Miami basketball long history of transfer guard success under Jim Larranaga

Mar 19, 2023; Albany, NY, USA; Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 19, 2023; Albany, NY, USA; Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

Since his first season as the Miami basketball coach in the 2011-12 season head coach, Jim Larranaga has had key transfer guards leading the team. Although he never played for DePaul, Shane Larkin was part of the Miami 2011 recruiting class after initially signing with the Blue Demons.

Larkin became a star and led the Miami basketball team to ACC regular season and tournament titles as a sophomore when he was named conference Player of the Year. In his two seasons with Miami Larkin averaged 11.2 points per game, 3.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists,1.8 steals, shot 43.8 percent from the floor and 40.6 on threes.

Following the departure of Larkin and most of the key players from the 2013 ACC Championship and Sweet 16 team, Larranaga brought in Sheldon McClellan from Texas and Angel Rodriguez from Kansas State. McClellan and Rodriguez had outstanding careers for Miami that culminated in 2016.

McClellan and Rodriguez had to sit out the 2013-14 season under the old transfer rules. In two seasons for Miami McClellan averaged 15.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.8 APG and 1.0 SPG while shooting 49.3 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent on threes. McClellan and Rodriguez formed an elite backcourt for Miami.

Rodriguez averaged 12.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.7 SPG and shot 39 percent from the floor and 32.3 percent on three-point attempts. Miami finished 27-8 overall and 13-5, tied for second in the ACC with Virginia in 2015-16. Miami advanced to the Sweet 16 where they were eliminated by eventual national champion Villanova.

Miami has continued to add key transfers since the 2016 run to the NCAA Tournament regional semifinal. The Hurricanes were led in 2022 on their elite eight team by Charlie Moore who transferred to Miami from DePaul in 2021 and Kameron McGusty who matriculated in Coral Gables in 2018.

Moore averaged 12.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 4.6 APG, 2.0 SPG, shot 44.7 percent from the floor and made 36.4 percent of his three-point field goal attempts. McGusty played three seasons for Miami with an extra year granted due to covid in 2020-21. McGusty averaged 15.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.2 APG and 1.3 SPG.

Miami had an efficient scorer for three seasons with McGusty shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 33.9 percent on threes. Larranaga was quickly able to overcome the losses of McGusty and Moore in the backcourt with the addition of Nijel Pack to the 2022-23 Miami basketball roster.

In one season with Miami, Pack is averaging 13.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.4 APG and 1.0 SPG while shooting 43.6 percent from the floor and 39.0 percent on three-point attempts. Pack was more efficient versus ACC opponents shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 41.5 percent on three-point attempts.

Pack had one of his best games of the season in the NCAA Tournament opener with 21 points, on 7-15 from the floor and 3-7 three-point attempts as Miami defeated Drake. Jordan Miller has been a key player on the wing playing basically power forward for Miami after transferring in 2021 from George Mason.

Next. Miami shattered Sweet 16 ceiling in 2022. dark

Larranaga was ahead of the curve in using transfers to improve deficiencies on the roster. Norchad Omier has also been a key player as a ferocious rebounder for Miami this season. The primary focus with transfers for Miami has always been at guard. Expect that to continue into the future.