The Miami basketball team opens the 2018-19 season at the Watsco Center against Patriot League favorite Lehigh. The Hurricanes are trying to reach the NCAA Tournament for the fourth season in a row for the first time in program history.
The 2018-19 season could be one of transition for the Miami Basketball team. The Hurricanes lost star guards Ja’Quan Newton, Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker after last season. Newton graduated, Brown entered the NBA Draft after his Sophomore season and Walker left Coral Gables after one season.
Because of the lingering effects from the Addidas scandal, the Miami basketball program did not sign any true Freshman in the Class of 2018. Jim Larranaga and his staff did an outstanding job salvaging a recruiting class for the Hurricanes. They added three transfers, two of whom will eligible this season.
Anthony Mack joins the Miami basketball program from Wyoming and will have four years of eligibility after redshirting in Laramie last season because of concussions. Miami also added Graduate Transfer guard Zach Johnson from Florida Gulf Coast.
The Miami basketball program will be centered around Sophomore Guard Chris Lykes and Junior Forward Dewan Hernandez. Hernandez leads the Miami returnees with 11.4 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game. Lykes averaged 9.6 PPG and 2.3 assists per game last season. His numbers improved in ACC play last season.
During the preseason Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga has said that the Hurricanes will begin the season using a seven-man rotation and he hopes it expands to eight or nine as the seasons goes on.
The starting lineup against Lehigh is likely to be Lykes at point-guard, Hernandez at power forward, Ebuka Izundu at Center, Dejan Vasiljevic at shooting guard and Anthony Lawrence Jr at small forward. Johnson and stretch four Sam Waardenburg will be the two players off the bench early in the season.