Former five-star recruit Dewan Hernandez (previously Huell) is entering his third season as a Miami Hurricane. The 6’11” forward declared for the 2018 NBA draft just a few months ago, but decided to return to school after conversations with coaches and family.
His return provides a huge boost to the program after the departures of Lonnie Walker, Bruce Brown, and Ja’Quan Newton. Hernandez figures to be the Canes’ leading man thanks to this newfound opportunity as well as his impressive pedigree and ability.
When he first arrived at UM he showed the jarring athleticism that made him such a highly touted prospect, but was still a bit raw as a basketball player. He finished the season averaging 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game on 53.1 percent shooting from the field in 17.4 minutes per game. Last season, however, he showed significant improvement in just about all aspects of the game. Hernandez averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game on 57.6 percent shooting in 25.8 minutes per game.
He also upped his total rebound percentage (from 10.6 to 15.1) and assist percentage (from 2.3 to 3.4) while lowering his turnover percentage (from 15.1 to 12.6) and balancing a higher usage rate. These are the marks of a player improving his efficiency as he gains a greater understanding and feel for high-level basketball.
Hernandez’s rim-running, leaping ability, and knack for finishing at the rim are perhaps his greatest attributes, but he has also worked to expand his game. He has mentioned he feels he is a good shooter and is aiming to take one or two threes per game this season. A rim-running big who finishes well, can space the floor with consistent shooting, sets good screens and rolls hard, and protects the rim on the defensive end is the model for NBA centers; if Hernandez can check all of these boxes he is in for a big season that could potentially be his last before turning pro.