Saturday, November 30, 2013
Miami-Arizona matchup set
By Dominic Clark
ANAHEIM, Calif., November 30 - Moving to Honda Center Sunday for the final four games of the 2013 DIRECTV Wooden Legacy college basketball tournament, the final day’s opening game will see the consolation matchup between Miami and Arizona State at 11 a.m. (PT).
Both with 1-1 records after both lost in Thursday’s opening round and both winning on Friday during the first two days of the tournament played in Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Gym. Miami enters Sunday’s game with a 4-3 overall season record while ASU is now 7-1 so far this year.
In this year’s Wooden Legacy, coach Jim Larrañaga’s Miami opened with a 71-63 overtime loss to George Washington and bounced back on Friday to edge Cal State Fullerton 48-46 on Fullerton’s home court.
Coach Herb Sendek’s Arizona State enters the game between two schools known nationally as well for their football prowess, suffering a lop-sided opening round loss at the hands of nationally ranked Creighton 88-60 before coming back to turn the tables Friday night to defeat the College of Charleston 80-58.
Pacing the Hurricanes in this year’s tournament has been 6-6 senior guard Rion Brown. He is leading Miami with 12.5 points per game and is second in rebounding in the tournament with his 8.5 average after his team’s first two games.
As a team in Anaheim, Miami is averaging 55.5 points per game while shooting .393 from the field and defensively are leading the tourney, while holding their two opponents to an average of 58.5ppg and the Hurricanes are second in rebounding, averaging 36.0rpg.
For the Sun Devils, 5-10 sophomore sensation Jahii Carson, who plays guard, clearly leads his team with averages in two tournament games of 18.0 points and assists with 5.5 per game. After struggling some in his team’s opening round loss to Creighton, Carson led his team to victory over the College of Charleston by scoring 21 points and recording seven assists.
While this is Miami’s first appearance in the DIRECTV Wooden Legacy, Arizona State played in the 2009 event when they were led by future NBA star James Harden’s tournament record 29.0 points per game.
Miami is coming off the best season in Hurricanes history as 2013 Associated Press Coach of the Year Larrañaga is in his third season in Miami. The Hurricanes finished 29-7 last season, advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Arizona State posted their fourth 20-win season in eight years under Sendek last season, finishing with a 22-13 overall record.