A season watching basketball from the sidelines should hopefully pay dividends for Miles Wilson.
The sophomore combo guard transferred from Mount St. Mary’s to the University of Miami over the summer, choosing the U over Auburn. As a freshman, Wilson finished third on the Mountaineers in scoring (11.8 points per game) and fourth in rebounding (3.9 rebounds per game). Wilson helped lead Mount St. Mary’s to a Northeast Conference regular season and tournament championship and a win in the NCAA Tournament First Four over New Orleans. The Mountaineers’ season was ended by Villanova in the First Round (Round of 64) of the NCAA Tournament.
This is a move that, on the surface, doesn’t seem to have much effect on the Hurricanes. But head coach Jim Larranaga is playing chess, not checkers. He knows that his team could lose at least one guard after the 2017-18 season (Ja’Quan Newton) and as many as three (Newton along with highly-touted freshman Lonnie Walker and sophomore Bruce Brown) depending on how the season plays out. At the very worst, he competes for playing time in the rotation for the 2018-19 season. Best-case for Wilson, he takes over a starting job that year.
All that depends on whether Wilson makes it to next season. That’s not to suggest that he has any issues that would stop him from doing that. But Rashad Muhammad, who transferred into the U from San Jose State and sat out the entire 2015-16 season, never played a regular-season minute for the Canes. He was suspended the first three games of last season, then dismissed from the squad for “a failure to meet team expectations.”
Again, Wilson and Muhammad are two totally different people. But the precedent is there for a transfer to come in and never play.
If he does stay and contributes, the Hurricanes should get a solid scorer with size and a decent three-point shot (36.2 percent as a freshman). He should also be hungry to get back on the court after doing what he did as a freshman at Mount St. Mary’s and then not playing the whole next season.
But for this year, he will learn under the team’s system Larranaga and the rest of the coaching staff, practice against one of the most talented groups of guards in the country, and get bigger and stronger in the weight room.