Harlond Beverly hit a three-pointer and flashed a big smile.
It was a small yet significant moment in Friday night’s 74-60 Miami Hurricanes’ victory against visiting Florida Atlantic University.
“I hate losing,” said Beverly, Miami’s 6-4 freshman combo guard said in a TV interview. “Whatever it takes to win, I’m going to do it.”
Beverly did plenty Friday, coming off the bench to score 14 points, which was one less than teammate Chris Lykes’ game-high total of 15. Beverly also had a game-high four assists in 27 minutes, making 6-of-9 shots from the floor and 2-of-3 on three-pointers.
His only issue was at the foul line, where he went 0-for-2.
Beverly is one of three freshmen on Miami’s roster, joined by 6-3 guard Isaiah Wong and 6-9 forward Anthony Walker, who each scored four points.
That trio represents fresh hope for Miami (1-1), which missed the NCAA Tournament last season and lost its opener in decisive fashion on Tuesday to fifth-ranked Louisville.
Wong and Walker appear to be raw, but Beverly looked like the best player on the court for much of Friday’s game.
FAU had cut Miami’s nine-point halftime lead to three at 51-48 with 10:29 left in the game. But Miami responded with a 17-2 run that included a layup, dunk, assist and three-pointer by Beverly.
Still, Beverly has a long way to go to match some of his fellow freshmen in the ACC. North Carolina’s Cole Anthony, for example, scored 34 against Notre Dame on Wednesday to set the ACC record for most points by a freshman in his first game.
One night prior, Virginia Tech’s Landers Nolley scored 30 points in his collegiate debut against Clemson.
Furthermore, Beverly, Wong and Walker have even more pressure on them because there are no true sophomores on UM’s roster. They are the full extent of Miami’s current youth movement.
“I love those guys,” Larranaga said of his three freshmen. “They are learning. They think they’ve made it … but not yet. They still have a lot to learn.”