MAC Reporter online takes a look at where the teams are now – with an eye, on the future, as well.
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Coach: Jack Owens (1st Year)
Preseason Media/Coaches Pick: 6th, MAC East
* NOTE -- Stats are prior to MU’s game against Ohio State.
► The John Cooper era came to a close following last season 11-21 (4-14 MAC) record. The dismal record, coupled with significant personnel losses all contributed to a dismal preseason prediction.
► Among the players departing was MAC Freshman of the Year Michael Weathers. Both he and Michael Weathers are now at Oklahoma State. Twin brother Marcus Weathers is at Duquense. Due to NCAA transfer rules, both brothers must wait until 2018-19 to play at their new schools.
► Miami went 7-5 through with one non-conference game left – at Ohio State.
► The RedHawks played six home games in non-conference play, winning five of those outings.
► Two of the Miami’s wins thus far were in overtime – Wright State at home and Western Illinois (2OT) on the road.
► Three regulars – two of them seniors – return. Logan McLane (6-9) is a key inside presence and is averaging 10. ppg., 6.7 rpg. His registered a season-high 22 points in a loss to Hartford and had a double-double (16 pts., 10 rebounds) in a win over LIU – Brooklyn.
Junior Jake Wright continues to be an important 3-point contributor. He has twice reached 20 points (20, 22), and of his 97 points this season, 84 came from behind the arc.
Rod Mills may or may not come off the bench. He has reached double figures once (19 points against LIU Brooklyn) and averages 5.8 ppg (3.7 rpg).
► With the departure of Michael Weathers )and many freshman entering the program), Miami needed an experienced replacemenet. Owens got that in junior Darrian Ringo. The 6-2 JUCO guard averages 8.6 rpg and 3.3 rpg. He also leads the MAC (by a lot) with 7.9 assists per outing and is second in steals 2.7 spg.
► As a team, MU is second in steals (7.6 per game). However, turnover have sometimes been an issue, and the RedHawks rank last (MAC) with a -2.08 turnover margin. They are ninth in assist/turnover ratio and Miami has the most turnovers of any MAC team (187).
► Among the freshmen, three are averaging at least 20 minutes per game: Nike Sibande (30.8 mpg), Jalen Adaway (28.8 mpg) and Dalonte Brown (20.8 mpg).
All have had their moments, but Sibande leads the team in scoring with a 14.0 ppg average. He is shooting 44.4 percent from the floor overall and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. The 6-3 guard reached double figures eight times and twice tallied a season-high 21 points.
Adaway, a 6-5 guard, is just off double figures with 9-4 ppg and is pulling down 5.8 rpg. He reached double figures seven times and notched 22 against Midway. Adaway’s late layup enabled Miami to squeak by Fordham on the road for the RedHawks first win under Owens.
► Beyond the 6-9 McLane, Miami is inexperienced down low. However, the RedHawks currently lead MAC teams in rebounding mrgin (+5/2).
► A key area for Miami in which to improve will be free throws. It ranks 11th with a 65.8 percentage. They are also getting to the line less than other teams. Cleaning this up, as well as turnovers, will be a key heading into conference play.
AND SO . . .
The RedHawks are a major unknown heading into conference play. Owens appears to have brought in enough talent to avert the meltdown that some may have envisioned. In fact, on a given knight – especially when the jump shots are falling – Miami could be quite dangerous. The non-conference schedule was a mix of various challenge levels – probably a good thing while
Owens brought together a largely new cast in a new system. How well they perform against MAC competition remains to be seen. Early results suggest his squad dangerous on a given night