Miami basketball: Matthew Cleveland 3rd highest rated 2023 ACC transfer

Jan 24, 2023; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 24, 2023; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports /

Forward Matthew Cleveland who joined the Miami basketball team from Florida State this spring is third among College basketball’s top ACC transfers heading into 2023-24″ in an article posted on Tuesday by Kevin Flaherty of 247 Sports. Cleveland will start upfront next to returning starter Norchad Omier.

Guard J.J. Starling who transferred from Notre Dame to Syracuse and forward Harrison Ingram from Stanford to North Carolina are the only transfers in the ACC ranked higher than Cleveland. Cleveland and Starling will have the advantage of being familiar with the ACC. Cleveland will slot into Jordan Miller’s position at forward.

Miller was often listed as a guard but was the defacto power forward in the perimeter-oriented Miami lineup. At 6’7 and 200 pounds, Cleveland provides Miami with good athleticism and the ability to score on the frontline. More will be expected of Omier offensively in 2023-24, which should help Cleveland assimilate with Miami.

Cleveland is the second highest-rated player in Miami basketball history based on his 247 Sports recruiting profile. Only current Los Angeles Laker Lonnie Walker was higher. Cleveland joins the Miami basketball program at the strongest in its history. Flaherty summarized Cleveland’s transfer from FSU to Miami.

"3. MATTHEW CLEVELAND, MIAMI“Cleveland also ranked as a five-star recruit out of high school as the No. 27 overall player in the 2021 class…He heads from Florida State to Miami, with the latter riding strong work in the transfer portal to the school’s first Elite Eight appearance two years ago, and Miami’s first Final Four last year.Cleveland could be the next transfer to thrive on South Beach, as he comes off a season where he averaged 13.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while making 35% of his 3-pointers”"

Miami head coach Jim Larranaga has been very successful utilizing the transfer portal at Miami. The 2022 Elite Eight team had Miller as a transfer from George Mason and guards Kameron McGusty from Oklahoma and Charlie Moore from DePaul. The 2023 team had Miller, Omier and Nijel Pack as key transfers.

Omier from Arkansas State and Pack from Kansas State transferred to Miami during the 2022 offseason. Cleveland significantly improved as a three-point shooter in 2022-23 after making only 17.6 percent of his three-point attempts in 2021-22 as a true freshman. Miami needs Cleveland to be a complementary three-point shooter.

Next. Miami team to watch for Alabama transfer G Jahvon Quinerly. dark

In the age of the transfer portal, Larranaga has been ahead of his time. The historic 2013 Miami basketball team that won the ACC regular season and tournament titles relied on transfers including ACC Player of the Year Shane Larkin. Expect Miami to continue to thrive utilizing transfers.