National writer examines Miami basketball 2024-25 roster holes

Canes Warning's partner site Busting Brackets examined the "NCAA Basketball: Way-Too-Important top 25 roster holes in 2024 offseason" that includes the 19th ranked Miami basketball team.
Feb 10, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Nijel Pack (24) drives to the
Feb 10, 2024; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Nijel Pack (24) drives to the / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of questions surrounding the 2024-25 Miami basketball team. Forward Matthew Cleveland and Woogla Poplar have yet to make their intentions known for next season. Forward Norchad Omier entered the NBA Draft with the possibility of returning next season.

Guard Nijel Pack announced he is returning for a third season with Miami and fifth in college basketball. Rising sophomore guard Paul Djobet is the only other player from the 2023-24 Miami basketball team ensured of returning next season. Miami added former Virginia Tech center Lynn Kidd and East Carolina forward Brandon Johnson as transfers.

Miami signed the 10th-best class in the 247Sports composite rankings. Five-star guard Jalil Bethea is the seventh-ranked signee, third-best shooting-guard and top player in Pennsylvania in the 2024 class. Four-star signee Austin Swartz is 53rd overall, seventh SG and sixth player in North Carolina in 2024.

Miami also signed three-star Isaiah Johnson-Arigu, the 138th prospect, 29th small forward and fifth player in Minnesota in 2024. Bethea is projected to make an immediate impact. Swartz could contribute as a freshman depending on if Miami adds a transfer guard. Johnson-Arigu could be a redshirt candidate

"19. Miami (FL) - Off The Dribble Attacker
Nijel Pack and Wooga Poplar are still around from the Final Four team of 2023, but things just never quite clicked on the perimeter last year. The duo needs another guard to dribble penetrate in the way Isaiah Wong used to, to spark an offense that was bottom ten nationally in free throw rate last year and hopefully drive Pack to a bounce back year. At least the Hurricanes have already addressed the need for a center who gets to the line with Virginia Tech transfer and ACC shooting percentage leader Lynn Kidd."

Tyler Cronin, Busting Brackets

If Poplar returns, he, Bethea and Pack would provide Miami with three "off the dribble attackers." An ankle injury limited Poplar for most of the 2023-24 season. Pack can penetrate. At 6'4, Bethea provides Miami with a 6'4 guard who can penetrate. Bethea was named one of the best "shot-makers in the country" by 247Sports' Adam Finkelstein.

Oklahoma State transfer guard Javon Small visited Miami this week. Small is the seventh-ranked transfer and top point guard in the portal. Small would provide Miami with another guard who can penetrate. Miami needs to add more depth, particularly in the backcourt after losing three guards to the portal.

Next. Miami should have elite 2024-25 perimeter with Nijel Pack return. Miami should have elite 2024-25 perimeter with Nijel Pack return. dark

Bethea and Pack provide Miami with a good foundation at guard in 2024-25. Miami seems likely to sign one or two transfer guards depending on the decision by Poplar. Jim Larranaga's system is very guard-friendly. Pack must stay healthy after missing eight games due to injuries in 2023-24.