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Miami Basketball Player Review: JaQuan Newton

In this new series we look at UM's returning hoops players, what they did right, what they can do better, who they should be watching film on this summer, and more.

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2014-15 Key Stats: 13.5 minutes, 4.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg , 1.4 apg , 40% FG, 40% 3P, 64% FT.

Best Game: 1/17 Vs Notre Dame, 16 points, 6-9 shooting, 5 assists.

Worst Game:2/3 Vs Louisville, 3 points, 0-5 shooting 2 turnovers.

What he does well:  Newton is tough as nails and a big time competitor.  His strength offensively is taking the ball to the rack, and he loves finishing through contact. His jumper also appeared to progress during the stretch run and into the NIT. Has a nice medium range game from 15 feet in as well. The sophomore to be is also an above average passer who delivers very well out in transition.  Defensively he does a good job keeping his man in front of him rarely gambling . His biggest attribute however may just be his attitude,  & swag/confidence.  Newton brings a lot of energy to the floor, and it seems to rub off on his teammates when he is in the game.

What he needs to improve:  His decision making was up and down in his first season in Coral Gables.  That should get better naturally with experience. Was also bashful early on shooting the ball from outside. Expect the kid from Philly to come back stronger in that department next year too after a long summer featuring lots of hard work. And any PG has to shoot better than 64% from the charity stripe. The good news is that all of the above issues can be improved with effort.  And Newton is known to be a hard working player.

Player I would like him to watch film on: Damian Lilliard.  The star PG of the Portland Trail Blazers also wear # 0, is also 6'3, and like UM's Newton can finish in traffic with either hand.  The comparison is natural but Lilliard's floor/overall game is obviously far more developed considering he is an NBA All Star.  Newton has very similar attributes though, especially when weaving through a defense.

Summary: It is hard not to get excited when thinking about JaQuan Newton's future at the University of Miami. Though his freshman campaign was inconsistent, he came on very strong by season's end.  Watching this kid play, you can see why he was a top 50 recruit coming out of H.S.  With Manu Lecomte and Deandre Burnett leaving the program, he is guaranteed more minutes in 2015-16.  If he continues to make strides all around,  he could even end up pushing Angel Rodriguez for the starting nod at point guard.