#70 Miami Hurricanes: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

2012-13 was a record breaking season for the Miami Hurricanes who captured their first ever ACC Championship.  Jim Larranaga enters a rebuilding year though as he loses his top six scorers from last year’s memorable team.

MIAMI HURRICANES
Last Season: 1st, 15-3 in ACC, 29-7 overall
Predicted ACC Finish: 11th

Projected Depth Chart
C: Tonye Jekiri (So)/Raphael Akpejiori (Sr)
F: Donnovan Kirk (Sr)/James Kelly (Jr)/Erik Swoope (Sr)
G/F: Garrius Adams (Sr)/Davon Reed (Fr)
SG: Rion Brown (Sr)
PG: Deandre Burnett (Fr)/Corn Elder (Fr)/Manu Lecomnte (Fr)

Gone: PG-Shane Larkin, SG-Durand Scott, C-Reggie Johnson, PF-Kenny Kadji, C-Julian Gamble, SG-Trey McKinney-Jones, PG-Bishop Daniels (left team)

2013-2014 Outlook:
This season Larranaga faces the challenge of integrating six new players into the lineup while hoping players can step up from role players into starting spots.  The most talented of the bunch is shooting guard Rion Brown who is the only returning player who averaged more than two points per game last year.  Brown is poised for a breakout senior campaign and will become Miami’s go-to scorer.

Garrius Adams redshirted last season and brings needed experience to the floor.  He has primarily been a complementary player during his first three years with the Hurricanes but will be counted on to play a much more significant role.  Davon Reed is a talented freshman capable of scoring in bunches and see immediate playing time.

Shane Larkin’s early exit to the NBA creates a huge question mark for the Canes at the point guard position.  Three freshmen are expected to compete for minutes at the one; Deandre Burnett, Corn Elder, and Manu Lecomnte.  Burnett is the most talented of the group but more of a combo guard than true floor leader.  Elder is playing football for The U so might not join the hoops team right away meaning the 5-9 Belgian, Lecomnte needs to be ready for a reserve role from the opening tip.

Miami also loses their top three post players so there are a ton of minutes to replace on the interior.  Tonye Jekiri, Erik Swoope, and Raphael Akpejiori all played sparingly during last season’s Sweet 16 run and are rather unproven.  After a one-year stint with DePaul, Donnovan Kirk returns to the Hurricanes program while junior college transfer James Kelly might actually be the most talented of the bunch.  All five guys were certainly compete for playing time and Larranaga needs at least one player to emerge as an inside scoring threat to help take some pressure off the wings and inexperienced point guards.

The Canes will get immediate help for the 2014-15 season with the addition of Kansas State transfer Angel Rodriguez and Texas transfer Sheldon McClellan.  There is a chance Rodriguez might earn a waiver to play this season and if so, that would be a huge victory for a team that as I have previously mentioned, is very young and inexperienced at the point guard spot.

Due to all the turnover on the roster, the Miami Hurricanes will take a major step back this season and with the ACC adding more talented programs, it would be an amazing accomplishment and surprise if this team once again reached the NCAA Tournament.  Expect this reloading season to be a temporary setback though as this program is in good hands with Larranaga at the helm.

Player to Watch: Rion Brown
Brown showed flashes last year in a reserve role and gets thrusted into a much larger role now.  He has good size and athleticism for a 6-6 wing but can be a very streaky shooter.  Still, he is one of my candidates to have a breakout season in 2013-14.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/18 at Charleston
11/21 vs. UCF
11/28 vs. George Washington (Wooden Legacy)
11/29 vs. Marquette/CS-Fullerton (Wooden Legacy)
12/1 vs. Creighton/Arizona State/San Diego State/Charleston (Wooden Legacy)
12/4 at Nebraska (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
12/22 vs. La Salle

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#71 SMU
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#74 UMass
#75 Northwestern
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma
#79 Richmond
#80 Manhattan
#81 Belmont
#82 Texas
#83 Houston
#84 Washington State
#85 Iona
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#88 Towson
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#91 Rutgers
#92 Drexel
#93 USC
#94 Charleston
#95 Seton Hall
#96 Vanderbilt
#97 George Mason
#98 Clemson
#99 Penn State
#100 Nebraska
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#104 DePaul
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#107 TCU
#108 Virginia Tech
#109 Georgia
#110 Utah
#111 Auburn

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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