Miami managed to pull out a 67-53 victory over Boston College Wednesday to salvage one win after losing the first two of a stretch of three consecutive road games.
“It was very important,” Sheldon McClellan said Friday during the Hurricanes’ weekly press briefing. “Any time you’re on a two-game losing streak you want to get a win as quick as possible no matter if it’s ugly or a pretty win.
“We’re just thankful we got a win.”
An ugly one?
“Yeah,” the senior guard said. “It was pretty ugly.”
The No. 15 Hurricanes (14-3 overall, 3-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) now are back home for two quick games, the first coming up Saturday when Wake Forest (10-8, 1-5) visits the BankUnited Center in Coral Games (noon ET, ACC Network). A little over 48 hours later, the Hurricanes are host to Duke (14-5, 3-3) Monday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).
“It’s going to be an uptempo game,” McClellan said of the outing against the Demon Deacons. “They love to get out on the break. Last year when we played them they got a lot of fast-break points.”
Uptempo might be the boost the Hurricanes, who lost at Virginia and Clemson in their first two road outings in conference, need to get back on track. Even though the final margin of their win over Boston College was 14 points, it was no indication of the struggle they had with their half-court offense.
Until the final few minutes, there was lot of standing around by the Hurricanes, whose approach seemed to be to have one player dribble around while four others watched followed by a frantic shot or late pass to a teammate, who then would assume the role of dribbler around the perimeter.
Fortunately for the Hurricanes, the Eagles, who are winless in conference play, helped things along by going without a field goal over the final seven minutes of the second half. Miami closed out the game on a 15-4 run.
“That’s one of the things we’ve been talking about as a team,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said of his team’s offensive languor. “It seems offensively we’ve become more stagnant and more ‘sticky hands.’
“So today again there’s going to be a very strong emphasis in practice and we will be instituting a new drill. Remember I told you a few weeks back we instituted a drill I thought really helped our defense. So we’ve been searching for a drill that I think will help our offense.
“We’ll find out not only today but tomorrow and Monday if the drill is being impactful.”
After the two home games, the Hurricanes will close out the month with a game at North Carolina State on Jan. 30.