Is the upcoming 2017-18 Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team the most talented roster the university has ever rolled out?
It’s nothing but hype right now but it very well could be, as ESPN’s early 2018 NBA Mock Draft has not one but two Canes hearing their name called in the lottery, with Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony slotting sophomore Bruce Brown to Detroit at No. 12 and incoming freshman Lonnie Walker to New Orleans at No. 13.
The only college program with more players going in the first 13 picks is Duke with three. Michigan State has two.
“Brown is a hard-working combo guard with long arms and good athleticism, playing the game in attack mode on both ends of the floor,” Givony writes. “He’s also a lockdown defender and a capable shooter, but does he score enough to project as a starter in the NBA? One knock on Brown: The sophomore is the same age (21) as some seniors.”
Brown displayed elite flashes in Year 1 with the Canes, especially coming on late in the season. He put up an efficient 25 points on Duke in February while gutting UNC for 30 points and 21 points, on separate occasions.
As for Walker, ESPN’s No. 12 overall recruit last year, he’s “a long-armed shooting guard with a strong frame and impressive athleticism,” says Givony. “Walker has strong 3-and-D attributes but has shown flashes of being able to do more. He needs to improve his ballhandling and shot creation. His assertiveness and effort also come and go at times.”
The one thing potentially stalling Canes hoops next year will have nothing to do with its supreme talent. Walker underwent knee surgery, though he is expected to be back for the opener.
Considering coach Jim Larranaga consistently squeezes the most out of his teams, it’ll be a fascinating season this fall when he’ll have arguably the most gifted roster he’s ever had at his disposal.