ESPN ranks Miami basketball 23rd in Way too early top 25

Mar 20, 2022; Greenville, SC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2022; Greenville, SC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami basketball team is ranked 23rd in the ESPNWay-Too-Early Top 25 men’s college basketball rankings for 2022-23.”  Miami is facing a season of transition after losing starters Kameron McGusty, Charlie Moore and Sam Waardenburg following the first Elite Eight appearance in program history.

Rising fourth-year junior guard Isaiah Wong has entered his name into the NBA Draft but seems more likely to return. Kansas State transfer Nijel Pack and Wong give Miami an explosive backcourt offensively. Wing Jordan Miller is the other returning starter from the 2021-22 Miami basketball team.

Wong would be the leading returning scorer for Miami at 15.3 points per game and also averaged 4.3 rebounds. Pack averaged 17.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.2 APG and shot 45.5 percent from the floor. Miami also signed Sun Belt Player of the Year Norchad Omier from Arkansas State. Omier averaged 17.9 PPG and 12.2 RPG.

Rising fourth-year junior forward Anthony Walker projects as the fifth starter for Miami in 2022-23. Walker was a key player for Miami as the only big off the bench last season. The additions of Omier and Pack helped Miami ascend from being unranked into the latest 2022-23 early top 25.

"22. Miami HurricanesPrevious: Unranked“In an unusual turn of events, the Hurricanes owned college basketball’s headlines over the final couple weeks of April. First, they landed Kansas State transfer Nijel Pack — the top transfer in the portal at the time of his commitment — and it emerged shortly after that he also had signed a name, image and likeness (NIL) contract worth $800,000 over two years, plus a car.Then they landed Arkansas State transfer Norchad Omier, a top-10 transfer when he committed. They then had the Isaiah Wong situation, in which he threatened to enter the transfer portal if his NIL compensation wasn’t increased. He opted the next day not to enter the portal.Drama aside, Jim Larranaga has quickly rebuilt this roster after losing three starters from an Elite Eight team.”Projected starting lineup:Nijel Pack (17.4 PPG at Kansas State)Isaiah Wong (15.3 PPG)Jordan Miller (10.0 PG)Anthony Walker (4.9 PPG)Norchad Omier (17.9 PPG at Arkansas State)"

Larranaga has embraced transfers throughout his Miami tenure. All three Miami basketball teams that reached the regional semifinals featured transfers. McGusty and Moore both came to Miami as transfers. Miami will have a deep bench featuring the last two signing classes. The Hurricanes will have more size in 2022-23.

Miami returns guard Bensley Joseph and Wooga Poplar who earned valuable playing time off the bench this season. Wing Jakai Robinson is coming off a redshirt season as a true freshman. All four of the 2022 Miami signees are 6’6 or taller. Waardenburg and Walker were the only bigs to receive significant playing time in 2021-22.

Next. Miami booster Ruiz will help Wong get other NIL deals. dark

Larranaga will have more flexibility in 2022-23. With the projected starting lineup ESPN has for Miami, the scramble system that worked so well last season does not seem as likely. If Larranaga wants to go smaller, Joseph or Poplar could replace Omier and Walker and the scramble system can be used.