The University of Miami basketball team rebounded quickly after losing star point guard Shane Larkin to the NBA Draft, picking up his replacements. The school announced on Wednesday that second team all-Big 12 point guard Angel Rodriguez was transferring from Kansas State, the Puerto Rican star having played high school ball nearby at Dr. Krop High School. In exclusive news, SOTU (with an big assist from fellow hoop junkie @JoshDaCane aka Josh Frank) has learned that the Canes signed point guard Emmanuel Lecomte of Belgium to a National Letter of Intent (NLI). This was confirmed by sources close to the team.
Lecomte, who goes by Manu (or now that he's a Cane we'll refer to him as Man-U!), is a 17-year old (1995) point guard who plays for Mons-Hainaut, a team in the top-flight Ethias League. At his age, he has seen only minimal time for the senior team, whose starting lineup up of former American college players such as Jonathan Wallace of Georgetown and Quincy Taylor of UAB, but has led their reserve team with an average of 20 points and 5 assists this past year. Lecomte has also played for the Belgian national team at the U16, U18 and U20 levels. He confirmed to SOTU that he "just sent the papers to the school" and chose Miami because, "Miami is a really good program with a great coaching staff . And they play in ACC , the best conference of the country." His primary recruiter was assistant coach Michael Huger, who played professionally in Europe for 11 years, including nine as a star in Belgium. Asked what he liked about Coach Huger, Lecomte responded he "was a great point guard in the past... I enjoyed talking with him."
We asked Lecomte, who says he is 5'11", 165 pounds, to describe his strengths and weaknesses. "I'm true point guard with a good decision making, I'm quick and I can shoot from everywhere. I will need to improve on my body, gotta get more at the weight room." The Belgian Youth Basketball blog (http://belgianyouthbb.wordpress.com) described him as "very, very talented" who "already has tons of experience for his age" and "can take over a game."
Lecomte plans to be on campus at the end of June and can play immediately. Congrats to the staff on finding this diamond in the rough!
Here is a brief highlight video of Lecomte.
Highlights: Emmanuel "Man-U" Lecomte (via SIDELINEBASKETBALL)