Ja’Quan Newton, the suspended University of Miami starting point guard, felt remorseful after watching the Hurricanes’ thrilling 54-48 overtime road win over 18th-ranked Virginia on Monday night.
After the game, as the team headed to catch a flight back to Miami, Newton posted this apology on Twitter:
“I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches, and most importantly the fans of the University of Miami. I made a huge mistake and hope that everyone will forgive me. I’m so happy for my brothers being able to pull off a huge road win tonight in my absence and going 3-0 throughout my suspension.
“Sitting here alone watching the game really hit me and I’m totally disappointed in myself. I promise from this day forward to work harder than I ever did and to never be a distraction again.”
Newton, a junior averaging 15 points, was suspended three games for violating unspecified team rules. He was also suspended for three games late last season. He is expected back for Saturday’s home game against No. 10 Duke.
The team stepped up in his absence on Wednesday. Miami nearly won the game in regulation at the buzzer on a desperation three-pointer from Davon Reed, but officials ruled it was shot just a hair too late. In overtime, freshman Bruce Brown made a three-pointer with 23.8 seconds to seal the victory for the Hurricanes, their sixth win in the past eight games.
UM coach Jim Larrañaga credited his team’s composure for the win.
“We were very calm throughout the game when we fell behind,” he told reporters. “As a coach, you can often tell when you look at the players at a time out. If they are looking back at you and listening intently, it’s very good.”
Larrañaga’s locker room dance with his players went viral on social media late into the night.