Miami Hurricanes

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.

Miami suspends guard Muhammad three games

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Miami will be down a guard when it begins the season Friday.

Rashad Muhammad, a transfer from San Jose State, will be suspended for the Hurricanes’ first three games of the season, the school announced Tuesday.

The 6-foot-6 guard will miss Miami’s contest with Western Carolina on Friday and then games next week at North Florida and against Penn. The suspension is for a violation of team rules.

Muhammad averaged 13.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 36.0 percent from 3-point range for San Jose State in 2014-15. He sat out at Miami last season under NCAA transfer rules.

Muhammad will be eligible to return to action on Thanksgiving when the Hurricanes, who were picked ninth in the ACC preseason poll, play Stanford at the Advocare Invitational in Orlando. Iowa State, Gonzaga, Seton Hall and Florida are also in the field as potential ‘Canes opponents.

 

Iowa State, Miami part of 2016 AdvoCare Invitational field

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Friday afternoon the field for the 2016 AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando was announced, with Puerto Rico Tip-Off champion Miami being one of the eight teams involved.

Joining Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes in Orlando will be Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana State, Iowa State, Quinnipiac, Seton Hall and Stanford. Gonzaga has won the event in each of its prior two appearances, doing so in 2008 and 2012.

Each of the other seven teams will be making their first appearance at the AdvoCare Invitational.

Angel Rodriguez, Miami take home Puerto Rico Tipoff title

Associated Press
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Miami’s depth and talent were certainly on display this weekend as they won the Puerto Rico Tipoff, beating No. 22 Butler 85-75 in Sunday’s title game. And it was clear all weekend that their hopes of contending in the ACC this season will ultimately hinge on the play of senior point guard Angel Rodriguez.

Rodriguez produced more positive plays than negative all weekend in San Juan, performing well in his return to the island he calls home. And if Jim Larrañaga’s team is to make a run at their first ACC title since 2013, that will have to be the case as the Hurricanes play in even bigger games when conference play begins.

Rodriguez accounted for 17 points and three assists, but he also had four turnovers with three coming during a second-half stretch in which Butler mounted its rally. The first half for Miami was, when factoring in the caliber of the opponent, as good a half of basketball they’ve played all year. Even better than what they did in the first half of the win over Mississippi State on Thursday, because Butler is a team that will hear its name called Selection Sunday.

The Hurricanes’ length and athleticism caused problems for Butler at both ends of the floor, as the Bulldogs shot 40.7 percent from the field, and Miami was able to shoot 52.9 percent. Half of Miami’s 18 first half field goals were assisted, with Butler’s help side defenders paying the price for being too quick to help in an attempt to take away driving lanes.

Tonye Jekiri accounted for eight points and seven rebounds, finishing with 12 and 12, and backup point guard Ja’Quan Newton scored eight of his 17 and dished out three assists during the first stanza. Whatever Miami wanted to get done they were able to in the first half, leading by as much as 19 and taking a 13-point lead into the break.

Butler improved on both ends of the floor in the second half, and with Miami not playing with the same efficiency the Bulldogs were able to climb back into the game. Managing the game is where point guard play comes in, which is why Rodriguez is the most important piece for Miami as they look to compete with the likes of North Carolina, Duke and Virginia atop the ACC.

When he’s on Rodriguez can be one of the ACC’s top point guards, and by extension the Hurricanes are an ACC contender. But when he struggles, even with their depth the Hurricanes have the appearance of a team that’s a bit scattered on the court. Outside of a few minutes Sunday night Miami got “good Rodriguez” in Puerto Rico, and as a result they head back to the mainland with the Puerto Rico Tipoff trophy in tow.

And if this group is to have a chance of reaching the heights last seen by Shane Larkin and company, that will have to be the case during ACC play as well.