Power forward Sam Waardenburg, a redshirt freshman, will be much more than a stretch four for the Hurricanes this upcoming season.
The New Zealand native has a high basketball IQ and an impressive skill set that makes him a dynamic player. From a physical perspective, he’s 6-9, 205 pounds and is agile for his height. His size and mobility give him the ability to play both inside and outside. The big man has a nice arc on the ball giving him a smooth stroke. He sees the floor well, has impressive footwork and can make plays on the move.
Waardenburg’s international experience makes him a great competitor. He played in FIBA Under-19 World Cup and in the Adidas Nations Tournament in Los Angeles. He averaged 13.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and shot above 60 percent from behind the arc in five games. Those stats helped showcase his all-around game and led to him being named one of the top 10 players of the tournament.
The forward will be a strong force on the defensive end as well. He can pull down rebounds and provide rim protection. He can also step out and defend players on the perimeter with his closeout defense.
Waardenburg is talented and his ferocity will help ignite Miami this year.