Miami ended the 2013-2014 season with a 17-16 (7-11 ACC). That’s not bad when you consider the Hurricanes lost six of their top seven scorers from the previous season in which they won the ACC regular season and tournament titles.
Head coach Jim Larranaga has retooled his roster to make a move up the conference standings this season. On Saturday, Miami won its first game on its educational and competitive tour of Spain with a 79-68 victory over Eurocolegio Casvi. Leading the way were two new additions for Miami this season, transfer Sheldon McClellan and freshman point guard Ja’Quan Newton. The guard tandem scored 17 apiece, shooting a combined 13 of 22 from the field.
Newton, a four-star point guard was rated as the No. 37 overall recruit in the Class of 2014, according to Rivals. The Philadelphia product committed to the Hurricanes last August, joining a pair of impact transfer guards on the Miami perimeter. The 6-foot-5 McClellan sat out last season after he transferred from Texas after two seasons. As as sophomore he averaged 13.5 points per game, second on the team. Alongside McClellan last season was fellow transfer Angel Rodriguez. The former Kansas State point guard enrolled at Miami to be closer to his family in the area. He averaged 11.4 points and 5.2 assists per game for the Wildcats as a sophomore in the 2012-2013 season.
Rodriguez did not play on Saturday due to an injury.
Miami will need that trio to play well, especially in a conference filled with talented guards such as Louisville’s Chris Jones and Terry Rozier, North Carolina’s Marcus Paige, Duke’s perimeter attack, Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon and London Perrantes and Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton.
The Hurricanes open the season on Nov. 17, renewing the rivalry with Florida.