Sims: Miami’s already potent offense might have more to give

Third-year sophomore forward Norchad Omier dribbles around a defender during Miami's game against Florida State University on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Watsco Center. Photo credit: Alexandra Carnochan

Rarely does a 6-foot-7, almost 250-pound power forward shoot threes, but recently, that’s exactly what Norchad Omier has been doing for the Miami Hurricanes.

Against Wake Forest on Feb. 18, Omier opened up the scoring with a 3-pointer that helped set the tone for UM’s victory. He’s 4-for-5 from deep over the last four games after only hitting one of his first 10 attempts from behind the arc in the first 23 games.

“Norchad, he’s getting consistent right now, it’s spreading the floor out right now and I feel like I’m getting way easier shots at the rim and getting a lot of foul shots. It’s just cause of the spacing and all that,” fourth-year guard Isaiah Wong said when asked about Omier’s recent willingness to launch from deep.

Asked if Norchad’s three-point stroke was a newfound thing, Wong added, “I’ll say it’s a newfound thing, but Norchad, he be doing good in the five minutes of threes and it’s about time he just starts showing he can shoot threes cause I think he can shoot threes… he’s starting to feel more confident and he’s starting to shoot more so I really love that he’s starting to shoot more now and it helps us too.”

If this is Omier gaining confidence, then the rest of the country better watch out.

The former Arkansas State Red Wolf and Sun Belt Player of the Year transferred to “The Sunshine State” to have an impact at a more prestigious level.

This season at Miami, Omier’s been ferocious on the glass. He is second in offensive and sixth in defensive rebounds, respectively. While Omier is not scoring as much as he did last year for Arkansas State, he is still an integral part of the Hurricanes’ offense. He leads the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in field goal percentage on a team that leads the ACC in field goal percentage.

Miami’s offense already ranks at the top of the ACC in points per game, with four players in the top 25 in scoring in the conference, which is more than any other ACC team. According to KenPom, Miami’s adjusted offensive efficiency is among the top-15 in the nation and has been as high as sixth recently.

Miami’s offense is already incredibly efficient from beyond the arc, as it’s third in the conference in 3-point percentage. If Omier can continue developing this skill from deep, or at least make teams have to think about guarding him when he is popping on ball screens with guards, it would make the cutting prowess of Wong and guard Nijel Pack even more deadly than it already is. Wong and Pack are so fast and so skilled at creating shots at the rim that any hesitation from the defenders would give the duo an additional edge.

Miami’s offense excels when it is shooting shots close to the basket. UM shoots over 65% from 2-6 feet away on the right side of the basket, which is in the top 10% of the country. Miami also shoots well from the top of the key at 3-point distance, where Omier likes to shoot. Opponents are already worried about the arsenal of weapons that Miami has, and letting them get another would pose even more of a threat to defenses in the ACC Tournament.

There are not many teams that have the versatility and scoring ability that the Hurricanes have. They have legit threats to drop at least 20 points at any of their starting spots, which most teams in the country do not have.

If the Hurricanes can continue producing at this rate offensively, they will be a tough opponent for any team that plays against them in the postseason.

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