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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 13th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

Miami Hurricanes

Overall Rank: #121

Conference Rank: #11 ACC

 

2005-06: 18-16, 7-9, 7th (t)

2005-06 postseason: NIT

 

The early departure of Guillermo Diaz to the NBA has left Miami with a lack of a go-to scorer.  Returning point guard Anthony Harris is the logical choice to fill that role, averaging 9.5 points per game last year.  Coming off of a successful freshman campaign, Denis Clemente should become a double digit scorer; however, somebody else needs to step up so Harris can feel less pressure to put up big scoring numbers and spend his time setting up others.

 

Who’s Out: The backcourt duo of Diaz and Robert Hite will be greatly missed.  The two combined to average 33.6 points, 4.3 assists and 8.7 rebounds.  That is some major perimeter production to replace.  Seldom used backcourt mates Lee Butler and Eric Wilkins have also wrapped up their basketball careers at Miami.  Big man Gary Hamilton started 22 contests, averaging 3.8 points and 5.4 boards during his senior campaign.

 

Who’s In: It might lack the big name, but Coach Frank Haith has brought in a very good class.  The frontcourt will bring in Dwayne Collins and Fabio Nass.  Collins is an intimidating power forward who will add a much needed rebounding presence on both ends of the floor.  Collins won’t be starting in November, but he might be by March.  With his experience at the junior college level, Nass can find some minutes backing up the big men.  The 6-10 forward can hit the outside jumper and help on the glass.  Swingman Lawrence Gilbert can do a little bit of everything and a lot of some things.  Gilbert has great ball control skills considering his 6-7 frame.  There will be some fun fast breaks in Miami with Gilbert on the floor.  Shooting guard James Dews is a candidate to fill in for some of the departed scoring, especially from behind the arc where the Hurricanes suddenly lack a threat.  Two years ago Jack McClinton averaged 13.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a freshman at Siena.  Now the 6-1 guard is eligible to play at Miami and will certainly continue his quality game in Coral Gables.

 

Who to Watch: The backcourt has a surprisingly amount of talent despite the loss of Diaz and Hite.  The key to this season will be getting more production out of the frontcourt.  Anthony King knows a thing or two about production, averaging 8.8 points and a team high 6.9 rebounds per game.  It is the other two forward spots that have questions.  Raymond Hicks started two games last year and showed some potential when he was given the opportunity, but might have some trouble if he is asked to move to three.  Jimmy Graham made ten starts as a freshman.  He didn’t put up big numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but the potential is there for a breakout season. 

 

Final Projection: There is more talent here than most people are giving Miami credit for, but it is still a major accomplishment for a .500 team to lose over half of its scoring and improve…at least without a ‘Thad Five’ type recruiting class.  There will be struggles early, but don’t be surprised if Miami pulls off a big upset or two in the ACC.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: none 

 

Projected Starting Five:

Anthony Harris, Senior, Guard, 9.5 points per game

Denis Clemente, Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 points per game

Raymond Hicks, Junior, Forward, 4.7 points per game

Jimmy Graham, Sophomore, Forward, 1.8 points per game

Anthony King, Senior, Center, 8.8 points per game

#122 Charleston » Complete List » 120 Bradley

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