Last November, Adonys Henriquez committed to Miami and it was a great commit, but not many people saw it out to be anything more than just a solid get for Coach Larranaga, who was criticized heavily for being a "poor" recruiter at George Mason. Four months later and the Miami Hurricanes claim their first regular-season and tournament ACC championships.
Now, two commitments later from Ja'Quan Newton and James Palmer, and the program's recruiting class is ranked in the top ten in both 247sports.com and ESPN's rankings.
Landing Newton and Palmer this last week have been huge for the program. Newton automatically becomes the commit during the Larranaga era, while James Palmer has untapped potential as a 16-year old senior. As big as those commitments have been, Miami is still lacking some front-court help, but it's something that is already being addressed by the staff.
It's unknown how many scholarships Larranaga and co. will take up with the 2014 class, but they're still going hard after some highly touted wings and big men. Here are some guys who you should become familiar with.
Terry Larrier is a 6'7 small forward from Brooklyn, N.Y. or better yet, he's from the Northeast part of the United States. The reason why this is worth noting is because Larranaga has made his mark recruiting guys from that area, just take a look at recent commit, Ja'Quan Newton. Larrier is a really versatile forward who could stretch the floor playing the four, but he can also keep up with most 3's in the league. Larrier has been quoted saying that he prefers to play in a warm weather city, but schools like VCU and Penn State have come after him strongly recently. Larrier needs to bulk up some more to able to play to contact, but he would be a great fit in Larranaga's disruptive style of play. The 6'7'' forward is a 4* recruit and is ranked 59th, according to ESPN.
Larrier cut his list to ten schools on Thursday and they are: Penn State, Marquette, Minnesota, UCONN, Florida State, Miami, St.John's, VCU, Florida and Seton Hall. He will also be visiting Miami on an official visit.
Dante Buford has quickly become my favorite remaining player on the board for the Hurricanes. He has decent handles, although he's looking to improve that, but he has the ability to spot up and hit the three point shot, while also being terrific at running the floor. Buford has all the qualities that Miami's staff looks for: long, athletic and can get up and down the court quickly and Buford fits that mold perfectly. Buford still needs to add some weight as he's only 209 pounds as the moment, but that's something that's very achievable. Buford is a 4* prospect out of Jacksonville, Florida and is the 56th best overall player, according to ESPN.
Buford recently cut his list to five schools: USC, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Miami.
With the commitments of Palmer and Newton, I think the focus of the staff has shifted to Obi Enechionyia, a power forward out of Maryland. After he narrowed down his list, I predicted that Enechionyia will be the next add to the class because he's got excellent skill and he will be a great fit to what the staff wants to do. Enechionyia is a 6'9 205-pound stretch floor that has a lot of skill in his offensive game. He [Enechionyia] has the ability to bang down low and score in the paint, but he's also added the ability to take it back and shoot from the perimeter. He also adds a lot of athleticism and blocks a lot of shots around the rim. Would be a great addition. Enechionyia is rated as a four-star prospect by 247sports.com and ESPN lists him as a three-star.
Obi Enechionyia recently cut his list down to four schools: Temple, Loyola Marymount, Georgia Tech and Miami.
Michael Gilmore is a part of one of the premier AAU programs in the country, but his recruitment has flown under the radar a little bit due to his teammates, but Gilmore isn't a slouch. Gilmore has nice handles at 6'8 and can take most of the fours to the rim, but he's an excellent finisher in the post and around the rim. Gilmore told SOTU earlier this month that his strengths are his length, his ability to run the floor and spread opposing defenses. He [Gilmore] also added that he's continuing to work on his ball handling and becoming stronger. Gilmore is rated as a three-star prospect, but his recruitment had picked up a lot of speed during the July viewing period. You can read Isaac Koppel's interview with Gilmore HERE.
Gilmore also cut down his list recently: VCU, Kansas State and Miami.
Makinde London is probably the most intriguing prospect out of this group. London is a 6'9 Power forward that possesses a ton of athleticism. Not only does London love finishing above the rim and running the lane, but he enjoys taking and making three point shots in transition and facing up. London needs to continue to add some strength if he wants to be able to bang down low in the next level, but his upside is tremendous. I recently spoke to Makinde and I asked him about the University of Miami and he said, "I have a good relationship with Coach Caputo and Coach L and I feel like Miami would be a good place to develop and showcase my talent." I also asked London if he's planning of visiting Miami and he replied, "Yeah, I plan on taking a visit there." London is a four-star recruit on both ESPN and 247sports, he spent last season playing his high school basketball in Tennessee, but he's transferring to Montverde Academy in Florida, which may help Miami's chances.
London cut down his list to eight schools: VCU, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Northwestern and Miami.
Most of the guys listed above are considered "stretch-four's" to some degree, but Quadri Moore might just be the only one who could be labeled as a "stretch-five." Moore is one of my favorite players left in this class because he loves to go out to the perimeter and knock down long-range shots despite him being able to play the center position. His desire to shoot a lot of long range jumpers is a weakness is Moore's game, he has a nice knack of finishing at the rim, but he prefers to shoot from the perimeter instead of getting down in the paint. He's not the most athletic of guys either, but he has good basketball skills. Moore must be more willing to get down in the paint to reach the top of his game. Moore is a 6'9, 230 pound consensus 4-star recruit out of Linden, N.J. Moore also told me that he's planning to start taking visits next month and Miami will be one of the schools he will visit.
Quadri Moore cut down his list to six schools: Temple, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Cincinnati, Wake Forest and Miami.
Tory Miller is the most recent player to receive a scholarship offer from the staff, so you may not be too familiar with him. Miller is an interesting story. During his freshman year in high school, Miller tore his ACL and has had to work back into shape. He [Miller] is still gaining his explosiveness, but his post-up game has not taking a big hit. Miller is a really good post player, despite his knee injury, he continues to run the floor well and looks for quick opportunities to score. Miller appears to be a work in progress, but it seems like the staff is willing to wait a year or two for Miller to regain his explosiveness and ability to finish above the rim and then give him good playing time. Miller might not be the immediate solution, but he has tremendous upside. Tory Miller is a 6'8 235 pound power forward out of New Hampton, New Hampshire. Miller also received a three-star rating by ESPN, Rivals and 247sports.
Miller has yet to cut his list but he's received offers from schools such as, Minnesota, VCU, Marquette, Kansas State, Villanova and Miami.
The staff is also not done recruiting guards, but the chances of them taking another guard in their already-stacked guard rotation are very slim with only a few scholarships left to hand out. Nonetheless, here are some guys Miami is still going after: Isaiah Whitehead, Rob Johnson, Anthony Lawrence, James Demery, and Gary Clark (forward).