Miami Hurricanes

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Walker scores 26 to lead No. 10 Miami past Boston U 69-54

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — A breakout performance by Miami Hurricanes freshman Lonnie Walker IV earned him a congratulatory chest bump from the teammate he replaced.

Bruce Brown Jr., sidelined by a left hand injury, came onto the court during a timeout to join the celebration after Walker sank four 3-pointers in a 4-minute span Tuesday night, helping No. 10 Miami pull away from Boston University, 69-54.

“Since Bruce is down, I had to understand that I had to up my game,” Walker said.

Making his first career start, Walker scored a season-high 26 points. He shot 9 for 15, went 5 for 7 from 3-point range and added seven rebounds in 28 minutes, also a season high.

He smiled when asked about his chest bump with Brown.

“It was definitely an ecstatic feeling,” Walker said. “I was waiting for him. I saw him coming. I saw him excited. He was telling me, ‘Stay aggressive, shoot the ball, attack the rim.’ I had to listen to my older brother.”

Brown is expected to miss one more game before returning.

Dejan Vasiljevic had 15 points for Miami (8-0), which remained unbeaten in non-conference home games since November 2015.

Boston U (3-4) still hasn’t beaten a ranked team since 1959, and coach Joe Jones was impressed by the Hurricanes.

“They are a terrific defensive team,” Jones said. “Offensively they’re still growing, because these guys are young. They’re just going to get better and better. They can be a factor in March.”

Boston U never led but was tied at 30 at halftime thanks to a tip-in by Max Mahoney at the buzzer. Walker scored 16 points during a 25-8 run to start the second half that helped the Hurricanes take charge.

“It was a bit of a groove,” Walker said. “Confidence exploded up to like 100 percent. The rim got huge. The ball got smaller. Everything was kind of going my way tonight.”

Walker is coach Jim Larranaga’s most highly touted recruit at Miami. His point total was the highest by a Miami player this season.

“He was certainly in the attack mode from the very beginning,” Larranaga said. “Honestly, he just looked like Lonnie Walker to me. I mean, he scored 26 points and played great, but I’ve seen him play great a lot. This is just the beginning.”

The Hurricanes shot 52 percent and went 11 for 21 from 3-point range. They rank fourth in nation in scoring defense and held an opponent under 60 points for the sixth time.

Mahoney had 12 points off the bench for Boston U.

INJURIES

Larranaga said Brown has been dealing with a sore hand for weeks and aggravated the injury recently. It will take two to four weeks to fully heal, Larranaga said.

BUGABOO

Miami came into the game shooting 58 percent at the free-throw line and went 8 for 15.

ROUGH HOMECOMING

Terriers guard Cedric Hankerson, a Miami native, went 4 for 17 and scored 10 points.

BIG PICTURE

The Hurricanes have yet to trail in the second half this season.

Jones fell to 0-5 against ranked teams with the Terriers.

UP NEXT

The Hurricanes play at George Washington on Dec. 16. Their next home game isn’t until Jan. 7.

“We’ve got to treat every single game like they’re No. 1 in the country,” Walker said.

Boston U plays at Bethune-Cookman on Friday.
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Miami SG Bruce Brown Jr. to miss next 2 games

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No. 10 Miami will be without a starter for at least the next two games, beginning with Tuesday’s home game against Boston University. The program announced that sophomore guard Bruce Brown Jr. will miss at least two games due to a left hand injury, with the expectation being that he will be able to play in the Diamond Head Classic later this month.

After Tuesday’s game the Hurricanes will be off until December 16, when they visit George Washington. Following that is the Diamond Head Classic, with Miami opening play against host Hawai’i on December 22.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore from Boston is averaging 11.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 32.3 minutes per game this season. Brown’s shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three, with both percentages being improvements from his freshman season.

In averaging 11.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game last season, Brown shot 45.9 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three.

With Brown out of the lineup, freshmen Lonnie Walker IV and Chris Lykes stand to get even more opportunities for the 7-0 Hurricanes. As reserves Walker and Lykes are averaging 7.6 and 7.0 points per game, respectively. Walker’s played an average of 21.0 minutes per game, with Lykes not far behind with an average of 16.1 minutes per game.

Walker was moved into the starting lineup for Tuesday’s game.

Larranaga’s attorney says allegations ‘do not apply to our much loved Coach L’

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Despite not being named in the federal court documents released Tuesday, it would appear the University of Miami is a part of an investigation into corruption in college basketball.

