University of Miami

UM basketball team has fared well against potential NBA draft picks

Miami guard Angel Rodriguez (13) drives against Notre Dame guard Demetrius Jackson (11) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, Coral Gables, Fla. Miami won 79-70.
Miami guard Angel Rodriguez (13) drives against Notre Dame guard Demetrius Jackson (11) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, Coral Gables, Fla. Miami won 79-70. AP

The Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team is 3-0 this season while playing against teams with potential NBA Draft lottery picks as projected by draftexpress.com.

Here are the details:

▪ Projected No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram, a 6-9 forward for Duke, scored 19 points and 10 rebounds in an 80-69 loss to Miami. He made 8-of-13 shots and had four turnovers.

▪ Projected No. 6 pick Jakob Poeltl, a 7-0 center for Utah, had 16 points and 6 rebounds in a 90-60 loss to Miami. He made 7-of-11 shots.

▪ Projected No. 11 pick Demetrius Jackson, a 6-1 point guard for Notre Dame, had six points and 7 assists in a 79-70 loss to Miami. He made 3-of-11 shots.

Meanwhile, Miami’s 6-5 shooting guard Sheldon McClellan, ranked No. 54 among draft prospects, averaged 20.0 points in those three games, making 23 of 30 shots from the floor (76.6 percent).

One apparent issue with scouts regarding McClellan is his age -23. Ingram is 18, Poeltl is 20 and Jackson is 21.

Among lower-ranked NBA prospects this season, Miami beat Duke guard Grayson Allen (No. 29), Mississippi State guard Malik Newman (No. 37) Florida forward Dorian Finney-Smith (No. 45) and Syracuse wing Michael Gbinije (No. 55). Miami also split two games against Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon.

The Canes lost to North Carolina and its two draft prospects — forward Brice Johnson (No. 30) and guard Marcus Paige (No. 56) — and also to North Carolina State and its point guard, Anthony Barber (No. 57).

Brogdon averaged 24 points in the two games against Miami while also playing excellent defense.

But perhaps no opponent has looked as good against Miami as the 6-2 Barber, who scored 30 points and added four assists. He made 10 of 18 shots from the floor and 10 of 10 from the foul line.

The Canes will face two more draft prospects on Saturday when Louisville visits. The Cardinals boast 6-10 center Chinanu Onuaku (No. 42) and 6-6 wing Damion Lee (No. 46).

By the way, Louisville is recruiting South Miami High 6-3 junior guard Zach Dawson, whose team lost in the state semifinals Friday in Lakeland.

BARRY

Senior Tray Leonard is the reigning Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week in men’s basketball after he produced the first triple-double in program history.

Leonard, a 6-9, 250-pound center, had 13 points, a career-high 17 rebounds and a school-record 12 blocks in a win over Tampa.

Barry coach Butch Estes said Leonard had lost his “passion” for basketball at his previous school, Fordham. Leonard transferred from Division I to Division II last season, but Estes said he never got in top condition.

“This past summer, we put him on a program [to lose weight],” Estes said of Leonard, who worked on it from home in Raleigh, North Carolina. “He lost 40 pounds, and I’m so happy for him.

“Tray is a smart back-to-the-basket player. We wouldn’t be where we are without him. It was all about getting in shape.”

Barry, 20-5 overall and 13-0 at home, is preparing for the start of the conference postseason tournament on Wednesday. The Bucs are ranked No. 23 nationally in Division II and have posted consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in program history.

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