Where Miami basketball ranks in Way Too Early Top 25s

After a 15-17 season in 2023-24, the Miami basketball program is projected to be a top 20 team in 2024-25
Dec 6, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Nijel Pack (24) watches as he turns
Dec 6, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Nijel Pack (24) watches as he turns / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami basketball team is projected in the consensus 2024–25 Way Too Early Top 25s released on Monday following Connecticut's second consecutive national championship on Monday night. The Way Too Early Top 25s will evolve over the next few weeks as transfers continue making decisions.

Miami has already received commitments from Virginia Tech center Lynn Kidd and East Carolina forward Brandon Johnson as transfers for the 2024-25 season. Miami is awaiting decisions from forwards Norchad Omier and Matthew Cleveland and forward Wooga Poplar if they will return next season.

Omier entered his name in the NBA Draft next season but has until June 16 to withdraw. Cleveland and Poplar have yet to make their decisions for next season public. Miami signed the 12th-ranked class in the 2024 247 Sports Composite rankings. The 2024 Miami class is led by five-star guard Jalil Bethea.

Kidd at 6'10 and Johnson at 6'8 provide Miami with the size they didn't have last season and insurance if Omier remains in the NBA Draft. Bethea provides Miami with a dynamic perimeter player who will be the top Hurricanes' playmaker next season. Expect Miami to continue being active in the transfer portal.

"17. Miami Hurricanes
Looking to shake off a disappointing campaign, Miami has been busy in the portal already, landing a couple of frontcourt pieces in Lynn Kidd (Virginia Tech) and Brandon Johnson (East Carolina). That's on top of the potential returns of Nijel Pack, Wooga Poplar and Matthew Cleveland. But the majority of the excitement centers around elite recruit Jalil Bethea, the program's highest-ranked recruit in nearly 40 years. He's a dynamic guard who could transform this team.

Projected starting lineup:

Nijel Pack (13.3 PPG)
Jalil Bethea (No. 6 in ESPN 100)
Wooga Poplar (13.1 PPG)
Matthew Cleveland (13.7 PPG)
Lynn Kidd (13.2 PPG at Virginia Tech)"


Johnson provides Miami with a versatile player who is an adept rebounder and three-point shooter. Kidd provides an excellent rebounder, interior presence and rim runner. The additions of Johnson and Kidd balance what should remain a good perimeter for Miami entering the 2024-25 season.

Miami Basketball. . 17 . . Sports Illustrated Way Too Early Top 25. . 17. . . 834

"17. Miami Hurricanes
The nucleus still intact gives the Canes a shot at a quick bounceback. Nijel Pack, Wooga Poplar and star freshman Jalil Bethea make for quite the backcourt, and early portal adds Lynn Kidd (Virginia Tech Hokies) and Brandon Johnson (East Carolina Pirates) should solidify the frontcourt. "

Sports Illustrated

The additions of Johnson and Kidd should provide Miami with more depth on the frontline. If Cleveland returns, Miami will have a more traditional lineup next season. Cleveland would start at small forward with Johnson at power forward and Kidd at center.

"18. Miami
Projected starters: Nijel Pack, Wooga Poplar, Matthew Cleveland, Brandon Johnson, Lynn Kidd

Other newcomers: Jalil Bethea, Austin Swartz, Isaiah Johnson-Arigu

The Hurricanes have already added a lot in the portal, and have a monster scorer coming in as a freshman in Bethea. Bethea is a dynamic player off the dribble who can knock down shots from any angle, including pull-ups from beyond the arc. We have him coming off of the bench right now behind the experienced guys, but he’s a serious dude and a likely one-and-done.

Then on top of it, the Hurricanes’ biggest worry last year was interior depth and rebounding. Largely, that was because they played small on the wings. Cleveland and potential first-round pick Kyshawn George — who we have departing here — are tall enough, but neither is particularly strong or good enough on the glass to keep opposing teams off of it. With the Kidd and Johnson commitments coming already, we do project here that Norchad Omier moves on. Otherwise, the early Kidd commitment wouldn’t make sense, given that the two of them would struggle to play together. But Kidd and Johnson together are a very strong combination, as both can excel on the glass in a way and give real size on the interior, with Johnson — a terrific transfer from East Carolina — also being able to space it out from 3 in a big way.

The Hurricanes also still have three or four scholarships to use on the transfer portal and will out their depth, giving them a ton of flexibility to add to the roster in the coming month."

The Athletic

Cleveland, Pack and Poplar would give Miami a good foundation with Bethea, Johnson and Kidd. Pack and Poplar returning would give Miami two starters remaining from the 2023 Final Four team. Two years later in this era is unusual. Cleveland, Pack and Poplar all struggled with injuries last season.

Miami has enough depth to absorb Norchad Omier entering Draft. Miami has enough depth to absorb Norchad Omier entering Draft. dark. Next

Miami knows it will have Bethea, Kidd, Pack and Johnson next season. Depending on the decisions by Cleveland and Poplar, Swartz could be a part of the Miami rotation as a shooter off the bench. Miami needs to continue adding more transfers to add depth and prevent being shorthanded which they were too often last season.