CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The reigning conference champion University of Miami men's basketball team has been predicted by the media to finish 12th out of 15 teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, as announced by the league during Operation ACC Basketball in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday.
Duke (50 first-place votes) was picked to win the league, followed by Syracuse (3) and North Carolina (1).
One year ago, Miami was selected fourth by the coaches and fifth by the media in preseason ACC polls, but finished the year as the regular season and tournament champion. At that same Operation Basketball, zero Hurricanes were selected for preseason All-ACC teams. At the end of the championship season, Jim Larrañaga was Coach of the Year, Shane Larkin was Player of the Year (coaches), and Durand Scott was Defensive Player of the Year.
Miami is the only ACC team with zero returning starters. Additionally, Miami lost its six top players, who started 174 combined games. Rion Brown is the only Hurricane to start any games (6) last season, so the Canes return 6-of-180 starts, which is 3.3 percent. Miami returns 13.3 percent of points scored (9.3 ppg), 14.2 percent of rebounds (5.1 rpg) and 1.0 percent of assists (1.1 per game), all the lowest in the ACC.
Ten scholarship players will be available for the 2013-14 campaign, as two players will redshirt after transferring from Division I schools. Miami has six seniors this season, following last year’s class of five, who all earned their academic degree.
Two transfers join the Canes this season in James Kelly, who averaged 17.9 ppg and 10.0 rpg in two JC seasons and Donnavan Kirk, who played 54 games for DePaul the past two seasons, leading the team in blocked shots. Miami’s freshman class includes: Deandre Burnett - third in the nation in scoring as a senior with 37 ppg; Manu Lecomte - Belgium second division player; and Davon Reed - 2,000 point scorer who averaged 24 ppg as a senior.
Miami's all-time preseason poll breakdowns (votes) and finishes are as follows:
2013-14 - 12th (224) – TBA
2012-13 - 5th (436) – 1st
2011-12 - 5th (455) – t-4th
2010-11 - 8th (305) – 9th
2009-10 - 10th (135) – 12th
2008-09 - 4th (344) – t-7th
2007-08 - 12th (153) – t-5th
2006-07 - 11th (173) – 12th
2005-06 - 7th (540) – t-7th
2004-05 - 11th (146) – t-6th
Miami opens the season on Oct. 30 with an exhibition game against Florida Tech, then the regular season begins Nov. 8 against St. Francis (N.Y.) at 10 p.m.