In the Atlantic Coast Conference when it comes to basketball, it is a battle every night on the hardwood.
The Miami Hurricanes basketball team is learning that after starting the season in non-conference play unblemished with ten wins and zero losses, they are playing in the ACC. After their latest loss to the Duke Blue devils, Miami is 2-3 in the conference and losers of two in a row.
Freshman guard Gary Trent scored a season-high 30 points, and No. 5-ranked Duke needed less than three minutes to erase a 13-point second-half deficit, scoring 18 consecutive points to overtake No. 25 Miami 83-75.
“We played a great 32 minutes,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said. “And then everything changed. The Gary Trent show began.”
Miami’s loss to Duke marked the Hurricanes’ first loss of the season at home. A sellout crowd of 7,972 included 37 NBA scouts, Miami Heat owner Micky Arison, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez.
Blue Devils departed with a win however they have not been at full strengthening in conference play. They played their third consecutive game without injured center Marques Bolden (sprained knee) and forward Javin DeLaurier (hamstring). A reminder it is a battle for wins in the conference.
Trent’s final 3-pointer helped seal the win, putting Duke up 76-70 with 1:15 to go. He shot 9 for 14, including 6 for 9 from 3 point land.
Freshman Lonnie Walker IV helped the Hurricanes build their big lead and finished with 19 points and four steals.
“We have to be aggressive; we have to know each and everyone’s personnel, to know where our shooters are, we have to know where our big men are,” Walker stated. “We can’t be careless and pass the ball east and west. We have to go downhill and make them play us.”
Hurricanes are young however this conference will make you mature fast. Hurricanes forced the Blue Devils to commit 19 turnovers and fall short of a win in ACC play that will not get easier on their schedule. Teams like Syracuse and N.C. State who the Hurricanes play soon is clawing for wins in the conference. It is not the time to hit the panic button. However, March is here as January winds down.