Posted by:
7#bag _ Com

By: Jesse Baumgartner, Senior Writer

Issue date: 1/23/08 Section: Sports (
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The 2007-08 Miami Hurricanes are just another piece of evidence for the "why preseason media polls are worthless" campaign.

Picked by the press as the second worst team in the ACC, Miami enters tonight's contest against UNC at 14-3, with quality wins against Virginia Commonwealth University, Mississippi State and Georgia Tech. Plus, the 'Canes easily could have come out on top against N.C. State on Saturday in an overtime thriller.

Not surprisingly, Miami is depending on the scoring capabilities of junior guard Jack McClinton. While McClinton's nonscoring stats are rather unimpressive, he can light it up from the outside in a hurry - carrying a swish-filled .466 3-point percentage into the game.

In general, scoring has not been a big problem for Miami, which averages a respectable 76.8 points per game for the season. But even though the 'Canes are giving up just 62.8 points per game for the year, that number has jumped to 74.3 points during their three ACC games. Not a great sign for anyone playing the high-powered Tar Heels.

Clang, Clack, Clong

The beginning of the season saw the Tar Heels displaying some fine marksmanship from the outside courtesy of Wayne Ellington and Danny Green. But in the past two games against Maryland and Georgia Tech, Ellington is shooting just 34.6 percent from the field while Green is worse at an even 30 percent.

Three-point shooting from the two has been even worse. Ellington is just 25 percent beyond the arc in the last two games while Green has missed his last 10 long bombs. Not surprisingly, the Tar Heels as a team have shot 30.4 and 20 percent, respectively, from downtown during their last two games.

UNC already ranks ninth in the ACC in 3-pointers made, and considering that Ellington and Green take the most threes on the team, they'll have the biggest say in whether that trend gets turned around.

Hansbrough collecting stats

While every move Tyler Hansbrough makes this year seems to be analyzed by every major sports network in America, the junior continues to put up impressive numbers. He is currently averaging a double-double with 21.3 points and 10.2 rebounds a game, shooting better than 80 percent from the line, averaging 9.89 free throws per game and playing 31.1 minutes a contest.

But perhaps the most important improvements to his game were on display during the second half against Maryland. During one sequence, Hansbrough drained a long jumper, drove to the hoop for a big slam, sunk a 12-footer on the baseline and then converted a tough layup over multiple defenders.

Maryland coach Gary Williams compared the way Hansbrough uses angles to former Terrapin star Lonny Baxter and said, "If he starts making those jump shots, it is really going to be a problem."


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