Jim Larrañaga and Katie Meier were in a good mood Wednesday, and with good reason.
Two days before the start of the 2016-17 season, the University of Miami men’s and women’s basketball coaches announced the signing of several highly touted recruits for the 2017 class.
ESPN Top 100 players Chris Lykes, a 5-7 point guard from Bowie, Maryland, and forward Deng Gak, a 6-11 Australian playing at Blair Academy in New Jersey, signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Canes. Lykes is ranked 11th among point guards by ESPN. Last year, Lykes was the Player of the Year in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. He averaged 22 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds.
“At 5-7, the closest thing right now that I can compare [Lykes] to is Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics,” said Larrañaga. “He's fast, he’s quick, he jumps, he shoots, he handles, he passes, he’s a high energy guy. He smiles all the time and he's really great fun to be around.”
Gak and UM freshman guard Dejan Vasiljevic played together on the Australian U-19 national team.
Meier signed one of the best classes in school history, with five Top 125 players: Endia Banks, Mykea Gray, Kelsey Marshall, Taylor Mason, and Rebecca Ripley. The class is ranked in the Top 15 nationally by ESPNW HoopGurlz.
Banks is a guard from Duluth, Georgia. Gray is a guard from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Marshall is “a heady, high-IQ player” from Davie and plays at Miami Country Day. Mason is a guard from Decatur, Georgia. And Ripley is a 6-foot forward from Stratham, New Hampshire.
▪ Florida SouthWestern State College 91, Broward College 87: Adam Traore scored 27 points, but the host Seahawks (3-1) fell to the Buccaneers (4-0). Jaron Cornish had 19 points and Oswald Parker added 14 for Broward. Tremell Murphy scored 19 points and Ed Porter added 17 for Florida SouthWestern State.
▪ Tampa 3, Barry 2: The Buccaneers (14-11, 6-6 SSC) pushed the host No. 22 Spartans (20-6, 10-3) to the brink, but came up short, 25-16, 25-18, 18-25, 21-25, 16-14. Jaeda Allen led Barry with18 kills and 10 digs. Genesis Castillo had nine kills, 11 digs and four blocks.