Three-Point Thoughts: Duke/Miami (Ohio)


Game two is Tuesday night and the Duke Blue Devils get a visit from the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks. Both teams are coming off of season-opening victories, although you could make a good argument and say Duke’s 37-point thrashing was more impressive than the Redhawks’ three-point win over Towson.


(Ohio) does not do a ton of zone, so Tuesday night all eyes should be on the big men. Can anyone put their back to the basket and be a post man? Obviously this lands on the shoulders of Miles. Mason is just too versatile and is better moving around. Miles has worked all summer on developing his offense skills, but against Princeton, they were not on display. He scored just two points and look frustrated against a smaller front line. Against Miami, he’ll go against a solid power forward in Julian Mavunga. He will be a step and a half above any forward Princeton could put on the floor.

The Blue Devils once again need to guard that three-point line like it’s the past piece of food on the planet. The Redhawks like to launch. However, all five defenders will need to be alert and ready. Miami will do a lot of rotating and try to create mismatches. The fact is, outside the point guard, everyone likes to shoot. Against Towson, four players from Miami took at least seven shots, including six players who took at least three threes…meaning, everyone needs to guard the outside shot.

Against Princeton, Ryan Kelly made a crucial mistake. Duke had the ball and 97 points. They had to take a shot. Kelly got the ball at the top of the key. Instead of shooting though, he faked, took two steps into the three-point line and threw up a shot…miss. First, taking a shot right inside the three-line is the worst shot in basketball. Second, when you have a shot to deliver 100 to the Cameron Crazies, you do it. Come on, Ryan. Take that three!


The “other” college team named Miami will not offer up much of challenge for the Blue Devils. The Redhawks are best known for nearly upsetting No. 3 seed Oregon in the first-round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. That was their only appearance in the tournament this century. Last season they only won 13 games. They did manage to open the season with a close win against the Towson Tigers (no, I have no clue where Towson is). While you might scoff at that, the Redhawks did lose to Towson last season.

The Redhawks do return 10 of their 13 players last year, but they did loss their top player Kenny Hayes (14.9 ppg) to graduation. Miami runs a three-guard attack that features Quinten Rollins, Allen Roberts and Orlando Williams. Rollins runs the point, but he’s not a shooter. Roberts is probably the teams best shooter. He scored 20 against Towson in only 23 minutes.

Miami’s best player is Julian Mavunga. The 6’8 junior forward is strong (weighing in at 252 pounds) and is versatile. He took 66 threes last year, hitting a decent 37% of them. He’s aggressive and mean in the paint and can take control along the boards. The Plumlee brothers can not take Mavunga lightly.

WORTHLESS PREDICTION: This one won’t be close. With one game under their belt, any butterflies will be gone. Duke rolls, 107-64.