds for Virginia’s bigs, on 13-of-16 shooting, vs. eight points and 10 rebounds on 4-of-10 shooting, advantage: Virginia.
Miami did get big games from its leading scorer, Kameron McGusty, who had 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting, 3-of-5 from three, and point guard Charlie Moore, who had 17 on 8-of-13 shooting, 1-of-4 from three.
Isaiah Wong, averaging 16.1 points per game coming in, had just six points, on 3-of-9 shooting, 0-of-3 from three.
The shooting from three was Miami’s undoing. Coming in, the ‘Canes had been shooting 40.4 percent from behind the arc in ACC play.
They were 4-of-17 (23.5 percent) Saturday night.
“We went 2-for-12 at halftime, 4-for-17 from the game against Virginia because they pack it in so much, and we’re not a post-up team anyway,” Larranaga said. “You got to make threes, and at 4-for-17, it’s not very good. If you look overall, we shot 54 percent from the field because we made our two-point shots, we just didn’t make our threes.”
Story by Chris Graham