Miami guard Isaiah Wong (2) slams home a dunk during the second half an NCAA college basketball game against Pittsburgh in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
- Miami is a 5.5-point favorite over Dayton
- Miami is 3-1, 1-3 ATS
- Dayton is 0-4 ATS, all at home
Miami (3-1) is a 5.5-point favorite over Dayton in the first round of the ESPN Events Invitational tournament on Thursday at noon ET on ESPN2 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complete at Kissimmee, Fla.
Dayton (1-3) has lost its last three games, all as at least a 9.5-point home favorite, and is 0-4 ATS this season.
Dayton vs Miami Odds
|Dayton Flyers||+210||+5.5 (-102)||Over 136.5 (-122)|
|Miami Hurricanes||-260||-5.5 (-120)||Under 136.5 (+100)|
Odds from FanDuel on Nov. 25
Miami is 2-1 straight up and 1-2 ATS against a Florida-friendly schedule. The Hurricanes have beaten Florida A&M and Florida Atlantic in their last two after falling to Central Florida on Nov. 13.
Moore Finds a (New) Home
Sixth-year 5’11 transfer guard Charlie Moore is off to a fast start with the Hurricanes, his fourth college stop after spending his first season at California, the next at Kansas and most recent two at DePaul.
Moore, part of the Hurricanes’ three-guard lineup, is averaging 11.3 points and 3.0 assists a game in four starts after averaging 15.1 points and 5.3 assists at DePaul. He has above-average quickness, but that has been balanced by a career shooting percentage of 37.6 and a 1.3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
A Chicago native, Moore had his best game with the Hurricanes in an 86-59 victory over Florida A&M the last time out, with 20 points, four assists, three steals and only two turnovers. He made 5 of 7 3-pointers. He has never made more than 35 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Miami Small-Ball Friendly
Sophomore 6’3 guard Isaiah Wong joins sixth-year senior 6’5 Kameron McGusty and Moore in a three-pronged attack that relies on penetration rather than distance shooting.
McGusty leads the Hurricanes in scoring (19.0) and rebounds (6.3), and he appears to be on the verge of the kind of breakout season Wong had in 2020-21. McGusty has averaged 13.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in his previous two seasons in Miami after playing two years at Oklahoma, and his length adds defensive presence.
Miami has an experienced and talented trio in the backcourt. This group combined for 41 points last night. They look for each other, provide scoring balance and are hard to guard. Don’t 💤 on @CanesHoops.
Charlie Moore – 17 PTS
Isaiah Wong – 14 PTS
Kameron McGusty – 10 PTS pic.twitter.com/fgSD9ypeff
— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) November 22, 2021
Wong, the offensive catalyst, is averaging 16.0 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 52.3 percent from the field after averaging 17.1 points a game as a second-year freshman a year ago. He had 30 points against Louisville and 29 against Florida State last year.
Dayton has underachieved in the linesmakers’ eyes this season while attempting to meld transfers 6’6 forward Toumani Camara (Georgia), 6’2 guard Kobe Ellis (DePaul) and 6’8 forward Richard Amaefule (East Tennessee State) and highly recruited 6’10 freshman forward DaRon Holmes into a cohesive unit.
The Flyers are shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 22,8 from three-point range, and Camara (11.0) is the only double-digit on a team averaging 65.5 points a game while giving up 69.5 against opponents that the Obi Toppin/Jalen Crutcher group would have easily handled.
Dayton has lost to Austin Peay and UMass-Lowell and seven players have started as coach Anthony Grant looks for the right mix on a team with a great deal of size.
Tough Tournament Field
It will not get any easier for winner of this one with No. 4 Kansas lurking in the same half of the bracket. The Jayhawks (3-0) play North Texas in the first round.
KenPom rankings for the teams in the ESPN Events Invitational next week
North Texas (118)
Miami, FL (89)
Going off those rankings it looks like Bama will have a significantly more difficult 2nd round game
— 6oqʌǝʞ@ (@kevbo9) November 19, 2021
No. 10 Alabama, Iona, Belmont and Drake are in the other half of the bracket. Belmont won the Ohio Valley regular-season title a year ago Drake was second in the Missouri Valley, Iona was second in the Metro Atlantic and North Texas is coming off an 18-win season.
This tournament was known as the Orlando Invitational in its first 14 seasons and was cancelled because of Covid-19 in 2020 before being rebranded this year. Maryland (2019), Villanova (2018), West Virginia (2017), Gonzaga (2016), Xavier (2015) and Kansas (2014) are the previous six winners.
By the Numbers
Miami is 86th in adjusted efficiency margin in KenPom. Dayton is 129th against a schedule that is one of the lowest rated in Division I. Dayton has won seven of the previous eight meetings, but the teams have not played since 1990.
Miami was third in Division I in free throws attempts (30) and makes (22.3) entering Tuesday games. The teams have opposite strengths, but Miami is more efficient at its game.
The pick: Miami -5.5 (-120)
Jack has covered college and professional sports for various Arizona media outlets and has written for the AP, USA Today and Baseball America, among others. He staffed the 2015-17 World Series and has staffed four Super Bowls.