Isaac Trotter of 247 Sports named the Miami basketball program number “5. MATTHEW CLEVELAND-TO-MIAMI IS A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN” among his “College basketball’s 10 takes: What’s next for Maryland; Is there enough room for Bronny James at USC?” published on Monday.
Cleveland tweeted his transfer to the Miami basketball program from Florida State on Sunday. The fit is an opportunity for Cleveland to join the only program nationally to reach an NCAA Tournament regional final in each of the last two seasons. Cleveland led Florida State to a 3-1 record versus Miami during his tenure.
Cleveland averaged 13.8 points per game, 7.4 rebounds and shot 44.5 percent from the floor for Florida State in 2022-23. During his two seasons at Florida State Cleveland averaged 12.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG and shot 44.8 percent from the floor. Cleveland made 17.6 percent of his threes in 2021-22 and 35.0 percent in 2022-23.
Cleveland had an eight-game stretch last season when he recorded double-doubles in each game and averaged 17.5 points and 11.9 rebounds. The Miami basketball team will slot Cleveland in the spot vacated by Jordan Miller. Miller completed his eligibility. Trotter summarized why Cleveland is a perfect fit for Miami.
"5. MATTHEW CLEVELAND-TO-MIAMI IS A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN“Finding the right fit with the perfect opportunity is everything in the transfer portal. From the moment Matthew Cleveland entered the transfer portal, Miami made a boatload of sense. Cleveland saw it, too. The 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward committed to Miami on Sunday.Cleveland-to-Miami is a win-win for both sides. It bolsters a ‘Canes frontline that had to replace Jordan Miller, and it gives Cleveland a chance to shine in the haven that is Miami’s offense.Miami forward Norchad Omier — a chiseled, 6-foot-7, 248-pound, fire hydrant — ranked second in the ACC with a sparkling 26.4% defensive rebounding percentage during ACC play. Cleveland ranked third. The Omier-Cleveland combination has a chance to make Miami one of the top rebounding front courts in the country.Omier devours rebounds. Cleveland skies for boards left and right. Both have a nose for the basketball and play with voracious effort. Add that to a backcourt of Nijel Pack, Wooga Poplar and Bensley Joseph? Yeah, Miami is set up to make plenty of noise in March for the third season in a row.”"
If Omier and Nijel Pack return to Miami as expected after entering the NBA Draft the Hurricanes have an excellent foundation for next season. Bensley Joseph is expected to replace Isaiah Wong in the starting lineup with returning starter Wooga Poplar. Joseph and Poplar are the lone holdovers from the Elite Eight and Final Four teams.
Jim Larranaga and his staff have done an exceptional job building the Miami basketball roster through incoming freshmen and transfers. Transfers have played a critical role in all four of the teams Larranaga has led at Miami that have advanced to the Sweet 16. Cleveland wants to continue that tradition.