At the beginning of the season head coach Frank Haith knew exactly what he wanted from his team.
He wanted his guards to do the scoring and his forwards to rebound and play defense.
The Miami Hurricanes could not have executed Haith’s formula for better Monday night. An equation that led to the 'Canes victory over Florida Atlantic University.
Nothing could have gone better for Miami. The three starting guards, Guillermo Diaz, Rob Hite, and Anthony Harris, combined for 67 points, 16 assists, and five steals.
The forwards were led by the intimidating play of Anthony King, who finished with 13 blocks, 11 points, and 10 rebounds. King also set the ACC record for blocks in a game.
“Anthony’s performance tells me one thing, he knows his role,” Haith said. “We can all learn from that. If Anthony can get double figure rebounding every night, he is going to do great things for us.”
The Hurricanes took control after a lackluster first half. The ‘Canes were able to set the tempo and get into their transition offense outscoring the Owls 18-6 to open the second half giving Miami a 51-36 lead.
“In the second half we picked up our defensive intensity,” Haith said. “We were able to pick up some loose balls and convert them to buckets on the other end.”
However, the Owls would not go away. FAU countered with an 11-0 run of their own to cut the lead to four.
That was the closest Florida Atlantic would get. From there on it became the Hite and Diaz show. Both could not miss, with Hite and Diaz had career highs in points with 38 and 27 respectively.
Robert Hite Guillermo Diaz
38 points 27 points
FG: 14-24, 58% FG: 11-13, 85%
3PT: 6-12, 50% 3PT: 1-2, 50%
1st Half: 10 points 1st Half: 13 points
2nd Half: 28 points 2nd Half: 14 points
Season Avg: 21.8 ppg Season Avg: 14.8 ppg
“Guillermo played very well,” Haith said. “Obviously he shot the ball well, but he did other things. The thing I like is he had four assists, three steals, and zero turnovers. Rob kept playing. I think at one time he was 1-for-6. I told him you better keep shooting the ball. He had a couple lay-ups that got him going there too.”
Diaz’s night was a sign of good things to come. After playing the worst game of his career going scoreless last week against South Carolina State. Diaz had the best game as a Miami Hurricane, playing aggressively and attacking the basket.
“Against South Carolina State, I had a bad game, so now I have made a commitment to play hard all the time,” Diaz said. “After that game, coach Haith and I talked about how I need to play hard all the time. So that is what I have done, play hard and make my team better.”
Point guard Anthony Harris quietly added 10 assists for the Hurricanes. Though he did not shoot the ball particularly well, Haith was pleased with his solid game.
“You got to understand where he has come from to get where he is at. I am so pleased with him,” Haith said. “I’d like to see him get his turnovers down, but he kind of showed some growth on his part.”
FAU’s lone bright spot was the play of forward Mike Bell, who had 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Haith was very pleased by what he saw from his team against FAU. However, this week does not get any easier for the Hurricanes, as they will travel to Gainesville on Saturday to take on the 23rd-ranked University of Florida
“I am pleased, because you are talking about a game we were on such a high, and we lose that ball game,” Haith said. “We turn around and we have one day of preparation to go play another game. I am real pleased with the way our kids came out and fought. I think we are all looking forward to that opportunity against the Gators.”