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CanesHoops Recruiting Tidbits; Transfer Target Deciding Today

Nearly two months after the 2016 college basketball season ended in an epic national championship game, the Miami Hurricanes are in the midst of a whirlwind spring, hoping to maintain continuity and success within a program that reached the Sweet 16 for the second time in four seasons and brings in its highest ranked recruiting class ever. The staff’s attention is focused on three main areas this offseason– getting that recruiting class on campus and enrolled in summer classes, recruiting both high school players and college transfers, and finishing the non-conference schedule.

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Australian guard Dejan “DJ” Vasiljevic is already on campus, getting a head start on his transition after  graduating last winter. Vasiljevic is expected to miss time to attend a development camp with the Australian senior national team. The other three highly touted freshmen – Dewan Huell, Bruce Brown, and Rodney Miller – are all expected to arrive at the end of June for the second summer session.

With two open spots on the roster, the coaches are heavily involved on the transfer market. The priority is a fifth-year graduate transfer with immediate eligibility who can help bridge the gap between the Sweet 16 team that graduated four seniors and the next group of potential Miami superstars. Miami missed out on Canyon Barry – not altogether surprising considering that his father, Hurricane legend Rick Barry, has had a tumultuous relationship with the school over the years and that none of his other sons have suited up for the Canes. New names are announced every day, and the Hurricanes hope to secure one or two of these players.

The staff is also firmly in the mix for two traditional transfers who would have to sit out the upcoming season. The first, and most widely publicized is Duke transfer, Derrick Thornton. Thornton, a five-star point guard, was recruited by the Hurricanes out of high school but never made it to campus after reclassifying. Hailing from California, Thornton visited PAC-12 powers USC and Washington, as well as blue-blood Kansas, before Miami got his last visit over two weeks ago. Though there has publicly been little news, the staff is in constant contact with Thornton’s family. That Miami is still in the mix, despite being both the only East Coast school and the only school that would cost Thornton a year of eligibility (due to transfer rules within the ACC), has the staff cautiously optimistic about its position.

Miami also had Michael Gilmore, the nephew of Basketball Hall of Famer Artis, on campus earlier this week. Gilmore, a transfer from VCU who would have two years of eligibility remaining, is a stretch forward who Miami targeted out of high school. Gilmore told us that the visit went “really well” and that he plans to decide today. Gilmore previously visited Florida Gulf Coast, Valparaiso, and Tulane.

Recent changes to recruiting rules allow for colleges to use visits on high school recruits beginning in January of their junior year. Miami is using one of its final visits to bring Chris Lykes, the highly-recruited point guard who was the prestigious Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a junior out of Gonzaga College High School. The lightning-quick point guard has a unique game and his success at the highest levels of the college and AAU circuits as college coaches competing for his services, despite his smaller stature (check out his highlight reel below). Lykes is expected to be on campus this weekend and will visit defending national champion Villanova later this month. Though he is still publicly involved with other schools such as Notre Dame, VCU and Georgetown, Miami and Villanova are his only two scheduled visits and rumor is that he may decide sooner rather than later.

On a side note, the city of Miami hosted the Adidas Nations all-star camp in late May, and we understand that several Miami targets, including 2018 guard Immanuel Quickley, were invited to participate. Ordinarily, the staff would take the opportunity to bring these talented players on campus for an official visit, but their hands were tied as the event was scheduled for a recruiting dead period, with coaches were allowed no in-person contact and barred from the camp. The staff is hopeful that Quickley, and potentially others, may find their way back to campus sooner rather than later in either an unofficial or official capacity.

As for the non-conference schedule, we understand that many agreements are still being finalized. We do know four games thus far, with Miami hosting Rutgers in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on November 30 and participation in the ESPN-sponsored Advocare Invitational in Orlando over Thanksgiving break the week before. In addition to the Hurricanes, that tournament features Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana State, Iowa State, Quinnipiac, Seton Hall and Stanford, meaning the Hurricanes will likely see at least two power conference schools in a neutral setting. Miami has traditionally released their full non-conference schedule in August, but SOTU is hoping to bring you a preview in July before the official release.  As always a special shout-out to SOTU's CanesHoops Consigliere, Josh Frank (@JoshDaCane)