PREVIEW: Men’s Basketball vs. Miami of Ohio TONIGHT 11/21 ON NBCSN
Miami University Red Hawks (1-2, 0-0 MAC Conf.)
Coach: John Cooper (first season, 1-2, formerly HC at Tennessee State).
The History: This is the sixth meeting between the Tribe and the Red Hawks. Miami leads the Series 5-0, with the most recent matchup a 73-69 U of M victory last December, in Ohio. The last time the Hawks visited Williamsburg was in December 1986, when the Tribe fell by 60-57 in the Hall.
Last time out: Miami University fell to No. 2 ranked Louisville by a score of 80-39, in Louisville. Freshman guardGeovonnie McKnight and junior forward Bill Edwards led the RedHawks with 7 points apiece. While having trouble on the offensive end, the RedHawks caused 14 turnovers, and recorded seven steals.
The Skinny: The RedHawks are only 1-2 on the season, but have played two games against Top Ten opponents (NC State 97-59, Louisville 80-39) They are averaging only 59.3 points per game, while shooting 34.3% from the floor, including 29.4 percent from 3-point range. Miami is allowing its opponents to score 77.0 points per game and are grabbing 32.3 rebounds per game, while allowing opponents 39.3 boards. They turn the ball over 14.6 times per game.
On offense, there is a shift from what Miami fans have seen for the past 18 or so years under Charley Coles. Cooper wants his team to run. Not Paul Westhead at Loyola Marymount run, but run nonetheless. This scheme also promises more of a drive-and-dish style offense by the Hawks.
On defense, they will add some zone and a diamond-and-one full-court press to their traditional man to man.
6’3” R-Jr. G Allan Roberts, is averaging a team leading 11.3 ppg, and 3.0 apg; he red-shirted due to injuries last year.
6’7” R-Jr. F Will Felder, scores 5.7 ppg, and gets 3.7 rpg., he is a junior transfer from St. Francis (PA)
6’8” Jr. F Jon Harris, averages 6.0 ppg, leads the team in rebounding at 5.7 rpg.
6’6” R-Jr. F Bill Edwards, scores 8.7 ppg, and adds 3.7 rpg. (injured last season, also red-shirted)
6’0”, Jr. G Quinton Rollins, averages 4.0 ppg, and 3.0 apg.
6’1” Fr. G Reggie Johnson, is scoring 10.7 ppg., from Chicago, he originally committed to TSU, but followed Coach Cooper to Miami.
6’3” Fr. G Geovonie McKnight averages 5.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.7 apg., he was the Greater Miami Conference (HS) player of the year last season.
Tribe Disa & Data:
The Tribe is outscoring its opponents by a 17.3 ppg and shooting 50.0 percent on the season mainly due to the efforts of three players averaging 17.0 ppg or better and shooting at least 54.5 percent from the floor. Marcus Thornton and Tim Rusthoven are averaging 18.7 ppg and are shooting 54.4 and 65.5 percent from the field, respectively, while Brandon Britt is averaging 17.0 ppg and shooting 60.0 percent from the floor.
Rusthoven also averages a team-leading 6.7 rpg. The Tribe has used an eight-man rotation in the early season, with eight players seeing at least 10 minutes of action per game. Six players are averaging at least 22 minutes per game.
The Outlook: The Tribe will look to go 4-0 for the first time since that 1992-93 season started 4-1. Previous to that, the last time the Tribe went 4-0 was in 1949-1950.
They will need to continue the unselfish play that has become an early hallmark. (Tribe had 15 assists on 26 made baskets against High Point). The ability to push the ball, without too many turnovers has been a big key to date. The Big Three will have to continue to shoot well and there will HAVE to be improvement on keeping the opposition OFF the offensive boards. The Tribe is averaging 5.3 offensive boards a game while allowing14.3 offensive rebounds a game.
The Broadcast: Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM. Be sure to join us for The Countdown to Tipoff, which begins at 6:30 PM along the network, 92.3 FM and 109.3 FM, and on www.tribeathletics.com . The game will be broadcast nationally on NBCSN, but be sure to join us on the radio to hear Coach Shaver’s thoughts prior to the tip, as well as get the scouting report on the RedHawks.
Let’s get win #4.