In the aftermath of their emphatic win over No. 1 Duke, the question for No. 25 Miami was whether or not they would suffer a letdown against in-state rival Florida State.
After navigating early foul trouble for both Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji, Jim Larranaga’s team put away the Seminoles in a manner befitting of a team atop the ACC standings.
Trey McKinney-Jones led three starters in double figures with 15 points and Shane Larkin accounted for eight points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Hurricanes blew out Florida State 71-47 at the Bank United Center. The win keeps Miami (15-3, 6-0) two games ahead of No. 18 NC State and No. 1 Duke in the loss column with games at Virginia Tech and NC State this week.
Ian Miller led the Seminoles with 12 points off the bench but he was the lone player in double figures despite each of the 11 Florida State players who saw action managing to score at least one point.
For the game Florida State shot 30.8% from the field and 3-of-17 from beyond the arc, and Sunday’s offensive showing was simply another in a long line of rough nights for the Seminoles this season.
“I thought they guarded us very well [over the first 18 minutes of the game],” said Larranaga following the game. “We were able to pick up our defensive intensity, we trapped the ball screen and forced a turnover and were able to push the lead back to nine.
“At halftime we talked about how hard they were playing and how good of a defensive team they are, and how we had to step up defensively and we obviously did.”
Miami has yet to allow an opponent to shoot 50% or better from the field this season, with Florida Gulf Coast’s 49% effort being the best for a Hurricane opponent this season. Miami entered Sunday’s game ranked third in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and three-point percentage defense, as they’ve done a good job of limiting their opponents’ quality looks.
With four seniors in the rotation and multiple offensive options the Hurricanes are going to be a factor in the ACC race, and as it currently stands they have to be considered the favorite.
But for a program that hasn’t experienced a great deal of success over the years (Miami had never started conference play 4-0 before this season, much less 6-0), Sunday’s game was key in regards to seeing how Miami would deal with prosperity.
It’s safe to say that Coach Larranaga’s team revealed itself capable of not allowing their good fortune to get to their heads.