Miami basketball dismissing freshman Matt Cross hinders already thin roster

Jan 16, 2021; Coral Gables, Florida, USA;. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 16, 2021; Coral Gables, Florida, USA;. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

A night after being held out against Florida State via a coach’s decision, freshman forward Matt Cross is no longer with the Miami basketball program according to a tweet posted on Thursday afternoon. The dismissal of Cross from the Hurricanes further decimates an already thin roster. No reason was given for Cross’ dismissal.

With nine starts in 14 games this season, Cross averaged 26 minutes, 6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor and leading Miami making 40 percent of his three-point attempts. Without Cross, Miami has only three players remaining on its roster taller than 6’6.

Redshirt senior Nysier Brooks is 6’9 averaging 6.7 PPG and 6.3 RPG, redshirt sophomore Deng Gak, 2.9 PPG and 2.0 RPG and 6’9 sophomore Anthony Walker is averaging 7.6 PPG and 3.2 RPG. The dismissal of Cross leaves seven scholarship players active on the Miami basketball roster.

Senior guard Chris Lykes has missed the last 13 games with an ankle injury and freshman wing Earl Timberlake is currently out with an arm injury. Senior guard Kameron McGusty has missed significant time with a groin injury this season. Miami is heading towards its third straight losing season primarily due to injuries.

Miami lost 81-59 at Florida State on Wednesday night. The loss was the third straight by the Hurricanes fourth in their last five, all double-digit losses. Miami plays at Wake Forest on Saturday before hosting Duke on Monday night. The Hurricanes are currently 13th in the ACC with a 2-8 conference record and 6-9 overall.

Cross was one of the most efficient players for Miami this season. Cross and Timberlake formed a strong freshman tandem that projected a bright future for the Miami basketball team. The dismissal of Cross hinders the Miami basketball program in the short term with an already thin roster and for the future.

Several seniors are likely to move on after the 2020-21 season. The Hurricanes received national letters of intent from small forward Jakai Robinson and guard Nisine Poplar and a commitment from guard Bensley Joseph in the Class of 2021. Miami could potentially lose Joseph in the Class of 2021 with the instability on the roster.

Familiar Miami stories in loss to Florida State. dark. Next

The Miami basketball program has been stuck for the past three seasons. Part of that was being wrongly implicated in the Adidas scandal. Too many signees and transfers have not worked out for Miami that has reduced the active players Miami has available. Cross thrown off the Miami basketball team will have long term effects.