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Offensive fireworks likely as Miami visits Wake Forest

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An offensive show looks to be in the works on Saturday as Miami and host Wake Forest fight to stay on top of the Atlantic Coast Conference in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Tied with North Carolina and NC State in the early standings, the Hurricanes (11-2, 2-0 ACC) lead the league in scoring (85.5 points per game) and shooting percentage (.509), while the Demon Deacons (10-3, 2-0) rank fifth (81.5) and fourth (.484), respectively.

The two teams also sport three of the league’s top 10 individual scorers with Wake’s Hunter Sallis (18.4) tied for fifth and Kevin Miller (16.9) sitting ninth.

Miami’s Norchad Omier (18.0) is seventh and Wooga Poplar (16.2) is 11th. Poplar (ankle) will be a game-time decision Saturday after sitting out Miami’s 95-82 win Wednesday over No. 16 Clemson.

Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said it was “anybody’s guess” if Poplar will play.

“Hopefully he’s ready,” Larranaga said, “but if he’s not, the guys who played tonight will have to do it again.”

Miami got Nijel Pack back after a two-game absence for a “lower extremity” injury and he responded with a game-high 25 points.

Omier and Matthew Cleveland scored 23 points apiece. Bensley Joseph and Kyshawn George each scored 12 to give Miami five double-figure scorers.

Balanced scoring is also a significant part of the Deacons’ game. In addition to Sallis and Miller, Cameron Hildreth (15.8) and Andrew Carr (14.5) are scoring in double figures.

Efton Reid III has averaged 13.3 points and 10.0 rebounds in starting the last three games for the Demon Deacons. As a two-time transfer (LSU and Gonzaga), he sat out the early part of the season before gaining a waiver from the NCAA.

Despite the offensive production, Wake coach Steve Forbes said the key to his team’s fortunes is at the other end of the court.

“We’re going to score,” he said. “That’s not the point. The point is defense and rebounding.”

–Field Level Media

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