The Hurricanes were not mentioned by name in the report, but it does reference a school that fits Miami’s profile as a “private research institution located in Florida” with  “approximately 16,000 students and over 2,600 faculty members.” That institution, referenced as University-7 in the report, is accused of being the beneficiary of a plan to use $150,000 to “assist one or more coaches at University-7 in securing” a commitment from a “top high school basketball player expected to graduate in 2018,” according to documents.

Ten people were arrested in connection with the investigation, including four current assistant coaches from around the country.

Miami coach Jim Larranaga’s attorney denied his client’s involvement in any of the allegations.

“We are reviewing the allegations but I assure you they do not apply to our much loved Coach L,” Stuart Grossman told the Palm Beach Post in an email. “I just can’t comment further. It’s so difficult to respond to shrouded allegations.”

Federal investigators suggested Tuesday that the public part of the investigation is just now beginning to unfold.

“We have your playbook,” New York FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney said Tuesday at a news conference. “Our investigation is ongoing, and we are conducting additional interviews as we speak.”

Miami’s star freshman Lonnie Walker to undergo knee surgery

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Miami freshman guard Lonnie Walker has torn the meniscus in his right knee and will require surgery, the school announced.

Walker was hurt playing on Tuesday, and the timetable for his return will be unknown until after the operation.

If Walker is out for any significant amount of time during the season it will be a massive blow for a Miami team that is legitimately in the national title conversation this season. Walker is a top 15 recruit and a potential first round pick in next year’s NBA Draft, and his addition — along with the return of Bruce Brown — is the reason that Miami is sitting at No. 6 in the NBC Sports preseason top 25.

Miami adds transfer guard Miles Wilson

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Miles Wilson will look to replicate the success other transfer guards have had under Jim Larrañaga.

The Mount St. Mary’s transfer has decided to transfer to Miami, according to Evan Daniels of Scout. The 6-foot-5 rising sophomore picked the Hurricanes over Auburn on Thursday evening following a visit to the Coral Gables campus this past weekend.

“I’ve liked them from the jump,” Wilson told Scout. “They’ve been showing me love and kept making me a priority. I’m excited about the opportunity they were presenting and giving me. I felt like I couldn’t turn it down.”

Wilson, as a freshman, was part of an NCAA Tournament team. Starting in 24 of 35 games, the first-year guard averaged 11.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. In the First Four against New Orleans, Wilson registered a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds. He followed that up with a 22-point — albeit of 20 field goal attempts — seven-rebound effort in a loss to then-reigning national champion Villanova.

According to NCAA rules, Wilson will have to sit out this season but will have three years of eligibility remaining starting in the fall of 2018.

By the time he is able to suit up for the Hurricanes, Wilson could be stepping into a huge role. Ja’Quan Newton is exhausting his eligibility at the conclusion of this season. And if Bruce Brown has the type of year many envision he’s capable of after a promising freshman campaign, he could be en route to the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft.

Wilson will join five-star guard Lonnie Walker and four-star recruits Deng Gak and Chris Lykes in Miami’s incoming class.

Deonte Burton, No. 21 Iowa State breeze past Miami

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A day after the Cyclones struggled to knock off Indiana State, No. 21 Iowa State pulled away late to knock off Miami is what was their best performance of the year to date.

Iowa State won 73-56, and in a vacuum, that score is promising. The question mark with this team is on the defensive end of the floor, and holding a team like Miami to 56 points is unquestionably a good performance.

But there’s more to this that we need to talk about.

For starters, Iowa State’s win came in a game where Monte’ Morris and Naz Long barely showed up. Morris had just six points and five assists while shooting 2-for-8 from the floor while Long was 4-for-13 from the floor and 2-for-9 from three. Entering the year, those were arguably Iowa State’s two best and most important players.

And then there is Deonte Burton. He’s the guy that can be called the x-factor for this team. A freak of an athlete, Burton is a versatile, 6-foot-5 forward that Iowa State needs to play something of a Draymond Green role is they are going to be as good as their fan base wants them to be. On Friday, he looked like he could be that guy. Playing by far his best game of the season, Burton finished with 21 points and seven boards, hitting his first two threes of the season and setting the tone early.

It’s a promising performance for the Cyclones, who will play the winner of No. 11 Gonzaga and Florida in the Advocare Invitational title game on Sunday.