Miami Basketball roster major transition with multiple players considering leaving

Jan 24, 2021; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 24, 2021; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami basketball roster received significant news on Thursday when head coach Jim Larranaga announced Chris Lykes will turn pro following an injured plagued season and guards Kameron McGusty and Isaiah Wong are considering entering their names in the NBA Draft.

The Miami basketball program is coming off three consecutive disappointing seasons after making the NCAA Tournament from 2016-2018. Miami has major questions about its basketball roster entering the 2021-22 season. Guard Elijah Olaniyi has also entered his name into the transfer portal following one season with Miami.

Previously, freshman wing Earl Timberlake entered his name into the transfer portal. Miami currently has guard Harlond Beverly and forward Anthony Walker and Sam Waardenburg returning for the 2021-22 season. Waardenburg missed the entire 2020-21 season with an ankle injury.

Larranaga stated that McGusty and Wong will enter their names to the underclass advisory committee and make decisions about turning pro or returning to Miami after receiving their evaluations. Other than Beverly, McGusty and Walker, the Miami basketball roster faces extreme uncertainty entering the 2021 offseason.

Center Nysier Brooks could consider returning to Miami for a sixth season of college basketball. Brooks played with the Hurricanes last season after sitting out in 2019-20 following his transfer from Cincinnati. Larranaga stated in his press conference that Miami needs everything with an eye on the transfer portal.

Larranaga made a point of mentioning that 872 players are in the transfer portal. The Hurricanes head coach also discussed the transfer portal has changed the culture of college basketball and not allowed programs to develop players for a couple of seasons before they get significant playing time.

Losing Wong would be the biggest departure of any of the Miami basketball players. Wong was the best player Miami had in 2020-21 and named third-team All-ACC. Wong led Miami in scoring averaging 17.8 points per game in 2020-21. Miami will look for the best players regardless if they are a transfer or high school player.

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Miami signed two high school players to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period in November. Nisine Poplar is the 27th ranked shooting guard in the Class of 2021. Jakai Robinson is the 14th ranked small forward, but just 6’4 200 pounds. Larranaga expects Poplar and Robinson to enroll for summer school.