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Hurricanes Hoops Offseason News and Notes

Updates on some former 'Canes as well as some future ones. Updated Basketball Scholarship Matrix as well.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the latest updates in the world of UM Hoops:

Dodgeball-esque Tourney for Former Hoops Stars

TBT "The Basketball Tournament" a new basketball tournament launching this June in Philadelphia, is a winner take all Tourney for $500,000.

Former UM stars Julian Gamble, Garrius Adams, and Kenny Kadji have teamed up on one squad.

Scottie Reynolds, Dante Cunningham and the 2009 Villanova Final Four Team are actually playing in TBT too:

Other players of note playing in TBT are Donte Greene, Edgar Sosa, Josh Boone, Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, Sean Singletary, Ryan Wittman, Aquille Carr, Anthony Ireland, Tony Gaffney, Ryan Gomes, and Dahntay Jones.

We promise to bring you more coverage on TBT in the coming weeks and may even have the Tournament Recruiting Director, Jesse Leeds as well as Kadji, Gamble, and Adams on a podcast.

'Canes continue the hunt for a BIG

With 6'7 F James Kelly announcing that he is going to transfer, UM actually has two open scholarships to play with should they find two 5th year seniors. They have had a hard enough time finding one however. MJ Rhett spurned both UM and UConn to head to Ole Miss. Michigan big man Jon Horford is headed to the Florida Gators.  Next season of course they have already received a verbal commitment from 2015 F Anthony Lawrence Jr.  accounting for 1/2 remaining schollies for 2015-16.  Don't be surprised if Coach L and staff go the JUCO route or find a freshman who has been released from scholarship elsewhere, to fill out the roster.  Despite a very promising roster, they sorely need one more big body for depth.

Basketball Scholarship Matrix (updated):

2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
1 Rion Brown SR/G Empty Tonye Jekiri SR/C Davon Reed SR/G
2 Garrius Adams SR/G Tonye Jekiri JR/C Angel Rodriguez SR/G Manu LeComte SR/G
3 Erik Swoope SR/F Angel Rodriguez JR/G Sheldon McClellan SR/G Deandre Burnett JR/G
4 Raphael Akpejori SR/C Sheldon McClellan JR/G Ivan Cruz Uceda SR/C James Palmer JR/G
5 Justin Heller SR/G

Ivan Cruz Uceda JR/C ***
Davon Reed JR/G JaQuan Newton JR/G
6 Donnavan Kirk SR/F Davon Reed SO/G Manu LeComte JR/G Omar Sherman JR/F
7 James Kelly JR/F Manu LeComte SO/G James Palmer SO/G Anthony Lawrence SO/F
8 Tonye Jekiri SO/C James Palmer FR/G JaQuan Newton SO/G Empty
9 Angel Rodriguez SO/G* JaQuan Newton FR/G Deandre Burnett SO/G Empty
10 Sheldon McClellan SO/G* Omar Sherman FR/F Omar Sherman SO/F Empty
11 Manu LeComte FR/G Deandre Burnett FR/G** Anthony Lawrence FR/F Empty
12 Davon Reed FR/G Empty Empty Empty
13 Deandre Burnett FR/G** NCAA reduction NCAA reduction NCAA reduction

Future Hurricanes shine in H.S. All Star Game

Two of Miami class of 2014 stars recently participated in the Capital All Star Classic in Washington, DC.. Ja'Quan Newton had 22 points and 7 assists and James Palmer has 12 points and 5 helpers of his own.   Do not read too much into the stats though, as it appears little to no defense was played in a game that ended 139-134. Both players do however appear to have very bright futures.

Biggest Keys to Next Season

#1 - Find a consistent inside scorer.  Whether it is the development of Tonye Jekiri, someone who isn't even on the roster yet, or Ivan Cruz Uceda, Miami must find someone to compliment the plethora of perimeter talent that have on the roster.

#2 - Turn ultra talented wing Sheldon McClellan into a complete player.  McClellan has an NBA body and NBA talent. the coaching staff need to harness his abilities on both ends of the floor and help him become more efficient offensively.  From what I have watched on film, he looks like he can be a decent on the glass as well. And he has only gotten bigger since he left Texas.

#3 - Establish a defensive identity.  Will they be a match-up zone team again next year? Highly unlikely.  However since Coach L has arrived, Miami has consistently defended well, and played with maximum effort. And this year proved that Larranaga and staff are flexible and will adjust to the roster.  With Angel Rodriguez' presence and leadership, they will probably go back to man. Whatever defense they play, it will need to be at its peak by the start of conference play in a loaded ACC.

Stay tuned for more updates as we close in on the 2014-15 Basketball Season.