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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.