Miami Basketball: Loss to Wake Forest Isn't Reason to Panic for Hurricanes
The No. 2 Miami Hurricanes may have been blown out by the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Saturday, but the loss certainly isn't a reason to panic for the 'Canes.
Granted, this loss will likely drop the Hurricanes in the rankings as it occurred against an unranked team whose record is under .500, but in the grand scheme of things it really isn't a big deal.
Miami played very poorly on both sides of the floor in this contest.
From the field, the Hurricanes shot a dreadful 39 percent, which is uncharacteristic considering they shoot 46 percent overall this season. On top of that, their normally up-tempo offense looked to be dragging and slow.
It also didn't help that star guard Durand Scott didn't notch a single point in the opening frame.
Defensively, the 'Canes couldn't stop a nosebleed and looked rather unmotivated. They surrendered an eye-popping 42 points in the first half and 38 in the second.
Miami allowed the Demon Deacons to shoot over 54 percent from both three-point range and the field overall. Wake Forest averages 43 percent from the field per game this season.
A lack of effort and energy were the ultimate culprits in this loss.
According to the Associated Press (per ESPN.com), 'Canes guard Shane Larkin didn't like the way he and his team looked prior to the game:
"You could just see it tonight. I had a bad feeling coming into warm-ups with everybody going slow," Larkin said. "I was trying to get people to go fast, and I wasn't even going full speed like I should have.
"Overall, we weren't prepared before the game and they came out and punched us in the mouth."
It's not surprising Miami dropped the ball in this game. Coming into this contest with Wake Forest, Miami had a 14-game winning streak and an unbeaten mark in the ACC, so it was just a matter of time before those two impressive streaks came to an end.
A loss was no doubt in the cards for the No. 2 team in the nation after several close games with other unranked opponents.
The complacency isn't surprising coming from a team that has enjoyed so much success this season—especially when tasked with playing a lesser opponent like the Demon Deacons—and it didn't help matters that this game was on the road.
The important thing is that Miami learns its lesson from this loss and bounces back strong next game. Miami is still in great position in the ACC as it owns a 2.5-game advantage over Duke even after this defeat.
If you're going to worry about the 'Canes with this loss, then you must worry about every other top college team. The parity in the college game this season has been astounding and the Hurricanes are just the latest big-name team to fall victim.
I wouldn't chalk this up as a sign of things to come for Miami, but rather a bad game that displayed problems which can easily be fixed with more effort and energy next time around.
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