February 08, 2016

Miami's Sheldon McClellan is the ACC's most efficient scorer while Pittsburgh's James Robinson is the conference's most effective ballhandler.

These players will be key factors when the No. 12 Hurricanes look to stretch their home win streak to 10 on Tuesday night.

McClellan averages 16.4 points, which isn't too impressive, but his ACC-best 61.3 effective field-goal percentage is since it adjusts for the fact that a 3-pointer is worth more than a shot from inside the arc.

The transfer from Texas is shooting 53.7 percent overall and 40.2 on 3-pointers for career highs in both departments.

"He's very, very efficient, he's very unselfish, he's very team-oriented and he's just a fun kid to be around," coach Jim Larranaga said. "I've said this over and over again, I think he's an NBA first-round pick and I think he's an all-league player."

McClellan was mostly on target in two victories for Miami (18-4, 7-3) last week, making 12 of 15 including all four 3-pointers. He scored 12 in Wednesday's 79-70 home win over Notre Dame and 22 in Sunday's 75-68 victory at Georgia Tech.

Pittsburgh (17-5, 6-4) leads the ACC with 18.5 assists per game behind Robinson, who averages 5.3. Even more impressive is his 5.1 assist-to-turnover ratio that is one of the nation's best.

"They are an outstanding passing team, one of the best teams in the country at getting assists and James Robinson has an amazing assist-to-turnover ratio so you really have to rely on your defense and rebounding to keep you in the game," Larranaga said.

Robinson seeks to bounce back after missing all seven shots in Saturday's 64-50 loss to then-No. 9 Virginia, although he had six assists with no turnovers. That started a difficult three-game stretch that concludes with Sunday's visit to No. 9 North Carolina.

"No one gets to slide through without playing a stretch like this," coach Jamie Dixon said. "We've seen this before in the Big East and we're seeing it here in the ACC."

The Panthers are looking for a marquee win to boost their NCAA Tournament profile and their first in four tries against ranked teams. They have alternated wins and losses in their last eight games.

Pittsburgh is shooting 46.4 percent at home in ACC play while going 4-2 compared to 39.4 percent in four on the road. Robinson needs 15 points to reach 1,000 in his career and Jamel Artis needs 19.

These former Big East rivals have split two meetings since the Panthers joined the ACC. McClellan scored 20 in a 67-63 road win March 4 while Pitt's Michael Young led all players with 22.

"We know how good a team they are, they're coming off a win versus Georgia Tech, we're coming off a loss against Virginia so we've gotta go down there and play well and defend better and guard their dribble, guard their penetration," Dixon said.

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