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Cardiac Hill ACC Preview: #8 Miami Hurricanes

The Miami Hurricanes rank 8th on the Cardiac Hill ACC basketball countdown.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Coach - Jim Larranaga (3 seasons at Miami, 66-36 record, 1 NCAA Tournament appearance)

Arena - BankUnited Center (7,972 capacity)

2013-14 Record -  17-16 (7-11 ACC)

Game with Pitt - @ Pitt Wednesday, March 4 9:00

Top Returning Players (Italics = projected starter)

-- Manu Lecomte 5'11" SO PG   7.7 PPG  2.3 APG

-- Davon Reed 6'6" SO SF  6.6 PPG

-- Tonye Jekiri 7'0" JR C  4.2 PPG 5.5 RPG

-- DeAndre Burnett 6'2" FR G Redshirt

Impact Newcomers

-- Shledon McClellan 6'5" JR SG Transfer from Texas

-- Angel Rodriguez 5'11" JR  PG  Transfer from Kansas State

-- Ja'Quan Newton 6'3" FR PG #37 Overall Recruit on Rivals

-- James Palmer 6'3" FR SG #99 Overall Recruit on Rivals

-- Joe Thomas 6'7" SR PF Transfer from Niagra

-- Iavn Uceda 6'10 JR PF JuCo Transfer

The Scoop - Miami lost so much from an average team last season, but gained a whole new core of players that can instantly take them to an NCAA Tournament appearance.

The guard play for Miami can compete with anyone, and not just in the ACC, but they are as good of a group of guards as you will see anywhere.  Angel Rodriguez is a transfer from Kansas State, and played in two tournaments with the Wildcats. He averaged 11 points and five assists as a sophomore on a 27-win team.  Sheldon McClellan is a big time scorer that averaged double figures in both seasons he played for the University of Texas.

The Hurricanes also welcome two four-star freshmen guards, Ja'Quan Newton and James Palmer. Holdovers Manu Lecomte and DeAndre Burnett give Jim Larrangha many different combinations at the guard spot, with great depth. Miami could go with a three guard lineup and use 6'6" wing, Davon Reed as an undersized four.  The post spot is a big question mark, and that is something that could hold Miami back from having great success.

Final Outlook - Miami has an unbelievable set of guards and that will make them a competitive team with anyone in the league. The lack of skill in the post could hold them back, but they are definitely a team that can move their way up the ladder and put themselves in a position for an NCAA Tournament berth, there really is a lot to like about this team.
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