Miami Basketball Ranked 12th in Sports Illustrated National Rankings


The Miami Basketball team is ranked 12th in the nation in Sports Illustrated’s preseason rankings. The Hurricanes offense is ranked 25th and their defense 12th in an examination of all 351 teams in the country.

The Hurricanes high ranking is primarily because of their backcourt. The Miami Basketball program returns Senior Ja’Quan Newton at point guard and Sophomore All-American candidate Bruce Brown. Freshman Five-Star guard Lonnie Walker will team with Newton and Brown to give the Hurricanes one of the best backcourts in the country.

Miami was an elite defensive team last season but struggled to score at times. Their offense should be improved this season with the addition of Walker.

Head Coach Jim Larranaga also hopes to see improvement from post player Dewan Huell. Huell was a five star McDonald’s All-American in 2016. He averaged just 5.8 points per game and 3.1 rebounds last season as a Freshman.

With the departure of graduating Senior Kamari Murphy Miami needs Huell to be a force in the post on both ends of the court this season.

In their article rankings the top 50 teams offensively Sports Illustrated said about the Hurricanes:

"“Miami (No. 25) should have one of the better guard rotations in the country, although it could benefit from giving sophomore Bruce Brown more scoring opportunities at Ja’Quan Newton’s expense. Big man Dewan Huell averaged only 5.8 points per game last season, but he could blossom as a sophomore after arriving in Coral Gables as the nation’s No. 27 recruit, according to the RSCI.”"

The Hurricanes defense although ranked higher was not profiled. The Hurricanes lose their two best defensive players from last season. Murphy was a force defensively down low. He was not a great shot blocker but was a very good rebounder and one on one defender. Reed was a very tough one on one perimeter defender.

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  • The Hurricanes held opponents below 50 percent shooting in 23 of their 33 games last season.  The Hurricanes were ranked in the top 100 nationally in most defensive stats last season.

    Their defense was more inconsistent. Offensively Miami was more middling. They were ranked between 126th and 276th on the offensive end.

    Many are anticipating Miami to be a more efficient offensive team in 2017-18. With a deep and talented backcourt, Miami basketball might play more up-tempo this season. The Hurricanes were 330th out of 351 teams in tempo last season.

    One of the most important things for the  Miami Basketball team this season is to play more efficiently offensively. Miami shot 45.2 percent from the floor and 35.6 percent on threes last season.

    Dejan Vasiljevic is likely to see a larger role than he did last season. Vasiljevic lived on three-point shot last season. He has improved his all-around game last season.

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    The Hurricanes also need to do a better job taking care of the ball. The Hurricanes had 417 turnovers to just 389 assists last season. Both Newton and Brown have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. Brown and Walker are likely to share the primary ball handlings duties with Newton this season.