#56 Miami Hurricanes: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Poor Jim Larranaga.  He left a stable George Mason (no, not the former director of CTU) program to walk into a potential mess with the Miami Hurricanes.  Meanwhile, Frank Haith bolted The U at the perfect time, right before the storm hit and scandal rocked the University’s athletic department.  Add in serious injuries to a pair of big men and Larranaga will have his hands full this season with the ‘Canes.

MIAMI HURRICANES
Last Season: 9th, 6-10 in ACC, 21-15 overall
Predicted ACC Finish: 5th

Projected Depth Chart
C: Kenny Kadji (So)/Raphael Akpejiori (So)/Reggie Johnson (Jr)
F: DeQuan Jones (Sr)/Erik Swoope (So)/Julian Gamble (Sr-out for season)
G/F: Garrius Adams (Jr)/Rion Brown (So)
SG: Durand Scott (Jr)/Trey McKinney-Jones (Jr)
PG: Malcolm Grant (Sr)/Bishop Daniels (Fr)

Gone: F-Adrian Thomas, F-Donnavan Kirk (transfer-DePaul)

reggie johnson miami

2011-2012 Outlook:
After testing the NBA Draft waters this summer, starting center Reggie Johnson suffered a torn meniscus in late June.  He is expected to be out five-six months after surgery meaning he likely will not be back on the court until ACC play at earliest.  (If there is one positive from Johnson’s injury, it is that he has slimmed down during rehab.)  Add in a torn ACL that will sideline key reserve Julian Gamble for the season, and the Hurricanes have questions on the interior with only three healthy post players to start the year.

Florida transfer Kenny Kadji will be one of the players trying to fill the void left behind by Johnson and Gamble.  He has the size to be a factor on the glass and as a shot blocker.  Erik Swoope and Raphael Akpejiori both played sparingly last year as freshmen but will see expanded roles until Johnson returns.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Larranaga utilize a small starting five with DeQuan Jones at the four.  The 6-7 wing has suffered through an extremely disappointing collegiate career considering he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school.  His length and athleticism offer the ‘Canes some versatility but he has shown zero resemblance of a consistent jump shot since arriving on campus.

With uncertainty in the frontcourt, Miami will rely on their experienced backcourt to carry the load.  The duo of Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott provides the Hurricanes with guard play capable of scoring but also handling the rock.  Garrius Adams showed improvement during his sophomore season and will start on the wing alongside Grant and Scott.

The addition of UMKC transfer Trey McKinney-Jones will give the ‘Canes a boost off the bench.  It will be interesting to see how his transition goes playing against high level competition on a night-in, night-out basis, something he did not do in the Summit League.  Rion Brown is coming off a solid freshman campaign and is another quality option on the wing.  Freshman Bishop Daniels is an athletic combo guard who will try to work his way into a crowded backcourt.

There are several ACC teams experiencing a transition year including Miami.  If the Hurricanes can stay afloat until Johnson returns and the team allows Larranaga to coach them up, they have the talent to finish in the upper half of the conference and possibly make the NCAA Tournament.

Player to Watch: Durand Scott
Scott has always had the reputation of being dangerous off the bounce but he also improved his three-point shooting as a sophomore, connecting on 39.1% of his triple tries.  He is a well-rounded player and if he can take his game to the next level, Scott could be entering his final year at Miami before heading to the NBA.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/15 vs. Rutgers
11/25 at Ole Miss
11/29 at Purdue (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
12/6 vs. Memphis
12/10 at West Virginia
12/22 at Charlotte

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, 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.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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