Slowly, but surely, the depleted University of Miami men’s basketball roster is getting replenished.
The latest addition to the Hurricanes program is University of Cincinnati transfer Nysier Brooks, a 6-11, 240-pound center who started last season. He averaged 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, and was named conference Defensive Player of the Year.
He has one year of eligibility remaining. Unless he can get an NCAA waiver — he left the Bearcats after a coaching change — he will sit out the 2019-20 season and be eligible the following season. Brooks, who is from the Philadelphia area, placed his name in the transfer portal on April 19, a week after Cincinnati hired John Brannen to replace Mick Cronin as head coach.
“We are excited to welcome Nysier to the Hurricane family,” UM coach Jim Larranaga said. “He is a skilled, physical low-post player with the ability to defend at the highest level. Nysier will bring grit, Philly toughness and a wealth of experience. He was one of the top defenders in the AAC and has played 103 games in his career, including three straight NCAA Tournaments. We are thrilled to have Nysier, his guardian James Johns and the rest of his family as part of our program.”
“I will always be a Bearcat at heart,” Brooks wrote on Twitter. “I want to start by saying thank you to Coach Cronin and the rest of the UC coaching staff... I want to thank my teammates who I love. We have fought many battles together... Thank you to the UC fans for the support over the last three years. This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make.”
Brooks is the second transfer to sign with UM in recent weeks.
University of Florida big man Keith Stone, a 6-8, 254-pound Deerfield Beach native, decided he will spend his final year of eligibility at Miami.
Stone, 21, was a redshirt junior last season and is scheduled to graduate this summer, making him eligible to play for the Canes immediately. He averaged 6.1 points and 3.9 rebounds before a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear on Jan. 19 during a game against Georgia. He started 13 games as a junior and 26 games as a sophomore, when he averaged 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds.
He played on three NCAA Tournament teams with the Gators.
Hurricanes fans might remember that Stone had a breakout game against UM during his freshman season, scoring 15 points with eight rebounds. Assuming he is fully recovered from his knee injury, Stone should get plenty of playing time after the departures of Dewan Hernandez, Ebuka Izundu, and Anthony Lawrence.
The third Spring signing was high schooler Harlond Beverly, a 6-4 four-star combo guard from Montverde Academy near Orlando, who chose Miami over an impressive list of schools, including NCAA Tournament semifinalist Michigan State, which was expected to have an edge because Beverly is a native of Detroit suburb Farmington Hills and spent most of his life there.
Other schools that were interested in Beverly included Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Baylor and Indiana. He is rated the 82nd-best recruit overall in the Class of 2019 by 247 Sports, and is ranked No. 11 among combo guards and No. 12 among all Florida high school recruits.
The Canes return six scholarship players — Chris Lykes, DJ Vasiljevic, Rodney Miller, Deng Gak, Sam Waardenburg, and Kam McGusty, an Oklahoma transfer who sat out last season. Willie Herenton, a walk-on who was awarded a scholarship last year, is also on the roster. Incoming freshmen Isaiah Wong and Anthony Walker committed in the early signing period.