By Don Phillips
Virginia at Miami
Monday, February 22
In four games versus ranked teams, Miami is 3-1 with wins over No. 16 Utah, No. 20/22 Butler, and No. 24/20 Duke, and a loss to No. 13/11 Virginia. In those games, Sheldon McClellan averages 17.3 points per game, hitting 57.1 percent from the field. Angel Rodriguez averages 15.0 points and 5.3 assists while Tonye Jekiri records 11.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
Miami ranks 12th in the nation in free throw percentage, connecting on 426-of-561 (75.9%) shots at the free throw line. Miami averages 17.0 points per game at the line, and has posted a +11.7 scoring margin overall this season. The Canes have drawn 485 fouls, while committing only 419, which ranks No. 13 in the country in fewest fouls. Opponents have just 410 attempts at the charity stripe.
Sheldon McClellan is the most efficient offensive player in the nation, among players with 20 percent-or-more possessions used, according to KenPom.com. He is also the most efficient player in the ACC overall, and No. 12 in the nation. McClellan is fifth in the ACC in 2-point field goal percentage (61.3), third in true shooting percentage (64.3) and 10th in free throw percentage (86.7).
He is also eighth in the ACC in turnover rate (11.1). The Houston native is currently on three national players of the year midseason watch lists: Naismith trophy Men’s College Player of the Year, Oscar Robertson trophy for Men’s National Player of the Year and Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.
In the past 7 games, point guard Angel Rodriguez has recorded 6.6 assists per game with just 1.9 turnovers per outing for a 3.5 assist-to-turnover ratio. Against Duke, he tallied 11 assists with just one miscue, and against Pitt, he recorded eight dimes. In those seven games, he has also averaged 11.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 31.1 minutes, while hitting 45.5 percent from the field, 34.2 percent from three and 81.8 percent at the line. In his first six ACC outings, he posted a 1.2 assist to turnover ratio and averaged 3.0 assists, 9.2 points, 1.7 rebounds in 30.2 minutes, shooting 32.7 percent FG, 13.3 percent 3FG and 75.0 percent Ft.
The Canes have scored 30.9 points per game in the paint, including 42 paint points against both Duke and Boston College. Four Hurricanes are averaging at least 10.0 points per game. Five Canes pull down at least 3.0 rebounds per game. Six players are averaging at least 23.0 minutes per game.
Miami starts two redshirt seniors, one true senior, a redshirt junior and a true junior. Those players combine for 369 starts and 557 games played. Sheldon McClellan has started 86 games playing in 131, Tonye Jekiri has 78 starts in 129 games, Angel Rodriguez is at 94/122, Davon Reed 56/88 and Kamari Murphy 55/88. Those five players have been on a Division 1 team a combined 21 seasons, as McClellan and Rodriguez are both in their fifth year on the court, Jekiri and Murphy are each in their fourth season, and Reed is a true junior.
The average age of that starting five is 21.8 years old: Rodriguez – 23; McClellan – 23; Murphy – 22; Jekiri – 21; Reed – 20.