Miami Hurricanes slighted in ESPN Basketball Power Index ahead of 2023-24 season

Jan 31, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 31, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Following a 2023 Final Four appearance preceded by a trip to the 2023 Elite Eight, the Miami Hurricanes are ranked 46th in the ESPN Basketball Power Index. The 2022 run has nothing to do with the rankings. With four of the top six players returning from the 2022-23 team, it’s questionable why Miami is ranked 46th.

ESPN explains the BPI as the measure of team strength used to best predict performance going forward and how many points above or below an average team is. Other metric rankings also have Miami significantly lower than they are ranked in the national polls. The BPI projects Miami to have 18.7 wins and 11.3 losses.

The Miami Hurricanes are predicted to have 11.1 wins and 8.9 losses in the ACC with a 5.1 percent chance to win the ACC. The preseason ACC poll picked Miami second with 693 points and five first-place votes. Duke was picked to win the ACC with 44 first-place votes and 757 points. Miami is ranked 13th in both preseason polls.

TheCollege basketball rankings: CBS Sports’ Top 100 And 1 best teams heading into the 2023-24 season” and “ESPN “Way-Too-Early Top 25: Who, finally, is the No. 1 team for 2023-24?” both published in October picked Miami 19th nationally. The CBS Sports Top 25 and 1 ranks Miami 10th nationally.

Other metric sites project the Miami Hurricanes basketball team in the 40s. Evan Miya ranks Miami 44th entering the 2023-24 season and KenPom ranks Miami 45th. The metric rankings are curious with starters Nijel Pack, Wooga Poplar and Nochard Omier and sixth man Bensley Joseph returning for Miami.

Florida State transfer Matthew Cleveland is taking the spot of Jordan Miller in the starting lineup. Miami head coach Jim Larranaga said Cleveland is replacing Miller but that the Hurricanes do not have a replacement for ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong. Omier was named first-team preseason All-ACC.

Pack earned second-team preseason All-ACC. The metrics ranked Miami far higher offensively in 2022-23 than defensively. An unproven bench could be why Miami is ranked in the 40s in the various metrics. Sophomore forward A.J. Casey and freshman wing Kyshawn George are likely to be the first two Miami players off the bench.

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Michael Nwoko a 6’10 Canadian is expected to be the primary backup to Omier in the post. Sophomore wing Christian Watson provides Miami with good size on the wing at 6’7. Miami will have more length available in the rotation this year than in the past two seasons. Expect Miami to use an eight or nine-man rotation.