Unranked teams beat ranked teams on the road a lot. That’s just the nature of college basketball. But for an unranked team to beat a ranked team on the road by 24 points? Yeah, that’s not as common.
But that’s exactly what Miami did to No. 16 Utah on Friday. The Hurricanes beat the Utes, 90-66, thanks to a lights-out game from Sheldon McClellan, who scored 27 points on 10-of-12 shooting.
Ten-of-12 shooting? That’s 83.3 percent. Did the basket look like an ocean?
“A little bit,” McClellan told Jody McDonald, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I think I wasn’t as aggressive in the first half as I was in the second half. I work on my game a lot, so I just got my confidence up in the second half and the goal was looking bigger for me.”
McClellan shot 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and a perfect 7-of-7 from inside it. He was also 4-of-4 from the foul line.
“Not a lot,” McClellan said, when asked if he relies on his three-point shot a lot. “When I transferred here, it is something I worked on a lot. When I was at Texas, I shot a low percentage, so that is something I worked on during my year for when I transferred to Miami. So it’s gotten much better, but it’s not something I really rely on even though I’m making them. I love to get to the hole and getting my teammates involved, but I was just staying aggressive and the three was falling down for me, so I kept shooting it today.”
McClellan was asked why he transferred.
“Well, honestly, me and the coach, we kind of had a disagreement,” he said, referring to former Texas coach Rick Barnes. “I felt like I could get more playing time somewhere else and a coach that’s going to give me more confidence. Just the overall feeling wasn’t there. So I took my ability to Miami and I felt right at home. And Coach Larranaga told me I could be the best player that I wanted to be and they were going to train me during my year off. So I felt like that was the best place for me. And Angel (Rodriguez) came in with me and I played against him in the Big 12, so I know how he plays and I wanted to play with him. So yeah, that’s why I transferred.”
Rodriguez scored 11 points for Miami, while center Tonye Jekiri had 20 points and 12 rebounds. Miami, which is averaging 93.5 points per game, improved to 4-0 with the win.
“I hope the offense keeps gelling like this,” McClellan said. “We had seven people in double figures last game. It’s just a great feeling when everybody’s scoring. That helps the defense, too. Hopefully we can keep it going.”