Lonnie Walker back in starting lineup for Miami Hurricanes

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 15: Lonnie Walker IV
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 15: Lonnie Walker IV /

After coming off the bench because of tightness in his back in Sunday’s win over North Carolina State Freshman guard Lonnie Walker was back in the starting lineup for the Miami Hurricanes Wednesday night game against Louisville.

Walker replaced classmate Chris Lykes who started for him in Raleigh. Walker’s level of play has risen during over the last three games. Walker scored in double figures four times in the Miami Hurricanes first 15 games of the season. He has reached double figures in each of the last three games.

Miami has gone just 1-2 over the last three. They snapped a two-game losing streak with the victory over NC State on Sunday. Walker is averaging 15.7 points per game, 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals and shooting 44.4 percent on threes over those three games.

Lykes has also seen his playing time increase over the last few weeks. Lykes has been more productive than Ja’Quan Newton.

The diminutive point guard scored in double figures in four out of the five games that preceded the victory over NC State. In ACC play, Lykes is averaging 11.7 PPG, shooting 45.3 percent from the floor and dishing out 2.5 assists.

After averaging 13.5 PPG in 2016-17, Newton’s average has dropped to 8.3 PPG this season. He has really struggled over the last five games. Newton scored 11 points had four rebounds and two assists in the ACC opener against Pittsburgh. His play has fallen off significantly since then.

Over the last five games Newton has seen his playing time decrease as his play has diminished. He is averaging 3.6 points per game, 3.2 assists and shooting 30.8 percent from the floor.

For Miami to reach its potential and get back to their preseason number 12 ranking the Hurricanes are going to need Newton to get back to playing how he did last season.

More from Canes Warning

Bruce Brown and Dejan Vasiljevic round out the backcourt. Walker’s emergence over the last month initially sent Vasiljevic to the bench and significantly cut into the Australian’s playing time. Vasiljevic is averaging 8.8 points per game this season, but far less in ACC play.

Since opening ACC play, Vasiljevic is averaging 3.3 points per game and shooting 21.2 percent from the floor and 19.2 percent from three-point range. The shooting percentages are troubling from a player expected to be Miami’s best long-range shooter.

After struggling the prior two games, Brown led the Hurricanes in the victory over the Wolfpack. He finished with 19 points, four rebounds and nine assists. Brown made seven of his eight shots from the floor and all three-point attempts.

Next: After two key games Miami Hurricanes 4 straight vs unranked teams

The next thing the Hurricanes need to do is get Brown and Walker going in the same game. Sunday’s game was just the third time this season the Canes dynamic duo have scored in double figures in the same game. When they both get going Miami will be a difficult team to defend on the perimeter.