Canes Hoops 2014-2015 depth chart


On Friday afternoon, the University of Miami received a financial aid agreement from Niagara forward, Joe Thomas. Thomas, a fifth-year senior, gives the Canes immediate help in the front court, which they were in desperate need for.

The addition of Thomas now gives the ‘Canes a total of 11 scholarship players for the 2014-2015 season. Seven of them being occupied by guards.

Below is an updated depth chart of the ’14-’15 squad.

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Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan both came over as transfers from Kansas State and Texas respectively, and were forced to sit out a year due to the NCAA transfer rules. They look to have the upper hand on the starting back court, but nothing is for sure with the talent behind them.

DeAndre Burnett injured his left wrist just days before the start of the season and was forced to redshirt his freshman season. We all know what Burnett is capable of doing on the offensive end. I have him listed as a point guard in the depth chart, but he’s really a combo guard. He can easily play with any of the more “traditional” point guards because he can flat out score the basketball.

Much like Burnett, incoming freshman and Philadelphia product, Ja’Quan Newton can score in a ton of ways. Newton is probably the biggest recruit Jim Larranaga has landed in his tenure with Miami and there’s a lot of buzz surrounding him.(check THIS out if you wanna see why) Most recruiting sites rank Newton as a 4-star recruit and one of the best point guards in the country coming out of the 2014 class. The expectations are going to be high for Newton, as he’ll also play the role of a “combo guard” due to his ability to score, and there can never be too many scorers out on the court.

The point guard depth chart rounds up with sophomore, Manu Lecomte. Lecomte will be playing with Belgium’s U20 team again this summer and he’ll need to continue to add some strength and he needs to become more aggressive. Coach Larranaga urged him to be more aggressive all last season, but the aggressiveness was a bit inconsistent. If Manu comes back stronger and better, he’ll find himself on the court because he’s a pretty good shooter. If not, I don’t think there are many spots for him in this stacked back court.

The shooting guard spot is pretty interesting to me. Sheldon McClellan seems to be penciled in to be the starting shooting guard on opening night, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Coach L opts for a two point guard lineup and shifts McClellan down to the small forward position.

James Palmer and Davon Reed (I listed him as a small forward on this team) are the other options for the Canes at the 2 and 3 spots. Palmer is a freshman who is a terrific shooter, but still needs to polish up some parts of his game. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if he gets redshirted, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he breaks the rotation. That’s just how deep this group is.

Davon Reed was, at times, the best player on the court for Miami last season. He is a great defender and he showed some good touch from behind-the-arc. I think on this team he’s better suited to play the small forward role, but he’s naturally a shooting guard, so he could play there, and he could even run the offense from the point guard spot from time-to-time.

Mar 12, 2014; Greensboro, NC, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Joey Van Zegeren (2) drives to the basket against Miami Hurricanes center Tonye Jekiri (23) during the first round of the ACC Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, this is where it gets interesting, and a little frightening.  The front court.

We got to see all the different combinations Coach L can do with the back court, but that changes dramatically with this group.

The Canes just picked up Joe Thomas out of Niagara and he should be in the rotation immediately. Thomas isn’t the biggest guy in the block, but he provides size, and Miami could use it — a lot of it.

The only other power forward on the depth chart (at least in my opinion) is JUCO signee, Ivan Cruz Uceda. Uceda is a 6’10” spanish outside-in type of player, but his rebounding is underrated. He posted up a double-double average at Harcum College in Philadelphia and he should be ready to take over the void left by James Kelly.

Next season, the Canes will add Oklahoma State transfer Kamari Murphy into the mix. Murphy isn’t a graduate so he is forced to sit out the 2014-2015 but will have two years left of eligibility at Miami.

The center position for the ’14-’15 Canes will be occupied by junior Tonye Jekiri and freshman Omar Sherman.

Sherman is a 6’9” 250 power forward/center who is really big and strong, but can also step out and knock the jumper when necessary. Sherman is a very nice player, but it’ll take some time for him to get acclimated to the college game, especially if the staff asks him to play the center position full time.

The biggest player for the Canes, will again be, Tonye Jekiri. Jekiri has improved his game every year, but last season was a disappointment considering the expectation surrounding him at the beginning of the season. Jekiri started showing his potential again towards the end of the season, and he’ll have to be huge for the Canes this season for them to have any shot at competing against the bigger teams in the nation. The 7 footer needs to continue to add strength and protecting the rim and the Canes should be in good shape, even with limited resources.

The addition of Joe Thomas helped out the Canes for next season, but there’s still a lot of work left to be done for this team to live up to expectation this season. However, one thing is certain, the talent in the back court for this Canes team is going to cause a ton of havoc.