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Guard Earl Timberlake declares transfer decision

The freshman guard will not get a chance to contribute more to Miami after an injury-ridden season.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Miami-Florida
Former Hurricanes guard Earl Timberlake attempts a layup while being fouled versus North Carolina in the second half at the Watsco Center.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team has now lost two four-star recruits over a handful of months.

Freshman guard Earl Timberlake, one of Miami’s highest-rated recruits in program history, stated he will transfer out of the Miami program on Sunday, an ESPN report stated.

Despite having only competed in seven games this season, the DeMatha Catholic High School graduate opted for a fresh start elsewhere. Timberlake competed in only seven games this season as a result of lingering ankle and shoulder injuries which prevented him from even practicing.

“I’ve been dealing with a whole lot this season as far as being away from home and ankle and shoulder injuries,” Timberlake said. “I wanted to be there for my teammates, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to. After some thought, I came to the conclusion that putting my name in the transfer portal is the best move for my future. There’s nothing negative that happened.”

Miami coach Jim Larrañaga acknowledged the decision in an encouraging manner.

“Earl is an extremely talented basketball player and an outstanding young man who unfortunately had to deal with a number of injuries this season,” Larrañaga said. “We look forward to seeing him return to full health and wish him and his family nothing but the best.”

Having stuffed the stat sheet versus North Carolina with a team-high 12 points in his first collegiate start, Timberlake will remain one of the top talents available in the transfer portal.

“I’m open to anything,” Timberlake said. “I’m going in with an open mind. There are no favorites.”

With averages of 9.3 points, five rebounds, and 2.4 assists at Miami, the 6-foot-6 guard will hope to boost his NBA draft stock in a different setting.

“I will not be entering the NBA draft,” Timberlake said. “I need to get back to being the real Earl Timberlake before I can think of taking the next step in my career.”

Miami will pivot towards preparing its three four-star recruits of the 2021 class in Nisine Poplar, Bensley Joseph, and Jakai Robinson, without Timberlake and former forward Matt Cross, who transferred to Louisville midseason, of 2020.