Miami basketball has backcourt depth to absorb Harlond Beverly loss

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 08: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 08: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Third-year sophomore guard Harlond Beverly is having season-ending back surgery as announced by the Miami basketball program on Monday. Beverly played only 37 minutes in four games this season scoring four points with seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Dayton on November 25 was Beverly’s last game.

The Miami basketball team has the depth at guard to absorb the loss of Beverly for the season. Sixth-year senior Kameron McGusty and third-year junior Isaiah Wong lead Miami at guard. McGusty leads Miami averaging 18.4 points per game and is second with 5.5 rebounds. Wong is averaging 15.6 PPG and 4.1 RPG.

Charlie Moore has helped Miami steady point guard and alleviate ball-handling and play-making from Wong. Moore is averaging 10.8 PPPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.4 assists. Freshmen Bensley Joseph and Wooga Poplar have also made an impact this season. Poplar is averaging 4.7 PPG and 1.5 RPG. Joseph is averaging 2.1 PPG and 1.7 APG.

Beverly, forward Anthony Walker and Wong signed with Miami in the Class of 2019. Beverly was the highest-ranked of the three signees, but Wong has been the most productive. In two seasons plus the four games in November, Beverly has averaged 6.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.6 assists and one steal.

Wong has career averages of 15.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.9 APG and shoots 49 percent from the floor and 75 percent on free throws. During the last half of the 2019-20 season and in 2020-21, Wong was Miami’s best player. Wong was named first-team preseason All-ACC this year. McGusty has been Miami’s best player in 2021-22.

Beverly will have the year off to heal from the surgery. McGusty and Moore will graduate following the 2021-22 season. Wong is likely to leave for the NBA Draft. If he is healthy, Beverly projects to start with Joseph and Poplar at guard in 2022-23. Jim Larranaga expects Miami to redshirt freshman wingman Jakai Robinson.

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Robinson has not played this season because of the depth Miami has on the perimeter. Among the 2021 signees, Robinson was rated higher than Joseph and Poplar. Miami also loses swingman Jordan Miller and centers Rodney Miller and Sam Waardenburg. Beverly should be the Miami team leader in 2022-23.