Miami Basketball praised as 2020-21 team to watch by Dick Vitale

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 26: (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 26: (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Don’t sleep on Miami Basketball this season, says Dick Vitale.

The Canes are going to be awesome, baby. Long-time ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale tweeted Tuesday that the 2020-21 Miami Basketball team is one hoops fans shouldn’t under underestimate. Vitale cited two main things that could spark a big bounce-back season for Miami.

First, to remain healthy throughout the season. That’s never something to overlook, but fortunately, the Canes were able to do that, for the most part, a season ago. The huge addition of four-star freshman Earl Timberlake is one Vitale believes could make the Canes a legit threat in the ACC.

It’s easy to understand why Dickie V believes Timberlake makes Miami a completely different team. The four-star instantly becomes the Canes’ most talented player since Lonnie Walker led the 2017-18 team to 23 wins and a six-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Since then, the program has struggled to compete in conference play and earn NCAA Tournament bids. But the experience and leadership of senior guards Chris Lykes and Kameron McGusty, paired with the infusion of Timberlake’s elite talent, could be the perfect mix to produce Miami’s best team since even before Walker’s team, as Coach Jim Larranaga hints at in that tweet.

Miami’s best teams have always had a litany of experience to battle against other elite programs. Miami’s sweet sixteen-bound 2015-16 team had star seniors Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan leading the way.

The 2012-13 team relied on talented sophomore Shane Larkin but also benefited from the experience of seniors Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji. Several years later, the Canes may finally have the ideal balance of talent and experience to once again compete with the ACC’s best teams.

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After rebuilding and reshaping the Miami program over the past two years, the program may finally be ready to win again on the big stage. It’s encouraging to see analysts like Dickie V acknowledge Miami’s growth and potential for the upcoming 2020-21 season.