Miami basketball fulfills huge need with FSU transfer Matthew Cleveland

The Miami basketball program fulfilled a huge need with the addition of Florida State transfer forward Matthew Cleveland on Sunday. Cleveland will replace Jordan Miller in the hybrid post-wing position for the Hurricanes. Miami was chosen by Cleveland over SEC programs Auburn and Missouri.

In 2022-23 Cleveland averaged 13.8 points per game, 7.4 rebounds and shot 44.5 percent from the floor for Florida State. Cleveland averaged 12.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG and shot 44.8 percent from the floor in two seasons at Florida State. Cleveland improved his three-point shooting from 17.6 percent in 2021-22 to 35.0 percent in 2022-23.

During an eight-game stretch last season Cleveland recorded double-doubles in each game and averaged 17.5 points and 11.9 rebounds. Cleveland was the top uncommitted transfer and 21st overall per 247 Sports. At 6’7 and 200 pounds Cleveland will provide Miami with a similar game and size to Miller.

Miller averaged 15.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG and shot 54.5 from the floor, 35.2 percent on threes and 78.4 percent from the free throw line. Cleveland significantly improved his three-point shooting from his freshman to sophomore season. Cleveland made 17.6 percent of his threes in 2021-22 and 35.0 percent in 2022-23.

Cleveland told On3 that the priority the Miami basketball program had during his recruitment, their persistence in recruiting him, the Hurricanes’ system and the success Jim Larranaga has had with transfers all played a role in his decision to transfer to Miami. Larranaga’s teams at Miami have thrived with transfers.

The 2021-22 Miami Elite Eight team and 2022-23 Final Four team both had three transfer starters. Miller was the only commonality among the three transfers in each of those two seasons. In four games against Miami in the last two seasons, Cleveland averaged 12.3 PPG and 5.3 RPG as FSU was 3-1 versus Miami in the last two years.

Per Christopher Stock of Inside the U, Miami has three open scholarships remaining on the 2023-24 roster. Norchad Omier and Nijel Pack entered the NBA Draft but are expected to return to Miami. Omier transferred from Arkansas State and Pack from Kansas State during the 2022 offseason.

Cleveland was a finalist for Julius Erving Award as the best small forward nationally and was named the ACC Sixth Man of the Year. Miami head coach Jim Larranaga praised Cleveland for his “talent, athleticism and basketball IQ…(and that) his style of play fits our program extremely well.”