It was one sequence that separated No. 2 Miami from Virginia on Tuesday night.
With under 10 seconds remaining and the game tied at 50, Miami sophomore guard Shane Larkin was trapped in a double team on the right win, but used his eyes to draw a defender to the top of the key, only to find Reggie Johnson wide open under the basket for the go-ahead score, 52-50.
Guard Durand Scott stole the ensuing in-bounds pass and was fouled, sinking both free throws on the way to a 54-50 win in Coral Gables, Fla.
It was not pretty for Miami, a team that we have seen beat quality teams by 20+ points, but it’s beginning to prove a point. Coach Jim Larranaga and the Hurricanes are showing that they can win the up-tempo games when they get hot from the floor, or they can grind it out and find ways to win down the stretch.
Kenny Kadji hit a three with under a minute to play to beat Clemson Sunday, and now Larkin showed the poise to find Johnson for the win Tuesday.
The Hurricanes have other close wins in ACC play over Maryland, Boston College, and NC State. There will be nights when shots from the floor are not falling. Tonight was one of those nights. But Miami’s ability to win close games at different paces bodes well for them in the NCAA tournament.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.
Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”
The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.
Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”
Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.
The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.
Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.