We last looked at the recruiting efforts for the Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team on September 5th. Just over 3 weeks later, news of an FBI investigation into elicit recruiting practices across college basketball took the hoops world by surprise. The bombshell report delivered in the DOJ documents cryptically mentioned Miami in conversations with the arrested suspects. Documents and records held by Miami Coach Jim Larrañaga were given to the FBI and in a statement he read last week to the media has said he strongly denies any wrong doing. Former players have come to his defense but despite the belief that Coach L has done nothing wrong this has obviously had a chilling effect on the Canes recruiting efforts.
Prior to the investigation, Miami was in the final cut for several highly regarded recruits including Nas Little, Jalen Carey, Lugentz Dort, Eric Ayala, and Jules Bernard. All have since given their verbal commitment to other Power5 schools. Only Ayala kept Miami on his final list prior to committing.
Elijah Weaver, a highly sought after guard from the Tampa, FL area had the Canes on his list before the summer but Miami didn’t make his final cut. He seems to be one of the rare recruits to ignore the storm created by the FBI as he recently gave his commitment to USC. That school is also named in the investigation and had one of its assistants arrested on bribery charges.
One of the few remaining top 100 recruits that has not taken Miami off his list is Saddiq Bey, a swingman out of the Washington, DC area who is also being heavily recruited by Pittsburgh, Xavier and NC State. Bey visited Miami in September just before the news of the investigation broke. He has since been quiet about his recruitment and took an official visit to NC State on October 6th. Some recruiting experts seem to think the Wolfpack or Xavier will be the landing spot for Bey. Bey however had been one of Miami’s top targets, will they be able to sway him?
Another top recruit that had not cut Miami is five star PF Emmitt Williams who had officially visited Oregon and LSU but was arrested for felony sexual battery on October 18th. His status is now unclear for obvious reasons.
According to 24/7 Sports, there are several prospects that have Miami on their “interested” list. These include guards, Kiyon Boyd and Antwann Jones; forwards Jarius Hamilton and Keyshawn Bryant and power forward Dimon Carrigan. It is unclear if Miami is pursuing these recruits currently but we will monitor these prospects to see if the Canes emerge as a possible destination.
If Miami cannot secure a fall signee or two plan B most certainly is to evaluate who is left for the spring signing period and likely explore the JUCO and transfer markets to help fill some potential gaps in the Canes roster next year.
One thing is certain, the investigation is not likely to slow down a team that should be a juggernaut this season, which begins Wednesday (11/1). In a private scrimmage with USF, the Canes emerged with a 101-50 victory. This should prove to be a fun year.