“Well, we won”
Were the first words said by Miami head coach, Jim Larranaga.
This is the third time this year Miami and Wake Forest have met with both teams winning on their perspective home court. Each game hard fought and almost identical in numbers with both teams making 27 shots, and 7 three-pointers, but the one thing both coaches pointed out that the one thing that got them their wins was defense.
“Its the defense, and when our defense was good,” Larranaga said, “that really put us in a good position to win the game”
Miami’s DJ Vasiljevic, came into the game confident, poised. Vasiljevic was the teams leading scorer with 21 and 6 rebounds. He says that despite first-half struggles, he wasn’t too worried about them not winning and looking forward to being the ACC’s darkhorse.
“People underestimate lower seeded teams. Once they got going on a run, it’s hard to stop so we’re going to try and do that this tournament.”
For a second there, it almost looked like Miami was going to succumb to Wake Forest but with a break out the second half, and not once gave Wake Forest the chance for a lead again.
Wake Forest head coach, Danny Manning, took note of the lack of defensive stops and stated just not being able to get in front of Lykes or Johnson,
“Those two guys are really talented and Lawrence played really well also. We then turned the ball over far too many times in certain situations but they came out and made more plays than us this afternoon and we didn’t get the win we desired.”
Miami who is now 9-6 in the ACC tournament under Larranaga looks forward to playing Virginia Tech tomorrow. Larranaga gave insight on what’s going to help them to Thursday,
“We got to keep them from scoring 80 – that’s too much. The whole game with them is they’re an incredible three-point shooting team, puts a lot of pressure on you to defend the three and then Kerry Blackshear is having a tremendous season, and he’s a real force, both inside and outside. Outside as a facilitator and inside as a scorer and offensive rebounder. I think we can guard them much better than we have in the first two games, but that’s easy for me to say, I don’t have to put on a jersey and guard one of those crazy shooters”
Miami plays Virginia Tech Thursday at 2 pm.