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ACC Roundup - State Survives A Game Miami

And has its best start since David Thompson was a sophomore.

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NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Miami-Florida
Chris Lykes, 5-7, terrified NC State guards in the first half of Thursday’s game at Miami.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

As the UCLA search cranks up, some people have suggested NC State’s Kevin Keatts. One guy - maybe it was Dan Dakich - says that Keatts “coaches with a smile.”

Well not so much Thursday, at least not in the first half.

Basketball, generally speaking, is a game for taller people so when a small guy is really good it’s celebrated.

In the first half, Miami’s Chris Lykes was sensational.

For the first time, we saw a guy who reminded us of Muggsy Bogues.

Lykes was just killing State with ball pressure. The Pack really didn’t know how to deal with him. It was an incredible display of defensive dominance and Keatts was most definitely not smiling.

It kind of forced us to consider a question: what happens when you take away the perimeter game from a team with no inside game?

Not good.

It took awhile, but State’s depth took over and Miami, down to a seven-man rotation, just got gassed and State ended up shooting 57% in the second half. Markell Johnson, limited by fouls in the first half, was fresh and really took it to Miami after the break.

The ‘Canes, particularly Lykes, showed a ton of heart but just didn’t have enough guys to compete in the end.

By the way, Lykes shot 10-15 including one dazzling play where he blew through the entire defense for a layup. He finished with 28 points.

It’s too bad that Miami’s season has gotten so screwed up because Lykes is a terrifying weapon.

Miami got some more bad news on Thursday as the NCAA ruled Dewan Hernandez ineligible. He hasn’t played this year because of eligibility concerns but it still hurts. He could have really helped this team inside.

It’s easy to see guys on the court and not think beyond that. We’re guilty of it too sometimes. We reduce athletes to their public performances and don't consider the rest of their lives. And in a sense, why should we? That’s what brought us there.

Obviously they all have lives beyond basketball though and not all of it’s good. Take Virginia’s Kyle Guy.

He’s come to terms with it now, but anxiety has been a struggle for him and it got noticeably worse after the loss to UMBC last spring. It’s good to know that he’s handling things better.

Thursday's Results
  • NC State 87 Miami 82

ACC Standings

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