Miami basketball gets Matthew Cleveland back versus Virginia Tech

Forward Matthew Cleveland is starting for the Miami basketball team versus Virginia Tech after missing the last two games with a hip injury.
Miami v Notre Dame
Miami v Notre Dame / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

The Miami basketball team will have its full lineup with the return of starting forward Matthew Cleveland on Saturday versus Virginia Tech. Cleveland missed the last two games with a hip injury. Guard Bensley Joseph, who had been starting with Cleveland out, will return to the bench versus Virginia Tech.

Cleveland is second on Miami averaging 14.8 points per game, 5.8 rebounds and shoots 53.1 percent from the field. Miami gains needed size in the starting lineup with Cleveland back. Miami now has Cleveland and Norchad Omier at 6'7 and Kyshawn George at 6'8 starting on the frontline on Saturday.

Cleveland scored 21 points with four rebounds and made seven of his 11 shots from the floor in a 75-71 Miami win at Virginia Tech last month. Virginia Tech played the game without key guard Hunter Catoor. Catoor averages 13.8 PPG, 2.9 RPG, shoots 49.1 percent from the floor and makes 43.1 percent of his three-point attempts.

Paul Djobet provided good minutes for Miami on the wing at 6'7, with Cleveland out in the last two games. Jim Larranaga reshuffled the rotation for Miami with Cleveland out. A.J. Casey has not played in the last two games and Christian Watson received limited minutes. Freshman center Michael Nwoko has received more minutes.

Nwoko provides Miami with size they otherwise do not have at 6'10. Larranaga has more versatility with Cleveland returning. Joseph will be the first player off the bench. Djobet will likely be the second. Expect Larranaga to primarily use a seven-man rotation if Miami stays out of foul trouble and healthy.

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Cleveland has been one of the most consistent players for Miami this season. In 16 games this season, Cleveland has scored in double figures 13 times. One of the three games Cleveland did not score in double figures was when he suffered the hip injury at Notre Dame. Miami and Virginia Tech tipoff at noon Eastern Time.