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Miami men's basketball 2016-17 season preview

<p>Guard Ja’Quan Newton will have a bigger role for the Hurricanes this season after star guards Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan graduated.</p>

Guard Ja’Quan Newton will have a bigger role for the Hurricanes this season after star guards Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan graduated.

Miami Hurricanes

Overall record: 27-8, 13-5 in the ACC

Head coach: Jim Larrañaga

Tenure at Miami: 8th season

Career coaching record: 588-391

Home court: Watsco Center

Starters: G Ja’Quan Newton, G Bruce Brown, G Davon Reed, F Kamari Murphy, F Dewan Huell

Bench: G Anthony Lawrence Jr., G Rashad Muhammed

Overview: After a solid season in 2015-16 that ended with a loss in the Sweet 16 to eventual national champion Villanova, the Hurricanes enter this season with more questions than answers. Head coach Jim Larrañaga has instilled a winning mentality in Coral Gables, but will need to find some new offensive firepower following the graduation of guards Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan, who was tabbed as a second-team All-ACC player last season. 

Luckily for Miami, it reeled in a pair ESPN 100 commits during the offseason who are expected to play and make an impact right away. Bruce Brown was tabbed as the No. 5 shooting guard in the nation, and Miami native Dewan Huell was the No. 7 power forward. The slender 6-foot-11, 220-pound forward will be counted on to fill the void on the glass left by 7-footer Tonye Jekiri, who averaged 8.6 rebounds per game as a senior. 

The freshman duo will be complemented by returning players Ja’Quan Newton, Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy. All saw extensive playing time last season, and Reed averaged more than 11 points and four rebounds per game. Newton also averaged double figures as a reliable scorer off the bench.

One thing that needs to go right: Brown and Huell jell with existing talent on the offensive end, and the Hurricanes become a surprise ACC contender.

One thing that could go wrong: Rodriguez, McClellan and center Tonye Jekiri are sorely missed and 2016-17 is a rebuilding year for the Hurricanes, who miss the NCAA tournament.

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