Coronavirus affecting Miami basketball recruiting

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 05: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 05: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Covid-19 has affected recruiting future players for the Miami Basketball program this spring and summer.

Normally, head coach Jim Larranaga, along with his coaches and staff from the Miami Basketball program would be meeting in-person with recruits during June. Without the ability to bring recruits into Coral Gables for official visits, players have to settle for virtual tours instead.

Miami basketball 2020 signee Earl Timberlake was a star long before competing in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, but his breakout campaign in the summer tournament garnered himself more attention nationally. The 2021 class won’t have the opportunity to compete in that tournament along with numerous others.

Recruiting not being able to showcase their skills this summer It’s a lose-lose for both players and coaches. Star athletes like Timberlake are not the players taking the largest hit from this stoppage in tournaments and activities. Timberlake and 2020 signee Matt Cross were both well-known before competing in summer tournaments.

The dark-horse, lesser-known players are at a major disadvantage without the ability to continue competing during the summer months. And for the coaches, it becomes more difficult to evaluate.

Miami was wrongfully robbed of its chance to recruit for the entire 2018 class because of an FBI implication that later determined the Hurricanes were later exonerated from. The Miami basketball program has spent the last two years rebuilding and repairing its roster that was stripped of talent.

Fortunately, 2020 is a great Miami class with Timberlake, Cross, and transfer Elijah Olaniyi. But for as promising as the 2020 class is for Miami, the program has yet to secure any commitments for its 2021 class.

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With both of the Hurricanes’ top two scorers from 2019-20, Chris Lykes and Kameron McGusty, set to leave Miami after the 2020-21 season, paired with a potential one-and-done campaign from Timberlake, 2021 newcomers will be critical to the continued growth of the program.