Texas isn’t any stranger to Miami third-year sophomore guard Nijel Pack.
Pack, previously of the Kansas State Wildcats, made an uncontested layup within the final 90 seconds of Kansas State’s recreation in opposition to Texas on the Frank Erwin Middle on Jan. 18, 2022. Whether or not there was miscommunication between the Longhorns or in the event that they had been merely bested by the Wildcats, Pack’s layup ended up being the final factors of that recreation. Last rating? Kansas State 66, Texas 65.
Pack ended the 2021-2022 season with the Massive 12 Most Improved Participant award and First Workforce All-Massive 12 honors. That very same season, Bruce Weber, former Kansas State head coach, resigned from his place, and Pack hit the switch portal whereas getting into the NBA Draft.
Now in sunny South Florida, Pack is seeing his determination to switch repay. Miami is again within the Elite Eight for the second yr in a row, and Pack has been an enormous purpose why the Hurricanes are nonetheless rolling.
“The climate is at all times stunning clearly,” Pack stated about coming to Miami. “However it was actually these guys to the left and proper of me. Their play is the principle purpose why I got here. I wished to be a part of one thing particular, one thing nice.”
Pack is one a part of Miami’s guard trio that’s led it to the place it’s now. Pack, together with fourth-year junior guard Isaiah Wong and fifth-year senior guard Jordan Miller, have created a robust bunch of guards that’s much like what Texas has going.
Marcus Carr, Sir’Jabari Rice and Tyrese Hunter can step up on any given evening for Texas. Pack, Wong and Miller pose the identical menace for the Hurricanes.
Pack exploded for 26 factors in Miami’s upset over Houston on Friday evening. Wong put up 20 factors and Miller had 13 of his personal.
Whereas the previous Kansas State guard is having fun with his new life at Miami, he’ll be recalling video games in opposition to a former Massive 12 opponent this weekend.
“They’ve a very good crew, particularly from the occasions that I performed in opposition to them,” Pack stated about Texas. “Some actually good guard play, particularly two guards out of the Massive 12 that I’ve additionally performed in opposition to. Now they’re teamed up collectively.”
However, Texas can be anticipating a troublesome matchup in opposition to Pack.
“We perceive the caliber of participant he’s,” graduate guard Carr stated about Pack. “He’s enjoying rather well at a excessive stage proper now.”
Hunter additionally is aware of to anticipate a very good battle out of Pack. Throughout his time at Iowa State final season, the Cyclones cut up the season collection in opposition to the Wildcats. Similar to the Longhorns did.
The historical past between Pack and the Massive 12 runs deep, however on Sunday evening, Texas and Pack may have one other shot at one another on the largest stage in faculty basketball.