What’s uglier than a weekend loss to Boston College? The current state of Miami’s recruiting class for 2018. Jim Larranaga and staff have yet to land a commit for the upcoming class and it’s quite problematic considering the Canes will more than likely lose wings Lonnie Walker and Bruce Brown Jr. to the NBA draft, possibly forward Dewan Huell as well, and Ja’Quan Newton to graduation.
Miami is arguably coming off their best recruiting class in program history that was a consensus top 10 class in the country. The 2017 class included five-star Walker and two four-star recruits in Chris Lykes and Deng Gak (redshirt), as well as Sam Waardenburg. That achievement is unheralded for the basketball program, and even though they should only lose Walker from that star-studded class, you have to wonder where the recruiting momentum has gone.
Part of the reason can be attributed to the program’s connection to the ongoing FBI investigation that alarmed all of college basketball back in October. Miami, known as “University-7” in the FBI report, was alleged to know of an Adidas official offering a bribe of $150,000 to a player to come play in Coral Gables and Larranaga, known as “Coach-3” was the alleged knowing party. The investigation has calmed publicly as the season has been underway, but Larranaga has denied any knowing or connection to the bribe.
Two recruits in particular, four-star Jalen Carey (Syracuse commit) and five-star Nassir Little (North Carolina commit), eliminated Miami as a possible destination due to the FBI investigation. Miami was also in the running late for McDonald’s All-American and five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley, but lost out to Kentucky.
There hasn’t been a whisper on the recruiting front for Miami after those three recruits chose to go elsewhere. How will the 2018 roster look, assuming the previously mentioned four starters leave the program? It’s not prettiest...
The roster would include guards Lykes, DJ Vasiljevic, Mount St. Mary’s transfer Miles Wilson along with forwards Waardenburg, Gak, Anthony Lawrence II, Rodney Miller Jr., Ebuka Inzundu.
Gak and Wilson are the unknowns on the list, but even with solid production from the two, the Canes would seem undermanned on paper to compete in the blood bath ACC.
The key to the 2018 roster right now is whether or not Huell will turn pro. If Huell were to stay for his junior year, Miami would probably be a bubble team and compete in the middle of the conference.
Will Larranaga rely on a graduate transfer to bolster the roster, or will the Canes make a late surge in the recruiting field?
Either way, fans should enjoy this season while it lasts, as Miami could be in a transition year in 2018.