The Miami Hurricanes lost starter Bruce Brown Jr. to a broken foot and he will miss approximately six weeks according to the university.
Sophomore guard Bruce Brown Jr. will undergo surgery Thursday after sustaining a left-foot injury Monday in practice. He is expected to miss approximately six weeks.— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) January 30, 2018
Get well soon, Bruce. pic.twitter.com/t5Wl2e95n9
Brown is one of the most talented and athletic players for Miami and he did a little bit of everything for the Hurricanes on offense and defense. He was the top perimeter defender for the Canes and their leading rebounder. While he was struggling with his shot a bit this year, Brown is a proven scorer who can put up 20 on any given night. Now the question is, who will replace the production that Brown has left behind? Here are a few guys who really need to embrace new roles to offset the loss of Brown.
Scoring – Lonnie Walker IV/ Chris Lykes
The two standout freshmen for the Hurricanes have really begun to hit their strides entering ACC play. Lonnie Walker has looked like an absolute superstar at times, especially at home against Louisville, and Lykes has been a spark plug off the bench who has shown that he can put up points in a hurry. Brown is leaving behind 33 minutes and 11 points per games for these two standout freshman to pick up. With potentially Dejan Vasiljevic replacing Brown in the lineup, there will be more space on the floor for Walker and Lykes to slash to the rim and create for themselves and others. I personally think this is the chance for Walker to really take the next step and show that he is an elite player in the country.
Rebounding – Dewan Huell/ Anthony Lawrence
It may surprise those that don’t watch the Hurricanes play, but Brown was actually the team’s leading rebounder despite being a guard. Brown possessed the athleticism and aggressiveness to be a force on the defensive glass. With Brown out, it will have to be a team effort to pick up the slack, but two particular individuals will really have to step up. Anthony Lawerence is already a good rebounder for the Canes as he has racked up double digit rebounds in 4 games for the Hurricanes. The other is starting big man Dewan Huell who has the size to be a force on the boards, but has been lackluster at times for someone his size. I think the pressure to be a force on the boards will make Huell more aggressive as a rebounder, and it will help him be a more dominate force down low.
Defense – Ja’Quan Newton
The one area that I personally believe Bruce Brown will be missed the most is on the defensive end. College basketball is very guard oriented and it is important to have a strong perimeter defender to help slow down the elite teams. Since Ja’Quan Newton has been at Miami, he has been asked to get buckets and be a spark on offense. With the injection of youth and talent this year, Newton has had trouble getting into a groove offensively and has really struggled to provide a spark like in years past. With Walker and Lykes potentially being asked to shoulder the load on offense, I think Newton should use this opportunity to make his impact on the defensive end. He may not have great size for a guard, but he has always been a grinder on offense and can use that same scrappy mentality to be a pest on the defensive end. When things change on the fly, everyone is asked to do things they would not normally do, I think Newton can thrive as a perimeter defender if he focuses on that being his main role on the team. If Newton is not up for the challenge, it will be a team effort to replace Brown.