In the history of men’s basketball at the University of Miami, the Hurricanes have made the NCAA Tournament 11 times. The 2021-22 season was the first time the program went to the Elite Eight, winning three games during March Madness.
During the previous 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, the Hurricanes had won just eight games with three Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2000, 2013, and 2016. Thanks to a deep run in the tournament, there were three current Miami players to enter the top 10 in the school’s NCAA Tournament scoring list.
Though there are players who have been more prolific scorers, they may not have played many games in the tournament. Playing in four games during one postseason helped vault solid players above some of the best in school history.
Players are missing from the list that I would have assumed would be towards the top. For example, the program’s leading scorer, Rick Barry, never played in the NCAA Tournament during his time as a ‘Cane.
10) Charlie Moore, 43 points
In four games during the 2022 NCAA Tournament, Charlie Moore averaged 10.8 points, totaling 43 points scored. This includes 16 points, four assists, three rebounds, and four steals in an opening-round upset over the seventh-seeded USC Trojans.
Moore followed up his nice opening-round game with a near triple-double. He scored 15 points along with nine rebounds, eight assists, and three steals to help the Hurricanes reach their fourth Sweet Sixteen in school history.
In their matchup with Iowa State, he was more of a creator, scoring seven points but dishing out nine assists, which tied a season-high in the program’s first-ever Sweet-Sixteen win. He wasn’t able to get into a rhythm in the Elite Eight game against Kansas, being in foul trouble for much of the first half. He scored five points on two-of-eight shooting.
9) Jack McClinton, 56 points
One of the most prolific scorers in the last half-century of Miami Hurricanes basketball, Jack McClinton was able to score 56 points in just two career tournament games.
During the 2007-08 season, McClinton led Miami to the tournament after five seasons of missing the cut. He only scored 38 points in the first round against Saint Mary’s, making 12 of his 19 field goal attempts. His 38 points are the most scored in a single game in the program’s tournament history.
He followed that up with 18 points against the second-seeded Texas Longhorns, losing by just three points.
8) Elton Tyler, 57 points
One of the few Hurricanes players to play in multiple NCAA Tournaments on this list, Elton Tyler scored 57 points in seven games during four tournament appearances.
His best scoring performance was during the 2000 NCAA Tournament when he scored 20 points against Ohio State to put Miami in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in program history.
In 2002, Tyler scored 17 points in a first-round loss to Missouri.
7) Sheldon McClellan, 62 points
After transferring from Texas, Sheldon McClellan became one of the best scorers in recent program history, averaging 16.3 points per game during the 2015-16 season. McClellan, who has since changed his name to Sheldon Mac, led the team to the program’s third Sweet Sixteen.
In three games, McClellan scored 62 points including 26 points in the Sweet Sixteen loss to Villanova. He was solid throughout the tournament, scoring 20 points in the first round against Buffalo and 18 points in the second round against Wichita State.
His 26 points in the Sweet Sixteen, which included five made three-point shots, is the fifth-highest scoring total in an NCAA Tournament game in program history.
T-5) Isaiah Wong, 65 points
During his third season with the Hurricanes, Isaiah Wong played in his first NCAA Tournament this year. Wong was a key main reason for Miami making it through the first two rounds of the tournament, scoring a combined 43 points in the first two rounds.
His 43 points in the first two rounds (22 vs. USC, 21 vs. Auburn) was enough to put him into the top 10 for Hurricanes’ scoring in March Madness. He added seven points in the Sweet Sixteen victory over Iowa State and then scored 15 points in the Elite Eight loss to Kansas for a total of 65 points.
As a sophomore, Wong could still return to Miami and add to his total to move up the list.
T-5) Angel Rodriguez, 65 points
After beginning his career at Kansas State, Angel Rodriguez transferred to the Hurricanes and was an immediate impact player. In his second year with the program, Rodriguez and McClellan were one of the best duos in the country and led the team to one of its best seedings in program history.
Rodriguez averaged 12.6 points during the regular season and then scored 65 points in three tournament games to average 21.6 points. This includes a 28-point performance against Wichita State in the second round, the third-best March Madness scoring performance in program history.
4) John Salmons, 70 points
As one of the most successful NBA players out of the University of Miami, John Salmons was also a great scorer in college. This includes his play during March.
Salmons averaged 10.4 points per game throughout his four seasons with the Hurricanes, but his averages always went up during the NCAA Tournament. During his freshman season in 1998-99, he averaged 5.6 points per game. That postseason, he 15 points in two games for an increase to 7.5 points per game in the tournament.
The next season, he averaged 9.4 points per game during the regular season. In three tournament games, he helped Miami to their first Sweet Sixteen by scoring 39 points in three games, increasing his average to 13 points per game.
In his final season with the Hurricanes, Salmons was second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.1 points per game to go along with six rebounds and 6.1 assists. In the first-round loss to Missouri, Salmons scored 16 points to bring his career total in the NCAA Tournament to 70 points in six games, 11.6 points per game.
3) Mario Bland, 75 points
During his four seasons in Miami from 1996 to 2000, Mario Bland averaged 10 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. In his first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1998, he had 18 points and 8 rebounds in a losing effort.
In his second trip to the tournament, he had 19 points and 16 rebounds in two games. In his final tournament in 2000, he had 38 points and 26 rebounds in three games. His total of 75 points was second to his teammate at the time.
2) Kameron McGusty, 77 points
Thanks to a run to the Elite Eight, Kameron McGusty was able to move into second place on the program scoring list during the NCAA Tournament. In just one tournament with the Hurricanes, McGusty scored 77 points in four games. This includes a 27 point performance in the Sweet Sixteen, the fourth highest-scoring game in program history during the NCAA Tournament.
McGusty started the tournament off slowly, making just five of his 18 field-goal attempts for 12 points in the first-round win over USC. But he totaled 65 points in the next three games on 51 percent shooting from the field.
1) Johnny Hemsley, 114 points
The best scoring player in program history during the NCAA Tournament is Johnny Hemsley. He scored the ball well during the regular season, averaging 13.9 points per game during his four-year career at Miami.
During his final two seasons with the Hurricanes, he averaged 17.9 points, averaging over two three-point makes per game.
In Hemsley’s first-career tournament game in 1998, he had 13 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals in a three-point loss to the higher-seeded UCLA Bruins. The following season, Hemsley helped Miami win the program’s first NCAA Tournament game. He did that by scoring a then-program-high 31 points in the first round against Lafayette, hitting nine of 12 three-pointers. His next game would be just 13 points in a loss to Purdue.
During the 2000 tournament, Hemsley would lead the program to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time, scoring 57 points in three games. He finished his career averaging 19 points in six career tournament games.