The University of Miami men’s basketball program has accomplished things under coach Jim Larrañaga that never have been done before. Two Sweet 16 trips in four years. Conference regular-season and tournament championships. A winning record against Duke and North Carolina. Larrañaga also has half of the Hurricanes’ eight NCAA tournament wins.
Can he sustain the success? After finishing third in the ACC, Miami became one of six schools from the conference to win its first two games in the NCAAs and advance into the Sweet 16. A dominant, hot-shooting night from Villanova ended Miami’s season, 92-69. The Hurricanes now will have to rebuild without point guard Angel Rodriguez, guard Sheldon McClellan and center Tonye Jekiri. The last time Miami lost this much talent, it went two years without returning to the NCAAs.
Will that happen again? An answer of either yes or no wouldn’t be surprising on either end.
The case for
Miami does return versatile guard Davon Reed (11.1 points, 4.1 rebounds per game), and guard Ja’Quan Newton (10.5 points) was considered by many to be one of the best sixth men in the country. The Hurricanes also will welcome back forward Kamari Murphy, a transfer from Oklahoma State who made 28 starts, and guard Anthony Lawrence, who received more minutes later in the season.
Once again, Larrañaga dipped into the transfer ranks to bring in San Jose State transfer Rashad Muhammad, who led his former school in scoring in two straight seasons as a freshman and sophomore. He sat out this past season but will give Miami five experienced players heading into next season.
Guard James Palmer would’ve been a sixth, but he’ll transfer.
Those players will be pushed by what may be the Hurricanes’ best recruiting class ever. It’s ranked… Get access to the rest of this article and unlimited access to the rest of ACCSports.com when you upgrade to Premium Access! Click on the button below to view all the benefits of becoming a Premium Access member.
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