The Miami Hurricanes had a very up-and-down 2013-14 NCAA season, after finishing with a respectable overall record of 17-16 but a less than stellar 7-11 mark in the ACC. The major reason for the disappointing year is rather easy to point out after the team averaged just 61.5 points per game and played a basically unwatchable style.
This could, and should, change next season with a solid recruiting class coming in that is led by the multi-talented guard Ja’Quan Newton. Scouts love Newton’s style of play. He is considered a masterful ball-handler who will not commit turnovers. He loves attacking the rim, and despite his 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame, he can rush to the paint with power and throw down well above the rim. He can do a little bit of everything as a shooting guard, but he may be moved to the point guard slot based purely on his skills with the ball and his creativity. He is a solid passer and makes good decisions, but he would rather score himself.
If he is the Hurricanes’ point guard, he will have to adjust to being more of playmaker. Still, the offense he can bring coach Jim Larranaga should bring a little more excitement to the team and allow the lineup to have more fun on offense. The Hurricanes lacked a go-to player last season and should have that with Newton. He is a top-40 recruit by many standards and could fly off the charts if he can steady his jumper.
Newton could become a breakout star in his freshman season in the ACC, and if he matures his game sooner rather than later, the Hurricanes could be a dark horse for a tournament bid.