College Hoops Today: Miami Lays an Egg
Norchad Omier has been a double-double machine for Miami. (TigerNet.com)
The Kansas State Wildcats pulled off a huge upset overtime win against the fourth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks; another hurdle has been cleared to allow NCAA athletes to become unionized; and the Miami Hurricanes had their lowest scoring game since 1985-86 (see more on this below). Here are some other college basketball related stories we’re following…
Norchad Omier Carving Out Future NBA Role
The fact that the Miami Hurricanes struggled to put up points on Monday against Virginia — the second best defensive team in the country — wasn’t a major surprise. But scoring just 38 points? That was historically bad, as we alluded to in our intro.
Yes, Virginia is pretty much impossible to beat at home. But this was the lowest point total for the Hurricanes in an ACC game, even lower than its paltry 40-point output almost a decade ago to the day (February 25, 2014) — also at Virginia.
After an 11-2 start, including 2-0 in ACC play, Miami has scuffled to a 4-6 mark, dropping to seventh place in the conference.
Leading scorer/rebounder Norchad Omier did his thing — and was pretty much the only ‘Cane to do so — scoring just 11 points (on 5-of-11 shooting) but adding 13 boards for his 12th double-double of the season. The junior forward has been quiet offensively the past couple of games, but was on a nice roll the previous week. Omier has seen more PT this season, enjoying a nice bounce back with an increase in touches and better efficiency.
Given his size, strength and athleticism (see video below), this kid could have a future in the NBA as a centre/power forward on a team that likes to play small ball. Omier could be a second round pick either this year or in 2025 if he opts to return for his senior season.
DaRon Holmes II has Dayton Flying High
Last week, we discussed the run Richmond was on in the Atlantic 10, however after losing to VCU on Saturday, the Spiders are now just tied for the conference lead with the Dayton Flyers.
Ranked 18th in the country, the Flyers got off to a middling 3-2 start, but have gone 15-1 since, and now stand at -115 to be the Atlantic 10 regular season winner as per odds at FanDuel.
As per usual, junior forward DaRon Holmes II led the way for Dayton on Friday, spurring a comeback win with 25 second-half points and a career high tying 34 in total — his second straight game of at least 25 points and sixth out of seven with 21 or more.
On Friday, he added seven boards, four blocks, two assists and a three-pointer in a very complete effort. Holmes is actually seeing a fair bit less action this season, but he’s developed a very strong outside game to help take his offense to a new level.
He’s got a strong chance of being just the second Flyer ever to win the A-10 Player of the Year (Obi Toppin did it in 2020), and is a likely candidate to be a late first round/early second round pick this year.
Thanks to his compete level and size, Holmes could make a real impact in the NBA along the lines of Isaiah Stewart.
Major Turnaround for Eastern Washington
At the end of the November, the Eastern Washington Eagles were 1-6, so few expected this team to be any kind of factor in the Big Sky. But the Eagles started to turn things around and since conference play began, they’ve kept their roll going. How about a 14-2 record since that ugly start? Eastern Washington has gone 9-1 in the conference to open a whopping 2.5-game lead.
Leading scorer/rebounder Cedric Coward came up huge in Monday’s win, recording his second straight double-double (including a career-best 26 points) while adding four treys and going 10-of-11 from the charity stripe.
He now has at least 15 points in three of the last four games as his bucket count has nearly doubled this season. Coward isn’t shooting as well as he did in 2022-23, but his scoring is way up thanks to volume and improvements at the line and beyond the arc.
Given his shot blocking prowess and ability to get across the floor very quickly, the junior forward could be a second round pick this year.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
The Partridge Family was such a popular sitcom, that it spawned a bunch of albums, the first of which was The Partridge Family Album, released in 1970. Among the hits from this was “Somebody Wants to Love You,” co-written by Wes Ferrell, who also penned “Boys,” a Shirelles‘ track the Beatles covered, and “Hang On Sloopy,” by the McCoys.