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Independent analysis and commentary on Virginia Basketball

2017 Offseason Refresh - Miami Hurricanes

Posted on July 10, 2017, by StLouHoo.

Welcome back to the Hoos Place 2017 Offseason Refresh, where we review last season and this summer's personnel moves for all 15 ACC programs in alphabetical order. To read program capsules already complete, you can click here. Today we look at the...

Miami Hurricanes

The Miami Hurricanes will enter this season with the biggest set of expectations they've ever faced. Jim Larranaga has assembled arguably the most talented roster Miami has ever had, with three five-star underclassmen likely to crack the starting lineup, and losing only two players to graduation. How will the Hurricanes adjust to being the ones with the target on their backs?

Coach: Jim Larranaga; 609-403 in 23 seasons overall; 139-69 (64-42) in 6 seasons at Miami

2016-17 Record: 21-12 (10-8); ACCT Quarterfinals (8th seed); NCAAT 1st Round (8 seed)

2016-17 Efficiency:


ORtg: 109.9 (76 of 351)

DRtg: 94.8 (25 of 351)


ORtg: 105.0 (10 of 15)

DRtg: 104.0 (6 of 15)


Roster Roundup:

Key Departures:

SF Davon Reed (Grad)

PF/C Kamari Murphy (Grad) 

Key Returnees:

PG Ja'Quan Newton (Sr)

SG Bruce Brown (So)

SG Dejan Vasiljevic (So)

SF Anthony Lawrence (Jr)

C Ebuka Izundu (Jr)

C Dewan Huell (So)

C Rodney Miller (So) 

Key Additions:

PG Chris Lykes (4* Fr)

SG Lonnie Walker (5* Fr)

PF Sam Waardenburg (3* Fr)

C Deng Gak (4* Fr) 


2017/18 ACC Opponents:

Home & Away: Florida State, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Boston College 
Home Only: Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse 
Away Only: Georgia Tech, Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame 



Miami has the look of an ACC Title contender at first glance. They return a talented senior PG in Newton, give him two future NBA'ers on the wings in Brown and Walker, a talented anchor in Huell, and run them out under the tutelage of a Final Four coach. Look a little closer, though, and there are a few cracks. Newton doesn't shoot the 3; he doesn't even try (11-40 in all of last season). They lack athletic size at the 3 and 4, the kind of rangy forwards you need to create outside/in mismatches and serve as versatile defenders in today's spread game. They'll instead run a twin-towers lineup with true centers Huell, Miller, Izundu, and Gak rotating at the 4 and 5, but none have the ability to stretch the floor (with Newton's lack of outside shot, that's a worrying lack of deep threats on the floor) or defend small lineups. This is still a lineup talented enough to win a lot of games in the ACC; they've got a favorable schedule getting FSU, BC, and Pitt twice, and should head back to the NCAAT with a nice Top 4 seed. But I'm seeing just a few too many question marks to peg them as the ACC frontrunner as many others will do when preseason predictions start coming out.

7/12 Update: After this writing, Lonnie Walker tore the meniscus in his knee and will likely be rehabbing that for the next few months. Odds are he'll be back for ACC play, but there could be a delayed learning curve since he'll miss summer and fall practices and possibly the nonconference slate. This is still a top-half ACC squad even with a missing or hindered Walker, but the ceiling is probably lower.

This article contains the tags:

Miami, Conference, Offseason Refresh