The Deacs have been struggling to pickup wins lately, but the ACC schedule hasn’t done them any favors. On Wednesday, they have a great opportunity to get back in the win column at home against the Miami Hurricanes (12-4 overall, 2-2 in the ACC). A win would be a big confidence boost for the Deacons, who have struggled to close out games despite playing really well for much of the year. Standing in the way of the much needed win are these players for The U:
Ja’Quan Newton | Junior Guard | #0
Newton is currently Miami’s leader in points and assists, averaging 15.1 points per game and 4.0 assists per game. He has scored in double figures in all but 2 of Miami’s 16 games. With just 14% of his shots coming from behind the arc, he is definitely more of a driver than a long range shooter. In fact, he is just 8-26 (31%) from downtown this season, so it will probably be prudent for the Deacs to give him some space when he has the ball outside of the arc. What he lacks in distance shooting he makes up for in his ability to drive the ball to basket, where he is shooting 50% and getting to the line 4.6 times per game.
His ability to drive the ball to the rim and score forces the defense to collapse when he gets penetration. This of course leaves his teammates wide open for kick out 3s and dunks. With Newton having the highest usage rate on the team at 27.5%, this is a large part of the Canes’ offense.
One of the knocks on Newton is that he has a tendency to be careless with the basketball. He is currently leading the ACC with 3.5 turnovers per game. If the Deacs play good defense, they should be able to come away with some easy steals and fastbreak layups.
Davon Reed | Senior Guard | #5
Reed is the second leading scorer for the Canes and is more versatile player than Newton. He is averaging 14.7 points, 2.3 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game. With 54% of his shots coming from downtown, he likes to shoot the 3 ball much more than Newton. He shoots 6.1 3-pointers per game and hits on 39% of them.
That being said, he can also score as a driver. At 6-6, he has a height advantage over a lot of guards, which helps him around the basket. He is shooting 51% from 2-point range and is getting to the free throw line 3.1 times per game.
Reed has been playing at a higher level since conference play started, upping his scoring to 16.3 points per game and his assists to 3.4 per game in conference games.