Miami-Clemson: Hurricane Warning at Little John Coliseum

Rob SlaterContributor IFebruary 25, 2008

When Miami (18-7, 6-6) travels up to Little John Coliseum, they will bring with them the hopes and dreams of an NCAA tournament.

Along with a four game winning streak, and easily the best basketball they have played all season, Miami will put its streak on the line against Oliver Purnell and the Tigers (19-7, 7-5) in a hostile ACC road game. 

What will keep the Hurricanes tearing through the remainder of their schedule?  A combined effort from all aspects of the game.  When the Hurricanes get down, they tend to rely on Jack McClinton, or Anthony King, to somehow pull them out of a hole.  This will be the kiss of death against a scrappy Clemson team that has played in four overtime games, two being against North Carolina (both losses).

Miami will look to attack off the dribble early to get James Mays and Trevor Booker into foul trouble, which will lead to Dwayne Collins and Anthony King being able to roam free in the paint and dominate the boards. 

All of this Miami talk makes it sound like they will dominate the game, but let's not forget where this is being played, and the fact that Clemson is 11-2 in the friendly confines of Little John Colisieum.  It doesn't help Miami, despite winning their last two road games at Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.  The question will be whether or not Miami will be able to weather the storm and absorb the hits that they will take by Clemson and the crowd.

Miami will also have to deal with the three guard attack with Rivers, Hammond, and Oglesby who will be patrolling the 3-point line for a drive and kick out.  All three guards, including James Mays, shoot about 40% from downtown.  Miami has had a hard time defending in the past against Duke and Virginia Tech. 

The key for the Canes is to stop dribble penetration to prevent foul trouble, and take care of the ball.  Miami has had 20+ turnovers against Duke and Georgia Tech, granted they were both victories, it is a necessity, especially in the near future, to take care of the ball.

Prediction: Miami 69 Clemson 65