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Welcome to the U, Earl Timberlake

Coach L goes back to the DMV to get a top 30 talent to commit to the Canes

State of the U Illustration by Mike Meredith

In a major move today, Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha 4-star SF Earl Timberlake committed to Coach L and the Miami Hurricanes over Pitt, Providence, Seton Hall, South Carolina, and others.

A 6’6” 215lb wing, Timberlake stars for both DeMatha during the HSBB season, and Team Durant during the AAU/EYBL season. A smooth lefty (yeah, that caught me off guard too), Timberlake is equally adept at putting the ball on the floor to drive to the rim as he is hitting shots from range.

Here’s a scouting report on Timberlake from Jerry Meyer of 247sports:

An advanced physical specimen. Powerfully built with some quick twitch explosiveness as a 6-6 wing. The lefty can get where he wants on the court and is a good playmaker. Manufactures buckets but has room to improve as an outside shooter. Is a great rebounder for his position. Scores on putbacks and can start the break. Imposing and versatile defender who should develop into an NBA draft selection.

Ranked as the #1 player in Maryland, the #5 SF, and #28 overall player in this class by 247sports, Timberlake is unquestionably one of the top talents in the 2020 recruiting class. Rivals is slightly higher on Timberlake, having him rated as the #5 SF and #26 overall, good for a 5-star ranking on their site.

His .9892 recruiting ranking on 247sports easily makes Timberlake the highest rated recruit in Miami’s 2020 class (which to this point only had one other player in it), and slots Timberlake as the 5th highest basketball recruit to ever commit to Miami. He comes in behind Lonnie Walker IV, DeQuan Jones, Bruce Brown, and Dewan Hernandez (formerly Huell) on that list. Timberlake is the highest rated recruit for Miami since freshman Harlond Beverly (7th highest rated recruit all-time) signed with Miami last year.

On top of his sky-high recruiting ranking, Timberlake is the latest player to commit to Miami from the northeast. That’s where Coach Jim Larrañaga has the most recruiting and coaching experience, and continued recruiting success. Former ‘Canes and now NBA guards Lonnie Walker IV and Bruce Brown are from Philadelphia and Boston, respectively. Current Canes PG Chris Lykes is from Washington D.C. and played at a rival school of Timberlake’s DeMatha Prep. Canes C Rodney Miller is from NY and went to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. Fellow Cane Deng Gak is from the Northeast and Blair Academy in New Jersey. Freshman guard Isaiah Wong is from New Jersey and went to HS in Philadelphia. Freshman Forward Anthony Walker is from Baltimore and went to HS at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire....same school as Brown. Former starting PG Ja’Quan Newton is from Philadelphia. And the list goes on and on, with Timberlake as the latest addition. It’s safe

Timberlake is at his best slashing toward the rim either on the dribble or on a cut, and is masterful in transition as both an initiator and finisher. He’s got a decent handle but could tighten that up over time. Timberlake isn’t a dead-eye shooter, but if he’s in rhythm he has a nice, smooth jumper that should translate to the college level. With game-ready size and great athleticism, Timberlake should develop into a very strong defender, a key to him seeing PT for Miami. (Before you push back on that, remember that’s what kept Lonnie Walker IV on the bench for part of his only year in college). As stated above, Timberlake is a well-built player and his physical development is a big key to his success. As he continues to develop, he’ll refine his skills to match his impressive physique.

The Maryland native will arrive at an opportune time for Larrañaga and the Canes, with guard DJ Vasiljevic being a current senior, and guard Kameron McGusty and forward Sam Waardenburg set to be seniors a year from now. Timberlake may be a natural heir to any of those upperclassman.

Timberlake is the 2nd player in Miami’s 2020 basketball recruiting class. He joins 4-star SF Matt Cross (Brewster Academy, NH) as the commits in this class.

For a better look at the kind of player Miami is adding in Timberlake, check out the videos below:

Welcome to the U, Earl!