Miami basketball shuffles rotation versus Pittsburgh

The Miami basketball team shuffled their rotation in a 72-68 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday
Jan 27, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga reacts against
Jan 27, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga reacts against / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Playing without starting forward Matthew Cleveland, Jim Larranaga shuffled the rotation for the Miami basketball team on Saturday. Bensley Joseph returned to the starting lineup in place of Cleveland. Kyshawn George primarily played in Cleveland's role as a perimeter four.

Freshman Paul Djobet earned his first playing time in over a month. Sophomores A.J. Casey and Christian Watson did not play versus Notre Dame. After playing every game this season, Casey did not receive playing time on Wednesday at Notre Dame and Saturday versus Pittsburgh.

Casey is averaging 2.4 points per game and 2.5 rebounds. At 6'8, Casey was expected to be a key reserve this season on a thin Miami frontline. Freshman Michael Nwoko has passed Casey as Miami's first big off the bench. Nwoko started in Miami's loss at Syracuse. Nwoko had seven points and five rebounds versus the Orange.

Djobet had two points, two rebounds and an assist in 19 minutes off the bench on Saturday. Watson scored three points, making one of his seven shots from the field in 49 minutes in the four games before Pittsburgh. Watson is shooting 41.9 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent on threes this season.

During the pre-game show versus Pittsburgh, Miami play-by-play announcer Joe Zagacki stated that Larranaga told him he thought about giving Djobet playing time for a couple of weeks. How long Cleveland remains out will majorly impact the rotation Larranaga plays for the foreseeable future.

Larranaga played primarily a six-man rotation versus Pittsburgh. Nwoko played only five minutes versus the Panthers. George, Joseph, Nochard Omier, Nijel Pack and Wooga Poplar all played over 30 minutes versus Pittsburgh. Without Cleveland, expect the six-man rotation to continue for Miami.

Next. Miami avoids blowing big lead beating Pittsburgh. Miami avoids blowing big lead beating Pittsburgh. dark

Miami has made a habit of losing leads or having them cut into over the last two seasons. Pittsburgh rallied from a 19-point deficit to get within two late. With 10 seconds left on Saturday, Pittsburgh had the ball down by two points and a chance to win the game. Miami needs the bench to give them quality minutes, particularly without Cleveland.