With all the hype around the University of Miami football team the past few days – the turnover chain, ESPN College Game Day, the 41-8 trouncing of Notre Dame – the opening weekend of Hurricanes basketball was overshadowed.
In case you missed it, the 13th-ranked UM men and 24th-ranked women started the season with a pair of wins Friday night and Sunday afternoon, giving fans a glimpse of what’s to come.
Here are Five Takeaways:
1. NBA scouts have been showing up to see sophomore Bruce Brown and freshman Lonnie Walker, and the duo showed why some draft gurus projected them both as first-round picks. Brown recorded the second triple double of his career, and third in UM history, with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Gardner-Webb. He couldn’t find his shot Sunday, going 1-for-10, but had six rebounds and six steals. Through two games, Walker has scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting with six assists.
2. Mykea Gray wasted no time making an impact on the UM women’s team. The 5-4 freshman from Washington, D.C., scored a game-high 27 points in the opening win over FIU, and followed that up with 21 points in a 73-49 victory over Vermont on Sunday. She made four of eight three-point attempts on Sunday, and on Friday night was 8-for-11 from the free throw line.
3. Dewan Huell and Ebuka Izundu showed in the first two games that they are coming into their own and capable of being a force in the paint. They combined for 25 points and 18 rebounds on Friday, and against Navy, Huell got his first double-double (14 pts, 10 reb) and Izundu added 12 points. Miami dominated Navy in the paint, 50-26.
4. The women’s team had 15 steals on Sunday. Maybe the football team could loan them the turnover chain.
5. Ja’Quan Newton and DJ Vasiljevic were the team’s leading scorers over the weekend. Newton went 10-of-16 for 27 points and Vasiljevic is averaging 11.5 points (though his shot was off on Friday). They need to consistently be productive for the Hurricanes to be successful.
Up next: The men play at home Thursday against Florida A&M. The women play at the University of Colorado on Saturday.