#36 Miami (FL) Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Miami Hurricanes
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #36
Conference Rank: #10 ACC
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The Hurricanes made their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2018, though it resulted in their second straight first round exit. Miami has won 20-plus games four seasons in a row, and this year should see similar results. Freshman sensation Lonnie Walker has joined the NBA along with Bruce Brown, whose 2017-18 season ended early due to injury. Returning players like Dewan Huell and Chris Lykes are poised to become stars within the ACC and lead the Hurricanes back to the NCAA Tournament.
2017-18 Record: 22-10, 11-7
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA Tournament
Coach: Jim Larranaga
Coach Record: 161-79 at Miami, 631-413 overall
Key Departed Players:
Lonnie Walker, Guard, 11.5 ppg
Bruce Brown, Guard, 11.4 ppg
Ja’Quan Newton, Guard, 8.8 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Dewan Huell, Junior, Center, 11.4 ppg
Anthony Lawrence, Senior, Forward, 8.8 ppg
Chris Lykes, Sophomore, Guard, 9.6 ppg
Dejan Vasiljevic, Junior, Guard, 9.0 ppg
Ebuka Izundu, Senior, Center, 5.0 ppg
Sam Waardenburg, Sophomore, Forward, 3.3 ppg
Rodney Miller, Junior, Center, 1.2 ppg

Key New Players:
Deng Gak, Freshman, Forward

Zach Johnson, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Florida Gulf Coast
Anthony Mack, Freshman, Guard
The Hurricanes return five players who averaged at least five points per game last season. The leading returning scorer is Dewan Huell, who averaged 11.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game as a sophomore. Huell appears ready to breakout as an upperclassman and could become an NBA prospect with a strong season. Chris Lykes was a ball of energy off the bench for Miami last season, and he will step into the starting point guard role as a sophomore. Lykes, who stands just 5-7, averaged 9.6 points and 2.3 assists in only 21.6 minutes per game last season. Sharpshooters Dejan Vasiljevic and Anthony Lawrence are also back for the Hurricanes. Vasiljevic started 20 games in 2017-18, averaging 9.0 points on 41.1% shooting from three-point range. Lawrence was a full-time starting stretch forward who averaged 8.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 43.2% from three. Sam Waardenburg could become a starter this season as a sophomore. Waardenburg only played in 21 games as a freshman but saw his playing time rise as the season went along. Ebuka Izundu and Rodney Miller are also back as upperclassmen who will provide frontcourt depth. Miami added an impact grad transfer as well in Zach Johnson out of Florida Gulf Coast. Johnson was named All-ASUN First Team last season behind 16.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Johnson gives the Hurricanes depth and experience in the backcourt, which was badly needed. Miami will also have two redshirt freshmen available this season in Deng Gak and Anthony Mack. Gak has the most upside standing 6-11 as a former four-star recruit. Miami lost some key pieces from last season, but Jim Larranaga has another talented team that should compete in the loaded ACC.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.7 (172nd in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.8 (58, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.5 (74, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.1 (124, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.7 (165, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.4 (98, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.2 (321, 15)
Rebound Margin: 0.8 (169, 10)
Assists Per Game: 13.3 (201, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5 (45, 3)
Madness 2019 NBA Draft Rankings:
#41 Dewan Huell