One thing is clear about Bruce Brown. The Miami freshman does not shy away from the big stage on his home court.
In front of a nationally-televised audience and a sellout crowd at the Watsco Center, Brown led the Hurricanes to a 55-50 victory over No. 10/11 Duke Saturday afternoon as he scored a game-high 25 points.
“He’s (Bruce Brown) not caught up in hype,” head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “What he is all about is doing the best he can do on the court and off the court. People who meet him embrace him, because he smiles. He’s happy and that’s the way his teammates feel about him.”
The Boston native connected on 11-of-18 shots from the field, pulled down four rebounds, had a pair of steals and had two blocks to help propel the Hurricanes to their fourth straight win and their 14th win at home this season.
“Honestly I think I’ve been playing in big time games my whole life, whether it’s AAU or high school,” Brown said. “I play the same way I play every game.”
Brown’s 25-point effort marked the second time this season he has surpassed 20 points. The first came against North Carolina as he poured in a career-high 30 points back on Jan. 28.
“He’s (Bruce Brown) an outstanding player,” Krzyzewski said. “Our defense was not bad, he made tough plays to score.”
During the Hurricanes’ four-game winning streak, Miami has held each of its opponents to under 70 points, including Duke, which came into the game averaging 81.7 points per contest. Duke’s 50-point output was its lowest scoring total of the year.
“They’re finding a way to overcome whatever the obstacles are and play at a high level, especially at the defensive end of the floor and rebounding,” Larrañaga said. “I thought our team defense was really really good today.”
With the win, Larrañaga continued his success against Duke as he improved to 5-3 against the Blue Devils. Prior to Coach L’s arrival, the Canes were 2-15 against Duke. The win also handed the Hurricanes their 20th win on the year.
Prior to the game, Miami honored seniors Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy. Reed finished with nine points and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds, while Murphy added seven points and recorded six rebounds.