Miami Hurricanes

2016-17 record: 21-12, 10-8 in the ACC

Head coach: Jim Larrañaga

Tenure at Miami: 7th season

Career coaching record: 581-378

Home court: Watsco Center

Starters: G Ja’Quan Newton, G Bruce Brown Jr., G Lonnie Walker IV, F Dewan Huell, C Ebuka Izundu

Bench: G Dejan Vasiljevic, G Chris Lykes, G Anthony Lawrence II, F Deng Gak

Overview: After a strong start to the 2016-17 regular season, with the Hurricanes winning 10 of their first 12 games, the team quickly began to struggle against strong ACC opponents, losing to unranked Syracuse and Wake Forest early on. The Hurricanes went back and forth with ACC teams, ending the season with a 10-8 conference mark and winning 21 total games. But they ultimately fell to Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. 

The 2017-18 season is looking bright for a young Hurricanes team that debuted at No. 13 in the preseason AP poll. Miami has many of its top players coming back, but will look to fill the void left by its two graduated seniors, Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy, whose absence could be felt on both offense and defense. Reed was the leading scorer, and Murphy led the team in rebounds and was the third-leading shot-blocker. 

Without their two leaders, the Hurricanes will need returning guards Ja’Quan Newton and Bruce Brown Jr. to step up and make shots on offense, with Huell providing a growing defensive presence. Newton, the sole senior, will bring high-level experience to the team after being one of 20 players to attend Chris Paul’s Elite Guard Camp. 

Newcomers such as Lonnie Walker IV will also make an impact on the team offensively—the Reading, Pa., native was a consensus top-15 player in last year's recruiting class. The 2017 McDonald’s All-American tore his meniscus at the end of the summer, but after being out for more than two months, has been cleared to play. If Miami can keep him healthy, he’ll be an important part of what bodes to be a promising season. 

One thing that needs to go right: The remaining veterans continue to perform, joined by newcomers like Walker, and take advantage of their depth to be able to compete in a tough ACC.

One thing that could go wrong: Walker’s injury persists and Huell struggles to fill the void left by Murphy, hurting the team’s ability to score, specifically in the paint.