ACC Basketball: 2015-2016 Miami Hurricanes Season Preview

Miami Hurricanes 


25-13 (10-8 ACC)


Key Returning Players

  • PG Angel Rodriguez
  • G Sheldon McClellan
  • C Tonye Jekiri



  • PG Manu Lecomte (Transferred to Baylor)
  • Combo Guard Deandre Burnett (Transferred to Ole Miss)
  • PF Omar Sherman (Transferred to Paris (TX) Junior College)
  • F Joe Thomas (Graduation)



  • F Kamari Murphy, RS-Jr. (Transferred from Oklahoma State)
  • F Anthony Lawrence ESPN 4-star recruit (Ranked 100th on ESPN100 for 2015 Class)
  • C Ebuka Izundu



Despite winning 25 games (and reaching the NIT finals) last season, “inconsistent” might be the best term to describe the 2014-2015 Hurricanes. The team had their fair share of impressive regular-season wins ( namely the one @ Duke), but also some head-scratching home losses (by 28 points to Eastern Kentucky, and by 20 points to Georgia Tech). A common theme that can be extrapolated from those results is that the team will only go as far as senior point guard Angel Rodriguez takes them. When he’s on, Miami is rolling. But if he has an off night, the team usually struggles as a result.

Really, the main key for Miami this season is to keep the well-rounded Rodriguez healthy (which has been an issue throughout his career). If so, the ‘Canes have enough depth, talent and experience to make a return to the Big Dance like they did during their magical 2013 campaign.

Including Rodriguez (11.9 PPG, 3.9 APG), Miami returns their leading scorer in shooting guard Sheldon McClennan (14.8 ppg) and leading rebounder in 7-foot center Tonye Jekiri (9.9 RPG). What do these three all have in common? They’re all seniors who have been battle-tested and understand the rigors of playing in the ACC. Add in top 3-point shooter in SG Davon Reed (45.7 3PT%) and transfer PF Kamari Murphy (6’8″ 220 lbs), you’ve got the makings of a very formidable starting lineup, even by ACC standards.


Schedule and Prediction


Outside of participating in the Puerto Rico Tip-off (also features Mississippi State, Utah, Temple, Butler and Minnesota) on Nov. 20, the non-conference slate shouldn’t be too daunting for the ‘Canes. Games against the likes of Louisiana-Lafayette, Northeastern, Nebraska, Charlotte and Charleston don’t exactly strike fear for their opponents. Miami will have a home game against Florida, but that match-up shouldn’t be too tough considering the Gators are working in a new head coach (Mike White) and also lost a few key players (Michael Frazier II and Eli Carter) from last season. On paper, Miami should have at least 10 wins by the time conference play begins.

While pretty much every ACC Basketball schedule is brutal, Miami probably drew one of the tougher conference slates considering they must face #6 Virginia and #19 Notre Dame twice, and have #1 UNC on the road. In fact, Miami is the only team with four games against the defending ACC regular season and tournament champs. That blow is somewhat lessened since the ‘Canes get to face Virginia Tech twice (sorry, guys) this season.

Barring injuries or any other unforeseen circumstances, Miami should make the NCAA tournament with the roster they have. Some outlets like USA Today and go as far as to view them as a preseason top-25 team. Not only do the ‘Canes have a balanced backcourt and frontcourt, but also has a rotation that goes about 10 deep. If they win the games they’re favored in and pull off an upset or two, Miami shouldn’t have any worry about being on the NCAA bubble in March.


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