How Are Miami (FL) Hurricanes Checking Out This Post-Shane Larkin Season?

By Elaine J. Dispo
Miami Hurricanes-Georgia Southern Eagles
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes miss their ACC MVP Shane Larkin.

As a “shooting star” of the Hurricanes, this point guard, who was selected as the 18th overall NBA 2013 draft pick, created a quiet storm on the court with his speed and scoring prowess until his sophomore season when he helped score Miami’s very first ACC tournament championship win.

Since this professional rookie’s Summer League right ankle injury, he still has yet to play with his new team, the Dallas Mavericks, who are in Larkin’s stomping grounds: the state of Florida. The Mavs played the Miami Heat in Larkin’s college city on Friday, Nov. 15 and go on to the Orlando Magic in Larkin’s hometown on Saturday, Nov. 16.

Now that Larkin has left the NCAA to play in the pros he has had surgery repair to his ankle and returned to practice. However, since he is not 100 percent he has not lucked out by scoring a breakthrough debut, yet hopefully that time for him will come soon.

Without this Shane, can “Canes Hoops” succeed or will they struggle this season?

Yes, my guess is that they will secure success, as their tip off has treated them kindly. So far, they have been victorious in all but one of their games.

This past week, Miami beat Southern teams, the Georgia Southern Eagles on Monday, Nov. 11, and the Texas Southern Tigers in their first matchup on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Prior to that, the Hurricanes won their exhibition opener against fellow Florida team, the Florida Tech Panthers, on Wednesday, Oct. 30, and were defeated by the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers on Friday, Nov. 8.

Next, Miami will visit the College of Charleston Cougars on Monday, Nov. 18.

The shining star on the floor for the Hurricanes would have to be shooting guard Rion Brown, who enters his senior season and has consistently led the team with the most minutes, ranging from 24 in the exhibition to a high of 45. Sophomore center Tonye Jekiri, who joins the starting lineup, also looks reliable, as well as guard Garrius Adams. However, after suffering from a knee injury during the game against Texas Southern, will Jekiri get to play on Monday?

Although there were “hoop hopes” for Angel Rodriguez fresh from the Kansas State Wildcats, the PG is not healthy enough to play this season, not to mention that there were certain concerns regarding regulations with his transfer. Instead of requesting waiver he will maintain “red shirt” status while sitting this year out during which he will learn how his new team’s system works until he is ready to hit the hardwood.

Looking ahead to the 2014-15 season, Miami will welcome at least four fresh new signees on board, according to men’s head basketball coach and 2013 AP Coach of the Year Jim Larranaga. On Thursday, Nov. 15, the ball club announced that it looks forward to having the following players contend for the Canes: PG Ja’Quan Newton (Philadelphia) as No. 55 of ESPN‘s Top 100 basketball recruits, PG James Palmer (Washington, D.C.),‘s No. 20 power forward/No. 94 overall player Omar Sherman (Duncanville, Texas) and seasoned intercollegiate player Ivan Cruz Uceda (Madrid, Spain) from Harcum College.

Therefore, the Hurricanes certainly can make waves in their new post-Larkin era as it looks like they have their PG positions covered as well as more opportunity for remaining players to improve and excellent additions to their roster.

Elaine Dispo is a Dallas Mavericks writer for Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.

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