Miami Basketball Ranked 12th in Preseason Poll


Miami Basketball achieved their highest preseason ranking ever after being 12th in the nation when USA Today recently released their 2017-18 preseason Coaches poll.

A lot is expected of the Miami Basketball team this season. Jim Larranaga has brought in the best-recruiting classes in program history back to back. Sophomores Bruce Brown and Dewan Huell and Freshman Lonnie Walker were all High School All-Americans.

Miami is the third highest rated team in the ACC. Duke is ranked number one and North Carolina ninth. Louisville who was expected to originally be a top-five team was ranked 16th. The Cardinals fired Head Coach Rick Pitino amidst the Adidas scandal. Notre Dame was the only other ACC team in the poll at 14th.

The Hurricanes are also implicated in the Adidas scandal. Their exact involvement hasn’t been determined yet.

The Miami basketball team brings back most of its rotation from last season. The only losses were Senior leaders Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy. Reed was the leading scorer and best defender last season. Murphy was the leading rebounder.

Brown and point guard Ja’Quan Newton lead the returnees. Newton is the leading returning scorer at 13.5 points per game and in assists at 3.5 per game. Brown is a versatile performer. He averaged 11.5 PPG, 5.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals.

Other key returnees for Miami include Sophomore forward Huell, Sophomore wing Dejan Vasiljevic, Junior forward Anthony Lawrence and Junior center Ebuka Izundu. Freshman guard Chris Lykes, and forward Deng Gak could challenge for playing time.

The strength of the Miami Hurricanes 2017-18 season will be its perimeter game. Brown, Newton and Walker will form one of the nation’s best backcourts. Add to that bringing an adept shooter like Vasiljevic and the lighting quick Lykes off the bench and Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga is likely to want the Canes to push the tempo in this season.

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  • Miami was one of the most deliberate teams in the country last season. The Hurricanes averaged 66.9 possessions per game. That was 330th nationally. With Walker, Newton and Brown in the backcourt, it’s hard to imagine that Larranaga would want the same style this season.

    What he will expect is his team to continue to be a hard-nosed rebounding and defensive team. Brown is one of the best two-way players in the country and a tough physical guard. Larranaga projects him as a point guard in the NBA.

    Brown handled the majority of the playmaking duties when Newton missed three games last season. He should handle more of those responsibilities this season.

    Huell could hold the key to the season. With Murphy on to the next level, he is the player Larranaga is going to count on most up front. After being highly touted coming out of Miami Norland, he averaged just 5.8 PPG and 3.1 RPG as a Freshman.

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    Brown in the leader among returnees in rebounding and steals. Lawrence and Izundu will also be counted on up front to help on the boards.